Dr. McCormick writes, "using U.S., Guatemalan, and Chilean records, I argue that the NED and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) democracy promotion programs were not simply a cynical extension of the Reagan administration’s national security policies, or the harbingers of a wave of democracy that their supporters claimed. Instead, democracy promotion emerged in the 1980s at a crossroads between these two poles. On the one hand, U.S. money and expertise constructively supported the practical aims of local civil society groups in achieving transitions to civilian rule. On the other, the success of those transitions reinforced a growing ideological consensus in U.S. foreign policy institutions that the spread of free elections and free markets was universal and worthy of U.S. support, regardless of the costs, limits, and tradeoffs."
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