This volume examines the substance of European Union (EU) democracy promotion by comparing it with norms of governance that other international actors promote, among them the United Nations, the United States, the Central and East European EU member states, Russia, China and non-governmental organizations. The book offers a better understanding of the EU’s democracy promotion agenda and the (in)distinctiveness of the norms diffused by the EU. Building on a common conceptual introduction, the chapters follow different theoretical approaches and research designs, and focus on a range of diverse case studies. The book concludes that, in comparison with other international actors, the EU’s conceptual approach to democracy promotion is diffuse, which in turn makes the EU a particularly flexible but also ‘technical’ democracy promoter when it comes to implementation. At the same time, there are limits to flexibility at the level of concepts and frames.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.
1. Introduction: Anne Wetzel, Jan Orbie and Fabienne Bossuyt
2. Constructing new environments versus attitude adjustment: contrasting the substance of democracy in UN and EU democracy promotion discourses Jessica Schmidt
3. Cosmetic agreements and the cracks beneath: ideological convergences and divergences in US and EU democracy promotion in civil society Jeff Bridoux and Milja Kurki
4. Competing perspectives on democracy and democratization: assessing alternative models of democracy promoted in Central Asian states Mariya Y Omelicheva
5. Promoting democracy or the external context? Comparing the substance of EU and US democracy assistance in Ethiopia Karen Del Biondo
6. Democracy promotion in Kosovo: mapping the substance of donor assistance and a comparative analysis of strategies Adam Fagan
7. International, national or local? Explaining the substance of democracy promotion: the case of Eastern European democracy promotion Tsveta Petrova