DEMOCRACY PROMOTION AND US HEGEMONY: A CASE STUDY OF IRAQ

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Rhonie Boateng
Democracy export and promotion has always been part US foreign policy because the country upholds the ideals and values of freedom and human rights since its inception. After World War II, the USA helped develop and supported different political systems all around the world in its role as the sole super power and this included also supporting autocratic governments as a means to promote stability and protect its interests and values.
However, in the late 1970s to early 1980s, democracy advancement efforts became integral to US foreign policy due to popular movements against autocratic regimes, the need to promote stability due o the cold war and lastly the influence of globalization on how international relations was handled.
Due to this, successive US governments promoted democracy all around the globe in countries like Panama, Nicaragua and the Philippines in order to ensure order and stability protect its interests and help fight the communist ideology of the Soviet Union.
However, the country still supported some authoritarian regimes around the world and also in the Middle East as a means of protecting or advancing its interests especially concerning oil and military superiority.
After 9/11 however the USA shifted its support for autocracies in the Middle East in favour of advancing democracy in accordance with the recommendations of the National Security Strategy (NSS) documents of 2002 and 2006 which urged America to promote democracy all over the world through any means necessary to protect its interests and also due to the notion that democracy in the region will better help in ensuring stability and help rid the territory of terrorists.
Therefore after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, advocating for democracy in that country became an increasingly important justification for the invasion, more so after the other factors given for the invasion like Saddam Hussein’s links to terrorist and the accumulation of nuclear and biological weapons were largely debunked and discredited and the Bush Administration therefore undertook a number of steps and initiatives to promote and strengthen democracy in Iraq.
The thesis however contends that this democracy promotion effort in Iraq by the USA was a quest strengthen their hegemony as per Antonio Gramsci’s hegemony concept or theory and subsequently goes on to argue and answer the questions as to why and how democracy promotion in Iraq by the USA after 9/11 was a quest for hegemony the view of Gramsci’s hegemony theory.
The thesis will therefore focus on the motivations and history of US democracy promotion efforts around the world from after the Second World War until 9/11, how the country advanced democracy in the Middle East in general after 9/11 and important of all how the USA promoted democracy in Iraq after 9/11 and why this was a quest for hegemony from the viewpoint of Gramsci’s hegemony theory.

LanguageEnglish
Publication date28 May 2015
Number of pages70
ID: 213096111