Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Making the World Safe for Partial Democracy? Questioning the Premises of Democracy Promotion

| Fall 2008

Abstract

Democracy promotion is a favored strategy to advance the cause of world peace, especially in the Greater Middle East, but undifferentiated democracy promotion has two faulty premises. First, all progress toward the establishment of democratic regimes does not necessarily make the global community safer. Second, regime change is not something external actors have the capacity to direct along desired pathways. The first assumption fails to consider the well-documented security problems caused by partial democracies. The second assumption overstates the ability of powerful outsiders to induce transitions to full democracy. These research findings are grounds for cautious and selective democracy promotion, not a blanket approach that is indifferent to the composition of the regimes designated to be reformed and democratized.

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For Academic Citation: Arthur A. Goldsmith. Making the World Safe for Partial Democracy? Questioning the Premises of Democracy Promotion.” Quarterly Journal: International Security, vol. 33. no. 2. (Fall 2008):
120-147
.