Democracy promotion

Once a prominent component of foreign policy for developed democracies around the world and a privileged area of intervention for donors, democracy promotion finds itself threatened in the aftermath of the disappointing Arab spring revolutions and the rise of the likes of Donald Trump. But what is the objective evidence on the record of the last wave of democracy promotion, as well as of earlier ones? This course will explore existing theoretical and empirical literature on democracy promotion (from case studies such as Napoleon's intervention in the Swiss Constitution to the American Iraq intervention), but will also include readings written by and for practitioners in the democracy promotion industry. Students should learn an understanding of the justifications for democracy promotion as norms transfer, the repertoire of interventions and their record, as well as the challenges of assessing progress in this field.


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