Friendly Dictators and Hostile Democracies

Taking the risk out of civil society – part 4 of 4, by Michael Barker, published on ZNet, Foreign Policy, November 03, 2006

Commonsense dictates that it would be easy to obtain public support in the Western world for the promotion of democracy in non-democratic countries, which in part is one reason for the success of overt political interventions undertaken in the name of democracy by groups like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and other “democracy promoting” organizations (www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=NED). However, who makes the final decision as to whether any given country needs to be democratized or to put it another way, is democratic enough to be “spared” from intervention? This complicated decision is not necessarily left to individual countries, even though a country like the US may appear to be “acting on behalf of a US elite” when promoting democracy. Robinson concludes that they are in actual fact “playing a leadership role on behalf of an emergent transnational [capitalist] elite.” Considering these propositions, one might conclude that any non-democratic country supporting this transnational elite will be less likely to be democratised. (Read the rest of this long article on above link).

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