A Critical Introduction
Routledge – 2014 – 168 pages
This critical introduction to democracy promotion seeks to provide the reader with an understanding of some of the key dynamics and contentions revolving around this controversial policy agenda. Specifically, the book examines democracy promotion through seeking to answer, from the perspective of an approach informed by ‘critical theory’, a set of important set of questions often posed to democracy promoters, such as: Who does democracy promotion today and what kinds of power relations are embedded in it? Is democracy promotion driven by values or interests of key actors? Is democracy promotion regime change by another name? Is democracy promotion ‘context-sensitive’ or an imposition of Western powers? Is democracy promotion about achieving liberal economic reform in target states? Is democracy promotion a tool of the powerful, a form of hegemonic control of target populations? The book suggests a set of provocative answers to these questions and also puts forward a set of challenges for democracy promoters and supporters to take on today. This book serves as an effective introduction to an increasingly topical policy agenda for students and general readers, and at the same time seeks to advance an important set of new critical perspectives for practitioners and policy-makers of democracy promotion to consider.
Chapter 1. Introduction, Chapter 2. Who does democracy promotion and how? Chapter 3. Is democracy promotion about defence of values or about the safeguarding of interests? Chapter 4. Is Democracy Promotion Regime Change?
Chapter 5. Is democracy promotion context sensitive? Chapter 6. Is democracy promotion really limited to achieving political reform or does it aim to advance liberal economic reform?Chapter 7. Is democracy promotion reflective of and constructive of ‘hegemonic’ power relations? Conclusion: Democracy Promotion: What’s Next?
Jeff Bridouxis Lecturer in International Politics/Post-Conflict Reconstruction at the Aberystwyth University. He is the author of American Foreign Policy and Postwar Reconstruction (Routledge, 2011), a monograph seeking to understand the outcome of US-led postwar reconstruction by providing a new analytical framework relying on a Gramscian concept of power.
Milja Kurki is Professor at the Department of International Politics. She was the Principal Investigator of the European Research Council funded project ‘Political Economies of Democratisation’ (2008-2012) and is the author of Causation in International Relations and Democratic Futures (Routledge, 2013).