Flexibility versus Inflexibility: discursive discrepancy in US democracy promotion and anti-corruption policies

Jeff Bridoux, Anja Gebel

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Abstract

This article analyses US discourses on democracy promotion and anti-corruption strategies. The analysis shows that there is a cosmetic agreement in these discourses on notions of the good society that identify democracy as a good thing and corruption as a bad thing. However, despite this agreement, there are differences in the discourses on the measures recommended to promote democracy and fight corruption that may lead to policies and processes pulling in opposite directions. This discrepancy arises, on the one hand, from a mode of operation of democracy promotion that is flexible and adaptable to various contexts and, on the other hand, from the uncompromising and inflexible language of anti-corruption policies that threatens to ‘undo’ what US democracy promotion's rhetoric aims to achieve: ownership and sustainability of democratic reforms through re-empowering the state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1945-1963
JournalThird World Quarterly
Volume33
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2012

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