ABSTRACT

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the bipolar world system, virtually all western governments have incorporated the goal of promoting democracy into their policies toward developing countries. Multilateral institutions such as the United Nations (UN) and the Euorpean Union (EU) also began to support democratization and established new policy units to support it in developing and post-Communist countries. New policy instruments have been designed and country studies analyzing the state of democracy are regularly commissioned for international and governmental bodies across Europe. New research institutes have emerged dedicated to the promotion of democracy and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) aimed at furthering democracy are mushrooming; existing NGOs add the issue to their mission. At first glance, then, idealists might think that we have entered a new area in which the international community is united in pursuing lofty and shared goals, all of them contributing to the welfare of people in the so-called ‘Third World’.