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M. Spence’s article Policy Coherence and Incoherence: the Domestic Politics of American Democracy Promotion

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Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

Genevive Hill th February 7 2009 POLI 243Notes on M Spences article Policy Coherence and Incoherence the Domestic Politics of American Democracy PromotionIntroductionseeks to define what American democracy promotion entails as this proves to be a very elusive task because of the many departments and independent agencies of the governmentmany agencies Pentagon Treasury promote democratic change abroad cannot assume that the American government is acting as a single rational and unitary actor and therefore we cannot assume that they are implementing a single internally coherent democracy promotion policy these different policies interact in many different ways because several bureaucratic actors within the US government promote democracy using different methods and resources the paper argues that you cannot understand the effects of American democracy promotion abroad without first understanding and examining the bureaucratic context from which the policies emerged at home the paper focuses on the Americans efforts since 1990s and their efforts in the former USSR to create states that would no longer threaten the United States the paper also describes the uncertainty about democracy promotion which lead to bureaucratic confusion and the three main goals of democracy promotion being1 defeat the old regime 2hold elections on time 3 undertake economic reform firstThe uncertainty of how to promote democracyin the 1990s there was much confusion over how democratization occurs and how to measure democratic change and what the US could do about the situationdemocracy promoters in the 1990s lacked a universal language but it was believed that democracy free markets and security were mutually reinforcing but little historical evidence was there to prove this Exporting America the unifying principles of US democracy promotiondespite uncertainty over democracy promotion some arms of the government shared several core beliefs 1 defeat old regime and support reformers 2 hold elections on time 3 rapid market reformDefeat the old regime the red menacepolicy makers acted as if hardest work was over with the fall of the USSR and that democracy would naturally followconsequence of anticommunism meant that reform meant supporting the reformers however there was no real existing definition of what a reformer wasDemocracy equals elections elections were the starting point to democracy that everyone could agree on
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