Terrorism and the Democracy Promotion Agenda

The U.S. democracy-promotion agenda has been both too grandly conceived and ill-executed. When it comes to means, an over-reliance on military power, as was seen in Iraq, isn’t the only problem. Gaza is evidence that even diplomatic measures aimed at democracy promotion can go disastrously wrong, especially if elections alone are made the benchmark for measuring democratic progress. And public diplomacy and other soft power measures also come with their own difficulties. As such, although I’m definitely an advocate of so-called “smart power,” I’ve argued occasionally that means aren’t everything. In other words, although perhaps necessary, it’s not sufficient to […]

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