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The international politics of democracy promotion Essay

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    Whilst the paper does not attempt to single out one motive as the barely concealed ‘hidden agenda’, it does recognise that there is a clear distinction between motives for promoting democracy for the self -perpetuating value of democracy itself and motives for promoting democracy based purely on the self-interest of the West. As seen from the discussion above, the latter seem to be in more abundance. The paper is not directly condemning this, it is recognised that, especially after September 11th, western security is threatened and this issue needs to be addressed.

    However, as the title of this paper suggests these ‘hidden agendas’ are barely concealed, and while few may believe that democracy promotion is based on morally motivated principles, many believe this not to be the case, including the recipient countries. Again, this paper is not attempting to paint these recipient countries as victims of Western hypocrisy. Yet, it cannot be denied that there is a great deal of hypocrisy behind the democracy promotion agenda and this could badly affect the outcomes of democracy promotion.

    This, whether you support democracy as a valuable concept itself, or whether you are aiming to achieve security, economic prosperity etc. through democracy, is generally not a good outcome. Sanctioning countries for not being sufficiently democratic and abusing human rights, whilst praising another which does exactly the same but is a strategic ally will lead to less desire for countries to become truly democratic, and lead unsavoury regimes to lean more towards a democratic farce, whilst atrocities go on behind the scenes.

    Democratic transitions are rarely stable events, and it is extremely hard to consolidate a democracy, not being truly dedicated to promoting democracy, but rather preoccupied with maintaining Western security and economic interests in the region will not provide the political support and assistance that emerging democracies really need in order to continue their transitions.

    In order for the world to continue truly democratising and for existing young democracies to become solid, the West need to seriously reappraise their barely concealed ‘hidden agendas’ and realise that some of their motives such as maintaining ‘business as usual’ and maintaining solid bases for transnational capital are in direct conflict with promoting democracy and that in order to achieve Western security, it is essential that democracy be promoted wholeheartedly and without hypocrisy.

    1 Richard Youngs, The European Union and the Promotion of Democracy, (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2000), p. 1 2 G. R. Olsen, ‘Promotion of Democracy as a Foreign Policy Instrument of ‘Europe’: Limits to International Idealism, Democractization, (Vol. 7, No. 2 ,2000), p. 142-143 3 Ibid. p. 143 4 Ibid. 5 G. John Ikenberry, ‘America’s Liberal Grand Strategy: Democracy and National Security in the Post-war Era. ‘, p. 111 6 G. John Ikenberry, ‘Why Export Democracy?: The ‘Hidden Grand Strategy’ of American Foreign Policy,’ The Wilson Quarterly, (Vol 23, No. 2 (Spring, 1999)

    http://www. mtholyoke. edu/acad/intrel/exdem. html (visited: 02/02/2002) 7 Ibid. 8 R. Youngs, The European Union and the Promotion of Democracy, p. 12 9 R. Youngs, The European Union and the Promotion of Democracy, p. 12 10 Larry Diamond, ‘Promoting Democracy,’ Foreign Policy, (No. 87, 1992), p. 28 11 G. R. Olsen, ‘Promotion of Democracy as a Foreign Policy Instrument of ‘Europe’:

    Limits to International Idealism,’ p.143 12 Ibid. p. 144 13 Ibid. 14 Ibid. , p. 155 15 Ibid. 16 Larry Diamond, ‘Promoting Democracy’, p. 44 17 Ibid. 18 Milan Markovic, ‘What’s Democracy Got to do With It? ‘, Pundit Magazine, http://www. punditmag. com/articles/democracy. html (visited: 07/02/2002) 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. 22 G. R. Olsen, ‘Promotion of Democracy as a Foreign Policy Instrument of ‘Europe’: Limits to International Idealism,’ p. 160 23 Ibid. 24 Ibid. p. 161 25 Ibid. , p. 162 26 William I. Robinson, Promoting Polyarchy Globalisation, U. S.

    Intervention and Hegemony, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1996), p. 318-319 27 Ibid. , p. 321-322 28 Robinson, Poyarchy, Globalisation, U. S. Intervention and Hegemony, p. 344 29 Olsen, p. 144 30 Ibid. p. 154 31 Ibid. p. 144 32 Edward Newman, ‘Democracy Assistance: Motives, Impacts and Limitations’, http://www. incore. ulst. ac. uk/newman. html (visited 02/02/2002) 33Edited by Peter Burnell, Democracy Assistance-International Co-operation for Democratization, (Frank Cass Publishers: London, 2000), p. 47 34 Ibid. p. 44 35 Ibid. p. 47.

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