Recently there has been growing and justified skepticism about the idea of democracy promotion, say two prominent observers. Without trying to calculate the gains of democracy in places like Tunisia or the growing authoritarianism in places like Egypt, this a good moment to look at the role of democracy promotion in this new, shaky world landscape, SRDJA POPOVIC and SLOBODAN DJINOVIC write for Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab:
Too many promising nonviolent struggles have collapsed because there was no transitional support after the removal of a dictator. Democratic change is a continuous process, not a one-time event, requiring continuous support and investment in order for it to succeed.
Newborn democracies need assistance in building democratic institutions, which at the moment of “revolution” are often very weak or missing altogether after decades of authoritarianism. Do not forget: A full 11 years elapsed between independence and the signing of the U.S. Constitution.