The Case for Democracy Promotion
In a piece in the Washington Quarterly, Rep. David Price (D-NC) presents the case for a sustained U.S. commitment to democracy promotion abroad, and offers practical advice to the new administration. Price stresses that the U.S. must not sacrifice the democracy agenda for other goals: “Democracy is an antidote to terrorism and violent conflict because it facilitates economic opportunity and channels societal grievances into peaceful and predictable processes for addressing them.”
Rep. Price writes that elections, while always a vital component, “do little good for democratic development if the institutions that are charged with carrying out the popular mandate are ineffective or unresponsive.”
He also notes that though the U.S. should not simply forsake all of its autocratic allies around the world, it can never be seen as deliberately undermining or intervening against the side of democracy and reform. Price calls for the U.S. to engage the region’s moderate Islamists, work with allies to ensure that nascent democracies provide tangible benefits to the lives of their citizens, and also to be prepared for the long work of sustainable development and institution-building. Read the full piece here.