European and American experts systematically compare U.S. and EU strategies to promote democracy around the world -- from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, to Latin America, the former Soviet bloc, and Southeast Asia. In doing so, the authors debunk the pernicious myth that there exists a transatlantic divide over democracy promotion.
Before the democracy promotion efforts of Iraq or Afghanistan in the early 21st century, there was the Soviet Union in the late 20th century. For much longer, and with much greater capacity than Saddam Hussein’s regime or the Taliban, the Soviet regime threatened the United States. The destruction of the Soviet regime and the construction of a pro-Western, democratic regime in its place, therefore, was a major objective of American foreign policy. Some presidents pursued this goal more vigorously than others: Nixon cared less, Reagan rather more.
Russia's invasion of Georgia last month seriously undermined peace and security in Europe for the first time in years. Russia's military actions and subsequent decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states also represent a fundamental challenge to the norms and rules that help to promote order in the international system.
The next president of the United States must forge a new national security strategy in a world marked by enormous tumult and change and at a time when America's international standing and strategic position are at an historic nadir. Many of our allies question our motives and methods; our enemies doubt American rhetoric and resolve. Now, more than at any time since the late 1940s, it is vital to chart a new direction for America's global role.
U.S. foreign assistance—the rationale behind it, the amount we give, its orientation and organization—has changed dramatically in the last decade. These changes have challenged its efficacy but have also created new opportunities to modernize U.S. foreign assistance. The importance of supporting development and reducing poverty abroad are understood now as never before to be both moral imperatives and prerequisites for sustained U.S. national security.
Yes, the Putin era was good for most Russians. But it could have been better. Russia's presidential vote on March 2 will be the least competitive election in Russia's post-Soviet history. The tragedy of the Putin era is that none of these autocratic reforms were needed to sustain economic growth, political stability or the president's popularity. In fact, more democracy - that is, an independent court system, real opposition parties and a robust independent media - would have helped to fight corruption, protect property and spur more growth
Morocco's experience suggests that expanded political liberty, especially freedom of association, can facilitate the emergence of multiple versions of political Islam, reducing the salience of a large, undifferentiated Islamist movement as an umbrella for oppositionist sentiment. The best means for containing potentially destabilizing discontent and promoting moderation among potentially antidemocratic forces are a pluralized political space and iterative free elections.
The United States and the European Union spend roughly $1.5 billion per year on democracy promotion, but how effective are such external efforts? As the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine demonstrates, for such efforts to succeed, local actors must want democratic change; foreign attempts to "export" democracy are likely to fail in the absence of domestic consumers. In the Ukraine case, external assistance played a direct, causal role in restricting some aspects of President Leonid Kuchma's power while increasing some aspects of the opposition's power.
As an eternal optimist, I have for decades been one of those who believed that Russia could make the transition from communism to democracy, a development which in turn would help to integrate Russia into to the West. In the long run, I am still certain of this eventual outcome. In the short run, however, it is obvious that President Putin is building a more autocratic regime, an internal process that in turn has strained Russia's relations with the West.
Recent developments in Iran have convinced advocates of both softer arms-control approaches and more hard-line regime-change strategies that their analyses are correct and their policy prescriptions are working. The arms-controllers see a Tehran more willing to negotiate; the regime-changers see increasing repression. Though evidence for both claims can be marshaled, neither offers balanced insight into Iranian behavior or a sensible strategy for breaking the decades-long impasse in U.S.-Iranian relations.
All federal systems face the two fundamental dilemmas of federalism: too strong a center risks overawing the subnational units; and too weak a center risks free-riding that makes the system fall apart. Resolving the two dilemmas is problematic because mitigating one dilemma exacerbates the other. We develop a model of federal institutions that shows the circumstances under which both dilemmas can be solved so that federal institutions are self-enforcing.
This article responds to the "Russian Enigma," a series of essays that ran in the November/December 2006 issue of The American Interest. The authors of those essays agree that liberalism in Russia is on its last legs. As to why liberalism in Russia has faltered, however, they differ. Their fears about the consequences of liberalism's failure also range considerably. Who's right?
Bombing Iran will exacerbate, not resolve problems, Michael McFaul, Larry Diamond and Abbas Milani demonstrate in a new landmark article. "Rather than throw the reactionaries in Tehran a political lifeline in the form of war, the United States should pursue a more subtle approach: contain Iranian agents in the region, but offer to negotiate unconditionally with Iran on all the outstanding issues.
Francis Fukuyama and Michael McFaul present an argument for continued American efforts to promote democracy and a plan to strengthen policy tools for those efforts. They advocate a concept of dual-track diplomacy and the creation of a new Cabinet-level department of development, with distinct resources and programs for democracy promotion.
The third volume of The Cambridge History of Russia provides an authoritative political, intellectual, social and cultural history of the trials and triumphs of Russia and the Soviet Union during the twentieth century. It encompasses not only the ethnically Russian part of the country but also the non-Russian peoples of the tsarist and Soviet multinational states and of the post-Soviet republics. Beginning with the revolutions of the early twentieth century, chapters move through the 1920s to the Stalinist 1930s, World War II, the post-Stalin years and the decline and collapse of the USSR.
The dramatic series of protests and political events that unfolded in Ukraine in the fall of 2004--the "Orange Revolution"--were seminal both for Ukrainian history and the history of democratization. Its effects have already been felt from Kyrgyzstan to Lebanon and are likely to travel even further. Yet few anticipated such a dramatic democratic breakthrough in Ukraine.
In an article written for the current issue of the Washington Quarterly by Larry Diamond, Michael McFaull and Abbas Milani, suggests that the U.S.