Democracy promotion, national security and strategy during the Reagan administration: 1981-1986

Pee, Robert Edward (2013). Democracy promotion, national security and strategy during the Reagan administration: 1981-1986. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study examines the relationship of democracy promotion to national security in US strategy through an examination of the influence of geopolitical, bureaucratic and organisational considerations on the effort to create a coherent strategic approach fusing democracy promotion and national security under the Reagan administration.
This process highlighted geopolitical and organisational tensions between democracy promotion and US national security. Groups within the administration, Congress and the private sphere disagreed over whether US geopolitical interests required the limited deployment of democracy promotion against Soviet Communism or a more expansive effort aimed at both Communist and pro-US dictatorships. These debates were linked to clashes over the credibility and effectiveness of competing state-centred or privately-implemented organisational frameworks.
The organisational resolution was the National Endowment for Democracy, which intervened on a tactical basis in dictatorships, with US assistance, to safeguard US national security by supporting pro-US democratic groups. However the concept of privately-implemented democracy promotion blocked agreement on geopolitical objectives and the creation of a coherent strategy reconciling democracy promotion and US national security. Tensions between these two imperatives continue to recur and can be resolved only on a case-by-case basis rather than at the strategic level.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations


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