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For almost eight years, President Clinton and his aides have proclaimed democracy to be the organizing principle of US foreign policy, a principle representing the fusion of American ideals and interests. In this working paper, Thomas Carothers critically examines the actual role of democracy promotion in Clinton policies around the world. Carothers explores the frequent tensions, between democracy promotion and myriad other national interests-from the pursuit of trade to the combating of international drug trafficking- and, hence, the ultimately uneven record of the Clinton administration. Carothers analyzes the evolution of the Clinton administration's treatment of the issue over time, and gives attention to the role of Congress as well. Looking ahead to the role democracy promotion may play in the next administration, Carothers urges that democracy promotion not be cast aside as an outdated Clintonian custom and he sets out some practical recommendations for improving U.S. efforts.