Democracy promotion — the virtues of modesty

Too often reformers treat progress toward democracy as if it were all or nothing. Here’s a plea for the messy approach. I participated in forging the good governance consensus. But I’m now convinced it is wrong. I’ve come to realize that it completely underestimates how much time and commitment are needed to transform a country’s institutions. As I argue in Working with the Grain, we need to shift our attention away from trying to achieve everything at once and focus instead on gains that can initially seem quite modest — but which, if pursued persistently, can sometimes trigger a cascading sequence of changes for the better……..

For my full post, which appeared on foreignpolicy.com on September 25, click here

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