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Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival$
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Abel Escribà-Folch and Joseph Wright

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746997.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival

Abel Escribà-Folch

Joseph Wright

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that many countries and international organizations use democracy promotion as a cornerstone of their foreign policy. The chapter argues that the democracy promotion policy debate boils down to the question of how states and international organizations can effectively use foreign policy instruments to deal with authoritarian governments. The chapter introduces the main coercive foreign policy tools examined in the book: foreign aid, economic sanctions, human rights shaming, and military intervention. The chapter describes the use of foreign pressure in various authoritarian settings and compare the incidence of foreign pressure to the use of military intervention against autocratic regimes since 1946. The chapter also discusses how senders often do not pay sufficient attention to the institutional characteristics of target countries and, importantly, overlook the possibility that regime breakdown may simply lead to a transition to a subsequent autocracy rather than democracy.

Keywords:   democracy promotion, foreign policy, coercion, senders, targets, democratic transition, regime collapse

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