What Can Be Done to Make the External Lever More Effective?

The external lever does not provide unique outcomes, but it is a crucial vehicle for internal democratization. What can be done to make it more effective?

Explicit commitment of IOs for democratic consolidation.

The explicit commitment for democratization by IOs can generate important internal implications. Pro-democratic political factions can find in IOs support and legitimacy that strengthens their internal bargaining power. The influence exerted by IOs has been more fruitful than the unilateral and coercive attempts of the 2000s to export democracy. Such attempts have, so far, failed to obtain a satisfactory transition in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Of course, some IOs have been more credible than others. As democratic ambassadors, the EU has been credible and effective, the OAS less credible, and the League of Arab States not credible at all. But a changing attitude is also noticeable. For example, the UN, an organization that was created on the premise of non-interference in internal matters, has been much more active in democratic promotion. Two former Secretary-Generals, Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan, have explicitly committed the UN to foster regime change (Boutros-Ghali 1996; Annan 2002). The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), in spite of its very limited budget, especially in comparison to the military resources devoted to wars for and on behalf of democracy, indicates a commitment to work with countries towards democratic transition and consolidation.

 
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