Study of the effects of Swedish and international democracy support

Support in the areas of democracy and human rights currently represents about one-fourth of Swedish bilateral overseas development assistance, which is about twice as much as the average of OECD Development Assistance Committee countries. Moreover, the Swedish government has recently initiated a renovated effort to promote democratic values as part of the Swedish foreign policy.

However, the evidence base that supports democracy assistance remains controversial. This study will contribute to a better understanding of the effects on democracy that can be found from international as well as Swedish democracy promotion as well as knowledge concerning what areas of intervention are the more fruitful in democracy promotion.

The objectives of the current study include:

  1. Review the literature that assesses the impact of democracy aid on key democracy outcomes.
  2. Assess the available data for democracy aid, democratic outcomes and key explanatory variables at country level, and provide an analysis of the most reliable data sources for empirical analysis.
  3. Provide a rigorous quantitative analysis of the effects of international democracy support on democratic outcomes covering the period 1995–2017.
  4. Provide an overview of Swedish democracy support and a rigorous quantitative analysis of its effects on democratic outcomes covering the period 1995–2017.

Authors: Miguel Niño-Zarazúa (lead researcher), Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER, Rachel M. Gisselquist, Senior Research Fellow with UNU-WIDER, Kunal Sen, Director of UNU-WIDER and Professor of Development Economics in the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, Ana Mie Horigoshi Reis, Research Associate, UNU-WIDER.

Reference group chair: Staffan I. Lindberg

Project manager at EBA: Lisa Hjelm

Expected publication: Q4 2020