Remarks by President Barack Obama today (hat tip: Democratic Piece) hinted that, far from downplaying the D-word, his administration would develop and pursue a holistic approach to democracy assistance. It is a position that accords with his campaign commitment to “dignity promotion” and which recognizes democracy’s cultural and socio-economic underpinnings:
We spend so much time talking about democracy – and obviously we should be promoting democracy everywhere we can. But democracy, a well-functioning society that promotes liberty and equality and fraternity, a well-functioning society does not just depend on going to the ballot box. It also means that you’re not going to be shaken down by police because the police aren’t getting properly paid. It also means that if you want to start a business, you don’t have to pay a bribe. I mean, there are a whole host of other factors that people need to – need to recognize in building a civil society that allows a country to be successful.