ABSTRACT

As the struggle between authoritarian and democratic states intensifies, this chapter proposes a framework for analyzing how democratization proceeds within today’s foreign policy context, and it draws on lessons from aspirations for advancing democracy after the Cold War ended. Grasping the nature of the battlefield requires breaking national identity into multiple dimensions, while seeking to determine how each figures into recent efforts to promote or oppose democratization. The interplay between democratization and dimensions of national identity is long-standing and in the early post–Cold War years exposed the futility of efforts led by Japan and South Korea in Northeast Asia. Local forces capable of linking with outside countries to press for reforms favorable to democratization were too weak to make a difference. Russia and China, with national identities deeply embedded through traditional communism, fended off attempts to advance democratization. Later, they moved to offensive operations using economic clout and sharp power to conduct the fight against democratization beyond their borders. The framework here has lasting relevance as attempts are contemplated to fight back against the forces undermining democracies.