One Size Does Not Fit All: An Analysis of US and EU Democracy Promotion in the Western Balkans

One Size Does Not Fit All: An Analysis of US and EU Democracy Promotion in the Western Balkans

Murat ÖNSOY , Gürol BABA

Abstract

In the post-Cold War era, with democratic peace theory on the rise, efforts to promote democracy around the world have flourished. Western and Western democratic values-oriented states in particular have acted on the belief that democracy promotion would contribute to world peace. Yet this process is not as utopian as described; it is also highly contingent, with no single prescription for success nor common idea of what the end result should look like. This study elaborates the problematic aspects of democracy promotion by examining the case of US and EU democracy promotion in the Western Balkans. The problems uncovered in this analysis fall into three categories: 1) those stemming from the very nature of democracy promotion as an exercise, 2) those specific to the promoters of democracy and 3) those relating to the particular characteristics or circumstances of the target state or region. Based on the analysis, this study concludes that such problems will continue to arise so long as the promoters of democracy continue to approach the process monolithically, without sensitivity to, and synchronization with, the cultural and political realities on the ground in target states.

Keywords: Demokrasinin Teşviki, Demokratikleşme, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri (ABD), Avrupa Birliği (AB), Batı Balkanlar

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ISSN: 1307-9778 E-ISSN: 1309-5137

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