Exportable Democracy: The Failed American Mission William Vazquez POLL 1 15: Introduction to International Politics DAD Dry. Chris Roast April 25, 2013 Over the past several years, the United States has adopted a neoconservative stance in trying to export democracy worldwide. To be clear, neoconservatives wish to combine the spreading of democracy with the use of force. This practice has become somewhat of an American tradition in recent years. In trying to export democracy, the U. S. Used an exportable definition of democracy.
However, the idea of an exportable definition of democracy is not exactly a recent concept. Robert Dahl actually developed the notion of a procedural minimum as a fixed set of essential features for large-scale democracy back in 1982. Dahlia’s procedural minimum consisted of elected officials, free and fair elections, suffrage, the right to run for the office, freedom of expression, access to alternative sources of information, associational autonomy, and inclusive citizenship. L Basically, the idea behind exporting democracy on a global scale culminates in a universal definition of mockery.
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Most countries that are considered to have successful democracies follow Dahlia’s procedural minimum, employing all of its institutions. However, the problem here is that democracy is too ambiguous a term to apply to merely one, unique set of rules and institutions. It is because of this that democracy cannot be successfully exported on a large scale. First and for most, democracy is not a one- cannot be implanted into the wrong type of government and get lasting positive results.
According to John Stuart Mill, representative government “is the ideal type of perfect government,” but it is not applicable under all social conditions. In particular, it is ill suited to “barbarous” or “backward” peoples, who are likely to need some form of monarchical or (preferably) external rule to bring them toward the state of civilization in which they might become fit for representative government. 2 As Rousseau famously quipped, “Freedom is not a fruit of every climate, and it is not therefore within the capacity of every people. 3 Moreover, not all political cultures prefer democracy. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson believed that in order or democracy to work and last, citizens had to feel a moral compulsion to do what was right for a democracy. However, some nations have political cultures with values that directly oppose democratic values. In Russia, for example, the predominant view is supportive of a strong ruler. The reason for this, according to Timothy Colon and Michael McCall, is that Russians separate economic prosperity and democracy.
They think that authoritarianism is more economically viable than democracy. 4 Furthermore, some people in other nations do not even know what democracy is. Henry Hale of George Washington University further substantiates this claim, recording that 30% of Russians either cannot articulate what they think democracy is or even refuse to try; only 5% of Russians relate democracy to elections, only 3% relate democracy to equality, and only 2% relate democracy to fairness; more Russians equate democracy with poverty, disorder, and problems than with fairness and equality. Another terrific example of all of this is the documentary, Please Vote for Me. In this film, a third grade class in China is introduced to democracy for the iris time by having an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year-olds competed against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by their teacher and their parents. However, the competitors did not really understand the essential features of democracy and as a result, they started displaying authoritarian traits in their campaigns.
The parents of those competitors were in the same boat as their children and consequently, they encouraged their children to practice dirty politics in order to win. Now, the teacher was also new to the idea of democracy and therefore id not really know how to facilitate a fair election and as a result of that, the entire election became illegitimate and the attempt at exercising a successful democratic component had ultimately failed. 6 The impact here is that an exportable definition of democracy is an oxymoron, and trying to export democracy under the current American model simply does not work.
Democracy grows gradually from within, by stages, and cannot be imposed from outside a nation. Therefore, putting Demagnification at the center of American foreign policy is counterproductive. This s true because it turns against America millions of the very people it needs to win over. So, instead of exporting democracy, the United States should export security and stability because most nations would gladly support an American foreign policy in which basic security heads the agenda.
Realists insist that stability is the precondition to democracy; neoconservatives insist that democracy is the precondition for stability. However, basic security is the precondition for both. In summation, using a universal definition of democracy in order to export democracy e applicable to everybody worldwide; the world is Just too big, and people are Just too different. It may work for the democracies in existence right now, but it ultimately fails to anticipate the democracies of tomorrow.