Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"How the West selectively promotes democracy through sanctions"

"Second, the expected political and economic costs for Western powers of exerting pressure count. In support of general public and academic suspicion, we find that the relationship between an authoritarian regime and the West does matter for the likelihood of democratic sanctions. Simply put, authoritarian regimes on friendly terms with the West are less likely to be punished for democratic wrongdoings. In this way, the lack of sanctions or other external pressure against countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Qatar represents a broader pattern: Strategic allies are often spared from Western pressure to democratize, and enforcement of democratic norms is much more selective where geostrategic interests prevail. When the Zimbabwe government arranged highly controversial and massively fraudulent elections in 2002 it resulted in democratic sanctions from the West, whereas Mubarak’s resounding electoral victories throughout the 1990′s and 2000′s did not trigger similar reactions. Our strongest statistical results are obtained when we look at the relationship between foreign direct investments and democratic sanctions and when we observe how well a country’s foreign policy agenda is aligned with the interests of the West. More foreign investments and a more pro-Western foreign policy agenda significantly reduce the probability of Western democratic sanctions."