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You searched for: Content Type Commentary and Analysis Remove constraint Content Type: Commentary and Analysis Publishing Institution Council on International Policy (CIP) Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP) Political Geography Global Focus Remove constraint Political Geography: Global Focus Topic International Cooperation Remove constraint Topic: International Cooperation
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  • Author: Patrick Quirk, Jan Surotchak
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Supporting democracy and human rights overseas is front and center in the Biden administration’s foreign policy. The White House has committed to hold a “summit for democracy” this year, vocally condemned human rights abuses by China, and called for budget increases in foreign assistance and diplomacy critical to execute its democracy agenda abroad. As the Biden team designs this agenda, it will take stock of existing democracy assistance approaches and toolkits to make sure they address the current landscape of threats (i.e., a rise in Russian and Chinese malign influence) and changing needs of democracy partners on the ground (i.e., training on new technology). One area that is in desperate need of an update is how the U.S. helps strengthen political parties abroad, something it has done since the 1980s. The U.S. approach to supporting parties has not kept pace with the evolution of these organizations over the last ten years. Increasingly, political parties are taking novel forms that arise from so called “people power” movements and often focus more on mobilizing voters than formulating policy. One of the four most common types of parties today are those that emerge from mass protest movements and widespread latent dissatisfaction with traditional parties. Examples include the Five Star Movement in Italy, the Union to Save Romania, the New Conservative Party in Latvia, and Semilla in Guatemala. Getting support to this party type ‘right’ is important because many of the countries where these entities are emerging matter for U.S. interests. In both the Czech Republic and Slovakia – NATO allies on the front line of countering Russian and Chinese influence – new, anti-establishment parties are running the government, as traditional parties have struggled with accusations of corruption and failure to meet citizen needs. In Mexico and Brazil, both major strategic partners of the United States, emergent political organizations have taken power. In Iraq, citizens protesting government corruption and inefficiencies have formed several new parties to contest the October 2021 elections and challenge the political establishment. Yet in these and other contexts, the United States lacks an approach to structure its support of such nascent parties. Here, we outline recommendations for selecting which parties to support and then a framework to maximize effectiveness of U.S. assistance to them.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Democracy, Political Parties, Influence, Partisanship
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America