The Obama administration faces pressure to pull back U.S. democracy promotion efforts, given the Bush administration’s legacy and increasing talk of a global “democratic recession.” The United States can and should remain an active supporter of democracy abroad. By building a new approach to democracy promotion around the new president’s cardinal values—non-confrontational, measured, cooperative, and empowering—the United States can regain its place as a respected, trusted, and influential ally of democracy around the world.
Thomas Carothers offers a wide-ranging assessment of the state of democracy in the world, finding that despite set backs in the troubled regions of the Middle East and former Soviet Union, democracy has not experienced a global retreat this decade. Good news on democratization, though often less visible, has occurred in roughly equal proportion to bad news, and considerable continuity exists in many places. By taking on this more balanced perspective, the Obama administration can ensure that unnecessary pessimism does not hinder important U.S. support for democracy.
Understanding Democracy Development in Key Regions
The Carnegie Democracy and Rule of Law Program rigorously examines the global state of democracy and the rule of law and international efforts to support their advance.
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