What Is Democracy Development?

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The United States offers multiple kinds of monetary assistance around the world. One category of this assistance goes toward the promotion of democratic principles and institutions. When communities are able to choose their own political representation through democratic processes, peace is more sustainable and economies become more prosperous.

In our video, we interviewed USAID Foreign Service Officer Danielle Reiff on how the United States promotes democratic governance to foster global peace and security.

Discussion Questions

Use the following discussion questions to guide your classroom conversations about this video. Refer to the timestamps to find the answers to these questions.

  1. What is governance and how does it impact international relationships? (start – 0:35)
  2. What does “the developing world” refer to? (1:00 – 1:16)
  3. What are some ways that USAID assists other countries and local governments? (1:25 – 1:55)
  4. Why is it important for underrepresented groups, such as women, to be involved in local politics? (2:35 – 3:35)
  5. Explain your thinking about this quote from the video, “When there is a government and citizenry that is eager and active in their own development process…a little bit of development money…turns it into really, truly amazing transformational development results.” (3:58 – 4:23)
  6. In the United States, how does granting development money to other countries impact international relationships?
  7. How are development and governance related?
  8. What is one thing you learned from the video that you found interesting, surprising, or confusing?
  9. What is one question you would ask the speaker in this video?

Video Vocabulary

The following terms are referenced in this video.

  • Governance – The process of making and enforcing decisions and rules through laws, social norms, or power within a country.
  • Democracy – A form of government in which power is vested in the people.
  • Development – The process of creating growth and positive change for people and economic, political, and social systems.
  • Income – Money received.
  • Human rights – Rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status.
  • Peacebuilding – Efforts to assist countries and regions in their transitions from war to peace and to reduce a country’s risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict. This is done by strengthening national capacities for conflict management and laying the foundation for sustainable peace and development.
  • Parliament – A legislative body of government. In a parliamentary democracy, the legislature (parliament) selects government leaders.
  • Executive – The person or branch of a government responsible for putting policies or laws into effect.
  • Citizenry – The group of citizens in a nation; members of a nation.
  • Stakeholder – A group or individual who has an interest in a topic, social movement, or practice.

AP and IB Course Connections

Use this video in your Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Below are prompts for each course.

AP Comparative Government

Suggested Course Units: Unit 1: Political Systems, Regimes, and Governments; Unit 2: Political Institutions; Unit 3: Political Culture and Participation; Unit 5: Political and Economic Changes and Development

Question Type: Comparative Analysis

Prompt: Compare how diplomacy can be impacted by the type of government and level of economic development in two different AP Comparative Government and Politics course countries. In your response, you should do the following.
(A) Define development.
(B) Explain how diplomacy with a non-democratic country is conducted by two different AP Comparative Government and Politics course countries.
(C) Explain why each of the two AP Comparative Government and Politics course countries described in (B) would conduct diplomacy with a democratic country differently.

IB Global Politics

Paper Type: Stimulus-based paper on a topic from one of the four core units.
Prompt: According to the video and examples you have studied, explain how diplomacy is impacted by a nation’s governance.