The Struggle for Democracy

The promotion of democracy is the centerpiece of Bush's foreign policy, but the president has yet to define democracy.

Issue: Spring 2006

President George Bush's promotion of democracy has become the unifying and driving principle of his administration's global foreign policy and the stated objective of the costly and controversial military effort in Iraq. The administration has talked about enfranchising individuals in all corners of the world, admittedly with a growing sense of unease, from Venezuela to Zimbabwe to Palestine.

Enthusiasm for democracy is not limited to the corridors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Many Americans have come to see the spread of democracy around the world as part of their national identity, even though that pursuit has never been the driving force of foreign policy in the past. A zeal for spreading democracy is the emerging zeitgeist of the 21st century, replacing the egalitarian imperative that prevailed in (and convulsed) the later 20th century.

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