from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Trump Still Casts a Shadow Over Biden’s Pro-Democracy Ambitions

Capitol police secure the area ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2021.
Capitol police secure the area ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The rationale behind Biden’s democracy summit is not idealistic but deeply realistic. It reflects a conviction that a world order based on a core of resilient democracies is likely to be a safer, more open, and more prosperous one.

Originally published at World Politics Review

February 16, 2021 12:33 pm (EST)

Capitol police secure the area ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2021.
Capitol police secure the area ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
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In my weekly column for World Politics ReviewI write about the ethos that should infuse Biden’s plans for his democracy summit and how the missing ingredient is not foreign but domestic.

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump presents a dilemma for Joe Biden, who wants to make democracy promotion a central plank of his foreign policy. How can the United States claim to embody, much less promote, democratic values when one of its two major political parties is gripped by an emergent, homegrown fascism? Unless and until the Republican Party or its successor unequivocally repudiates the authoritarian cult of Trumpism and the conspiratorial mindset that fuels it, the United States will remain a house divided, lacking credibility to advance the cause of democracy and the institutions of free societies abroad.

More on:

Democracy

Joe Biden

Global Governance

Donald Trump

Future of Democracy

What a difference three decades makes. When the Cold War suddenly ended, leaving liberalism unchallenged, many Western intellectuals and policymakers heralded the “end of history” and ideological conflict itself. The Clinton administration’s National Security Strategy, in 1994, defined the country’s chief international goal as facilitating the expansion of the world’s community of market democracies, a trend many considered inexorable. America’s hubris reached its apogee a decade later, in the “freedom agenda” of George W. Bush. In the wake of the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq, his administration’s second National Security Strategy, in 2006, elevated democracy promotion to the chief goal of U.S. foreign policy, even if it was by force. The United States would defend worldwide what Bush called “the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity.”

Read the full World Politics Review article here. 

More on:

Democracy

Joe Biden

Global Governance

Donald Trump

Future of Democracy

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