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The National Endowment for Democracy and the export of “made -in -America” democracy

Colin Shawn Cavell, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The promise of democracy, as an Enlightenment ideal, has been to specifically transcend the dichotomy of ruler and ruled by establishing self-rule of the people themselves as the normative basis of governance in the modern world. Reproduction of societies and the socioeconomic form this takes along with associated ideological constructs which legitimize such formations, however, have produced various understandings of just exactly what is meant by democracy as well pitting one conception against another. The Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union (1945–1991) brought the question of democracy to the forefront of modern political debate, and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet model on December 25, 1991 has motivated the U.S. to place its own capitalist democracy forward as a model to be exported abroad through agencies like the National Endowment for Democracy and emulated throughout the world. The present study examines this democracy-promotion project of the U.S. through the NED, exploring the various contradictory tensions which this form of democracy produces in the context of an increasingly capitalist globalization of the world that has accelerated in the post-Cold War period and into the 21st century.

Subject Area

International law|International relations|Political science|Labor economics

Recommended Citation

Cavell, Colin Shawn, "The National Endowment for Democracy and the export of “made -in -America” democracy" (2001). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3000299.