Democracy Support and Development Aid: The Elusive Synthesis

Issue Date October 2010
Volume 21
Issue 4
Page Numbers 12-26
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Development aid and democracy support have become increasingly interconnected, but cooperation between them is only partial and its future uncertain. Traditional divisions between the two domains narrowed in the 1990s amidst increases in international aid budgets and optimism about dual transitions to democracy and markets. Development agencies increasingly recognize the importance of governance and political context in their work while democracy organizations address the challenge of helping democracy deliver on citizens’ socioeconomic demands. Yet both domains remain wary of integration. Many developmentalists are fearful of politicizing aid while democracy experts worry that democracy goals be subordinated to economic objectives.

About the Author

Thomas Carothers is the Harvey V. Fineberg Chair and director of the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His most recent book is Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization (2019, coedited with Andrew O’Donohue).

View all work by Thomas Carothers