in: Democratization (2019), 26:5.
In recent years, democracy promotion has been increasingly contested. A growing number of governments and political movements question the liberal model of democracy and many openly defend illiberal and/or authoritarian practices. There is still lack of empirical evidence on how and to what extent global and local contestation of liberal democracy challenges and shapes the contents, practices and results of democracy promotion.
In our Special Issue (Democratization) we have addressed this research gap. By focusing our attention on the communicative interaction between external democracy promoters and local “recipients” (governments and beyond), the study of negotiation processes allows us to analyse when and how democracy (promotion) is contested by local actors, how democracy promoters respond to such challenges, and whether and how the ensuing controversy is resolved.
As theoretical starting point, Annika E. Poppe, Julia Leininger, and Jonas Wolff propose a framework to conceptualise democracy promotion negotiation. Empirical contributions to the Special Issue deal with the negotiation of international democracy assistance in Ethiopia (Jalale Getachew Birru/Jonas Wolff), EU democracy promotion in North Africa (Vera van Hüllen), negotiation of democracy promotion‘s normative premises in Venezuela (Andrea Ribeiro Hoffmann), and the negotiation of democratic knowledge in the Middle East North African context (Jeff Bridoux).
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