The question whether democratic societies should promote democracy in non-democratic societies has dominated the public agenda in recent years.1 Although it is asked in relation to the West, it could easily be asked in other contexts. In response to public opinion, India assisted the democratic movement in Nepal and put considerable pressure on the Nepalese king to agree to a constitutional monarchy. Some Indians have wondered if they should do the same in relation to Burma, Bangladesh and even perhaps Pakistan. The South African government is urged to use economic and diplomatic pressure to promote democracy in neighbouring countries, including Zimbabwe. There is no reason why other countries such as Malaysia and Brazil might not ask the same question in relation to their region. At present, however, only the West, in particular the US, has the necessary power and reach, and therefore I shall concentrate on it.
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