Democracy Promotion as Foreign Policy (Open Access): Temporal Othering in International Relations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Democracy Promotion as Foreign Policy (Open Access)

Temporal Othering in International Relations, 1st Edition

By Cathy Elliott


202 pages

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Hardback: 9781138669727
pub: 2016-11-15
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This book looks at democracy promotion as a form of foreign policy. Elliott asks why democracy was seen to be the answer to the 7/7 bombings in London, and why it should be promoted not in Britain, but in Pakistan. The book provides a detailed answer to these questions, examining the logic and the modes of thinking that made such a response possible through analysis of the stories we tell about ourselves: stories about time, history, development, civilisation and the ineluctable spread of democracy.

Elliott argues that these narratives have become a key tool in enabling practices that differentiate selves from others, friends from enemies, the domestic from the foreign, civilisation from the barbarian. They operate with a particular conception of time and constitute a British, democratic, national identity by positing an "other" that is barbaric, alien, despotic, violent and backward. Such understandings are useful in wake of disaster, because they leave us with something to do: danger can be managed by bringing certain people and places up-to-date. However, this book shows that there are other stories to be told, and that it is possible to read stories about history against the grain and author alternative, less oppressive, versions.

Providing a genealogy drawing on material from colonial and postcolonial Britain and Pakistan, including legislation, political discourse, popular culture and government projects, this book will be of interest to scholars and students focusing on democracy promotion; genealogy; critical border studies; poststructural IR; postcolonial politics; discourse analysis; identity/subjectivity; and "the war on terror".

Table of Contents



1 What is Democracy Promotion?

2 Democratic Representation

3 Disordering Histories

4 Authoring the Codes Elsewhere: Colonial Governmentality

and Teleological Time

5 Blood in the Codes: Liberal Governmentality, Democracy and Pakistan

6 Twelve Months that Shook the World: 1989 and the Salman Rushdie Affair

7 The Art of Integration: Representing British Muslims

Conclusion: Democracy promotion, Time and the "Radical Ordinary"

About the Author

Cathy Elliott is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Public Policy, University College London. She previously worked as a development manager in Pakistan. Her research interests include poststructural international relations; time, temporality and history; politics and aesthetics and feminism and gender.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins ( and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / National
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Cultural Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism