The Rise of Political Aid: The National Endowment for Democracy and the Reagan Administration’s Cold War Strategy

  • Robert Pee
Part of the Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World book series (SCCCW)


This chapter explores the interconnections between the rise of political aid programs to strengthen foreign political parties and civil society groups, the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Reagan administration’s Cold War strategy. While the Reagan administration initially favoured a Cold War democracy crusade to combat Communism through a ‘war of ideas,’ US private groups and Congress drove the development of the NED as a global democracy foundation. Cooperation between the US state and the Endowment developed in Communist and non-communist countries where democracy promotion could aid the administration’s containment strategy, such as Poland, the Philippines and Chile. After the Cold War, the NED’s global approach to democratic development was institutionalized within the US state under the Clinton and Bush administrations.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Pee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and International StudiesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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