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National Forensic League
Policy Debate

(Nov. - Dec. 2004)

Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to promote democratic ideals in other nations.

It has been argued that since the end of the Cold War, democracy has triumphed and a transition to democracy as the norm for governance in countries throughout the world is inevitable. At the same time, however, many antidemocratic regimes have held on to power, and challenges to Western democracy have grown louder in some parts of the world. Historically the role of the United States in promoting democracy has been inconsistent and has left many people wondering what role the country should play in the future.

Many argue that democracy is the best system for upholding both individual and group rights, as well as avoiding conflict, and is therefore the most ethical system of government. On the other hand, detractors assert that promoting democracy ignores cultural issues, can interfere with national sovereignty, and may cause greater conflict in the short term. The prospect for a successful transition to democracy is also an important aspect of this debate. Finally, the issue of how the United States should promote democracy must be addressed. Is military intervention, as was the case in Afghanistan, justified because it promotes democratic ideals? Should the United States be limited to nonmilitary means? Each of these issues is addressed in this collection of articles.


Steps Toward a Democratic World Order
Democracy's Hour
China: Is Democracy Possible?
The West's Role in Reforming the Soviet Bloc
Alternative Democracy: The American and British Model May Not Be the Best for All Emerging Nations
The Democracy Movement in China
Latin America's Tide of Semidemocracy
What Should America Do?

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