Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Selective Wilsonianism: Material Interests and the West's Support for Democracy

  • Arman Grigoryan
| Spring 2020


When a mass movement broke out in 2013 against Ukraine’s corrupt government, the United States and its West European allies offered assistance to the protesters. When a mass movement rocked Armenia five years earlier, the West’s attitude ranged from indifference to hostility. What explains the West’s different responses? Whereas the Ukrainian movement was intensely hostile toward Russia, the Armenian movement was not. Contrary to the popular Wilsonian narrative, the West assists democratic movements only when that assistance coincides with its material interests.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Arman Grigoryan, "Selective Wilsonianism: Material Interests and the West's Support for Democracy," International Security, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Spring 2020), pp. 158-200.

The Author