International military interventions take place only in extraordinary situations, that can’t be solved without international help. Can countries emerge from civil wars as democracies? The empirical evidence seems indeed to suggest that countries rarely emerge from war as democracies. The study of post-war democratization is a relatively new field, and there is surprisingly little empirical scholarly work devoted to the factors that allow a post-war country to become both stable and democratic. For instance, such study was made for post-war Macedonia and is called “External Democracy Promotion in Post-Conflict Zones: Evidence from Case Studies”ť.
One of the unique cases of international democracy promotion is Kosovo. Since 1999, the democratic system of Kosovo was almost totally imposed by a range of external interveners.
“Kosovo’s postwar democratic structures have been reinvented from scratch and imposed an encompassing reconstruction of nearly all socio-political and administrative spheres.”ť Kosovo’s political system was established in accordance with lines of Western liberal market democracies.
Following the war, “Kosovo’s policy was built in a decentralized manner, with the establishment of municipal parties and assemblies first, and their central counterparts second.”ť Political parties were usually founded along ethnic lines, with few if any multi-ethnic parties or party programs in place.
The international presence in postwar Kosovo largely supported the proper build-up and accreditation of political parties. This included issuance of the electoral code, the conduct and supervision of free and fair elections, control of central election bodies, and the guarantee of active and passive voting rights for all citizens.
Overall, the combination of a successful series of democratic municipal and central elections, the reconstruction of functioning democratic political parties, and Kosovo’s newly established political institutions have formed a postwar political and governmental regime which can be described as a functioning democracy in its basic stage.
However, postwar Kosovo as a de jure and de facto state always has been dependent on foreign aid, regardless of the constant, gradual increase of local decision-making powers since the establishment of the first ministries in 2002.
Kosovo and Afghanistan are certainly different considering geography, history, size and culture. But these states show two important similarities, which has to do with recent changes in international relations, as they both have been a theatre of massive international military intervention described as humanitarian intervention followed by a developmental intervention. This was followed by long-term commitments to sustainable peace, stability, and state-building. In both cases international information interventions was used to promote the democracy goals.
The most painful situation of intervention is demonstrated by Iraq, where the post-war political environment was misjudged by analysts, like David Luban and Jeff McMahan. The President George W. Bush’s indicated arguments for starting the war in Iraq and the major one was to bring democracy to that country. The democracy promotion was considered by the President George W. Bush administration as an useful instrument in the fight with international terrorism.
Successful building of democratic institutions and the superficial provision of public security can’t guarantee a sustainable democratization process from within a postwar society. Another conclusion is that an open-ended mandate and the indefinite postponement of a postwar territory’s political status are prone to failure over the long run because it triggers political resistance, societal unrest and legal uncertainty with regard to property rights and economic investment.
Nowadays, in the 21st century, the United States are concentrated both on democracy promotion and of course, on declining of economic in comparison with rising nations such as BRIC countries and European Union. Besides it, problems like nuclear proliferation and terrorism are also the reasons of substantial concern for the US foreign policy.
“A well known, long-standing and substantial factor of the US policy, this is what democracy promotion presents.”ť And I should emphasize that democracy promotion plays the main and prime role in it now. For example, when George W. Bush administration has tried start the military intervention in Iraq in order to achieve a freedom there and also influence other similar autocratic regimes around the world, it was perceived by the biggest part of the world community as “efforts of fighting terrorism, and also as the way to promote stability.”ť
Nevertheless, democracy promotion is such a disputable matter and it is analyzed closely nowadays. Opposite views on democracy promotion exists and some experts (for instance, Jamie Stern-Weiner) consider it the main US foreign policy priority and but many insist that it is one of the important issues for U.S. strategic objectives, but not the major one.
The democracy promotion was put at the center of its foreign policy by Bush and Obama administrations. However, the state has to be very careful while supporting the countries struggling for democratic countries. We see that this careful policy was used in 2011 during the number of demonstrations and revolutions in African and Middle East countries in 2011.
There are a lot of possibilities to build democracies in a practical and effective way that should be explored, like training, exchanges, and other programs. This patient process is an honest and loyal approach that can influence changes worldwide.