Democracy support pays off in the end, at least from the perspective of USAID, even in Egypt

A pretty comprehensive quantitative study of the effectiveness of democracy support  (Finkel  et  al 2007& 2008) found that, when controlling for a wide variety of other factors, higher levels of assistance to democratisation  are,  on  average,  associated  with movement  to  higher  levels of  democracy.  These  results  provide the  clearest  evidence  to  date  that democracy assistance contributes toward achieving its desired goals.

But it also bemoans that some countries receiving very substantial US democratisation funding such as “Egypt and post-Soviet Russia” have shown disappointing progress. That was 2008.

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