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Conference on Democracy Promotion
Panel: "How Can We Do Better at Promoting Democracy?"

Carl Gershman, Thomas Carothers, and Daniel Calingaert spoke on a panel entitled “How Can We Do Better at Promoting Democracy?” as part of a recent conference on “Re-thinking Democracy Promotion Amid Rising Authoritarianism.” The conference was jointly sponsored by The American Interest, Freedom House, and Johns Hopkins-SAIS.

TAI‘s own editor, Adam Garfinkle, served as moderator.

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  • lukelea

    How can we do a better job promoting political stability is the better question. Western-style democracies are only possible in Western societies, I am afraid, with perhaps a few exceptions in East Asia. It’s all about out-breeding vs. inbreeding, clans and tribes vs. civil societies based on the rule of law and the rights of the individual.

    • Curious Mayhem

      Yes. It’s stable power and stable political identity, then constitutionalism, then democratic consent, within the framework set by the prior conditions.

      Stop making a fetish of multiparty elections, especially in places (like Egypt, say) where only illiberal forces can take real advantage of the situation and everyone else is unprepared, confused, poorly motivated and organized, and badly funded.

  • Andrew Allison

    Perhaps we should start by examining the dreadful cost, to us and others, of having promoted democracy so indiscriminately: there’s a line between defending democracy where it has taken root and trying to impose it.

    • Curious Mayhem

      Yes. Consider also the related, ill-advised policy of spreading the globalization paradigm to places clearly not ready for it.

      And, finally, consider rising authoritarianism at home as well as abroad.

      • Breif2

        What about the lilies of the field? What about my cat Jeoffry? What about the hint of the century?

  • Mark Robert Jones

    Maybe instead of promoting democracy you should promote Freedom

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