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Govern Like UsU.S. Expectations of Poor Countries$
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M. A. Thomas

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171205

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171205.001.0001

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A Different Conversation

A Different Conversation

(p.178) 8. A Different Conversation
Govern Like Us

M. A. Thomas

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes the difficult choices in dealing with poor governments—so difficult that the United States has largely declined to make them. There is alarmingly little room for compromise within the United States' compulsion to “correct” other countries' deviations of their governance ideals, as poor countries are subsequently pressured into duties and legitimacy they are still struggling to maintain in the aftermath of decolonization. To close, the author suggests that the United States begins to understand that the options available to the rich are not available to the poor, that poor governments acting under these limitations should not be pressed with unrealistic expectations of moral standards—among others—and that more accepting standards and rules of engagement need to be set in place when interacting with poorer countries, while keeping in mind these countries' limitations in improving their situation.

Keywords:   poor governments, governance ideals, decolonization, unrealistic expectations, moral standards, rules of engagement

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