Category:Democracy "Promotion" or manipulation
There are many statal or quasi-statal organizations which aim to "promote democracy" in the Third World, manipulate the political outcome, influence "civic society", or subvert the political process. The least of the interventions have to do with improving the electoral systems, election supervision, improve a given political party's PR, set up a pro-globalization/neoliberal media, but it can entail setting up "civic society" groups, manipulate the electoral process, all the way to sabotaging political groupings. The National Endowment for Democracy and its satellite organizations are the most manipulative, and it is clear that they have taken the role that the CIA (and its assorted organizations) used to do prior to 1990. Several other "western" countries have followed the same model, but possibly less interventionist and subversive than the American organizations. In the German, UK, Swedish and Dutch cases, the "democracy promotion" organizations are think tanks and development organizations staffed by cross party operatives. In most cases, these organizations are seen as a sinecure and a means to obtain quasi-statal employment while out of office or parliament, and also a means for junior political members to improve their international experience credentials.
All the statal/quasi-statal groups have given rise to an industry of consultants and related services to influence the political process in the Third World. In some instances, the "democracy manipulators" are spinoffs from the intelligence organizations, e.g., CIA. Such spinoffs also appear in the list below.
Hernando Calvo Ospina writes:
- Addressing the UN General Assembly in September 1989, President George Bush Sr asserted that the challenge facing the world of freedom was to consolidate the foundations of freedom. In 1988, the Canadian parliament, encouraged by the US, had set up an NED clone, Rights and Democracy. In 1992 the British parliament established the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Sweden followed with the Swedish International Liberal Centre, the Netherlands with the Alfred Mozer Foundation, and France with the Robert Schuman Foundation and the Jean Jaurès Foundation (linked to the Socialist Party).
As its network spread, the NED set up the Democracy Projects Database to coordinate 6,000 projects worldwide. It also created the Network of Democracy Research Institutes to bring together "independent institutions, university-based study centres, and research programs affiliated with political parties, labour unions, and democracy and human rights movements to facilitate contacts among democracy scholars and activists". The NED hosts the Centre for International Media Assistance, which "brings together a broad range of media experts with the objective of strengthening support of free and independent media throughout the world".
On the State Department's official website, Carl Gershman declared that all these foundations, people and organisations were contributing to "building a worldwide movement for democracy", a network of networks with the NED at its centre. Other foundations fell into step: the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Germany; the Olof Palme International Centre in Sweden; the Renner Institute in Austria; and the Pablo Iglesias Foundation, linked to the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.
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