Can Cuba Change?

January 2nd, 2009   Theme: Cuba Libre!

Published in Journal of Democracy, January 2009

Thomas Carothers is vice-president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author or editor of many books on democracy promotion, including most recently Confronting the Weakest Link: Aiding Political Parties in New Democracies (2006).

As the field of international democracy assistance ages and to some extent matures, it is undergoing a process of diversification—in the actors involved, the range of countries where it operates, and the kinds of activities it comprises. Strategic differentiation is an important element of this diversification—democracy-aid providers are moving away from an early tendency to follow a one-size-fits-all strategy toward exploring varied strategies aimed at the increasingly diverse array of political contexts in the world. A defining feature of this process of differentiation is the emergence of two distinct overall approaches to assisting democracy: the political approach and the developmental approach….

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