During the 1980s a regionwide turn toward democratic politics coincided with a declared U.S. policy to promote democracy. Himself a former participant in the U.S. government's democracy promotion efforts, Carothers knowledgeably and dispassionately analyzes the relationship between announced U.S. policy and Latin America's democratic trend and concludes that, on balance, U.S. policies contributed little. "The United States did play a clearly positive though not determinative policy in some countries; in several countries U.S. policy was harmful to democracy and its prospects." Closely reasoned, clearly written and persuasive.
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