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Supporting Democracy in the Former Soviet Union: Why the Impact of US Assistance Has Been Below Expectations

Authors


  • Author’s note: I wish to thank Mark Peceny, Kathy Powers, James Timberlake, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions.

Abstract

Bosin, Yury V. (2012) Supporting Democracy in the Former Soviet Union: Why the Impact of US Assistance Has Been Below Expectations. International Studies Quarterly, doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2011.00713.x
© 2012 International Studies Association

Recent studies find that US democracy assistance has helped build new democratic regimes across the globe. Nearly two decades of democracy assistance in the former Soviet Union (FSU), however, appear to have had a negligible impact on democracy in the region. This research uses a time-series cross-sectional statistical analysis to establish that US democracy assistance efforts in the FSU have failed to enhance democracy in the region. The incentives that FSU leaders had to misrepresent their commitment to democracy and the United States’ understandable misperception of these leaders’ actions help to explain this failure.

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