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Does Democracy Matter?

The United States and Global Democracy Support

Edited by Adrian Basora; Agnieszka Marczyk and Maia Otarashvili

Does democracy matter? Is democracy on the defensive globally? If so, what can or should be done to support democracy throughout the world? The present book arose from a conference dedicated to the following three related questions: Should fostering democracy be a major goal of U.S. foreign policy? If so, how can its effectiveness be improved? If not, what are the alternatives? Through an exploration of “soft power,” the authors of this book examine available knowledge and necessary new research agendas that will help us better understand both democratization efforts and authoritarian pushback in today’s difficult context. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 222Size: 6 x 9
978-1-5381-0184-1 • Hardback • March 2017 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-5381-0185-8 • Paperback • March 2017 • $35.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-5381-0186-5 • eBook • March 2017 • $33.00 • (£22.95)
Adrian A. Basora is a former U.S. ambassador to Prague and a Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) senior fellow. He served as the director of FPRI Project on Democratic Transitions, and is currently co-director of FPRI Eurasia Program.

Agnieszka Marczyk is a fellow at FPRI Eurasia Program. She holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Maia Otarashvili is a Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and manager of its Eurasia Program (previously the Project on Democratic Transitions). She holds an M.A. in Globalization, Development and Transition from the University of Westminster in London, with emphasis on post-authoritarian transitions.
"At a time when U.S. democracy promotion is under serious debate, this collection of focused, insightful essays by top experts is well-timed. The editors advance important recommendations for doing better, persuasively arguing that democracy promotion must adapt to the challenging global context if it is to survive."
Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

"While democracy should not be imposed on countries, this volume shows that US democracy promotion has been a powerful force for good in the world, with many successes in the post-Communist and developing countries. As challenges to democracy rise in the US itself, its call to action could not be more timely."
Mitchell A. Orenstein, Professor, Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania

"The authors of this book make a point that deserves repeating to the American public every day: Defending democracy and human rights around the world isn't just the right thing to do - it's also unquestionably in America's own best interest. The contributors to this volume provide solid evidence for the argument that there aren't only moral or sentimental reasons for continuing to support the promotion of democratic values abroad. Is anyone in Washington listening?"
Christian Caryl, Editor, Democracy Post, The Washington Post

"Democracy and human rights are like air. We start appreciating them only when they are taken away. I am a Pole, and I know how immensely important American support was for Polish democracy. Today, a quarter of a century after 1989, democracy is on the line again, not just in Eastern Europe but throughout the world. And this book is an important call to action. The authors of this book suggest how to adapt U.S. democracy support to the new global context, and call for greater international solidarity among democrats, among all of us who care about human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law."
Adam Michnik, Editor-in-Chief, Gazeta Wyborcza

"A provocative new take on promoting democracy in countries like Russia."
Gary Shteyngart, New York Times–bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story