This book investigates the relationship between democracy promotion and US national security strategy through an examination of the Reagan administration’s attempt to launch a global campaign for democracy in the early 1980s, which culminated in the foundation of the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983, and through an analysis of the early political interventions of the Endowment until 1986.

A case study of the formation and early operations of the National Endowment for Democracy under the Reagan administration, based on primary documents from both the national security bureaucracy and the private sector, shows that while democracy promotion provided a new tactical approach to the conduct of US political warfare operations, these operations remained tied to the achievement of traditional national security goals such as destabilising enemy regimes and building stable and legitimate friendly governments, rather than being guided by a strategy based on the universal promotion of democracy.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of US Foreign Policy, Democracy Promotion and for those seeking to gain a better understanding of the Reagan Administration.

chapter |9 pages


Democracy and national security in US foreign policy

chapter 1|30 pages

The roots of democracy promotion

From covert operations and modernisation to party-building

chapter 6|37 pages

Promoting democracy

chapter |13 pages


US democracy promotion during the final phase of the Cold War and beyond