Security through democracy: Between aspiration and pretence

FRIDE The EU conceives democracy as providing the political foundation necessary to sustaining all other dimensions of security. EU High Representative Catherine Ashton has described the concern with human rights and democracy as the ‘silver thread’ running through the whole gamut of EU external strategic policy. It is the bedrock judged necessary to the success of ‘mainstream’ security strategies.

Or at least, that is the contention. The reality is less straightforward. In practice, the EU’s conviction in ‘security through democracy’ is today no more than passively aspirational. This working paper provides a broad-brush overview of how we might classify the EU’s approach towards the security-democracy link, and reflects on how this impacts on the broad panoply of traditional security initiatives.

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