Oct. 15, 2010, 1:05 p.m.
Lindsay Lloyd, Director of the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Europe programs, has written an article, which explores the various European approaches to democracy promotion. The article provides a good, brief intro to the contrasting history of both American and European democracy assistance activities. Lloyd starts by briefly summarizing the history of US democracy promotion, from Woodrow Wilson, to the creation of the NED. He then delves into the European history, with a focus on the German Stiftungen model, as well as efforts by the European Union. For those unaware of the different strategies of party assistance organizations, this is a particularly useful introduction.
The collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin wall in the late 1980s was an impetus to a major expansion of democracy support across Europe. A 2005 study by the Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations notes that 70 percent of European political foundations were formed after 1989 and have three common characteristics: a relationship with one or more political parties in their home country, a reliance on government sources for the bulk of their funding, and a particular focus on political parties in their democracy assistance activities.