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Working Papers

Working paper n1.
US Democracy Promotion Bush to Obama

Throughout the twenty-first century the United States (U.S.) has attempted to balance its traditional national security interests, whilst also seeking to promote the long-term transformation of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) towards democracy based on liberal values. With the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks providing a catalyst for policy change, the U.S. has moved away from its twentieth-century policy of pursuing a regional status quo and instinctively balking at political change. Yet, the U.S. has not abandoned its reliance on autocratic regimes that cooperate on more immediate national security interests such as counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, and the free-flow energy sources into the global market. Rather, U.S. democracy promotion in the MENA has become incremental by design and is characterized by its gradualist and often-collaborative nature. U.S. foreign policy in the MENA is, therefore, depicted by a cautious evolutionary stance rather than supporting revolutionary shifts in power.

By Emiliano Alessandri, Oz Hassan, Ted Reinerti April 2015