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Can We Export Democracy?

Tamara Cofman Wittes and Christopher J. Coyne

INTRODUCTION

The United States has attempted to export liberal democratic institutions through military occupation and reconstruction throughout its history, with mixed results. For every West Germany or Japan, there is a Cuba, Haiti, Somalia, or Vietnam. Why do we observe such different outcomes in military interventions? Do efforts to export democracy help more than they hurt?

At a November 26, 2007 Cato Book Forum, Christopher J. Coyne, assistant professor of economics at West Virginia University and author of After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy, and Tamara Cofman Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, examined the problems with installing democracy.

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