Kyrgyzstan and the Cost of Not Supporting Democracy

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

During the Bush administration, as democracy assistance evolved from being a relatively uncontroversial U.S. policy with bipartisan support to a controversial policy associated with the neoconservative agenda, academics, journalists and others hastened to identify the political costs of doing democracy work. Critics of democracy assistance argued that encouraging elections too quickly in war torn countries could exacerbate ethnic tensions and ensure greater instability. Others argued that more democracy would bring anti-American leaders to power, particularly in Muslim countries, while still others argued that for poor unstable countries, stability, security and economic development should all be higher priorities than democracy.

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Academic Units
Harriman Institute
Published Here
October 20, 2011