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Linking Democracy Aid to Public Opinion Research: Findings from Sixteen Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa



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2 Democracy, International
Actors, and Foreign Aid
By Dr. Yonatan L. Morse
6 The Effects of Foreign Aid on
Democratization: Nigeria as
a Case Study
By Aisha Kibwana
8 U.S. Democracy Promotion in
Cuba: A Three-Pillars Approach
By Alessandro Badella
12 Book review • Govern Like
Us: U.S. Expectations of Poor
Countries by M. A. Thomas,
Review by Erum Haider
18 Program Highlights
19 Call for Papers
The Responsibility to
Protect: Norm Development
in a Liberal World Order
In the current century, there has been an interesting evolution of core values and
principles guiding international political behavior. e development has taken
place under the headline that governments have a ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P)
their citizens against atrocities. e new set of principles are linked to the idea of
‘responsible sovereignty’ stressing that states have a responsibility to protect their
own citizens against serious crimes such as genocide, war crimes, crimes against
humanity, and ethnic cleansing. e most remarkable aspect of the debate is the
fact it has touched upon two of the fundamental building blocks in the current
international system namely the sovereignty of states and the principle of non-
intervention in other states’ domestic aairs. e most controversial element in the
emergence of new international norms is the call on the international community
to intervene directly when a government is unable or unwilling to stop atrocities.
Philipp Rotmann and others argue that the “debates around a responsibility to
protect provide a unique opportunity to analyze the changing global order in a
way that focuses on fundamental conicts over sovereignty and
Volume 12Issue 2 S – S 
A P of the C  D and C S
I T I
G U
In the eld of international development, the eectiveness of international
democracy and governance aid continues to be a pertinent point of debate. e
success of aid designated towards the democracy and governance sector is nearly
always assessed using corruption indexes or commonplace measurements of democ-
racy such as Freedom House and Polity scores. While these methods are relatively
eective at capturing the long-term structural perspective of regime change, more
specic evaluation attempts of democracy and governance aid remain elusive. In
order to provide an alternative approach, this paper rst reviews literature relating
to the eectiveness of democracy aid, and then examines public opinion data across
sixteen countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to compare citizen
[Cont’d, Page 3]
Linking Democracy Aid to Public
Opinion Research: Findings from Sixteen
Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
B G R O
and Foreign Aid
[Cont’d, Page 14]
B P F
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
I A,
 F A
A Letter from the Director
is concludes another busy year for the
Democracy and Governance program.
Earlier this year in May we graduated
our 8th class. We are extremely proud of
our students and oer them our warmest
congratulations! ey are moving on to
do wonderful and exciting things, and
reect the diversity of background and
interest that our program aims to attract. ey are sure to
succeed in anything they set their minds on.
is past semester we have also continued to forge new
partnerships and opportunities for our students. Earlier
this year we concluded our inaugural USAID study group.
Under the tutelage of Prof. Je Fischer ve students success-
fully conducted in-depth research on the causes of election
violence, and provided USAID with new tools for predicting
and reacting to such occurrences. e fruits of their labor
can be found here (
USAID). True to the quality of our program, our students
did quite impressive work and this model of instruction is
one that we aim to replicate with other U.S. government
institutions. It is a real opportunity for students to combine
an academic and practical learning experience.
In January 2015 we convened our rst meeting of the
new Democracy and Governance Advisory Board. is is
an important addition to our program, and we are happy
to report that several of the most prominent gures in the
elds of democracy promotion, governance reform, and
international development have joined us. Joining us for our
rst term are Shari Bryan (Vice President, NDI), omas
Garrett (Vice President IRI), omas Carothers (Carnegie
Endowment), Larry Cooley (President, MSI), Eric Bjorn-
lund (Principal, DI), Beatriz Casals (Founder, Casals &
Associates), and Amb. Donald J. Planty (President, Planty
& Associates). e board is there to maintain our domestic
and international prole, help ensure that our programming
ts the job market needs, and to foster deeper partnerships
between Georgetown and the practitioner sector. We are
happy to have these ne individuals join our program.
is issue of Democracy and Society is dedicated to the
topic of Democracy, International Actors, and Foreign Aid.
Many date the inception of contemporary U.S. democracy
assistance with the creation of the National Endowment for
Democracy (NED) in 1983. Since, the democracy promotion
(and governance reform) community has proliferated greatly
in Washington D.C. and abroad. ere are now dozens of
organizations involved in training political parties, empow-
ering citizens, reforming electoral laws and procedures, and
reforming legislatures. Improving democracy and govern-
ance is now a part of development vocabulary, and gradually
part of discussions on national security as well.
Yet, the record on democracy assistance is a matter of
some debate, and no minor amount of controversy. It has
become all the more important given the perception of
democratic backsliding, authoritarian resurgence, and global
uncertainty. e 1990s were in many ways the heyday of
democracy assistance following the collapse of the Soviet
Union and the end of the Cold War. In the days following
September 11, 2001, even though democracy assistance
has become associated with regime change and external
intervention, there has also been a greater focus on maintain-
ing stable relationships with non-democratic countries to
maintain global security. Meanwhile, the rise of new powers
like China and Russia limits the ability of Western donors
to leverage countries into democratic reform. Democracy
assistance funding has been subject to real budget cuts in
recent years.
We asked for submissions on the relationship between
international actors, foreign aid, and democracy assistance.
How has foreign aid and democracy assistance evolved? How
eective has it been over the years? What are the current
and future challenges the democracy promotion community
faces? Our submissions for this edition include a thought
provoking piece by Prof. Gorm Rye Olsen of Roskilde Uni-
versity in Denmark on the responsibility to protect. e
rise of a power like China and its inuence in arenas like
sub-Saharan Africa is oen cited as a reason that democracy
promotion programs fail. Prof. Olsen argues for a more nu-
anced view, that analyzes the role of China (and other newly
industrialized countries) within the context of a contested
international order.
Two of our articles come straight from the frontlines
of democracy promotion. Paul Friesen of the National
Democratic Institute uses opinion data from 16 Africa to
examine the relationship between democracy assistance and
tangible outcomes. He argues that aid channeled through
civil society organizations leads to stronger public accept-
ance of democracy. Aisha Kibwana, also of the National
Democratic Institute, uses the case study of Nigeria to argue
that measures of success and failure ultimately need to be
contextualized. Our other submissions include a piece by
Ph.D. candidate Alessandro Badella (University of Genoa)
on U.S. democracy promotion in Cuba, and a book review
by Ph.D. candidate Erum Haider (Georgetown University)
of M.A. omas’ book Govern Like Us: US Expectations of
Poor Countries.
Finally I am pleased to announce that Democracy and
Society itself has a new home. Our webpage has migrated to
our main Georgetown page and can now be found at: https:// e
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
responsibility, universalism and exceptionalism, hypocrisy
and selectivity.
is short article touches upon some of the reactions
to the changes in the international norms mentioned. e
reactions of the European Union, the African Union and
China are looked into in two steps. First the principled reac-
tions are described and second, the reactions to the actual
implementation of the principles of the ‘Responsibility to
Protect’ in the case of the NATO-led intervention in Libya
in 2011 are dealt with. e reactions to the implementation
are important because a number of commentators argue
that the UN Security Council authorization to use “all nec-
essary means to protect the civilians” in the case of Libya
was exploited by the ‘West’ to carry out a regime change in
Libya. e critics maintain that because the Western powers
stretched the UN mandate to include regime change, Russia,
China and others have opposed the implementation of the
responsibility to protect the civilian population in Syria.
e responsibility to protect
Some of the issues involved in the evolution of the basic
international norms and values were formally debated at the
2005 UN World Summit. e changes in the international
norms introduced by the UN summit are linked to the argu-
ment that states have a responsibility to protect their citizens
(R2P) and that states therefore cannot do whatever they
want to their own citizens protected by the dogma of state
sovereignty and thus non-intervention into domestic aairs.
In 2006, the United Nations Security Council unani
mously adopted resolution no. 1674 aimed at protecting
civilians in armed conict. e resolution explicitly referred
to the important role that a regional organization, for exam-
ple the African Union can play to protect civilians. With the
resolution, the so-called world society aimed at introducing
a new norm in international politics by stressing the impor-
tance of protecting civilians against violations of their basic
human rights. It was and still is highly controversial that
resolution no. 1674 opened for the possibility that states
under certain conditions may interfere in the internal aairs
of other states in order to protect civilians against atrocities
committed by their own state.
e rise of China: Conict or cooperation
Not only can the debates on the principles of R2P tell
us about the developing global order. e implementation
of the principles can, moreover hint at how a rising power
like China is locating itself within this new order. In the
current decade, China has been on rise globally including
in Africa mainly due to the signicant volume of its trade
and its foreign investments.
Two opposing views can be identied on what it means
that China is becoming a world power. On the one hand,
there is the view that the rise of China (and other so-called
developing countries) inevitably leads to confrontation and
conict between the ‘West’ and the rising power(s) because
their interests and strategies are incompatible. It is argued
that the current order cannot be taken for granted simply
because the newcomers on the global scene do not feel
ownership to the prevailing institutions and to the prevail-
ing institutional order.
On the other hand, there is the argument that the rise of
China (and others) does not necessarily lead to confrontation
and conict. It might as well result in increased cooperation
between the great powers of the world simply because China
will gradually accept and abide to the prevailing norms and
rules governing the international system. ese norms and
rules are basically Western. John Ikenberry maintains that
the Western order has a remarkable capacity to accom-
modate rising powers such as China. “e Western orders’
strong framework of rules and institutions is already starting
to facilitate Chinese integration,” it is stated.
e EU, the AU, and the R2P
Traditionally, emphasizing the need to respect human
rights and the concern for civilians in conict situations are
considered an expression of ‘Western’ values. erefore, the
idea of a Responsibility to Protect can be seen as an attempt
to promote Western values and institutions globally. Fol-
lowing the World Summit in September 2005, it is hardly
surprising that EU statements began to express strong sup-
port for the R2P. It became clear that the European Union
supported an understanding of the implementation of the
R2P outside Europe which implied the empowerment of lo-
cal actors. In relation to Africa, the position basically means
that the EU should only play an auxiliary role and only in
exceptional cases step in and temporarily ll the gap before
the local actors or the UN can take over the responsibility
to protect threatened civilians. Both the EU Commission
and the member states have expressed the view that the best
way of operationalizing the R2P is by preventing a conict
from escalating.
As far as the African Union is concerned, the R2P is writ-
ten eectively into the AU’s founding treaty and basically
the treaty is more in line with the notion of ‘responsible
sovereignty’ than with the conventional emphasis on state
O, Continued from Page 3
new site will host our current issues, a full and easily acces-
sible archive of past issues. is will also be the home to our
new blog, which will re-launch in the fall semester. Please
check in with the site later this year.
Y L. M (Ph.D., Georgetown University) is the associate
director of the Democracy and Governance program.
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
rights. At the same time, the localization of the R2P norm
within the AU treaty goes hand in hand with the adherence
to the principles of non-interference by non-African powers,
which exists together with the duty of the Africans to take
care of each other.
China and the R2P
In historical terms, China has been very rm when it
came to issues of state sovereignty and the principle of non-
intervention in domestic aairs. Beijing has strongly opposed
any attempt to violate the sovereignty of states. is is exactly
why it is so interesting how China has reacted to the R2P
norms and not least to the implementation of these norms.
In this context, it is relevant to stress that Beijing actually
voted in favor of UN resolution 1674.
In general, the Chinese government has been supportive
of the concept and the idea of a ‘Responsibility to protect’ as
it was formulated at the 2005 World Summit. On the other
hand, it is not to be neglected that China’s so-called ‘New
Security Concept’ launched in 2002 stressed the respect
for sovereignty especially in developing countries. Beijing
also emphasized the requirement for the United Nations to
play a “leading role in the settlement of disputes preferably
through negotiations and reciprocity. Sven Grimm argues
that such arguments can be regarded as one of the strong sell-
ing points to African elites entering into a political dialogue
with Beijing. Not least the principle of non-interference has
a strong sounding board among African governing elites and
therefore, it is also found in the provisions of the African
Union side by side with the idea of ‘responsible sovereignty.’
In spite of the formulations in the ‘New Security Con-
cept,’ Beijing has altered its attitude since 2002 from no
interventions at all to accepting interventions under certain
conditions. China has expressed serious concerns regarding
human rights and on several occasions, it has taken steps to
improve the human rights situation in countries in Africa.
e rst time, the change of position manifested itself in
Africa was in the acceptance of a UN Security Council resolu-
tion on Darfur. e Chinese abstention from voting during
the Libya crisis also has to be mentioned as an illustration
of Chinas new stand in the debate of state rights versus the
rights of civilians.
e bottom line seems to be that the Chinese govern-
ment is developing a more and more open mind towards
giving priority to protecting human rights and consequently
accepting interventions under the strict precondition that
it takes place under the framework of the UN.
e 2011 Libya war
When civilian protests appeared in several cities through-
out Libya in early 2011, the regime under Muammar Gadda
clamped down hard on the protesters. e repression was
so brutal that a number of Western powers felt they had to
do something to protect the Libyan civilian population. e
British and French decision-makers launched substantial
R2P arguments in favor of an international intervention
into Libya. 10 out of 15 members of the Security Council
voted in favor of using “all necessary measures to protect
civilians” which included the establishment of a no-y zone
for the Libyan air force. By abstaining from voting, China,
Russia, Germany, India and Brazil in eect supported the
resolution. Resolution 1973 specied the purpose of the
military action as humanitarian protection and it limited
the means to that specic goal. Nevertheless, NATO ignored
the restrictions against targeting Gadda directly resulting
in what has been described as regime change.
e outcome of the 2011 Libya intervention had sig-
nicant impact in many respects. One is that the Western
powers in the NATO-led intervention are responsible for the
mission creep from protection of civilians to regime change.
And because of this change of goal, it has been impossible
to reach international agreement about doing something
seriously in the case of Syria. Another consequence of the
Libya mission is that the three actors dealt with here reacted
in dierent ways to the outcome of the Libya campaign.
Starting with the last topic, following the Libya crisis
a number of African states indicated a greater reluctance
towards supporting future UN resolutions authorizing the
use of force by non-UN forces. Also, a re-strengthening of
the principle of non-interference in relation to the norm
of R2P seems to appear among African political leaders.
e same political positions were found when it later came
to the crises in the Ivory Coast and Mali. Within Europe,
the Libya crisis revealed strong ambivalences within the
EU where some member states like Germany were very
careful not to use the terminology of R2P whereas France
and the UK were much more outspoken in favor of using
R2P arguments.
ere is no doubt that the Libya campaign had serious
consequences for the Chinese attitudes towards the whole
idea of R2P including controversial issues like intervention
and state sovereignty. First of all, Beijing had a feeling of
being deceived and betrayed by the Western powers be-
cause the mission against the Gadda-regime developed
from protecting human rights and civilians to resulting in
regime change. Chinese representatives even used words
like ‘conspiracy’ or ‘trick’ describing the behavior of the
three Western powers that are permanent members of the
UN Security Council. In sum, the Libya war seems to
have strengthened those who were skeptical about the new
developments in international norms and principles.
Contours of a new international order
Alex Bellamy goes strongly against such an interpretation
suggesting the Libyan crisis has had serious consequences
for the prospects reaching international consensus on au-
thorization of armed intervention into the Syrian civil war.
First and foremost, China has never specically pointed to
concerns over Libya as a source of its decision to veto dra
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
UN Security Council resolutions on Syria. Second, impor-
tant emerging states like Brazil and India that were critical
of the NATO operation in Libya have on several occasions
voted in favor of dra resolutions on Syria. ird and in this
context most importantly, the Security Council has used
R2P arguments in resolutions more oen aer the Libya
crisis than during the years 2005 to 2011. References to
the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ were used in no less than 5
crisis situations aer the adoption of resolution 1976. It
was done in relation to Cote d’Ivoire (2011), South Sudan
(2011), Yemen (2011), Mali (2012) and the Central African
Republic (2013).
Summing up, Philipp Rothman and others argues that
the debates on R2P provide us with an entrance to under-
standing the emerging global order and the conicts and
dierent interests within this order. No doubt, there are
still deep divisions between the leading states which the
Syrian tragedy so clearly emphasizes. On the other hand,
it is important to stress that the intervention in Libya did
not stop the evolution of new international norms and prin-
ciples linked to the idea that states have a responsibility to
protect their citizens against atrocities and with it the pos-
sibility of armed intervention. e norms and values are still
developing and in spite the new norms and values may be
generally accepted at least within the UN Security Council,
it is not to be neglected that the national interests of the big
powers will still have a strong impact on world politics in
many years to come.
G R O is a Professor at the Institute of Society and
Globalization, Roskilde University, Denmark.
1 Rotmann et al. (2014) “Major powers and the contested evolution of a
responsibility to protect,Conict, Security & Development, 14:4, 355-377:
2 Bellamy, A. J. (2014) “From Tripoli to Damascus? Lesson learning and
the Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect,International Politics,
51, 23-44: 24-27.
3 akur, R. & T. G. Weiss (2009) “R2P: From Idea to Norm – and
Action,Global Responsibility to Protect, 1: 22-53.
4 Koivisto, M. & T. Dunne (2010) “Crisis, what crisis? Liberal order
building and world order conventions,Millennium: Journal of International
Studies, 38:3, 615-640: 616; Ikenberry, G.J. (2010) “Liberal internationalism
3.0: America and the dilemmas of liberal world order,” Perspectives on
Politics, 7:1, 71-87: 80.
5 Ikenberry, G. J. (2008) ”e rise of China and the future of the West,
Foreign Aairs, 8:1, 23-37.
6 Dembinski, M. & B. Schott (2014) “Regional security arrangements as
a lter for norm diusion: the African Union, the European Union and the
responsibility to protect,Cambridge Review of International Aairs, 27:2,
362-380: 368.
7 Geldenhuys, D. (2014) “e African Union, Responsible Sovereignty
and Contested States,Global Responsibility to Protect, 6, 350-374: 355-8.
8 (Dembinski & Schott 2014: 371.)
9 Lanteigne, M. (2014) Chinas Peacekeeping Policies in Mali: New
Security inking or Balancing Europe? Berlin: NFG Working Paper, 7.
10 Grimm, S. (2014) “China-Africa Cooperation: promises, practice and
prospects,Journal of Contemporary China, 23:90, 993-1011: 999-1000.
11 (Tiewa 2012: 157f, 160; Kerr & Xu 2014). Tiewa, L. (2012) “China
and Responsibility to Protect. Maintenance and Change of its Policy
for Intervention,e Pacic Review, 25: 1, 153-173: 160; Kerr, D. Y. Xu
(2014)”Europe, China and security governance: is there evidence of
normative convergence?” Asia Europe Journal, 12: 79-93.
12 (Tiewa 2012: 165-169).
13 (Tiewa 2012: 170; Kerr & Xu 2014: 92).
14 akur, R. (2013) “R2P aer Libya and Syria: Engaging Emerging
Powers,e Washington Quarterly, 36: 2, 61-76: 69-70.
15 (Dembinski & Schott 2014: 375).
16 Helly, D. (2013) “e EU and Africa since the Lisbon summit of
2007: Continental dri or widening cracks?” South African Journal of
International Aairs, 20:1, 137-157: 147.
17 (Dembinski & Schott 2014: 371).
18 Liu, T. & H. Zang (2014) “Debates in China about the Responsibility to
Protect as a developing international norm: a general assessment,Conict,
Security & Development, 14:4, 403-427: 418, 423.
19 (Bellamy 2014).
20 (Bellamy 2014: 38-39).
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
The Effects
of Foreign Aid on
Nigeria as
a Case Study
A K
ere are many reasons why countries give aid. During
the cold war, aid was given “to prevent friendly governments
from falling under the inuence of unfriendly ones.De-
veloping nations were a battleground for Western capitalist
and democratic ideology and Soviet communist ideology
as each sought to expand its inuence. Today, foreign aid
policy has evolved to become more sophisticated and is
given in a variety of ways such as ocial development as-
sistance (ODA), concessional loans, and infrastructural
investments and is channeled through dierent institutions
such as a country’s government or directly via civil society
organizations (CSOs).
Whether or not aid uplis underdeveloped nations con-
tinues to be a contentious debate. Additionally, there is no
globally accepted agreement on what constitutes the dier-
ent components of foreign aid. For example, many ques-
tion whether Chinese assistance to African nations should
be considered “aid” in the traditional sense since China is
a non-Development Assistance Committee (non-DAC)
country and extends its aid outside of Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regula-
tion. Critics of U.S. aid claim “there is little evidence that
foreign assistance advances U.S. interests. In fact, aid has
been blamed for exacerbating corruption and worsening
autocratic behavior in developing nations.
Verbatim, in questioning how foreign aid impacts de-
mocratization in nondemocracies categorizes states into one
of two: that states are either democratic or nondemocratic.
Yet nations, and especially developing nations, are at dif-
ferent stages of democratization. Aid is given to countries
that are on dierent points of the democratic spectrum.
Furthermore, democratization is not a linear process. e
growth and proliferation of democracy within nations is
multifaceted aecting dierent areas of societies in dier-
ent ways. Democracy and governance nancing varies by
political sector/political event, for example elections, political
parties, and governance. erefore, the more engaged and
better nanced a political institution is, the more likely it
is to witness democratic gains. If more nancing goes into
political parties rather than the legislature, for example,
political parties are likely to do better. Finally, it is dicult
to measure democratic gains given that some aspects of
democracy are non-quantiable and can only be measured
in the long-term, such as the changes and internalization
of democratic norms within a population; democratization
eorts are generally long-term initiatives that may not be
easily discernible immediately.
us, can “successes” or “failures” be adequately meas-
ured without bias? In failing to contextualize and dene
foreign aid and democratization adequately, and the eect
of one on the other, we inhibit our ability to better evaluate
the impact of democratization and are more likely to see
failures than successes. is paper will examine Nigeria to
prove the signicance of contextualization.
Nigeria: A Nonlinear Multivariate Democracy
In the 1980s, Jean Herskovits wrote in Democracy in
Nigeria that the Nigerian “government looks remarkably
familiar to an American.” e handover of government
from military rule to a civilian government “culminated in
a change…as smooth as in a Western democracy.” ough
largely corrupt and accepted as such by global standards,
Nigeria had taken a revolutionary political step that “intro-
duced democratic local government systems [that brought]
government closer to the village,” and aimed to “counteract
the malign eects of ethnic and regional politics. By the
1990s, according to some, Nigeria’s “authoritarian culture
made it impossible for it to become a democratic country.
e question then became whether or not “Nigeria [was]
lacking in fundamental values and principles of democ-
racy.” e excessive corrupt behavior of government ocials,
misuse of public institutions, and gradual “driing towards
one-party ‘dictatorship’” was making democratization eorts
in Nigeria unattainable.
Nigeria had a presidential election on 28 March 2015. It
was an election that many doubted would be a success but
ultimately exceeded expectations. Liesl Louw-Vaudran, a
consultant at the Institute for Security Studies, stated the
elections “went smoother than many had predicted. Bill
Ritter, an election observer for the Nigerian elections with
the National Democratic Institute for International Aairs
(NDI), remarked on “the positive attitude of Nigerian
voters...who were patient, waiting in line for hours to be
accredited and in a dierent line again in the aernoon to
cast their ballot. A Nigerian interviewed by CNN in the
aermath of the election had this to say: “e unity in the
country is very very high. Spirit is high for everything to
Nigeria as a democratizing country demonstrates non-
linearity of democratization for developing nations. Many
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and donors sent
an election observation mission this past election. For ex-
ample, NDI has run programs in the country and engaged
Nigerians for years prior to this election. NDI has worked
in collaboration with and engaged Nigerian civil society
through a variety of programmatic activities. In the most
recent election, NDI’s partner in Nigeria, the Transition
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
monitoring Group (TMG)a coalition of over 400 Nigerian
CSOsconducted a Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) [an
election observation method that uses random sampling in
selecting polling stations to observe in order to help verify
election results] that helped ensure the transparency of and
condence in the electoral process. e use of social media
throughout the elections undoubtedly had a serious impact
on hindering vote rigging and the compromising of bal-
lots. e Independent National Electoral Commission
of Nigeria “adopted technological...innovations aimed at
raising condence in the integrity of the electoral process.
Electronic readers of biometric permanent voter cards were
used, though with some malfunctions, to verify voter identity
with much success. ere were also peace rallies aimed to
help quell pre and post-voting violence and extensive state
driven and donor funded voter education drives.
Given the nature of these elections and Nigeria’s past as
a republic, it is dicult to claim that the country has collec-
tively seen either a positive or negative trend as a democracy.
A corrupt political elite exists in the backdrop, which has
and continues to manipulate many political processes, even
with the most recent democratic elections. Yet, Nigerians,
previously thought incapable of espousing democratic ide-
als, decided for themselves that enough is enough as made
evident by the Twitter hashtag #Nigeriahasdecided. Looking
at the elections, it is also dicult to quantify what had the
most impact. Did foreign aid, used on the PVT and voter
education, help push for the internalization of democratic
norms and recognition by many Nigerians of their indelible
right to vote? Or, was it social media that helped in enforc-
ing a watchful culture that hampered electoral rigging that
had the most impact? Similar funding eorts went into
the 2007 elections when Former General Buhari lost due to
electoral fraud. e process on paper was democratic but in
reality, was mired in corruption. Had the 2015 electoral
process failed and the country fallen into violence, would
all the political eorts, though benetting many citizens,
be considered a “failure” and therefore the democratization
process of Nigeria also deemed a failure? Ultimately, Nigeria’s
peaceful and democratic elections are due to a combination
of many factors, political and nonpolitical, and not one fac-
tor can be attributed to have largely impacted the process
without the presence of the other aforementioned factors.
While political spacing can close and open at any given
time and endemic corruption can severely hamper the
democratic process, democracy can simultaneously our-
ish in other aspects of sociopolitical life. Freedom House
gave Nigeria a 4 and 4.5 freedom rating in 2014 and 2015
respectively. With this rating, Nigeria is considered “partly
free” to reect both existing political and civil liberties in
some places and lack of in others. is kind of an analysis,
on the intricacies of democratization, is missing in the aid
and democratization conversation when aid is discussed at a
policy level. Herein lies the issue with oversimplication and
the consequences have real life implications. By generalizing,
we blind ourselves from seeing the small-scale changes in
the promotion of democracy. If we oversimplify our analysis
of democratization, we are not getting the best answers and
when there are discrepancies in the aid/democratization
narrative, the impact is felt at the policymaking level. Gen-
eralizing democratic promotion and democratic successes
or failures can aect the amount of funding that goes into
development programming and especially democracy and
governance (D&G) programming.
When countries are deemed democratic “failures,” fund-
ing decreases thereby slowing small-scale democratization
processes, but it is these small processes that can bring about
gradual change. e lack of sucient monitoring and evalu-
ation (M&E) frameworks in D&G programming exacerbates
the problem, as no robust frameworks exist that adequately
measure democratization. Not only is it important to dene
more succinctly what aspects of aid and democratization
are being asked about at any give time, but it is crucially
important to accommodate exible frameworks that allow
for contextualization and dierentiation. It is imperative to
begin by asking the right questions.
A K was a project assistant with the Southern and
Eastern Africa team at the National Democratic Institute for
International Aairs (NDI). She graduated from Rice University in
Houston, Texas with a B.A. in Political Science and French.
1 Victoria Williams, “Foreign Aid,” Internet, /
EBchecked/topic/213344/foreign-aid (date accessed: 17 April 2015).
2 e Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is a 29-country
committee of the world’s major donors that discusses aid, development, and
3 e Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is an
international organization whose mission is to promote policies that will
improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
Chinese aid to Africa is said to be close to the amounts allotted by the U.S.
government though there “aren’t any mechanisms to accurately measure
aid from non-DAC countries.” Malaka Gharib, “6 Surprising Facts About
Chinese Aid to Africa,” Internet,
surprising-facts-about-chinese-aid-to-africa/ (date accessed: 17 April 2015).
4 Doug Bandow, “Foreign Aid, Or Foreign Hindrance,” Internet, http:// /sites/dougbandow/2011/02/22/foreign-aid-or-foreign-
hindrance/ (date accessed: 15 April 2015).
5 Ibid., “Ethiopia: Donor Aid Supports Repression,” Internet, http://www. /2010/10/18/ethiopia-donor-aid-supports-repression (date
accessed: 20 April 2015).
6 Democratization denition as discussed within this paper: “…a
process of political change that moves the political system of any given
society towards a system of government that ensures peaceful competitive
political participation in an environment that guarantees political and civil
liberties” while also acknowledging that in “dierent historical and cultural
traditions…democracy could mean dierent things to dierent people.
It is important “to accommodate interests and conditions that may be
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
unique to any given country.” S.W.R. de A. Samarasinghe, “Democracy and
Democratization in Developing Countries,” Internet, https://www.hsph. (date accessed: 20 April
7 Jean Herskovits, “Democracy in Nigeria,” Internet, http://www.
(date accessed: 15 April 2015).
8 Victor E. Dike, “Democratization of Nigeria and Culture of
Authoritarianism,” Internet,
htm (date accessed: 14 April 2015).
9 Liesl Louw-Vaudran, “#NigeriaDecides - An Election Like No Other,
no-other (date accessed: 15 April 2015).
10 NDI is a nonprot, nongovernmental organization that works with
local partners in countries around the world to democratically strengthen
political institutions.
11 Bill Ritter, “Ritter: A Witness to Democracy in Nigeria,” Internet, http:// opinion/ci_27887862/ witness-democracy-nigeria
(date accessed: 14 April 2015).
12 “Nigeria’s Historic Election,” Internet,
world/2015/04/01 /pkg-purefoy-nigeria-election-buhari-winner.cnn/video/
playlists/intl-boko-haram-nigeria/ (date accessed: 14 April 2015).
13 “Statement of the National Democratic Institute’s International
Observer Mission to Nigeria’s March 28 Presidential and Legislative
Elections,” Internet, https://www.ndi. org/nigeria-election-observation-
statement-march-2015 (date accessed: 14 April 2015).
14 A PVT is also referred to as a quick count. Sample polling station
observers are deployed all over the country to a handful of polling stations
to observe both the voting and vote-counting procedures. e observers
collect data that is aggregated to gauge the quality of the electoral process
and predict or help verify the ocial electoral results. Large discrepancies
between aggregated data and the ocial results can serve as an indicator of
fraudulent and/or awed electoral activities. Ibid.
15 Audu L. Oseni, “Nigeria: Social Media Revolutionizes Nigerian
Election,” Internet, (date
accessed: 15 April 2015).
16 Ibid., “Statement of the National Democratic Institute’s International
Observer Mission to Nigeria.
17 Ibid.
18 “Freedom in the World: Nigeria,” Internet, https%3A%2F%2 %2Freport%2Ffreedom-world%2 F2015%2
Fnigeria%23.VTSkbV6FL8E (date accessed: 17 April 2015).
19 For more examples of some of the election preparations done in Nigeria
prior to the election, see “Statement of the National Democratic Institute’s
International Observer Mission to Nigeria.” Other organizations and donors
also conducted their own pre-electoral programming.
20 Oseni, “Nigeria: Social Media Revolutionizes Nigerian Election.
21 Antony Goldman, “Nigeria Elections 2015: What Went Right?”
Internet, http://african arguments .org/2015/04/13/nigeria-elections-2015-
what-went-right-by-antony-goldman/ (date accessed: 15 April 2015).
22 Aid funding for D&G programming has decreased in the last year.
23 e state of M&E evaluation in D&G programming was mentioned by
an NDI colleague of mine, M&E expert Tina Byenkya, during an informal
conversation on the eects of foreign aid on democratization.
U.S. Democracy
Promotion in Cuba: A
Three-Pillars Approach
A B
U.S.-Cuba relations have been widely studied from dif-
ferent perspectives and certainly represent a fascinating
case study in International Relations (IR). However, from
the perspective of democracy promotion,1 the Cuban case
deserves more attention. Given that democracy promo-
tion has historically been an important component of U.S.
foreign policy,2 the growing interest in democracy promo-
tion aer the end of the Cold War, has inuenced relations
with Cuba.3 is paper aims to present an analysis of the
latest U.S. eorts to democratize Cuba in the framework of
three dierent “pillars” of U.S. democracy promotion: the
state-to-state relations, U.S. public diplomacy, and citizen
diplomacy. As I argue, these three elements are all shaping
U.S. democracy promotion in recent times, and these three
“pillars” are vividly present in Obamas most recent moves
with Cuba.
e rst pillar: State-to-state relations
U.S.-Cuba state-to-state relations have always been com
plicated since the imposition of the economic embargo in
the 1960s
. e presence of a pro-Soviet government (during
the Cold War) and the absence of democratic elections have
been necessary conditions to cut state-to-state relations with
the revolutionary Cuba. However, the lack of formal dip-
lomatic relations has been contrarily tied to the promotion
of liberal democracy by the U.S. Aer the codications of
1992 and 1996, the Cuban embargo became an instrument
to impose a “democratic conditionality” in U.S.-Cuba rela-
tions.5 In other words, the U.S. has been using economic
sanctions over Cuba as a democracy promotion instrument.
In fact, as Cox and Drury noted, economic sanctions could
be “democratic,” meaning they could be used by democratic
countries to target non-democratic states in order to per-
suade the latter to start political and economic reforms that
would lead to democratization.6 is is the case with Cuba.
As state-to-state relations are a component of the pro-
moter’s strategy to promote democracy in foreign countries,
along with the relationship between the promoter(s) and
the target’s civil society,7 the absence of formal diplomatic
relations between Cuba and the U.S. (apart from Obamas
openings in the last few months) represents a peculiar ele-
ment in U.S. democracy promotion on the island. In fact, the
embargo has been dominating U.S. top-down approaches
in democracy promotion in Cuba.8
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
e second and third pillars: “public diplomacy” and
citizen diplomacy”
e second and third pillars are related to the so called
“people-to-people’s diplomacy,” or the contacts between U.S.
government\agencies and citizens with the people of a third
state (in this case, with the Cuban people, or the Cuban civil
society). e promotion of civil society in non-democratic
countries has been part of the Western strategy of democracy
promotion worldwide.9 Cuba is not an exception. Since the
1990s, outreach to the Cuban people has been a complemen-
tary strategy to the external economic blockade.10
ese eorts of “people-to-people’s diplomacy” are gen-
erally conducted through local and international NGOs,11
but also using so called “public diplomacy.” Even if the term
“public diplomacy” has dierent meanings and applications
(especially aer the diusion of the new media and social
networks) without a solid theoretical framework.
e con-
cept could be dened as an instrument of so power13 that
implies “the exchange of people and ideas to build lasting
relationships and receptivity to a nation’s culture, values, and
policies.14 In its origin, “public diplomacy” encompassed
mainly “state-sponsored programs,15 in which the federal
agencies were the only actors validated to conduct such ef-
forts to reach out to foreign public opinion. In the Cuban
case, Radio and Television Martí (based on the previous
experience of Radio Free Europe) and the USAID programs
in Cuba can be included in this denition.16
However, the development of international travel and
communication technologies has gradually disrupted this
state “monopoly” on “public diplomacy.” is “revolution
created a new way to advance a state’s interest among for-
eign public opinion. is is the essence of the so called
citizen diplomacy.” Ordinary citizens may have the right,
the responsibility, or the will to contribute to their country’s
foreign policy, becoming diplomatic agents themselves, or
what Mueller (2009) called “citizen diplomats.
In the case
of Cuba, “citizen diplomacy” can be associated with diaspora
and family (personal and economic) contacts, academic and
cultural exchanges.18 ese are forms of people-to-peoples
contacts in which the state is responsible for their strate-
gic steering, but it represents more the guarantor for these
contacts to happen: for example, the U.S. government could
give American universities the right to activate exchange
programs in foreign countries (in Cuba like elsewhere in
the world), but it cannot oblige them to do so, nor can it
emphasize a political agenda in regards to research or teach-
ing activities abroad.
ree “pillars” in action: U.S. democracy promotion in
Obamas recent openings to the Cuban government can
show the development of U.S. democracy promotion in
Cuba along the three dierent pillars mentioned above.
Firstly, Obamas criticisms to the practice of blocking the
Cuban economy as a tool to foster a democratic transition
on the island re-launched a potential political and economic
engagement of the Cuban government as a way to create a
friendlier environment for U.S. democracy assistance on the
island, avoiding further tensions and misunderstandings.19
ese represent probably the most remarkable form of en-
gagement with Havana since the Carter administration.
Engaging non-democratic regimes and cultivating friendly
relations with them in order to promote democracy, the so
called “transformational diplomacy,21 has been used with
Latin American military regimes (both Argentina and Chile
in the 1970s) during the Cold War, and it seems that the
Obama administration is following this approach. Moreo-
ver, the top-down approach has become a complementary
strategy to the expansion of U.S. “public diplomacy” (or
the bottom-up approach). In 2010, Hillary Clinton wrote
that “public diplomacy must start at the top,” highlighting
the need to fully engage the governments of the country
that the U.S. wanted to deliver their message to.22 At a more
general level, this form of engagement could be seen as a
strategy to refrain from Bush’s vibrant rhetoric on “export-
ing” democracy and the backlash of such a strategy, while
making democracy promotion more “sustainable” for U.S.
interests abroad.23
Under Obama, U.S. democracy promotion strategy in
Cuba has gradually recongured, even if without aban-
doning the role of “public diplomacy,” while opting for a
reinvigoration of “citizen diplomacy,” which has been con-
sidered a “new” instrument to advance the empowerment
of Cuban civil society and the transitional process. First of
all, in recent years, the two main components of U.S. “public
diplomacy” in Cuba, Radio and Television Martí (RTM)
and the USAID projects on the island, have been highly
criticized by federal agencies and congressional services for
their lack of transparency in the management of funds and
resources, their ineectiveness and ineciency.24 However,
the Obama administration never completely abandoned
the way “public diplomacy” operates in Cuba. For example,
the U.S. administration and Congress never dramatically
reduce the funding allocated for democracy promotion in
Cuba through USAID programs and RTM.25 According to
the last report of the OIG, the Oce of Cuba Broadcasting
still continues to be “engaged in an aggressive campaign
to distribute weekly its television programming content
via broadcast, Internet, and even hand-to-hand, via digital
video disks (DVDs) and ash drives.26 e main innova-
tion under Obama is related to the “technologization,” and
the construction of new media infrastructures to help the
Cuban people communicate with each other. A declassied
document, dated August 2008, revealed that USAID’s new
strategy in Cuba “is not telling Cubans how or why they
need a democratic transition, but rather, the Agency wants
to provide the technology and means for communicating the
spark which could benet the population.27 Projects such
as (the aborted) Zunzuneo
and (the currently running)
Piramideo29 revealed the attention of U.S. agencies to the
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
construction of such infrastructures. Under Obama, some
U.S. corporations received million dollar contracts to run
these activities.30
Furthermore, the more signicant change happened
in the realm of “citizen diplomacy.” Obama inaugurated
(in 2009 and 2011, and then in late 2014) the relaxation of
travel and remittance rules to the island as a tool to further
advance the empowerment of the Cuban civil society. In fact,
according to Obama, “measures that decrease dependency
of the Cuban people on the Castro regime and that promote
contacts between Cuban-Americans and their relatives are
means to encourage positive change in Cuba.31 Obam a’s
citizen diplomacy” towards Cuba was revealed at its best
in his December 17 speech. e announced changes in
U.S. policy were presented as a striking modication of the
American stance over “the Cuban people” and this term
seems intentional. Moreover, in the same speech, Obama
wished for the participation of representatives from Cuban
civil society at the next Summit of the Americas in 2015,
while he made clear that the U.S. would “continue to sup-
port civil society there.32 In other words, the main target
for the U.S. in the (updated) relations with Cuba is Cuban
civil society and Obamas changes were presented as a way to
“further engage and empower the Cuban people
the use of expanded channels of communication with the
island, such as remittances and family travels.
In conclusion, the U.S. is not giving up the commitment
to promote democracy on the island,34 even U.S. democracy
promotion in Cuba under Obama is facing a strong evolution
in all the above mentioned “pillars.” Despite the evaluation
of the (in)ecacy of such a strategy,
Obama’s evolution
in democracy aid to Cuba implies a more cautious but also
“variegated” strategy to engage the Cuban government on
issues of common interest and the Cuban people separately.
A B got a PhD in Politics (“Democracy and
Human Rights”) from the University of Genoa. His study area is IR
and Latin America. His main research elds are U.S. democracy
promotion in Cuba aer the Cold War and U.S.-Cuba relations.
1 In this paper, the term “democracy promotion” refers to dierent
mechanisms, from coercive interventions and conditionality to external
support to the civil society in non-democratic countries, used by Western
“promoters” to help the democratic forces and transition in foreign (and
non-democratic or partially democratic) countries, see Peter Burnell,
Democracy Assistance: International Co-operation for Democratization
(London: Frank Cass, 2000).
2 Tony Smith, Americas Mission: e United States and the Worldwide
Struggle for Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012);
Michael Cox and others (eds.), US Foreign Policy and Democracy Promotion:
From eodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama (London: Routledge, 2013).
3 Some authors have tried to confront US-Cuba relation from this
perspective, see David Seaman, U.S. Democracy Promotion – e Case of
Cuba (Leverkusen Opladen: Buldrich Unipress, 2010); Alessandro Badella,
American bris: US Democracy Promotion in Cuba aer the Cold War
(Part 1),International Journal of Cuban Studies 6, no. 2 (Winter 2014):
157-188; Lars Schoultz, “Blessing of Liberty: e United States and the
Promotion of Democracy in Cuba.Journal of Latin American Studies 34,
no. 2 (May 2002): 397-425.
4 For a more comprehensive history of US-Cuba relations aer the
Revolution see Lars Shoultz, at Little Infernal Cuban Republic: e United
States and the Cuban Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press, 2009).
5 Adreas F. Lowenfeld, “Congress and Cuba: e Helms-Burton Act.
American Journal of International Law 90, no. 3 (July 1996): 419-434.
6 Dan G. Cox and A. Cooper Drury, “Democratic Sanctions: Connecting
Democratic Peace and Economic Sanctions.Journal of Peace Research 43,
no. 6 (November 2006): 709-722.
7 On the trilateral relations between sponsor, targeted state and civil
society (in the targeted state) see Peter Burnell, “Democracy Promotion:
e Elusive Quest for a Grand Strategy.Internationale Politik und
Gesellscha 4 (2004) 100-116.
8 See David Seaman, U.S. Democracy Promotion – e Case of Cuba
(Leverkusen Opladen: Buldrich Unipress, 2010): 52-58.
9 For a comprehensive study of democracy promotion as “empowerment”
of the civil society in non-democratic countries see Timm Beichelt and
others (eds.), Civil Society and Democracy Promotion (New York: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2014); Armine Ishkanian, “Democracy Promotion and Civil
Society.” In Global Civil Society 2007/8 (London: SAGE, 2008); Omar G.
Encarnación, “Tocqueville’s Missionaries: Civil Society Advocacy and
the Promotion of Democracy.World Policy Journal 17, no. 1 (2000),
9-18; Omar G. Encarnación, e Myth of Civil Society: Social Capital
and Democratic Consolidation in Spain and Brazil (New York: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2003); Marina Ottaway and omas Carothers (eds.), Funding
Virtue: Civil Society Aid and Democracy Promotion (Washington DC:
National Endowment for Democracy, 2000)
10 See David Seaman, U.S. Democracy Promotion – e Case of Cuba
(Leverkusen Opladen: Buldrich Unipress, 2010): 81-93.
11 Alison van Rooy, Civil Society and the Aid Industry (New York:
Earthscan, 1998).
12 Eytan Gilboa, “Searching for a eory of Public Diplomacy.Annals
of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (March 2008),
55-77; Kenneth A. Osgood and Brian C. Etheridge (eds.) e United State
and Public Diplomacy: New Directions in Cultural and International History
(Leiden: Martin Nijho Publishers, 2010); James Pamment, New Public
Diplomacy in the 21st Century: A Comparative Study of Policy and Practice
(London: Routledge, 2013).
13 Joseph S. Nye Jr., “Public Diplomacy and So Power.” Annals of the
American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (March 2008), 94-
109; Craig Hayden, e Rhetoric of So Power: Public Diplomacy in Global
Context (Lanham, MD: Lextington Books, 2012).
14 US Defence Science Board, “Report of the Defence Science Board
Task Force on Strategic Communication,” Internet,
agency/dod/dsb/commun.pdf (date accessed: 20 March 2015).
15 US Department of State, Dictionary of International Relations Terms
(Washington DC: Department of State Library, 1987) 85; Edward E.
Murrow Center for Public Diplomacy. “What is Public Diplomacy?” e
Fletcher School, Tus University, Internet, http://etcher.tu
Diplomacy (date accessed: 20 March 2015).
16 For a complete account on the history and the practices of Radio and
Television Martí see Daniel C. Walsh, Air War with Cuba: e United States
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
Radio Campaign against Castro (Jeerson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2012). For
an account on USAID programs in Cuba see USAID,
cuba/our-work (date accessed: 20 March 2015).
17 Sherry Mueller, “e Nexus of U.S. Public Diplomacy and Citizen
Diplomacy.” In Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (New York:
Routledge, 2009) 101-110.
18 Some Cuban scholars have linked US eorts to promote these kinds of
contacts with their potential subversive inuence on the Cuban economic
and political order, see Mario Coyula, Inuencias cruzadas Cuba/Estados
Unidos en el medio construido. ¿Carril dos o autopista en dos sentidos?
Jiribilla 179 (2004): 10-20; Carlos Alzugaray Treto, “Cuba y Estados
Unidos en los umbrales del siglo XXI: perspectivas de cooperación.
Cuadernos de Nuestra América 15, no. 29 (2002): 49-76; Carlos Alzugaray
Treto, Academic exchanges and transnational relations: Cuba and the
United States. Latin American Perspectives 33, no. 5 (2006): 43-57. From
a more general perspective, the democratization process has been studies
focusing on international linkages too, see Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way,
“International Linkages and Democratization.Journal of Democracy 16, no.
3 (July 2005): 20-34.
19 Barack H. Obama, “Statement by the President on Cuba
Policy Changes,” Internet,
oce/2014/12/17/statement-president-cuba-policy-changes (date accessed:
20 March 2015).
20 William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh, Back Channel to Cuba:
e Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014). As LeoGrande and
Kornbluh show, the US never completely refrain from maintaining contacts
with Havana regarding issues of mutual interests, even if without any
general appeasement of the bilateral relations. Obama’s moves with Cuba
seem to follow this path with a new pace.
21 US House of Representatives, Promoting Democracy through Diplomacy.
Hearing before the Committee on International Relations (Washington DC:
Government Printing Oce, 2005) 31.
22 Hillary R. Clinton, “Leading through Civilian Power: Redening
American Diplomacy and Development.Foreign Aairs 89, no. 6 (Nov.\
Dec. 2010): 16. For a more broad account on the need to engage US
adversaries and foes in the multipolar world system see Charles A.
Kuplachan, “Enemies Into Friends: How the United States Can Court Its
Adversaries.Foreign Aairs 89, no. 2 (March\April 2010): 120-134.
23 Eric Patterson, “Obama and Sustainable Democracy Promotion.
International Studies Perspectives 13 (2012): 26-42.
24 GAO, Government Accountability Oce, U.S. democracy assistance for
Cuba needs better management and oversight, GAO-07-147, 2006, http://; GAO, Government Accountability
Oce, Broadcasting to Cuba: Actions are needed to improve strategy
and operations. Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on International
Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight, Committee on Foreign Aairs,
House of Representative, GAO-09-127, 2009,
items/d09127.pdf; GAO, Government Accountability Oce, Broadcasting
Board of Governors should provide additional information to Congress
regarding broadcasting to Cuba. GAO-12-243R, 2011;
new.items/d12243r.pdf ; GAO, Government Accountability Oce, Cuba
democracy assistance: USAID’s program is improved, but state could better
monitor its implementing partners. GAO-13-285, 2013,
assets/660/651565.pdf; OIG, Oce of the Inspector General, Inspection of
U.S. Interests Section Havana, Cuba. ISP-I-14-10A, 2014, http://oig.state.
gov/system/les/225967.pdf; OIG, Oce of the Inspector General, Inspection
of the Oce of Cuba Broadcasting. ISP-IB-14-15, 2014,
25 Mark P. Sullivan, Cuba: U.S. Policy and Issues for the 113th Congress
(Washington DC: Congress Research Service, 2014) 35.
26 OIG, Oce of the Inspector General, Inspection of the Oce of Cuba
Broadcasting. ISP-IB-14-15, 2014,les/228991.
pdf, 6.
27 NSA, National Security Archive (2008) Meeting notes from USAID
CDCPP meeting. 26 August 2008,
NSAEBB/NSAEBB411/docs/grossdaiaidmeeting2008.pdf, 2.
28 US Secretly Built ‘Cuban Twitter’ To Stir Unrest, AP, 3 April 2014.
29 BBG, Broadcasting Board of Governors, “FY 2015 Budget Request”.
March 2014,
BBG-Congressional-Budget-Request-FINAL-21-March-2014.pdf, 52-
53; OIG, Oce of the Inspector General, Inspection of the Oce of Cuba
Broadcasting. ISP-IB-14-15, 2014,les/228991.
pdf, 6.
30 Tracey Eaton, Nearly $4.4 million for message campaign targeting
Cuba. Along the Malecón. 1 December 2014, http://alongthemalecon. (date
accessed: 20 March 2015).
31 White House, Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Secretary of
the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce - Promoting Democracy and
Human Rights in Cuba. 13 April 2009,
Cuba (date accessed: 20 March 2015).
32 Barack H. Obama, “Statement by the President on Cuba
Policy Changes,” Internet,
oce/2014/12/17/statement-president-cuba-policy-changes (date accessed:
20 March 2015).
33 White House (2014) “Fact Sheet: Charting a New Course with Cuba, 17
December 2014,ce/2014/12/17/
fact-sheet-charting-new-course-cuba (date accessed: 20 March 2015).
34 For a reection on the survival of US democracy promotion in Cuba
aer Obama’s openings see Alessandro Badella, “Critical Questions on
the US-Cuba Rapprochement,” E-International Relations, 27 January
rapprochement/ (date accessed: 20 March 2015). For a more comprehensive
and extended analysis of the relevance and strategy of US democracy
promotion under Obama, see omas Carothers, “Barack Obama.” In
US Foreign Policy and Democracy Promotion: From eodore Roosevelt to
Barack Obama (London: Routledge, 2013): 196-213.
35 For a criticism about the inecacy of the “liberal deal” with Cuba
(relaxing the economic pressure in exchange for political and economic
reforms in Cuba) see Gordon Adams, “e Liberal Fallacy of the
Cuba Deal.” Foreign Policy, 19 December 2014, http://foreignpolicy.
com/2014/12/19/the-liberal-fallacy-of-the-cuba-deal-us-castros/ (date
accessed: 20 March 2015). Morevoer, the literature seems to be cautious
on evaluating positively the eects of people-to-people’s contacts and the
remittances on the democratization and economic liberalization process:
the determinant inuence of such contacts could be asserted only in
the presence of certain conditions, see Tobias Pfutze, “Does Migration
Promote Democratization? Evidence from the Mexican Transition.” Journal
of Comparative Economics 40, no. 2 (May 2012): 159-175; Tobias Pfutze,
“Clientelism Versus Social Learning: e Electoral Eects of International
Migration.International Studies Quarterly 58, no. 2 (June 2014): 295-307;
Angela O’Mahony, “Political Investment: Remittances and Elections”, British
Journal of Political Science, vol. 43, n. 4, ottobre 2013, pp. 799-820; Clarisa
Pérez-Armendáriz and David Crow, “Do Migrants Remit Democracy?
International Migration, Political Beliefs, and Behaviour in Mexico.
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
Comparative Political Studies 43, no. 1, (February 2009): 119-148; Abel
Escribá–Folch and others “Remittances and Democratization, Pennsylvania
State University, January 2013,
Escriba_Remittances.pdf (date accessed: 20 March 2015). As some scholars
recalled, the eects of the Cuban-American remittances to the island is not
an exception, as they could foster divisions or grant benets both to the
independent civil society and the Cuban government, see Susan Eckstein,
“Remittances and eir Unintended Consequences in Cuba.Wo rl d
Development 38, no. 7 (July 2010): 1047-1055.
Book review
Govern Like Us: U.S. Expectations
of Poor Countries by M. A. omas,
Columbia University Press, 2015
R  E H
At the end of the Berlin Confer-
ence in 1885, territories in Af-
rica acquired uncontested
boundaries that were under
sovereign control of individual
European powers. Many of these
paper states amounted to little
more than a port at the edge of
the continent or along a river,
and a few roads linking strategic
posts. A single colonial oc-
er typically a young unmar-
ried man — oen embodied the
colonial state, with oversight over a territory the size of a
“large or medium English county.” Well over a century later,
a World Bank staer asks the author whether she has seen
the Ministry of Finance of South Sudan: “It’s a guy. In a
trailer. Yet somehow everyone expects him to do everything
that a ministry of nance does.
M.A. omas’ Govern Like Us is a story of South Sudan’s
guy-in-a-trailer and others like him in the developing world.
It begins, however, with his colonial predecessor. e appeal
of Govern Like Us is precisely the political and historical con-
text omas brings to what is essentially a practitioners book.
Poor governments govern dierently. Oen, they govern
poorly. is simple observation nonetheless enables us to
peer deeply into the state, a category that is remarkable for
its versatility and ultimately its hollowness. States are sov-
ereign territories, argues omas, but many of the poorest
states inherited territories before they inherited sovereignty.
omas’ volume reverberates with the work of Weber, Tilly
and Herbst, which is possibly why this study is exciting and
frustrating in equal measure. She’s a political scientist and
a policy practitioner, and inevitably must sacrice one for
the other.
States, beginning with the colonial state, employ mixed
strategies to control territories where sovereignty was not
built from the bottom up. ese include coercion, but also
patronage. e pre-Revolution state in France under King
Francis I regularly created and sold bureaucratic positions
to generate revenue, omas suggests political actors in
industrialized countries also maintain careful ledgers of
favors. Patronage radiates from these centers, this study
suggests only that in poor countries, it radiates further.
Several political economists (LSE’s Mushtaq Khan comes to
mind) conrm empirically that rent-seeking closes the gap
between the market value for public goods and services and
the heavily subsidized rate most governments in developing
countries oer services at. One of omas’ central claims
is that we have yet to evaluate the true “cost” of govern-
ance how much would it cost to provide universal edu-
cation, for example so it is impossible to know just how
great the shortfall is. is makes her ultimate argument, that
poor governments need more revenue, all the more puzzling.
omas clearly prefers “patronage” and “clientalism,
which are universally applicable, to the more squarely ird-
World “corruption.” Good research has shown that govern-
ment shortfalls in health and education are regularly made
up with cheap private services. e more troubling scenario
is when groups are excluded from limited government re-
sources on non-monetary basis: caste, race, ethnicity and
gender. In omas’ dissection of the corruption of poor
states, the power imbalance between patrons and clients is
lost. e theorist might wonder at post-Enlightenment ideals
of equal and free access to safety, justice and basic needs that
are demanded of states that are patently unable to govern
more than a few kilometers outside the capital city. e
practitioner, it seems, faces another dilemma entirely: that
of funneling billions of dollars into this staggeringly broken
system. Which really leads to omas’ solution to any of
these problems, each more unpalatable than the last. Her call
to destigmatize, or at least decriminalize, poor governance
is certainly commendable. And she is simultaneously aware
that some poor states govern better than many middle-
income states, and that rewarding one while punishing the
other isn’t straightforward. Ultimately her hope of nding a
“more modest, people-centered approach” involving “like-
minded partners” in poor states resonates with much the
same hollowness that led us here in the rst place. ere is
little engagement of the politics — the indigenous, people-
driven politics that form states. While her grasp of the
history of the French bureaucracy makes for a vivid read,
the story of the peasantry that ultimately rebelled against the
unjust system and formed the modern democratic French
state slips through. Although her engagement with colonial
politics infuses what would’ve been an arid policy-centric
book with fresh air, the messy political process of decoloniza-
tion, democratization and state formation (none of which,
incidentally, required USAID funding) is lost.
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
at such a book needs to be written at all is a sobering
reminder of the gulf that separates practitioners of devel-
opment from the fundamentals of political and economic
history. While omas does a commendable job of distilling
some basic context of the countries the international aid
sector operates in, a crucial — perhaps the crucial — missing
link is the murky bureaucracy of international aid itself. An
industry fueled by powerful states, that nds itself unable
to account for its own spending in the developing world.
In chapter seven, for example, omas notes that Ethiopia
announced the purchase of a eet of battle tanks a day aer
the UK foreign oce announced a $60 million “emergency
food aid donation.” A reader might be tempted to interro-
gate the donors if you’re going to run the country, why
don’t you run the country? e answer, extrapolating from
omas’ own investigation, is incentives. Donor countries
may be well aware of what it would cost to rid the world
of malaria, but may simply lack the incentive to do so. e
people who are hired to implement these multi-billion dollar
aid programs — the practitioners — may not necessarily lack
the knowledge it takes to x the system. ey may, in fact,
be entirely aware of the inconsistencies and the dangerous,
distorted incentives it takes to keep the international aid
and foreign policy machine chugging along.
E H is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of
Government at Georgetown University.
Elect to
receive the
version of
Democracy &
 To sign up, email us at
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
perceptions of democracy against levels of democracy and
governance aid allocation. is paper argues that foreign
democracy aid channeled through civil society organiza-
tions is associated with increased rates of public acceptance
of democracy within the region.
Democracy Aid and Regime Change: A Complex
Since the ird Wave of Democracy, scholars have in-
creasingly sought to gauge the eectiveness of the Western
countries’ inuence on foreign polities through dierent
types of aid. While a well-known study by Knack (2004)
found no relationship between foreign aid and Freedom
House or Polity IV scores, more detailed and rigorously
tested eorts have since suggested that foreign aid is oen
positively related to a developing country’s movement to-
wards democracy. e ecacy of democracy aid per dollar
may dier signicantly depending not only on the spe-
cic political and economic characteristics of the recipient
country, but also on the global political climate, the donor
country, and whether the recipient also receives competing
aid packages from non-Western sources. e myriad of
inuencing factors is also complicated by the diculty of
accurately observing, measuring, and comparing tangible
change within the democratic institutions and public at-
titudes of a country.
While there is no convincing consensus relating to the
ecacy of democracy aid, scholars have generally found
that over the long-term, democracy and governance fund-
ing may indeed be directing developing countries towards
democracy. One nding suggests that a 100 percent increase
in democracy aid, on average, is associated with a 1.6 per-
cent increase in Polity scores by country years. Another
analysis using Freedom House scores nds that, on average,
a doubling of democratic assistance is associated with a 7
percent increase in a country’s democracy score over a 25-
year period. Quantitative analysis has also suggested that
democracy aid has been more eective in the Post-Cold
War period, that countries experience diminishing marginal
returns to democracy aid as they become more democratic,
and that increased aid from non-Western sources is generally
associated with democratic recession.
Democratic Shis in Sub-Saharan Africa
In general, there are two avenues for aecting regime
change through foreign aid. e conditioning of any type
of aid (most commonly attached to multiparty elections and
human rights standards) represents one of these avenues.
e other main vehicle for change is the direct investment
in democracy promotion through the funding of programs
typically centered on governance building and civil society
support. Sub-Saharan Africa has historically remained heav-
ily reliant on foreign aid, which creates the opportunity for
what Levitsky and Way (2010) call high levels of Leverage
between Western donors and many countries within the
region. Largely due to the conditioning of Western aid to
the holding of multi-party elections, the number of self pro-
claimed single-party systems fell from 29 to 0 between 1989
and 1994, as autocratic leaders repositioned their regimes
for the post-Cold War era. e number of elections held
per year has also proliferated at an astounding rate. From
1960-1989, the continent held less than one election per
year on average, but from 1990-2012, that gure jumped to
almost seven. However, this expansion in electoral activ-
ity has not been matched by an equal increase in political
Table 1: Democracy and Governance Aid Distribution
Sixteen African Countries 2001-2010
D&G Aid
All Aid
Civil Society 8.19% 1.24%
Legislatures and Political
0.06% 0.01%
Legal and Judicial
3.26% 0.49%
Decentralization and
Support for Sub-national
1.04% 0.16%
Government Capacity
84.44% 12.74%
TOTAL 100% 14.64%
e direct impact of funds assigned to democracy and
governance programs is more challenging to observe in
Sub-Saharan Africa. In one analysis Goldsmith (2001) nds
a positive but miniscule relationship between governance
funding and decreased rates of corruption in the region.
Research has also shown that an increase in democracy aid
is tied to lower rates of electoral misconduct. Dietrich
(2013) observed that more recently donors are increasing
their support to African civil society groups, largely due to
concerns of inadvertently strengthening authoritarian state
structures in the context of hybrid regimes. However, as
the second column of Table 1 shows, civil society spending
still makes up only 8.19 percent of the total democracy aid in
the Sub-Saharan African countries examined, with the vast
majority of democracy aid (84.44 percent) going towards
government capacity building. e third column of Table
1 shows that all democracy and governance aid represents
just 14.64 percent of overall foreign aid to these countries,
with civil society funding representing 1.24 percent of total
foreign assistance.
F, Continued from Page 1
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
e Supply and Demand of Democracy
In order to approach the quandary of democracy aid
eectiveness from a fresh viewpoint, this paper replaces the
heavily relied upon Freedom House and Polity democracy
indicators in search of new variables that also attempt to cap-
ture movements from or towards democracy. Scholars from
the Afrobarometer, an African-led public opinion research
organization, have developed alternative measurements to
examine the prevalence of democratic ideals and perceptions
of democratic institutions in African countries. By utilizing
these data from a selection of African countries, changes
in public opinion may be compared alongside variations in
funding from international donors. Instead of relying on
expert opinion, this method captures the extent to which
Africans actually desire and observe regime change over
time. In the way, public opinion may be used to triangu-
late expert rankings of regime change since both types of
measurements exhibit diering methodological vulnerabili-
ties. By compiling data from questions regarding popular
support for democracy as well as the rejection of military,
one-party, and dictatorial regimes, the Afrobarometer team
has developed a new measurement called Demand for De-
mocracy. In a similar fashion, survey questions relating to
the public’s perceived extent of democracy and satisfaction
with democratic institutions are indexed into a country’s
Supply of Democracy.
While regression testing is unavailable due to the small
sample size, changes in the supply and demand of democracy
for twelve countries from 2001-2011 and four countries from
2003-2011 are compared to levels of funding by specic aid
sectors relating to democracy and governance promotion
through the use of the aiddata database. In the spirit of
a quasi-pre-test/post-test experiment, this allows for some
control over specic country characteristics such as religious
and ethnic make-up, population size, land size, natural re-
sources and other slow-moving or xed variables. While
several alternative explanations for the recorded shis in
the supply and demand of democracy remain absent from
this analysis, the specicity of these instruments provides
argument for a relationship between certain types of democ-
racy aid and the observed changes of democratic supply and
demand. Using regression analysis, Bratton (2012) discov-
ers that the public’s perception of the state of the economy,
freedom of expression, and fairness of the previous election
are all signicantly and positively related to the supply of
democracy in the Afrobarometer surveyed countries.
One may hypothesize that higher levels of democracy
aid would support increases in both the supply and demand
of democratic institutions. Table 2 displays the changes in
both demand and supply of democracy for the sixteen coun-
tries examined, along with the amount of dollars per capita
that each country received from 2001-2010 in civil society
strengthening and government capacity building. Coun-
tries with large populations like South Africa and Nigeria
Table 2: Supply and Demand Changes compared to Aid Allocation per Capita
2001-2011 Civil Society Spending
per Capita (USD)
Gov. Capacity Spending
per capita (USD)
Supply of Democracy
Demand for Democracy
Cape Verde* 22.59 640.45 +17.5% +11.5%
Zimbabwe 22.12 5.22 +8.5% +4.0%
Zambia 14.38 171.72 +12.0% +7.8%
Malawi 13.56 98.84 -5.0% +3.0%
Mali 12.77 164.51 -19% +0.3%
Lesotho 12.57 172.32 +12.5% +14.0%
Mozambique* 11.43 199.84 -14.5% +11.3%
Tanzania 11.41 189.56 +19.0% -0.2%
Ghana 9.81 214.64 +15.0% +5.3%
Senegal* 9.78 84.62 +11.0% +11.8%
Uganda 9.29 98.29 -3.5% +13.8%
Namibia 8.23 37.50 +1.0% +16.0%
Kenya* 7.50 37.89 -33.0% -6.3%
South Africa 6.39 8.04 +6.0% +5.0%
Botswana 3.99 823.64 -3.5% +1.3%
Nigeria 1.63 8.44 -29.0% -7.0%
Average 12.54 184.72 -0.3% 5.6%
*2003-2011 only due to data availability
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
experience low levels of aid per capita, while countries with
smaller populations like Botswana and Cape Verde received
around one hundred times the amount government support
funding per person. Civil society aid also follows this same
trend, but to a lesser extent. In Zimbabwe, donors clearly saw
a strategic opportunity to subvert the authoritarian regime
by investing a signicant amount of funding in civil society
organizations, while virtually cutting o direct government
support. e countries with more advance economies and
higher democracy rankings within the group (South Africa,
Botswana, Namibia) received fairly low levels of civil society
In regards to shis in the supply of democracy over
2001/2003-2011, Kenya and Nigeria especially see signicant
decreases, likely due to the occurrence of serious destabiliza-
tion and political-motivated violence surrounding elections
in each country over this period. Decreases in demand
for democracy are also observed in each of these countries,
as citizens absorbs the harsh reality of violence and power
struggle surrounding competitive elections. Across the six-
teen countries, citizens’ condence in the vitality of their
democratic institutions stagnated over the decade with the
supply of democracy decreasing by 0.3 percent; however,
public demand for democracy increased on average by 5.6
percent. e static trend observed in the supply of democracy
variable over this period reects a larger phenomenon, as
worldwide Freedom House scores have plateaued worldwide
since around 2006.
ough each of the examined countries were subject to
a variety of unique political, economic, and social circum-
stances over this period of time, civil society funding is
shown to have a strong connection with the Afrobarometer
data as displayed in Chart 1. e general trend shows that as
civil society spending per capita increases, the change in de-
mand for democracy by citizens is also expected to increase.
e relationship between these two variables is correlated
at 0.61 (p<0.05), and change in the perceptions of supply
of democracy is also positively correlated with civil society
spending at 0.40, but just fails to reach a meaningful level of
signicance at the p<0.10 level. Not surprisingly, the changes
in the supply and demand of democracy are also strongly
associated with one another, exhibiting a correlation of 0.55
(p<0.05). ese ndings greatly suggest that civil society aid
bolsters citizens’ backing of democracy.
Chart 2: Civil Society Spending per Capita
Chart 2 demonstrates these ndings by displaying the
average levels of civil society aid per capita on the vertical
axis in dollars. On the horizontal axis countries are sepa-
rated into groups that experienced either an increase or
decrease on the supply and demand indexes. On average,
countries whose citizens’ believe their country has moved
away from democracy between 2001-2011, received an
average of $8.90 per capita of civil society spending from
foreign donors. In comparison, countries whose citizens
believed their country was moving
towards democracy received an av-
erage of $15.38. A t-test conrms
that the dierence between these
groups is statically signicant at the
p<0.05 level. In a similar manner,
the three countries that experienced
a decrease in demand of democracy
over the same period received an
average of $7.83 per capita of civil
society spending, compared to an
average of $13.63 across the other
thirteen countries that observed an
increase in demand.
Aid from the other sectors that
are generally considered as demo-
cratic aid (Legislature and Political
Parties, Legal and Judicial, Local
Government, Government Capacity
Building) fail to see any meaningful
Chart 1- Civil Society Spending per Capita and
Changes in Demand of Democracy
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
correlations with shis in the either the supply or demand of
democracy across the sixteen countries. As observed in Table
1, three of these funding categories: Legislature and Political
Parties, Legal and Judicial, and Local Government represent
a minute portion of total foreign aid to Sub-Saharan African
countries. Meanwhile, government capacity building aid
does not exhibit any meaningful relationship with either
the supply or demand indicators even though this sector is
well funded. Aid allocated for this purpose may potentially
slow democratic consolidation through the strengthening
of incumbent rulers, or perhaps citizens do not directly
observer or associate state building with democratic con-
solidation. Either way, the ndings presented here suggest
that foreign donors have received stronger returns in terms
of democracy promotion in Sub-Saharan Africa through
civil society support.
A host of country-specic characteristics create a chal-
lenging set of circumstances for understanding the ef-
fectiveness of democracy aid. Several studies have shown
that democracy aid is strategically allocated to countries
depending on the country’s economic conditions, history
of colonization, level of democratic consolidation, as well
as the strategic importance of the recipient country to the
donor country. Furthermore, matters including a govern-
ment’s level of corruption, the existence of basic democratic
institutions, and the recipient’s dependence on aid may all
inuence the eectiveness of democratic promotion. ough
scholars point to a worldwide “Democratic Recession” since
the mid-2000s, public opinion research also shows that
African citizens are, on average, demanding more eective
democratic institutions across the continent. e correla-
tions found between measures of both democratic supply
and demand in Sub-Saharan Africa and higher rates of civil
society funding provides a strong argument for donors to
continue supporting this sector as an eective instrument
for democratic change.
P F is a Program Assistant for Southern and East Africa
at the National Democratic Institute for International Aairs. He is
a former research assistant at the Afrobarometer and holds a M.P.P.
with a specialization in International Development from Michigan
State University.
1 Simone Dietrich and Joseph Wright. “Foreign Aid Allocation Tactics
and Democratic Change in Africa,” The Journal of Politics 77, no. 1
(2015): 216-234. Dietrich and Wright generally dene “Democracy and
Governance foreign aid,” as funding allocated towards the judiciary,
legislature, civil society organizations, elections, anti-corruption agencies,
and government capacity building. See Table 1.
2 The following papers relying on Freedom House, Polity or both: Knack
(2004); Dietrich and Wright (2015); Findley, Hawkins, Nielson, Nielson,
and Wilson (2010); Finkel, Pérez-Liñán, Seligson, and Azpuru (2006);
Nielson and Nielson (2010); Kersting and Kilby (2014).
3 Michael Findley, Darren Hawkins, Rich Nielsen, Dan Nielson,
and Sven Wilson, “To Empower or Impoverish? The Sector-by-Sector
Effectiveness of Foreign Aid,” AidData Oxford Conference, (2010): 22-25.
4 Stephen Knack, “Does foreign aid promote democracy?” International
Studies Quarterly 48, no. 1 (2004): 251-266.
5 Richard Nielsen and Daniel Nielson, “Triage for democracy: selection
effects in governance aid,” American Political Science Association Annual
Meeting, Washington, DC. 2010.
6 Erasmus Kersting and Christopher Kilby, “Aid and democracy redux,”
European Economic Review 67 (2014): 125-143.
7 See Knack; Kersting and Kilby.
8 Dietrich and Wright, 217.
9 Steven Levitsky, and Lucan A. Way, Competitive authoritarianism:
Hybrid regimes after the cold war, Cambridge University Press, (2010):
10 Michael Bratton, and Nicholas Van de Walle, Democratic experiments
in Africa: Regime transitions in comparative perspective, Cambridge
University Press, (1997): 182.
11 Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, “Africa’s Waning Democratic
Commitment,” Journal of Democracy 26, no. 1 (2015): 101-113.
12 Dietrich and Wright, 219.
13 “Civil Society” includes funding for: Democratic Participation,
Election Observation, Human Rights, Media, and Women’s Political
14 “Government Capacity Building” includes funding for: Economic
Planning, Monetary Policy, Budget Support, Government Administration,
Public Sector Finance and Policy Management.
15 Arthur Goldsmith, “Foreign aid and statehood in Africa,” International
Organization 55, no. 1 (2001): 123-148.
16 Dietrich and Wright, 232.
17 Simone Dietrich, “Bypass or Engage? Explaining Donor Delivery
Tactics in Foreign Aid Allocation*,” International Studies Quarterly 57, no.
4 (2013): 698-712.
Steven E. Finkel, Anibal Perez-Linan, Mitchell A. Seligson, Dinorah
Azpuru “Effects of US foreign assistance on democracy building:
Results of a cross-national quantitative study,” Final report, prepared for
USAID (2006). Finkel et al. nds strong evidence that aid marked for civil
society strengthening has had a noticeable impact on the vibrancy of media
and election support activities in developing countries.
18 Selection includes all countries in which the Afrobarometer collected
data in either Round 1 (2001) or Round 2 (2003) and Round 5 (2011). <>
19 Michael Bratton, “Trends in Popular Attitudes to Multiparty
Democracy in Africa 2000-2012,” Afrobarometer Working Paper (2012): 4.
20 Michael J. Tierney, Daniel L. Nielson, Darren G. Hawkins, J. Timmons
Roberts, Michael G. Findley, Ryan M. Powers, Bradley Parks, Sven E.
Wilson, and Robert L. Hicks, “More Dollars than Sense: Rening Our
Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData,” World Development
39, no. 11 (2011): 1891-1906.
21 Bratton, 11.
22 For example: Kenya elections in 2007, Nigeria elections in 2011
23 Larry Diamond, “Facing up to the Democratic Recession,” Journal of
Democracy 26 no. 1 (2015): 141-155.
Georgetown University | The Center for Democracy and Civil Society
On January 30
, 2015
Ann Weber, D&G class of
2016, organized an “Insider
Tour” of the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum for stu-
dents. e group met with
Museum sta involved in
international outreach pro-
grams and genocide pre-
vention work, including
initiatives to combat anti-
semitism in Eastern Europe
and the MENA region, State
Department visits, creation of an upcoming exhibit on mass
atrocities in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, genocide
prevention work with US and international military, and an
early warning system for genocide prevention.
On February 11th, 2015 the Democracy and Governance
Program in partnership with the African Studies Program
hosted former president of Ethiopia Dr. Negasso Solan.
Dr. Solan, a NED Fellow, delivered a talk titled e Role
of Democracy Building in a Multi-Ethnic State: e Case of
On March 23rd, 2015 Prof. Josep Colomer delivered a talk
on his recent book, How Global Institutions Rule the World.
e book examines the ability of international institutions
to make decisions and their compatibility with democratic
On March 26th, 2015 the Democracy and Governance
Program welcomed its accepted students to our annual
Open House. We were pleased to have Robert Benjamin,
senior associate and the regional director of Central and
Eastern Europe programs at the National Democratic In-
stitute join us.
May 15, 2015 was the Georgetown Graduate School’s
Commencement Ceremony. We were extremely proud to
graduate the following students: Ugur Altundal, Jie Bai,
Emily Kehrt, Matthew Mainuli, Kellen McClure, Maria
Regina Reis, Weiyi Wang, Zhichao Yi, and Yu Zhang.
e Democracy and Governance Advisory Board held
its inaugural meeting in January. e board brings together
some of the best individuals from the democracy promotion
and international development community. e current
members are Shari Bryan (Vice President, NDI), omas
Garrett (Vice President, IRI), Larry Cooley (President,
MSI), Eric Bjornlund (Principal, DI), omas Carothers
(Carnegie Endowment), Beatriz Casals (Founder, Casals
and Associates), and Amb. Donald Planty (Founder, Planty
and Associates). e board discussed ways to maintain the
prominence of the program as the premier host for democ-
racy and governance studies, and ways to ensure that our
curriculum matches the job market needs.
e program’s inaugural USAID study group concluded
its research and delivered its ndings this spring. Under
the tutelage of Prof. Je Fischer, ve students (Jie Bai ‘15,
Sibghat Ullah ’16, Tyler Knarr ’16, Javier Pena ’16, and
Cabell Willis ’16) delved into the causes and reactions to
electoral violence. eir results can be found at: https://
A new Executive Education initiative was created by
the Democracy and Governance program. In an eort to
bridge the gap between theory and practice even further,
there are now new summer short course oerings on the
theme of Electoral Integrity. ere are currently three short
courses on the topics of Election Technology, Election Vio-
lence, and Election Malpractice. Each lasts two full days and
combines theoretic and practitioner perspectives. More
information can be found at:
D&G Program welcomes Dr. Georges Fauriol as the
instructor for GOVT 550: Democracy Promotion. Dr. Fau-
riol is currently the Vice President of Programs - Planning,
Grants Management, Compliance, and Evaluation at the
National Endowment for Democracy. He is also a former
Senior Vice President and Acting President at the Interna-
tional Republican Institute.
Faculty Awards and Publications
Prof. Yonatan L. Morse received the Harold N. Glass-
man Award from Georgetown University for his dissertation
Party Matters: e Sources of Regime Competitiveness and
Hegemony in Post Cold War Africa.
Student and Alumni News
Andrew Mandelbaum, D&G class of 2008, has co-
founded the Moroccan non-prot SimSim-Participation
Citoyenne. e organization is implementing the second
year of its project, which helps citizens ask
Program Highlights
D S Volume 12 • Issue 2 S-S 
Call for Papers: Democracy & Society • Volume 13, Issue 1
Democratic Backsliding and
Authoritarian Resurgence
Since the end of the Cold War, the performance of nas-
cent democracies has been the primary focus of political
scientists around the world. is paradigm shi has
produced a new body of research that recognizes the
growing resurgence in authoritarian-type regimes that
threaten democratic development in their respective
countries. Given the unsuccessful democratic outcomes
in states with recently deposed regimes, is the world in a
state of “democratic decline,” as some experts warn? With
the Arab spring and South Asian cases in mind, should
observers be pessimistic about the current condition
of democratization? Also, with major actors like China
and Russia openly pursuing nondemocratic policies,
how can we assess the role of authoritarian politics on
the international and domestic levels?
We are seeking articles that address the following
“Hybrid Regimes” and the Democratic Grey
How do autocrats use features of democracy to pre-
serve their power, such as elections or courts? What
institutional factors can make states susceptible to demo-
cratic erosion? Is it useful to analyze cases in terms of
democratic-ness” and is further research necessary for
conceptual clarity?
Protest, Oppositions, and Response
How do alienated populations express their op-
position to a regime through various modes of Civil
Society? Are protest movements more successful when
they promote democratic principles or are organized
into formal political parties? What can we learn from
response tactics perpetrated by incumbent regimes?
The Military as an Arbitrator
What can we draw from the historically salient rela-
tionship between militaries and authoritarianism? What
incentives may be present that inuence armed forces to
keep their distance from politics or openly seize power?
International Relations and Modern
Do autocratic governments face strained relation-
ships with democracies? How is international diplomacy
aected by the politics of a dictatorial or “hybrid” re-
gime? What can we discern about the continued power
of states that reject democracy as a preferred form of
government (I.E., China, Russia, Turkey, etc.)?
Variations on these themes will be accepted, as well
as research that is relevant to these themes.
Please visit,
democracy-and-societyfor more information about
Democracy & Society andfor more information about the M.A.
in Democracy and Governance and the Center for De-
mocracy and Civil Society.
questions to their members of Parliament, and encourages
the latter to respond online and in public.
Mariel Leonard, D&G class of 2011, presented a poster
on “Achieving Post-Conict Stability rough Civil Soci-
ety” at the APSA Political Networks conference in Portland
Oregon on June 17, 2015. She is a part of a team of research-
ers at Westat that is conducting on-going research into the
prevalence of honor-based violence in the US.
David Jandura, D&G class of 2011, is currently based
in Tunis, Tunisia, providing direct technical assistance to
Libyan civil society and constitution draers, in Libya’s con-
stitution draing process.
Yuan Li, D&G class of 2012, currently serves as Center
Manager for the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public
Policy (Brookings Institution). Before joining Brookings,
Yuan Li worked as a research assistant at the Woodrow
Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Andrea Murta, D&G class of 2013, le PwC and since
January she is the head of the Americas at the Business
Intelligence division of a company called e Risk Advi-
sory Group ( She coordinates the
anti-corruption corporate investigations in the Americas
over here.
Pablo Estrada, D&G class of 2014, works since Septem-
ber 2014 as advisor to Counselor Benito Nacif in Mexico’s
National Electoral Institute. He attends issues related to the
administration of the Institute, regulation of electoral polls
and surveys, and the organization of electoral processes.
As well, during falls he teaches the course “Sociology and
political science” to BA in International Relations students
at Anáhuac University.
Center for Democracy and Civil Society
3240 Prospect Street
Washington, D.C. 20007
Phone 202 687 0593 | Fax 202 687 0597
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Associate Director
Yonatan Morse
Steering Committee
Jerey Anderson
Harley Balzer
Daniel Brumberg
Patrick Deneen
Roy Godson
Virginia Hodgkinson
Marc Morjé Howard
Carol Lancaster
Joshua Mitchell
Mark Rom
George E. Shambaugh
Clyde Wilcox
Justin Harried
Program Coordinator
Javier Pena
Journal Editors
Ugur Altundal
Samuel Maynard
Directors of Democracy
and Governance Program
Daniel Brumberg
Eusebio Mujal-Leon
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Full-text available
In Filipino (Abstract in English) BAUTISTA, FRANCISCO JR “Government—Civil Society Synergies in Philippine Social Welfare and Development: A Habermasian Assessment.” MA Thesis. University of the Philippines Diliman, 2020. This research mainly analyzes the character of deliberative institutions within the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in ensuring that social actors and movements remain to have a stake in governance. As the executive-level agency of the Philippines mandated to promote the welfare of the poor and marginalized, it had been bestowed with the resources favorable in pursuing the country’s constitutional commitment for social welfare as well as the promotion of civil society. This recognizes the role of citizens in enhancing their own potential as members of the political community who continue to carry on with the country’s democratic and constitutional narrative. Hence, the idea of a functioning “civil society” contained in the 1987 Philippine Constitution is intrinsic to the programmatic role of the DSWD as an instrumentality of the state. Four areas were identified in this assessment: (1) the regulation of organized groups and associations that are primarily preoccupied with social welfare and development, (2) the identification of legislative agenda for social welfare and development, (3) the implementation of social welfare and development programs, and (4) the devolution of social services formerly lodged on the DSWD and were transferred to local government units. The section of conclusion articulates the need to decolonize civil society if it is to counteract the continued colonization of both economic and political spheres as the third estate of society. Despite major strides, civil society groups and movements in the Philippines remain marginal and parochial, thereby rendering the Habermasian theory problematic when applied to debates related to the role of civil society in reaching a democratic consensus. These groups remain vulnerable in the face of national and global structures.
Cuba remains a one-party communist state with a poor record on human rights. The country's political succession in 2006 from the long-ruling Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl was characterized by a remarkable degree of stability. In February 2013, Castro was reappointed to a second five-year term as president (until 2018, when he would be 86 years old), and selected a 52-year old former Education Minister Miguel Díaz-Canel as his First Vice President, making him the official successor in the event that Castro cannot serve out his term. Raúl Castro has implemented a number of gradual economic policy changes over the past several years, including an expansion of self-employment. A party congress held in April 2011 laid out numerous economic goals that, if implemented, could significantly alter Cuba's state-dominated economic model. Few observers, however, expect the government to ease its tight control over the political system. While the government reduced the number of political prisoners in 2010-2011, the number increased in 2012; moreover, short-term detentions and harassment have increased significantly.
The use of force� /no matter how benevolent, enlightened, or impartial in intent� /has dramatic consequences. It shapes the struggle for power and helps to determine the outcome of political contests, which is why it is inherently controversial. It is why international debates about Libya� /the first road test of the Responsibility to Protect’s (R2P) coercive element (also known as Pillar Three)� /were understandably contentious. Pillar Three is defined as ‘‘the responsibility of Member States to respond collectively in a timely and decisive manner when a State is manifestly failing to provide ... / protection.’’ 1 While peaceful means of response are primarily preferred, should that prove inadequate to ensure protection, the international community should use more robust action: ‘‘no strategy for fulfilling the responsibility to protect would be complete without the possibility of collective enforcement measures, including through sanctions or coercive military action in extreme cases.’’ 2
Post-colonial Africa has experienced relatively few contested states, defined as entities whose purported statehood is widely challenged by existing states. During the 1960s and 1970s the self-proclaimed states of Katanga, Biafra and Rhodesia encountered serious deficits in international recognition. The same fate befell the independent Bantustans created by South Africa. Today only the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Somaliland fall in this category. The pair’s remarkable longevity shows that they cannot be wished away. Nor can Africa ignore the conflict potential attached to the very existence of the two disputed states. The African Union’s endorsement of the notion of sovereignty as responsibility provides moral obligations, pragmatic incentives and R2P-associated tools for dealing with the challenges posed by current and future contested states. The African Union could, however, consider two adaptations to R2P procedures. The first is the designation of established contested states as ‘territories of concern’ to highlight the necessity of collective R2P-type initiatives to resolve these situations. The second calls for the introduction of a ‘secessionism alert’ as part of the au’s early-warning system to try to prevent violent secession and the likely birth of contested states.
The year 2014 marked the fortieth anniversary of Portugal’s Revolution of the Carnations, which inaugurated what Samuel P. Huntington dubbed the “third wave” of global democratization. Any assessment of the state of global democracy today must begin by recognizing—even marveling at—the durability of this historic transformation. When the third wave began in 1974, only about 30 percent of the world’s independent states met the criteria of electoral democracy—a system in which citizens, through universal suffrage, can choose and replace their leaders in regular, free, fair, and meaningful elections. At that time, there were only about 46 democracies in the world. Most of those were the liberal democracies of the rich West, along with a number of small island states that had been British colonies. Only a few other developing democracies existed—principally, India, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Israel, and Turkey. In the subsequent three decades, democracy had a remarkable global run, as the number of democracies essentially held steady or expanded every year from 1975 until 2007. Nothing like this continous growth in democracy had ever been seen before in the history of the world. While a number of these new “democracies” were quite illiberal—in some cases, so much so that Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way regard them as “competitive authoritarian” regimes—the positive three-decade trend was paralleled by a similarly steady and significant expansion in levels of freedom (political rights and civil liberties, as measured annually by Freedom House). In 1974, the average level of freedom in the world stood at 4.38 (on the two seven-point scales, where 1 is most free and 7 is most repressive). It then gradually improved during the 1970s and 1980s, though it did not cross below the 4.0 midpoint until the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which it improved to 3.85 in 1990. In 25 of the 32 years between 1974 and 2005, average freedom levels improved in the world, peaking at 3.22 in 2005. And then, around 2006, the expansion of freedom and democracy in the world came to a prolonged halt. Since 2006, there has been no net expansion in the number of electoral democracies, which has oscillated between 114 and 119 (about 60 percent of the world’s states). As we see in Figure 1, the number of both electoral and liberal democracies began to decline after 2006 and then flattened out. Since 2006, the average level of freedom in the world has also deteriorated slightly, leveling off at about 3.30. There are two ways to view these empirical trends. One is to see them as constituting a period of equilibrium—freedom and democracy have not continued gaining, but neither have they experienced net declines. One could even celebrate this as an expression of the remarkable and unexpected durability of the democratic wave. Given that democracy expanded to a number of countries where the objective conditions for sustaining it are unfavorable, due either to poverty (for example, in Liberia, Malawi, and Sierra Leone) or to strategic pressures (for example, in Georgia and Mongolia), it is impressive that reasonably open and competitive political systems have survived (or revived) in so many places. As a variant of this more benign interpretation, Levitsky and Way argue in this issue of the Journal that democracy never actually expanded as widely as Freedom House perceived in the first place. Thus, they contend, many of the seeming failures of democracy in the last ten to fifteen years were really deteriorations or hardenings of what had been from the beginning authoritarian regimes, however competitive. Alternatively, one can view the last decade as a period of at least incipient decline in democracy. To make this case, we need to examine not only the instability and stagnation of democracies, but also the incremental decline of democracy in what Thomas Carothers has termed the “gray zone” countries (which defy easy classification as to whether or not they are democracies), the deepening authoritarianism in the non-democracies, and the decline in the functioning and self-confidence of the world’s established, rich democracies. This will be my approach in what follows. The debate about whether...
This article, by providing an overall assessment of the relations between Africa and the EU since the adoption of the Joint Africa Europe Strategy in Lisbon in 2007, tests the hypothesis of a ‘continental drift’. It looks in particular at four key variables in the relationship: economy, development, governance and politics, and multilateralism. A continental drift is in the making, associated with widening cracks in economic blocks: most of the trade between the two continents is concentrated on a dozen countries on each side. Although the EU has lost some of its leadership in development policies, its funding capacities are still attractive for countries in need: the donor–recipient relation is largely maintained. Both sides have agreed to disagree or to remain quiet about their reciprocal political inconsistencies: the management of governance and political dialogue is thus carried out in a pragmatic manner. The continent-to-continent relationship remains largely a vision.
From Foreign Affairs , January/February 2008 Summary: China's rise will inevitably bring the United States' unipolar moment to an end. But that does not necessarily mean a violent power struggle or the overthrow of the Western system. The U.S.-led international order can remain dominant even while integrating a more powerful China --but only if Washington sets about strengthening that liberal order now. G. JOHN IKENBERRY is Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and the author of After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars. The rise of China will undoubtedly be one of the great dramas of the twenty-first century. China's extraordinary economic growth and active diplomacy are already transforming East Asia, and future decades will see even greater increases in Chinese power and influence. But exactly how this drama will play out is an open question. Will China overthrow the existing order or become a part of it? And what, if anything, can the United States do to maintain its position as China rises? Some observers believe that the American era is coming to an end, as the Western-oriented world order is replaced by one increasingly dominated by the East. The historian Niall Ferguson has written that the bloody twentieth century witnessed "the descent of the West" and "a reorientation of the world" toward the East. Realists go on to note that as China gets more powerful and the United States' position erodes, two things are likely to happen: China will try to use its growing influence to reshape the rules and institutions of the international system to better serve its interests, and other states in the system --especially the declining hegemon --will start to see China as a growing security threat. The result of these developments, they predict, will be tension, distrust, and conflict, the typical features of a power transition. In this view, the drama of China's rise will feature an increasingly powerful China and a declining United States locked in an epic battle over the rules and leadership of the international system. And as the world's largest country emerges not from within but outside the established post-World War II international order, it is a drama that will end with the grand ascendance of China and the onset of an Asian-centered world order.
Patterson, Eric. (2011) Obama and Sustainable Democracy Promotion.International Studies Perspectives,doi: 10.1111/j.1528-3585.2011.00447.x © 2011 International Studies Association Barack Obama consistently has called upon the US to support what he calls “sustainable democracy.” Such a commitment to promoting democracy abroad is a common theme among postwar American presidents, but often there are disconnects between America’s ideals and interests as well as between the rhetoric and actual concrete action. This paper introduces democracy promotion activities in recent US history, then turns to the words and deeds of candidate and now, President Obama and his administration. In short, the Obama administration’s first year in office has been marked by grand rhetoric, general continuity with the previous administration in democracy funding, but a lack of policy coherence and leadership on these issues. The paper concludes with a series of lessons and recommendations for the Obama administration on sustaining democracy worldwide gleaned from the shortcomings of the Bush administration.
Most research on the effects of international migration on democratic institutions in sending countries focuses on how emigration changes the civic and democratic values of those left behind. Very little has been written on how the additional income provided by migrant remittances alters the incentive structure of the political actors involved, and how this will affect political outcomes. This paper develops a voting model that accounts for the role of civic values, as well as, higher income, and shows that the two have very different predicted effects on electoral outcomes. Taking these predictions to the data it is shown that, for the case of Mex-ican municipal elections over the year 2000-2002 period, the empirical evidence strongly supports the notion that international migration had a positive effect on electoral competitiveness in Mexico by reducing the clientelistic power of the formerly dominant state party PRI. This result is robust to the use of instrumental variables.
This paper uses Freedom House ratings to assess the impact of foreign aid on democracy. We employ an interval regression to account for Freedom House's method of rating countries. A cross-sectional analysis examining the long run effect of aid on democracy in 122 countries between 1972 and 2011 finds a significant positive relationship that survives various tests for endogeneity. A short run annual panel analysis of 156 countries between 1985 and 2011 explores whether aid operates through leverage and conditionality. We present evidence that i) donors allocate aid in response to democratization and ii) recipient countries respond to this incentive for democratic reform. Our identification strategy relies on the reduced importance of democratization in the allocation of aid to geopolitically important countries.