How Western donor assistance can both help and undermine democracy in different parts of the world
Democracy promotion is a central pillar of the foreign policy of many states, but the results are often disappointing. In Promoting Democracy, Manal A. Jamal examines why these efforts succeed in some countries, but fail in others. A former journalist and researcher in the Palestinian territories, she offers an up-close perspective of the ways in which Western donor funding has, on one hand, undermined political participation in cases such as the Palestinian territories, and, on the other hand, succeeded in bolstering political engagement in cases such as El Salvador.
Based on five fieldwork trips and over 150 interviews with grassroots activists, political leaders, and directors and program officers in donor agencies and NGOs, Jamal brings into focus an often-overlooked perspective: the experiences of those directly affected by this assistance. Promoting Democracy makes an important and timely argument about how political settlements ultimately shape democracy promotion efforts, and what political choices Western state sponsored donors can make to maximize successful outcomes in different contexts across the world.
Manal A. Jamal
"This sophisticated, penetrating, and innovative analysis draws on extensive field research and a firm command of the available literature. It represents a significant contribution to our understanding of why democracy aid succeeds or fails and the often fraught relationship between peacebuilding and democracy support." -- Thomas Carothers,author of Development Aid Confronts Politics: The Almost Revolution "This book is superb in its quality, thoroughness, and clarity. Manal A. Jamal systematically sustains an argument in a fascinating study that is unusual for its insightful comparison of two 'post-war' examples of democracy promotion, with careful and textured attention to evidence, historical context, and conditions" -- Frances Hasso, author of Consuming Desires: Family Crisis and the State in the Middle East "Flawless, detailed, and extremely well documented. This will become an instant classic in the list of critical studies on NGOs or civil society, and for political scientists in search of innovative South-South comparative studies." -- Benoit Challand, co-editor of The Struggle for Influence in the Middle East: The Arab Uprisings and Foreign Assistance "Jamal combines mastery of the theoretical literature and political history with extensive field work, including over 150 in-depth interviews with grassroots activists, political leaders, and officials from donor agencies and NGOs." * Choice *