News and Notes

Issue Date January 2008
Volume 19
Issue 1
Page Numbers 187-88
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Fourth Annual Lipset Lecture

Pierre Hassner, Research Director Emeritus at the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales in Paris, delivered the fourth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on November 15. The lecture was entitled “Russia’s Transition to Autocracy: The Implications for World Politics.” The lecture, which was also given on November 26 at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, will be published in the April 2008 Journal of Democracy.

India Meeting

On December 6–7, the New Delhi–based Institute of Social Sciences held a conference titled “India and the Worldwide Movement for Democracy: What India can learn from other experiences and what it has to give.” Special lectures were presented by Malaysian former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim and Journal coeditor Larry Diamond. Indian participants included former chief justice J.S. Verma; Farooq Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir; and M.S. Gill, former chief election commissioner.

Community of Democracies

Participants from more than 100 countries met in Bamako, Mali, on November 14–17 for the Fourth Ministerial of the Community of Democracies. Democracy activists and representatives from participating countries took part in this biannual meeting to discuss the state of democracy in the world. For additional information, see


Due to an editorial oversight, a citation was missing from the article [End Page 187] by Ladan Boroumand in the October 2007 Journal of Democracy. Endnote 10 (p. 78) should have included “Bill Sami’i, ‘Iran: Do The Presidential Vote Numbers Really Add Up?’ Radio Liberty, 30 June 2005.” The Journal of Democracy regrets the error.

Report on NED’s International Forum

Dr. Diego Abente-Brun became deputy director of the International Forum on 1 January 2008. He is a former professor of political science at Miami University (Ohio), and served in his native Paraguay as a senator, cabinet minister, and ambassador to the OAS. He was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the International Forum in spring 2007.

On October 25, the International Forum and the Georgetown Forum for the Study of Democracy and Autocracy cosponsored an event at Georgetown University. Larry Diamond, coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, gave a presentation entitled “The Spirit of Democracy.” Daniel Brumberg of Georgetown and Journal coeditor Marc F. Plattner chaired the event, which featured comments by Georgetown professors John Bailey, Harley Balzer, and Marc Howard.

Diamond’s presentation was based on his forthcoming book, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World, which will be published by Times Books in January. A new book by Marc F. Plattner, Democracy Without Borders? Global Challenges to Liberal Democracy, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in November 2007.

On November 27, Ladan Boroumand gave a luncheon presentation on “Iran’s Resilient Civil Society,” based on her October 2007 Journal of Democracy article.

In autumn 2007, the Johns Hopkins University Press published The State of India’s Democracy (edited by Sumit Ganguly, Larry Diamond, and Marc F. Plattner), the newest volume in the Journal of Democracy book series. A reception celebrating its publication was scheduled to be held on December 11 at the residence of the vice-president of India in New Delhi.

In October, the Forum welcomed a group of new Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows: Leila Alieva (Azerbaijan), Tihana Bartulac-Blanc (Croatia), Ousam Baysaev (Russia), Angelo Izama (Uganda), Tapera Kapuya (Zimbabwe), Prem Khanal (Nepal), and Mustafa Sidqi (Iraq). They will be in residence through February 2008. Susan Alberts (U.S.) will be a visiting fellow through June 2008.

On November 5, former fellow Jaime Ordoñez of the Observatory for Democracy in Central America, part of Costa Rica’s Centro Estudios Para el Futuro, gave a talk entitled “Rule of Law and Democracy in Central America: The 2007 Central American Report on Legal and Institutional Governance.” Olav Kjorven of the United Nations Development Program and Adrian Torrealba-Navas of the Latin-American Association of Tax Law commented.