|dc.description.abstract||The role of democracy in the foreign policy of the United States is a prominent
one. Presidents from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush have named democracy as
motivating factor for military actions around the world. This research has been
undertaken to determine the effect of U.S. actions on regime liberalization, specifically
democratization, in the international community.
This research studies the evolution of U.S. foreign policy throughout the Cold
War and post-Cold War era using an institutional approach to policy study. Using
primary sources such as national security statements, policy speeches and personal
memoirs, the goals and objectives of the Cold War and post-Cold War policies are
studied and compared to determine if democracy is in fact a goal of U.S. foreign policy.
Additionally, the effect of U.S. actions on the adoption of democratic traits is
measured using a regression analysis. The independent variables of economic aid and
military aid are analyzed for their impact on democratic progression. The dependent
variable used in the regression analysis is the “polity” score assigned to a particular
country by the Polity IV Dataset.
The comparison of the Cold War and post-Cold War policies indicated that,
despite the drastic differences in the international political environment, the two eras
shared a common goal. That goal is to safeguard the strategic and economic interests of
the United States. Democracy, despite the rhetoric surrounding it, is not the motivating
factor in U.S. actions abroad.
The regression analysis also bears out the hypothesis that the U.S. does not
directly effect the adoption of democracy abroad. Military aid is found to be completely
unrelated to countries adopting more liberal regime traits. Similarly, economic aid is
shown to have no statistically significant relationship to regime liberalization. Taken
together, the findings indicate that, though U.S. foreign policy is generally shrouded in
the language of Democratic Peace and Idealism, it is in fact RealPolitik that has driven
U.S. foreign policy.||en_US