30 May 2008

Is the League of Democracies a Bad Idea? How Europe should respond

Richard Youngs / Michael Emerson

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The idea of an official organisation of democratic states wishing to promote democracy worldwide has surfaced periodically in recent years. In 2000 the Community of Democracies was inaugurated and survives as a body committed to supporting democratic change. Now the notion is gaining further currency. US Presidential candidate John McCain has advocated a League of Democracies. And analyst Robert Kagan, an advisor to McCain, has recently made a contribution on the subject. This paper by CEPS Senior Fellow Michael Emerson and Associate Senior Fellow Richard Youngs argues against a new organisation, but does advocate a serious concertation among relevant existing international organisations and seriously interested national governments to move pro-actively for democratic progress worldwide.