‘High Stakes’ and ‘Low‐Intensity Democracy’: Understanding America's Policy of Promoting Democracy

Jason G. Ralph

in American Democracy Promotion

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780199240975
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598999 | DOI:
 ‘High Stakes’ and ‘Low‐Intensity Democracy’: Understanding America's Policy of Promoting Democracy

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Explores the gap between rhetoric and practice in the American policy of promoting democracy. It attributes it to the US, promoting two inconsistent goals at the same time: democratization and free market capitalism. This is not because the US responds only to corporate interests. Instead, this policy mix stems from America's image of its own success: at the time of its foundation, democratic development was compatible with economic individualism due to extraordinary socio–economic circumstances. However, given the contemporary socio–economic circumstances of new democracies, it would be more appropriate to promote social democracy rather than liberal democracy.

Keywords: corporate interests; democracy promotion; democratization; free market capitalism; individualism; liberal democracy; practice; rhetoric; social democracy; USA

Chapter.  8588 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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