The Scholarly Commons


Democracy Promotion in the Obama Administration: An Opportunity to Match Action to Rhetoric

Patrick J. Glen, Georgetown University Law Center

This Faculty Working Paper has been updated and posted within the Georgetown Law Faculty Publications series in the Scholarly Commons. It is currently available at


This article addresses whether and to what extent the Obama administration should continue the Bush administration policies relating to democracy promotion. The focus of the article is on the ADVANCE Act of 2007, a legislative enactment that institutionalized democracy promotion in the State Department. After explicating the key provisions of this Act, as well as their implementation status, the article addresses key critiques leveled at democracy promotion, as well as areas where the Obama administration can expand on what has been accomplished thus far in this field. In the end, democracy promotion should continue to be an integral component of the United States' foreign policy, and the Obama administration is uniquely placed to ensure the efficacy of such efforters in the near-term. Whether the administration can add such a broadly conceived endeavor to its current plate is another, unaddressed, issue.