After four years of the Trump administration’s slash-and-burn approach to democracy at home and abroad, U.S. President Joe Biden’s focus on reviving U.S. leadership on global democracy represents a breath of fresh air. In particular, champions of democracy have hailed his promise to convene a “Summit for Democracy,” which is intended to bring together the world’s democracies to forge a common agenda of political renewal. A veritable cottage industry has arisen within the policy community to offer the Biden team advice on this event. The democracy experts with views on the summit are so numerous, they could convene a summit of their own.

 But all this meticulous planning risks obscuring an important truth: a democracy summit is not a democracy strategy. Translating Biden’s rhetorical emphasis on democracy support into a meaningful plank of his foreign policy will require his team to grapple head-on with…

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