The prospects for serious, effective U.S. engagement by Trump to support democracy and human rights abroad look dismal. But in practice, the picture will likely end up being at least somewhat less negative than the initial signals indicate. The outlook and intentions of incoming U.S. presidents with respect to democracy promotion tend to change when leaders move from campaigning to governing. This is true both because of certain realities of democracy support that come to the fore once new administrations get under way and because international events sometimes surprise and redirect new presidents.
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