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Democracy, American Style: US Foreign Policy, Democratization, and Women's Political Integration in Transitional States

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Abstract:

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, US policy makers exerted great energy and political capital celebrating the virtues of civil society and democratization. Policies were crafted around particularly American notions of liberal democratic society, emphasizing individual rights, political participation, economic liberalization, and the rule of law. Policy makers were willing to fund a broad range of programs, implemented by a wide variety of American NGOs that would inculcate these values in the people of newly liberated states. Fifteen years on, however, many of these programs have failed to provide results consistent with these American ideals. The underlying question of this study, then, asks if the hegemony of the American democratic discourse actually impedes democratic transitions by failing to address individual security as a crucial component of democratic transitions. The study utilizes a feminist constructivist approach to address a gap in the IR and foreign policy literatures, namely, the consequences of American domination in the discourse of international democratic enlargement and the importance of individual security within this larger context. This paper examines US-sponsored political integration programs in three states in democratic transition, Estonia, Moldova, and Belarus. I explore efforts to draw women into civil society through programs centered on women's political participation, but hypothesize that these efforts may be based upon notions of democratization and gender identity that do not adequately address the realities of women's lives and the reality of local needs, thus impeding democratization efforts. Using discourse and content analysis of official US policy statements, I examine the original intent of US democratization policies towards the three states. Interviews and surveys are then used to analyze the effectiveness of American values and assumptions upon the implementation of these policies by American sponsored NGOs.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

women (205), us (133), state (111), polici (101), gender (94), democrat (83), issu (79), polit (74), intern (68), secur (65), ident (61), equal (57), estonia (56), societi (55), nordic (54), fund (52), baltic (48), democraci (47), american (46), estonian (45), social (44),

Author's Keywords:

democratization, feminist IR, US foreign policy, Estonia
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Horn, Denise. "Democracy, American Style: US Foreign Policy, Democratization, and Women's Political Integration in Transitional States" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Mar 17, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p73723_index.html>

APA Citation:

Horn, D. M. , 2004-03-17 "Democracy, American Style: US Foreign Policy, Democratization, and Women's Political Integration in Transitional States" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p73723_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, US policy makers exerted great energy and political capital celebrating the virtues of civil society and democratization. Policies were crafted around particularly American notions of liberal democratic society, emphasizing individual rights, political participation, economic liberalization, and the rule of law. Policy makers were willing to fund a broad range of programs, implemented by a wide variety of American NGOs that would inculcate these values in the people of newly liberated states. Fifteen years on, however, many of these programs have failed to provide results consistent with these American ideals. The underlying question of this study, then, asks if the hegemony of the American democratic discourse actually impedes democratic transitions by failing to address individual security as a crucial component of democratic transitions. The study utilizes a feminist constructivist approach to address a gap in the IR and foreign policy literatures, namely, the consequences of American domination in the discourse of international democratic enlargement and the importance of individual security within this larger context. This paper examines US-sponsored political integration programs in three states in democratic transition, Estonia, Moldova, and Belarus. I explore efforts to draw women into civil society through programs centered on women's political participation, but hypothesize that these efforts may be based upon notions of democratization and gender identity that do not adequately address the realities of women's lives and the reality of local needs, thus impeding democratization efforts. Using discourse and content analysis of official US policy statements, I examine the original intent of US democratization policies towards the three states. Interviews and surveys are then used to analyze the effectiveness of American values and assumptions upon the implementation of these policies by American sponsored NGOs.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 39
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Democracy American Style: US Foreign Policy Democratization and Women’s Political Integration in Transitional States Denise M. Horn Center for Global Security and Democracy Department of Political Science Rutgers University 89 George Street New Brunswick NJ 08901 dmhorn@rci.rutgers.edu Paper presented for the panel “Gender US Hegemony and Interstate Conflict” at the International Studies Association Annual Convention Montreal March 17-21 2004. Early Draft: Please do not cite without the author’s permission. Comments welcomed. D.M. Horn 1 Introduction In February 2003 the
and the Politics of Transition in Central and Eastern Europe ” in Democratic Reform and the Position of Women in Transitional Economies ed Valentine M. Moghadam. Oxford UK: Clarendon Press. Zalewski Marysia and Cynthia Enloe. 1995. “Questions About Identity in International Relations ” in International Relations Theory Today K. Booth and S. Smith eds. Cambridge: Polity Press. Zalewski Marysia and Jane Parpart eds. 1998. The “Man” Question in International Relations. Boulder CO: Westview Press. D.M. Horn 38 Zoellé Diana


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