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April 24 , 2008

Democracy Promotion

A Critical Introduction


This critical introduction to democracy promotion seeks to provide students with an understanding of some of the key dynamics and contentions revolving around this controversial policy agenda.

Specifically, this textbook examines democracy promotion through seeking to answer, from the perspective of an approach informed by ‘critical theory’, a set of important questions often posed to democracy promoters, such as:

  • Who is involved in democracy promotion today and what kinds of power relations are embedded in it?
  • Is democracy promotion driven by the 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.

Democracy Promotion 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.

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