"In the 1950s and 1960s, Harrigan was a leading figure behind the “ultraconservative” Charleston (South Carolina) News and Courier. During the civil rights movement he, like many Southern conservatives, staked out a strongly segregationist position, and his states’ rights beliefs led him to view favorably such experiments in regional autonomy as Quebec’s independence movement and the division of Cyprus. In this period he also took an acute interest in national security issues, writing about unconventional warfare in A Guide to the War in Vietnam (1966) and about nuclear strategy in Defense against Total Attack (1965). In Red Star over Africa (1964) and elsewhere he warned about communist advances in the developing world.
"In the 1980s, as president of the United States Business and Industrial Council and the United States Industrial Council Educational Foundation, Harrigan argued for economic policies appropriate to his commitment to middle-American values. In American Economic Pre-eminence (1989), written with William R. Hawkins, he championed a neo-mercantilist approach to trade policy, a combination of incentives and protective measures centered on the principle that economic policy should serve the national interest in increasing relative national power and wealth. This direct opposition to the classically liberal trade policies favored by neoconservatives marked one front in the dispute between “paleos” and “neos” in the waning days of the Reagan administration."