HomeDemocracy Promotion and Nation Building in United States Foreign Policy

Democracy Promotion and Nation Building in United States Foreign Policy

The U.S. Model Reconsidered, From the Post-Cold War Balkans to the Arab Revolts

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Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Loïc Le Pape


Le  German Marshall Fund of the United States-France et l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, sont heureux de vous convier au colloque international « Democracy Promotion and Nation Building in United States Foreign Policy. The U.S. Model Reconsidered, From the Post-Cold War Balkans to the Arab Revolts », les jeudi 18 et vendredi 19 octobre 2012, à France-Amériques (9 avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, Paris 8e).    Cette conférence sera l’occasion d’examiner les évolutions du débat sur la ‘Democracy Promotion’ de la fin de la Guerre froide jusqu’à l’administration Obama, ainsi que de comprendre  la manière dont les  évènements récents en Afrique du Nord et au Moyen-Orient ont refaçonné les concepts et la pratique de la  ‘Democracy Promotion’. Les réponses que peuvent apporter le partenariat transatlantique à ces défis seront tout particulièrement examinées.  Les intervenants présenteront et analyseront les grandes problématiques du sujet telles que l’adaptation de la culture stratégique américaine aux transformations  du contexte international, la capacité du modèle de la démocratie américaine à inspirer ou à façonner les transitions vers la démocratie, s’interrogeront sur le rôle de l’armée américaine comme un vecteur  de ‘Democracy Promotion’ sur certains théâtres d’opérations, ainsi que sur les nouveaux instruments de politique étrangère employés par l’administration américaine pour promouvoir la démocratie. Les panels discuteront ainsi de l’avenir de la pratique américaine de la ‘Democracy Promotion’ et privilégieront une approche comparative en consacrant un panel à la conception et la pratique européennes de la ‘Democracy Promotion’ ainsi qu’à l’émergence d’autres modèles de démocratie, dans un contexte où le modèle américain se trouve de plus en plus contesté.   La conférence réunira des experts et chercheurs américains et européens reconnus. Toutes les sessions se déroulent en anglais. 



International symposium on “Democracy Promotion and Nation Building in United States Foreign Policy. The U.S. Model Reconsidered, From the Post-Cold War Balkans to the Arab Revolts”, that will take place on Thursday the 18th and Friday the 19th of October 2012 at France-Amériques (9 avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, Paris 8e).

The symposium will be the opportunity to explore the ways in which the debate concerning democracy promotion issues has evolved from the end of the Cold War to the Obama administration, and to take stock of whether the recent events in North Africa and the Middle-East have significantly changed the way in which the issue is discussed. The panels will frame the discussion about the way the transatlantic partnership can provide answers to these challenges. The speakers will address issues such as the adaptation of American strategic culture to the changing global environment, the question of whether the traditional model of U.S. democracy has been tailored to the new geopolitical context and the way it has helped shape transitions to democracy, the use of the American military to promote democracy and governance in theaters of operation, the new tools used by the U.S. administration in promoting democracy, and whether traditional tools are still adapted. These panels will address the future of American democracy promotion efforts, in a comparative approach, by dedicating one panel to the European concepts and practice of democracy promotion and another to the emergence of alternative models of democracy in a context of an increased challenging of the U.S. model.


Democracy Promotion and Nation Building in United States Foreign Policy. The U.S. Model Reconsidered, From the Post-Cold War Balkans to the Arab Revolts

Contact: adehoopscheffer@gmfus.org and annick.cizel@univ-paris3.fr

Thursday, October 18

9:00  Welcome Coffee for all Participants and Registration

9:30-10:00 Welcome Remarks by Prof. Marie-Christine Lemardeley, President, University Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3; Ivan Vejvoda, Vice-President, German Marshall Fund of the United States; Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, Director, Paris Office, German Marshall Fund of the United States; Dr. Annick Cizel, University Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3

10:00-10:30  Opening Address: Prof. Jeremi Suri,University of Texas at Austin, “The American Way of Nation-Building from the Founders to Barack Obama”

10:30-10:50 Discussion

10:50-11:05 Coffee Break

11:05-12:35 Session I - Democracy Promotion in Post-Cold War U.S. Foreign Policy

Chair: Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer

  • Prof. Pierre Melandri, Sciences Po Paris, “Is the U.S. a Model of Democracy for the 21st Century?”
  • Prof. David Ryan, University College Cork, “U.S. Intervention and Democracy Promotion since the Vietnam War: A Tale of Legacies and Ghosts”
  • Dr. Nicolas Bouchet, University of London, “Democratic Enlargement Revisited: Lessons from US Strategy and Democracy Promotion in the Clinton Administration”
  • Dr. Annick Cizel, University Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, “Shaping Democratic Transitions: Engineering the ‘People-to-People’ Development Agenda for a New Era”

12:45-14:00  Lunch at France-Amériques for Participants

14:00-15:00  Opening Conversation  – Colonel Gian P. Gentile, United States Military Academy, West Point, “Wrong Turn: America’s Deadly Embrace with Counterinsurgency” and General Vincent Desportes, Conseil supérieur de la Formation et de la Recherche stratégique, HEC and Sciences Po Paris, “American Strategic Culture: Impossible Victories in Tomorrow’s Wars”

15:00-15:30 Discussion

15:30-15:40 Coffee Break

15:40-17:10 Session II – The Contradictions of Post-9/11 Militarized Nation-Building

Chair: Dr. Annick Cizel

  • Prof. Thomas Lindemann, University Artois-Lille 2, “The Limits of the U.S. Military as Tool for Democracy Promotion”
  • Dr. Astri Suhrke, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Norway, “The Dangers of a Tight Embrace: Externally Assisted State Building in Afghanistan”
  • Prof. David Cameron, University of Toronto,“Distinctive Challenges Facing the United States in Democracy Promotion and Nation-Building: the Case of Iraq”
  • Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Sciences Po Paris, “After Iraq: Demilitarizing Regime Change, Mission Impossible?”

17:10-17:40 Keynote speaker: Ivan Vejvoda, German Marshall Fund of the United States, “Democracy and Solidarity: A View from the Field”

17:40-18:00 Closing Discussion

Friday, October 19

8:45 Welcome coffee

9:00-9:30 Keynote speaker: Sir Michael Leigh, German Marshall Fund of the United States, former Director General for Enlargement at the European Commission

9:30-9:50 Discussion

9:50-11:20 Session III – Lessons Learned from Democracy Promotion in  Central-Eastern Europe and Latin America

Chair: Dr. Annick Cizel

  • Dr. Christopher Bickerton, Sciences Po Paris, “From Brezhnev to Brussels: A Critique of EU ‘Member State-Building’ in Eastern Europe”
  • Dr. David Cadier, London School of Economics, “The European Endowment for Democracy: a Central European Replication of a US Instrument into EU Structures?”
  • Prof. Stephen G. Rabe, University of Texas, Dallas, “Nation-Building and Transitional Justice in Latin America”
  • Prof. James Cohen, University Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, “Reverse Democracy Promotion in the Americas: Interpreting the Honduran Coup and the Obama Administration’s Response (2009- )”

11:20-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-12:45 Session IV - Soft Tools of Democracy Promotion: Philanthropy, NGOs and Social Networks

Chair: Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer

  • Prof. Inderjeet Parmar, City University London, “American Philanthropy, Democracy Promotion and U.S. Foreign Policy”
  • Prof. Divina Frau-Meigs, University Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, “The Arab Spring: Controversies over the Role of American-Driven Social Networks”
  • Dr. Laurence Allard, University Lille 3,“Smart Power,Mobile Phone and Philanthrocapitalism in Africa and MENA”
  • Dr. Pavol Demes, German Marshall Fund of the United States, “NGOs and Democracy Promotion: Sharing the Eastern-Central European Experience to Post-‘Arab Spring’ Northern Africa?”

13:00-14:15Lunch at France-Amériques for Participants

14:15-14:45 Keynote speaker: Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Can U.S. Democracy Policy Adapt to a Changing World?”

14:45-15:10 Discussion

15:10-16:40 Concluding Session – Rising Democracies and the Future of the Values-Based Order

Chairs: Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer & Dr. Annick Cizel

  • Dr. Oliver Stuenkel, Getúlio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo, “The United States, Brazil, and Contested Notions of Democracy Promotion in the Americas”
  • Mr. Dhruva Jaishankar, Asia Program, German Marshall Fund of the United States, “Democracy vs. Sovereignty: The Role of Values in Indian Foreign Policy”
  • Dr. Hamit Bozarslan, EHESS, Paris, “Promoting Democracy and Authoritarianism Together: Conservatism, Nationalism and Cult of Power in the AKP’s Turkey”
  • Prof. Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham, “The Illusions of ‘Smart Power’, ‘Democracy’, and ‘Exceptionalism’: How the World Moved America from the Centre”

16:40-17:10 Keynote speaker – Dr. Ivan Krastev, Transatlantic Academy &Centre for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria, “Promoting Democracy Abroad, Questioning Democracy at Home. The New Democracy Debate in the West”

17:10-17:30 Discussion

17:30-17:45 Concluding Remarks


  • France-Amériques - 9 Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Paris, France (75008)


  • Thursday, October 18, 2012
  • Friday, October 19, 2012


  • Democracy, Democracy Promotion, États-Unis, Balkans, Transitions Démocratiques, politique étrangère


  • Anaïs Laigle
    courriel : alaigle [at] gmfus [dot] org

Information source

  • Anaïs Laigle
    courriel : alaigle [at] gmfus [dot] org

To cite this announcement

« Democracy Promotion and Nation Building in United States Foreign Policy », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, https://calenda.org/223881

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