Rethinking the Relationship Between Democracy and Terrorism

By Steve Stoddard
Vol. XIX, no. 1: Spring/Summer 2010

The promotion of democracy throughout the world has always been touted as a core American value dating back to the country’s origins, but following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, this value has developed a unique national security dimension. In the aftermath of the attacks, many political leaders and pundits blamed the politically repressive and economically illiberal societies in the Middle East for fanning the flames of the terrorist ideology that brought down the Twin Towers. In the new security environment, President Bush and other policymakers elevated democracy promotion from its traditional status as a secondary foreign policy goal to a key requirement for U.S. national security in the post-9/11 world.

Steve attends the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He is a 2nd year student in the International Affairs Master of Arts program with a concentration in Security Policy Studies. He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Science. He worked in the Washington, DC office of Senator Harry Reid from 2006-2008. Steve is currently studying abroad in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut. He has also studied Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala.

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