ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Who supports liberal interventionism? Citizens'' Attitudes towards European Democracy Promotion

Joerg Faust
Maria Melody Garcia
Julia Leininger
German Development Institute
Open Panel

Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, Western democracies have increasingly spent resources on fostering the emergence and resilience of democratic structures abroad. Beyond the U.S. government, especially the European Union has made strong efforts to promote democratic institutions and the rule of law not only in its new member countries and regional neighbourhood but also in more distant areas of the developing world. While the effectiveness of different instruments and strategies of democracy promotion is strongly debated among scholars of political science, there is almost no systematic empirical research on the legitimacy of such efforts from the perspective of the citizens from democracy-promoting countries. Beyond some analyses on a rather aggregate and descriptive level, little is known about the social characteristics and political orientations of those European citizens who support democracy promotion as an essential part of EU foreign policy. This paper attempts to partly fill this research gap by analyzing a new data set, containing survey information on 11 European countries for the 2005-2008 period. Linked to the literature of political culture and political orientations towards democracy and international politics, we investigate which social characteristics and political orientations impact on citizens’ attitudes towards democracy promotion, controlling for specific year and country effects. Our findings therefore provide first evidence on the important question about the support of liberal interventionism at the beginning of the 21st century.