US Democracy Promotion after the Cold War : Stability, Basic Premises, and Policy toward Egypt book cover
1st Edition

US Democracy Promotion after the Cold War
Stability, Basic Premises, and Policy toward Egypt

ISBN 9780367151829
Published August 5, 2019 by Routledge
304 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores the often assumed but so far not examined proposition that a particular U.S. culture influences U.S. foreign policy behavior or, more concretely, that widely shared basic assumptions embraced by members of the U.S. administration have a notable impact on foreign policy-making.

Publicly professed beliefs regarding America’s role in the world and about democracy’s universal appeal – despite much contestation – go to the heart of U.S. national identity. Employing extensive foreign policy text analysis as well as using the case study of U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relations during the Clinton, Bush junior, and Obama administrations, it shows that basic assumptions matter in U.S. democracy promotion in general, and the book operationalizes them in detail as well as employs qualitative content analysis to assess their validity and variation.

The research presented lies at the intersection of International Relations, U.S. foreign policy, regional studies, and democracy promotion. The specific focus on the domestic ‘cultural’ angle for the study of foreign policy and this dimension’s operationalization makes it a creative crossover study and a unique contribution to these overlapping fields.

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: U.S. democracy promotion: determinants, debates, and the diagnosis of continuity in the post-Cold War era Chapter 2: National identity, political culture, and the democracy promotion world view: theoretical framework and methodological approach Chapter 3: Approximating the basic premises of U.S. democracy promotion after the Cold War Chapter 4: The basic premises of U.S. democracy promotion: major changes in form, minor changes in content Chapter 5: Premises in the challenge ground: U.S. policy towards Egypt (I) Chapter 6: Premises in the challenge ground: U.S. policy towards Egypt (II) Conclusion Postscriptum: Democracy promotion under the Trump administration Appendix

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Annika Elena Poppe is project director and senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). Her research focuses on international democracy promotion, U.S. foreign policy, and the global phenomenon of shrinking civic spaces. She is coordinator of the German research network ‘External Democracy Promotion’ (EDP), member of the International Consortium on Closing Civic Spaces (iCon) hosted by CSIS, and has worked as a consultant for the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in 2016–2017.


"This broad-gauged account of U.S. democracy promotion seeks to explain why significant continuity has characterized the policies of widely divergent U.S. presidents, from Bill Clinton to Donald Trump. Locating her answer in a probing dissection of the underlying worldview of U.S. diplomats and aid practitioners, the author eschews well-worn critiques and instead offers analytic richness and insight. An in-depth study of the crucial case of U.S. policy toward Egypt provides useful empirical grounding." - Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC

"Poppe's book offers deep insights into fundamental drivers of the stability of US democracy promotion. Scholars interested in international relations will profit from her innovative approach that combines the study of political culture and foreign policy orientation and thus makes this book a creative crossover study. Policy makers seeking for allies in democracy promotion will be relieved to learn that 'there is much more iceberg underneath than above the waterline.' " - Julia Leininger, German Development Institute, Bonn

"The main strength of the book consists in adding an interesting and compelling argument to the constructivist approach to foreign policy-making and democracy promotion studies. Democracy promotion studies, in contrast to Democratization studies, have been on the back foot for a few years now. Due to the rather mitigated outcome of the Arab Spring and the recent lack of interest from the current US administration in the matter, some observers have declared that there was not much to be said anymore concerning democracy promotion. This is not the case - as shown by this study, which contributes to the field in an original and rigorous way." - Jeff Bridoux, Aberystwyth University,Wales

"With the prospects for democracy promotion by the United States appearing dim currently, this book is an extremely timely and important contribution to the literature. Annika Elena Poppe makes a strong argument as to the enduring stability and influence of the assumptions and world view behind U.S. democracy promotion, even in unlikely challenging cases such as Egypt. Her key finding of a stable core and an adaptable periphery to this outlook in Washington will be invaluable in understanding how this strand of U.S. foreign policy fares during the Trump administration and beyond." - Nicolas Bouchet, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin