The Reagan Administration, the Cold War, and the Transition to Democracy Promotion

  • Robert Pee
  • William Michael Schmidli

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Robert Pee, William Michael Schmidli
    Pages 1-28
  3. Ideology, Strategy, and Institutional Change in the Shift Toward Democracy Promotion

  4. US Democracy Promotion and the Soviet Empire

  5. Democracy Promotion and the Third World

  6. Legacy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 253-253
    2. Robert Pee, William Michael Schmidli
      Pages 277-301
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 303-336

About this book


This book posits that democracy promotion played a key role in the Reagan administration’s Cold War foreign policy. It analyzes the democracy initiatives launched under Reagan and the role of administration officials, neoconservatives and non-state actors, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), in shaping a new model of democracy promotion, characterized by aid to foreign political movements and the spread of neoliberal economics. The book discusses the ideological, strategic and organizational aspects of U.S. democracy promotion in the 1980s, then analyzes case studies of democracy promotion in the Soviet bloc and in U.S.-allied dictatorships in Latin America and East Asia, and, finally, reflects on the legacy of Reagan’s democracy promotion and its influence on Clinton, Bush and Obama. Based on new research and archival documents, this book shows that the development of democracy promotion under Reagan laid the foundations for US post-Cold War foreign policy.


1980s Developing World US foreign policy State and non-state actors Neoconservatives and liberal internationalists Right-wing dictatorships Philippines, Chile, South Korea Eastern Europe Security Military intervention International relations

Editors and affiliations

  • Robert Pee
    • 1
  • William Michael Schmidli
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and International StudiesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Institute for HistoryLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-96381-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-96382-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site