Democracy and Foreign Policy: A Retrospective


Canada Among Nations 1995: Democracy and Foreign Policy was written at a moment of optimism about the global spread of democracy. Editors Maureen Appel Molot and Maxwell A. Cameron asked whether the imperative to strengthen democracy globally might encourage nations to reinforce their democratic institutions at home, building public support for democracy through the recognition of its critical importance to international peace, and thus using foreign policy not just as an instrument for advancing national interests but also as an expression of democratic values. Nearly three decades later, optimism has been replaced by pessimism about democratic backsliding, the spread of hybrid regimes, and the reassertion of authoritarianism. In this retrospective chapter, Cameron argues that the end of the Cold War not only failed to produce a more harmonious world based on a comity of liberal democracies; it failed to do so precisely because of an over-confidence in the inexorable advance of liberal democracy despite the highly uneven effects of market-led globalization. In addition, emerging global issues like climate change, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and the management of pandemics have intersected with globalization in ways that challenge liberal democracies to address human needs beyond the immediate interests of voters and politicians within the confines of the nation state.

Read the complete chapter here: Cameron Democracy and Foreign Policy Retrospective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Spam prevention powered by Akismet