Sponsoring Democracy: The United States and Democracy Aid to the Developing World, 1988-2001

James M. Scott, Carie A. Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


As democratization has advanced in the developing world, developed countries such as the United States have implemented explicit strategies of democracy promotion by providing assistance to governments, political parties, and other non-governmental groups and organizations through a variety of channels. This analysis examines the relationship between democracy support by the US Agency for International Development and democratization in the developing world between 1988 and 2001. In a model that examines the simultaneous processes linking democratization and democracy aid, we argue that carefully targeted democracy assistance has greater impact on democratization than more generic economic aid packages. We test the relationship in a simultaneous equation model, supplemented by several time-series cross-sectional regressions. Our data reveal a positive relationship between specific democracy aid packages and progress toward democracy. We conclude by weighing the implications of these findings for democratization and democracy promotion policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-69
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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