From small beginnings, democracy aid has become a sizeable enterprise. Today it is beset by problems, however, as it must operate in a less friendly environment. Hard decisions will need to be made to maintain its relevance.
The lines between the development-aid and democracy-aid communities have been blurring, in terms of both organizational boundaries and activities on the ground, but the convergence is far from complete.
Democracy-aid providers are moving away from one-size-fits-all strategies and are adapting their programs to diverse political contexts. Two distinct overall approaches to assisting democracy have emerged in response.
On 7 June 2007, the National Endowment for Democracy commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the "Westminster Address" with a panel discussion and reception in Madison Hall at the Library of Congress.
Unlike pessimistic scholars and recalcitrant autocrats, most ordinary citizens are inclined to take the risks of choosing democracy when they can.
Many critics of democracy promotion assert that the rule of law and a well-functioning state should be in place before a society democratizes, but this strategy of "sequencing" is based on a set of mistaken premises.
The author of “The End of the Transition Paradigm” responds to each of his critics in turn.
Must countries where authoritarian regimes have fallen therefore be "in transition" to democracy? Many democracy promoters seem to think so. Yet trends on the ground in country after country are raising doubts about whether it is true or useful to think of democracy's prospects in this way.