Promoting Democracy in the Post-Soviet Region

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This work examines the differences between the two main laws that fund democratization activities in the post-Soviet regions. Analysis of the program funded by the Freedom Support Act reveals the extent to which the State Department relies n private organizations to implement democratization programs, and suggests that democratization programs provide financial benefits primarily to American organizations. Then, with a combined issue network/statist argument, this study explains that an issue network, organized by the State Department to give the foreign policy community an active mission in the post-cold war environment, was the impetus behind the creation of programs like Community Connections. Because Community Connections have never faced financial or political scandal, and taps into an American priority of spreading democracy and capitalism, evaluation of CC was irrelevant to program expansion and continuation.


"Reveron studies the US State Department's program called Community Connections. The breakup of the USSR created an unprecedented window of opportunity for the US to promote democracy across the post-Soviet republics. Community Connections projects have been a milestone on the road to achieve this objective. Reveron discusses the legislative basis for the Washington democratization policy as well as the connection between the American assistance and the US Congress's positive attitude toward a people-to-people assistance project similar to Community Connections. The author also analyzes a people-to-people democratization program, including how it was put to work. Evidently, this approach proved to be successful. Otherwise, one cannot explain the fact that it had grown dramatically from $1 million annual program for Russia in 1993 to a $14 million program for eight former Soviet republics in 2001. Reveron points out that in just seven years the funding increased fifteen-fold. According to Reveron, by the year 2000, almost 1,800 entrepreneurs, educators, and NGO officials visited the US. It should be also mentioned that the author used a 144-question survey of the American organizations that receive Community Connections grants to explain the program. Summing Up: Recommended. Researchers, faculty, and professionals." - CHOICE

"The theoretical import of Reveron's research is its description and analysis of a type of government program that has not appeared in the social science literature. . . . Reveron's research opens up the question: are there many other programs like this [Community Connections] in the federal government, for instance, some connected to the Defense Department or to the Agricultural Department? Such programs would be initiated by federal bureaucratic organizations, would be quite small in expenditure, and would receive hardly any notice from Congress, which would never review them. If scores of such programs were to exist, this would change the views of political scientists and other scholars about the workings of the executive branch in relation to the legislative branch, and about the policymaking process." - Andrew McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Introductions
1. The Research Problem: Overlooked Aspects of the Policy Process
2. Foreign Policy and the Democracy Promotion
3. Community Connections
4. Implementation: Community Connections in Action
5. An Assessment of Policy Evaluation
6. Policy Continuation: Keeping Everyone Happy
7. Democracy: A New Institutional Mission
8. Conclusion
Bibliography; Index

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