Direct and open external economic and diplomatic interference in domestic politics in the context of development co-operation is a rather new phenomenon, which started in the early 1990s. Its roots can be traced back to economic conditionality, generally known as structural adjustment on the one side and to the "velvet revolution" in Central and Eastern Europe on the other. Political conditionality constitutes a radical break with one of the central pillars of the post war international order: the rule of non-interference. On a normative level, it therefore demands a very careful weighing of state sovereignty against the defence of human rights and democracy. A reasonable case can be made in favour of intervention, however considering the results of political as well as economic conditionality in the past, we must also admit that we find very limited success. In the case of political conditionality it can even be argued that promoters of democracy have to consider carefully whether in some countries less interference is not more fruitful.