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WEIGHING THE BURDEN OF SECURITY: US DEMOCRACY ASSISTANCE IN THE POST-SOVIET SPACE

Povilas Žielys
Keywords: Democracy protection policy, national security interests, US foreign policy, Russia, post-Soviet space ,

Abstract

Academic discussions on US democracy assistance reveal an underlying tension between commitment to democratic process and interest in desired political outcomes. This paper examines the case of Yeltsin‟s Russia in order to identify deficiencies of US democracy protection policy which is vulnerable to the impact of US short- and medium-term security interests. Both diplomatic and programmatic levels of US democracy protection policy are considered. As a result, an analytical model of „security-burdened‟ democracy protection policy is developed. This paper argues that the model of „security-burdened‟ democracy protection policy could be helpful in analyzing other cases of US democracy assistance efforts in the post-Soviet space, such as the cases of Saakashvili‟s Georgia and Yushchenko‟s Ukraine.