Building Democracy in Quicksand: Altruism, Empire and the United States
Challenge, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 73-93, June 2004
25 Pages Posted: 27 May 2004
The new era of US empire commenced with decisive military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the aftermath of war has proved surprisingly difficult and violent. Explanations of the US's failure to win the peace have largely overlooked the inherent difficulty of planting democracy in so inhospitable a social environment as Iraq's. This paper examines the prospects for US empire, focusing on the problem of nation building, and in particular the role of a well-functioning civil society in making democracy work.
Keywords: Democracy, civil society, nation building, new institutional economics, democratic theory, Iraq, empire, imperialism
JEL Classification: D71, D72, P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation