After decades of historic gains, the world has slipped into a democratic recession. Predatory states are on the rise, threatening both nascent and established democracies throughout the world. But this trend can be reversed with the development of good governance and strict accountability and the help of conditional aid from the West.
U.S. and international development agencies, believing that poor countries should develop economically before they become democratic, have not taken politics into account when disbursing aid. This is a mistake: poor democracies are almost always stronger, calmer, and more caring than poor autocracies, because they allow power to be shared and encourage openness and accountability. They deserve all the help they can get.