Date of Award
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Democracy, Democratization, Russia, U.S. foreign policy
States are path dependent entities that deviate solely in the face of catastrophic failures in the pursuit of axiomatic ends by conventional means. The inertia of bureaucratic institutions, a foreign policy consensus within a self-reproducing elite of experts, the self-interest of political elites and a sense of “national self” or identity lead states to understand themselves in light of a history and a relative level of status on the world stage. Since the end World War II, the U.S. has a certain path that places the spread of democracy and laissez-faire capitalism extremely important if not vital foreign policy goals. In the case of the transition from the Soviet Union to Russia through the 1990s, movement toward laissez-faire capitalism and democratization were conflated and the U.S.’s democratization programs in Russia from 1989 to 2004 were predominantly focused on the expansion of neo-liberal capitalism to the former socialist republics. These programs were shaped by and in line with a rendition of modernization theory proposed by Francis Fukuyama and scholars sharing his ideologically shaped views. This theory assumed that positive outcomes like democracy and market reform were related, interconnected, and self-reinforcing. This is incompatible with the theory of democratization I’ve built, based on the works of Norm Eisen, Larry Diamond, and Seymour Lipset. Moving forward this ideological position must be abandoned to implement efficacious democratization programs. However, given the role capitalist values, corporate interests trade play in the U.S.’s political path I struggle to see that change being made.
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Hughes, Franklin T., "U.S. Democratization in Post-Cold War Russia: A Critique" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1783.
Received from ProQuest
Franklin T. Hughes
American Politics Commons, International Relations Commons, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies Commons