Thomas Carothers, Vice President, Carnegie Endowment

Jack Snyder, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University; co-author of Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War

Francis Fukuyama, Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Johns Hopkins University

Marc F. Plattner, Editor, Journal of Democracy

Thomas Carothers' recent Journal of Democracy article, “How Democracies Emerge: The ‘Sequencing' Fallacy,” is a critical response to the viewpoint that certain preconditions –especially a well-functioning state and the rule of law– should be in place before a country attempts democratization. In this debate Carothers expanded on his core arguments about the relative compatibility of authoritarianism versus democracy with rule-of-law development and state-building, exploring cases ranging from El Savador and Nigeria to Egypt and Iraq.  Jack Snyder emphasized the high costs of failed democratization and suggested that the United States and other international actors should give less priority to elections in their democracy promotion efforts. Francis Fukuyama drew attention to democracy's relation to good governance and state-building, stressing that state consolidation is a long, arduous process. Marc Plattner moderated the session.