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The Erosion of Democracy Is Contagious

The United States still is the biggest single influence on democracy worldwide, but it has often become less a promoter of democracy than a danger to it

A leading U.S. role in nurturing democracy worldwide can operate in either or both of two ways.

One is by reaching out, using any of several foreign policy tools, to shape events in a foreign country in a pro-democratic direction.

The American policy context for such efforts has ranged from the human rights agenda of Jimmy Carter to the more militant democracy-spreading objectives of the neoconservatives.

The reaching out can…

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