Democracy Without Illusions by Thomas Carothers.
Toward the end of the Clinton years, Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace perfectly described the situation under Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe when he warned that the global rush toward democracy was reversing direction. Carothers noted that in countries where democratization has stagnated, "most have ended up...with a particular style of semiauthoritarian regime...they impose enough repression to keep their opponents weak" while also passing muster with the international community. In these "often highly personalistic regimes," opposition groups are undermined by state-dominated media, "elections are plausible but preceded by campaigns in which incumbents enjoy huge advantages...the legislature contains heterogeneous forces but possesses minimal authority, and the judiciary...is politically controlled at the top." But these setbacks are not a failure of U.S. policy, Carothers argued. Rather, Washington should accept that the United States is not significantly responsible for the advance or retreat of democracy in the world. (January/ February 1997)