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Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics (6th edn)

Daniele Caramani
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date: 21 July 2024

p. 47625. From democracy promotion to democracy protectionlocked

p. 47625. From democracy promotion to democracy protectionlocked

  • Julia Leininger
  •  and Solveig Richter


This chapter provides an introduction to the study of international democracy promotion, which links two subdisciplines of political science: comparative politics and international relations. For students of comparative politics, understanding and explaining processes of democratization and autocratization requires an analysis of both domestic and international factors, notably the impact of external actors that attempt to support and protect democracy from the outside. The chapter thus introduces the concepts of democracy promotion and protection and discusses the dynamics in the face of global autocratization trends. The main part of the chapter makes students familiar with the motivations, functions, and effects of democracy promotion as well as conflicting objectives that often arise in foreign policy. It continues with a critical reflection on why and how the legitimacy for democracy promotion has been shrinking recently, but ends with new trends that might strengthen it, such as transnational social movements.

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