Bringing Down Dictators: Electoral Revolutions in American Democracy Promotion and Postcommunist Eurasia
Bunce, Valerie; Wolchik, Sharon
The war in Iraq has led many to question whether the United States has the capacity to promote democracy abroad. In this paper, we analyze recent American efforts to support democratic change in postcommunist Europe and Eurasia—in this case, by supporting elections from 1996-2005 that led to the defeat of dictators and the empowerment of the liberal opposition. We argue that this approach to democracy promotion—the electoral model—can be quite successful, both in the sense of providing an important democratic opening and in the sense of diffusing easily from one semi-authoritarian political context to another. It is successful because it is both modular and modest, and because it invests not just in democratic results, but also democratic practices.
Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
Authoritarianism; Democracy; Communism; Iraq; Electoral Model; Europe; Asia