USAID's Democratic Pluralism Initiative: Pragmatism or Altruism? [Abstract]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 5 (1991)

December 2, 1991

This program is evaluated in order to analyze the ethical and practical issues likely to influence its success. Among those critical issues discussed are the U.S.'s definition of "democracy," the relationship between culture and democracy, and the ability, or desirability, of the United States to export its own form of government as historical and cultural goals. Substantial attention is given to the ethical dimension of whether the United States is, or should be, concerned with democracy as a generic form of political organization or be more committed to the expansion of American influence irrespective of a country's political or ideological character. Noting that foreign aid is pragmatic rather than altruistic in origin, the essay questions the likely effectiveness of the Democratic Pluralism Initiative.


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