The Foreign Service Journal, May 2018

78 MAY 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL ing momentum and euphoria of the 1990s and early 2000s has been lost, at least in the short term. Their essays, presented in 10 chapters, summarize the results of a decade of research and policy dialogue orga- nized by the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Project on Democratic Transitions. The authors delve into avail- able knowledge and new research on democratization efforts, whether authoritarian regimes can successfully impede democratization, what role external actors can play, how to stream- line and improve existing mechanisms of U.S. democracy assistance, and how to balance the need to reform and restore democracy. In the first chapter Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy, addresses democracy’s global situation and proposes policies to respond to the challenges ahead. He suggests that the best way to rebuild strong international democratic convic- tion is to connect American citizens with people on the front lines of demo- cratic struggles around the world. Nikolas Gvosdev then advocates the American realist position, acknowledg- ing that while the growth of democracy abroad may enhance the U.S. strategic position in the long term, there are too many compelling interests—including stability and security—that must take priority in the short term. Richard Kraemer advocates a differ- ent view, framing democracy assistance in terms of political will rather than financial services and encouraging donors to learn from past democratic transitions. Sarah Bush encourages the United States to follow the “three Ds” of democracy assistance effec- tiveness: donor priorities, delivery mechanisms and design. The first portion of the book ends with a chapter by Melinda Haring, arguing for greater transparency, monitor- ing and competition when allo- cating resources for democracy assistance. In the second part of the book, Tsveta Petrova discusses U.S. democ- racy promotion in Eastern Europe. Michal Koran offers a more pessi- mistic view in his essay, arguing that democratic societies are becoming increasingly disenchanted by politics in general. Larry Diamond describes what he characterizes as a “global democratic recession.” Factors such as the promi- nence of societal cleavages, erosion of civic engagement and lack of account- ability in governance, he argues, are contributing to the problem. Agnieszka Marczyk explores new patterns, such as how elections can be used to strengthen authoritarian regimes. In the final chapter, retired FSOs and former ambassadors Adrian Basora and Kenneth Yalowitz review the long U.S. foreign policy experience with democracy promotion and offer five general policy conclusions and recommendations. In an era of doubts about the legiti- macy of democracy, this book is a major addition to the literature and a valuable resource for policymakers. n Brittany Foutz is a Ph.D. student in inter- national conflict management at Kennesaw State University. She received an M.A. in conflict analysis and dispute resolution from Salisbury University.