Book – Taming of Democracy Assistance

The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators, Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Summary: Few government programs that aid democracy abroad today seek to foster regime change. Technical programs that do not confront dictators are more common than the aid to dissidents and political parties that once dominated the field. What explains this ‘taming’ of democracy assistance? This book offers the first analysis of that puzzle. In contrast to previous research on democracy aid, it focuses on the survival instincts of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that design and implement democracy assistance. To survive, Sarah Bush argues that NGOs seek out tamer types of aid, especially as they become more professional. Diverse evidence – including three decades of new project-level data, case studies of democracy assistance in Jordan and Tunisia, and primary documents gathered from NGO archives – supports the argument. This book provides new understanding of foreign influence and moral actors in world politics, with policy implications for democracy in the Middle East.

For more: The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can read the introduction here. Click here to read a roundtable about the book published by H-Diplo. You may also be interested in pieces that I’ve written that draw on the book’s research for the,, the Conversation, and Political Violence @ a Glance.

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