I was also wondering about the ability of EA to meaningfully contribute to democracy promotion. Perhaps a less costly way than funding pro-democracy foreign aid and more feasible way than election monitoring may be the promotion of the idea that democracy is good for economic growth. There is a forthcoming paper in the American Political Science Review by Scott Abramson and Sergio Montero called ''Learning about Growth and Democracy'' showing that autocracies are more likely to become democratic at times when democracies outperform autocracies in economic growth (unfortunately the reverse also holds). This is primarily attributed to a learning effect among political leaders who look at other countries to see what the best institutional setup for economic growth is. One takeaway of the paper is that the best way to promote democracy is to encourage economic growth within democracies. Assuming (reasonably I would say) that EA cannot meaningfully alter the economic growth trajectories of democracies, another possible takeaway from the paper is that it may be helpful to promote the idea among potential leaders or relevant civil societies in autocracies or fragile democracies that democracy is helpful for economic growth.