Over the last two decades, scholars have devoted increasing attention to understanding how democracy aid may promote democratization and evaluating the impact of such aid. Despite a growing critical scholarship on such aid, relatively less attention has been paid to understanding how democracy aid actually works in practice. The politics embedded in the enterprise have often been absent from such work and are, frankly, difficult to capture without significant field research and engagement with both the donors and recipients of democracy aid. Manal A. Jamal’s book Promoting Democracy is thus an important and timely contribution.
Jamal asks why Western democracy promotion efforts seem more successful in some contexts than in others. The puzzle motivating her study is the divergent outcomes in two cases of conflict-to-peace transitions in the Palestinian territories and in El Salvador. Prior to the Oslo Accords and the Salvadoran peace accords, the activity and reach of mass-based organizations in Palestine and El Salvador suggested the basis for what could be an effective civil society. An influx of Western donor aid to both followed after the accords. Salvadoran civil society ultimately thrived, while that in Palestine became demobilized and polarized over time.
To continue reading, see options above.
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION AND DEMOCRACY
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.