Since the third wave of democratization, Western donors have been following a strategy of democracy promotion to non-democratic countries that involve giving assistance to both governmental and non-governmental actors including parliaments, judicial institutions, political parties, civil society, electoral management bodies, and election observation missions. With recent backlashes in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe in mind, what do we know about the relationship between foreign aid and democracy?
The Democracy and Governance Program at Georgetown University is seeking well-written, interesting submissions of 1,500 – 2,000 words for their Spring-Summer 2015 publication, Democracy & Society. The submissions can be new publications, summaries, excerpts of recently completed research book reviews, and works in progress. Submissions for this issue will be due by April 1, 2015. We are seeking articles that address the following issues and questions:
The Historical Development of Aid Politics and Aid Governance: What are the origins of Western aid programs and how have they changed to remain effective and relevant in changing international contexts? How has the current aid paradigm differed from those in the past? What forecasts can we make for future adjustments to aid policy? In reaction to changes in the international political context, how have democratization efforts modified their efforts in order to maintain relevance in the short-term? Have these fixes produced favorable results for countries? Have past development paradigms produced problems for policy implementation in the present?
The Efficacy of Foreign Aid: How has foreign aid affected democratization efforts in non-democracies? What are the political implications of such efforts and how have they affected international relations between states? What results has foreign aid had on establishing and fortifying democratic institutions and governmental efficacy? What are some of the positive and negative impacts of funding political parties and civil society organizations abroad? What cases can we study that demonstrate successes and failures of democracy promotion? Which agencies/organizations have been innovating democracy promotion to draw more favorable results?
Changes and Challenges for Democracy Promotion: Not only has democracy become widely accepted as a universal norm, but also the international community is now more readily inclined to accept the legitimacy of intervention in the event of gross violations of human rights even when this transgresses state sovereignty. Likewise, recent years have seen the emergence of new actors in the democracy promotion field. It now extends well beyond the U.S. For example, the European Union has emerged as a key player, spurred by the need to consolidate democracy in its post-communist eastern periphery, especially as these states became candidates for EU accession. What is the role of the new actors? Will organizational diversity complicate democratization? What restrictions are placed on funds directed at democratic, political, and social organizations? Have these restrictions yielded positive or negative results in securing a more democratic environment for developing governments? Should there be restrictions placed on certain practices that do not currently exist? Who or what should dictate these restrictions?
Prospects For A More Inclusive Paradigm: Should democracy promotion be more inclusive? How can democracy promotion incorporate the perspectives of the local populations it affects? Given that governmental efforts typically work through institutional channels, does this limit the influence civilians and non-elites can have within their political systems?
Variations on these themes will be accepted. Research on democracy assistance programs is encouraged. Questions and comments are welcome. Please email all submissions along with a brief author’s bio to email@example.com.
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