Do all people desire democracy? For at least a century, the idea that democracy is a universal good has been an article of faith for American policy makers. Paula Sabloff challenges this conventional wisdom about who wants democracy and why. Arguing that certain universal human aspirations exist, she shows how local realities are highly particularistic and explains that culture, history, and values are critical to the study of political systems. Her fascinating study of Mongolia—feudal until it became the first country to follow Russia into communism and now struggling with post-socialist democratization—is a model for investigating how everyday people around the world actually think about and implement democracy on their own terms.