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Democratic Nation Building

Project Manager & Editor: Mark Notturno

The United States has long pursued a policy of building democratic governments abroad. In addition to Germany and Japan, following World War II, over 80 countries have adopted some form of democracy since the mid 1970s with U.S. support. There are also significant challenges to this policy: resistance from non-democratic regimes, concerns over American interventionism, and charges of hypocrisy as American forces or agents have violated the rule of law or the U.S. has supported autocratic regimes when it is otherwise in its interest to do so.

Photo by Joann Kingsley, all rights reserved

This discussion guide and the eight policy possibilities in it are intended to spur discussion and in so doing help us explore some underlying questions regarding America’s nation-building efforts:  for example, What is democracy? What are its values, goals, and dimensions? How might some of these values, goals, or dimensions conflict? Why promote it abroad?

The 8 policy possibilities in this discussion guide

A.  Lead By Example
B.  Support Democracy Whenever & Wherever Possible
C.  Think Local
D.  Never Go It Alone
E.  Build the Infrastructure for Democracy
F.  Promote Democratic Values
G.  By Invitation Only
I.  Just Say No 

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