Democracy in the United States: basic information

The democratic republic (or in other words, representative democracy) is the kind of democracy in the modern United States. The government power is divided between three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. In this way the absolute crucial power doesn’t belong to any of these branches. Thus, the well balanced but not perfect government system is created in order to protect the elements of democracy.

One of the major forces of the United States modern policy is promoting democracy. It should be mentioned, that there are two criteria for measurement of US foreign strategies’ success:
1. Whether a certain administration’s foreign policy has made lives of US citizens safer?
2. Whether a certain administration’s foreign policy helps to have a better way of living both for US population and the population of other regions.

Problem of democracy’s establishment

Simple establishment of a democracy is not going to solve all of a nation’s problems. The process of democratization is rarely smooth and straightforward. And even in the established democracies, there are competing and conflicting interests. There are degrees of democracy, “because democracy is more than elections and democracy’s contribution to economic development comes through its creation of structures of shared power.” Putting checks on the power of the chief executive, separating the party from state decision-making, establishing a merit-based civil service, fostering an independent private sector, facilitating the free flow of ideas, and creating expectations that a country’s leadership will obey the rule of law – all of these are hallmarks of a democratic political structure that gives the prospects for social and economic development.

Democracies at every income level that have established stronger mechanisms of checks and balances grow more rapidly than those that have not. To address the shortcomings of economically struggling democracies, therefore, requires broadening these structures of shared power.

The United States foreign policy in the 20th and 21st centuries
In my opinion, democracy has been a central part of the US foreign strategy from the beginning of 20th century.
“Starting with World War I governments have fought for making the world a safer place and have been interested in promoting democracy around the world.”

Two wars that took place in 20th century helped to increase international reputation the United States among the other countries. After a period of an isolationist foreign policy (1932 -1938), a national policy was accepted that called the “Arsenal of Democracy”. Later, the influence of America has become dominant force in the global politics and the world watched the Cold War competition; this period of the US foreign policy has been characterized by ideological struggle. Stability was during two decades after the Second World War a key concept for state-building in war-torn states as well as in former colonial areas. Stability was considered a precondition for development and state-building, a starting-point on the road to prosperity and democracy.
The United States after the Cold War presents an ideal case for studying the use of democracy promotion as an instrument of foreign policy. Building on a long historical-ideational tradition, policy-makers developed a grand strategy that sought to harness the global spread of democratization in support of US strategic goals. Successive administrations have seen democratization as an important link in a chain of mutually reinforcing ideas about national interest, political order and international relations. Liberal internationalism shaped American grand strategy after World War II and throughout the Cold War, with democratization abroad among the national interests pursued.

In the 1990s, US policy-makers more than ever saw the spread of democracy as a win-win development ”“ something normatively pleasing and producing tangible benefits for the United States. President Bill Clinton did not just go further than his predecessors in seeking to promote democratization; he also went further in explicitly doing this to promote fundamental US goals, as laid out in the strategy of democratic enlargement. In the 1992 election campaign, Clinton vowed to make democracy a central part of his foreign policy. The highest priority during the Clinton presidency was given to a core of America’s European and Asian democratic allies, followed by the new democracies in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Asia. Then would come the Americas and, across all regions, countries that could act as democratizing ”˜beachheads’ by virtue of their regional influence. The next level consisted of non-democracies with the potential to act as ”˜backlash’ states.

The democracy promotion was perceived by governments of Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr., and the most recent Obama as an important and one of the most crucial elements of foreign policy strategies.
Many countries have received the democracy assistance from The United States administrations. In these different situations, the circumstances, the range of democracy promotion activities and programs, and the degree of success of course vary. For example, among the democracy promotion activities such as civil society groups funding or developing legal institutions or even assistance in election process could be named (it concerns the countries of Central and Eastern Europe primarily, such as Romania, Poland, Ukraine, etc.)

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