News and Notes

Issue Date October 2014
Volume 25
Issue 4
Page Numbers 186-188
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Reconsidering the Third Wave

On June 23–25, the Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal held its annual political forum in Estoril entitled “Reconsidering the Third Wave of Democratization: 40 Years After the Portuguese Revolution (1974) and 25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989).” The conference featured panels reflecting on these two important anniversaries, as well as sessions on Portugal’s democratic transition and the future of democracy in Central Europe, Africa, and Brazil.

Major addresses were delivered by Francisco Pinto Balsemão, former prime minister of Portugal; Adam Daniel Rotfeld, former foreign minister of Poland; Catherine Marshall, Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye; Lord Raymond Plant, King’s College, London; Robert Sherman, U.S. ambassador to Portugal; and Thomas B. Stehling, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Panelists included João Carlos Espada, director of the Institute of Political Studies; Clifford Orwin, University of Toronto; Ivan Krastev, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria; Paul Flather, Oxford; Marc F. Plattner, Journal of Democracy; Miguel Morgado, political advisor to the Portuguese prime minister; Susan Shell, Boston College; and Manuel de Araújo, mayor of Quelimane, Mozambique.

Towards an Action Program for Democracy in Africa

On August 5, the National Endowment for Democracy, in partnership with other leading democracy and human-rights organizations, hosted an African civil society conference in Washington, D.C. entitled “Towards an Action Program for Democracy.” This event coincided with the U.S. African Leaders’ Summit, an event that brought African heads of state to the White House to discuss strengthening ties between the United States and Africa. The meeting at NED assembled nearly a hundred prominent human-rights and democracy activists from all over Africa to exchange views on[End Page 186] the challenges to freedom throughout the region. Participants formed thematic working groups around six issues: “Human Rights,” “Good Governance and Accountability,” “Elections,” “Media,” “Conflict and Security,” and “Civil Society Challenges.” On the next day, the working groups reconvened in a public meeting with members of the U.S. House of Representatives at the Cannon House Office Building to offer specific recommendations on how to consolidate democratic gains in Africa.

Rethinking Democracy Promotion

On June 9, The American Interest, Freedom House, and Johns Hopkins–SAIS organized a conference on “Re-thinking Democracy Promotion Amid Rising Authoritarianism.” The event featured panels on the threat of authoritarianism and its impact on the state of democracy promotion today. The speakers also put forth recommendations for advancing a democratic agenda in a world in which autocrats are expanding their influence.

The opening session of the conference featured presentations by Charles Davidson and Walter Russell Mead of The American Interest and Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University. Remarks also were delivered by Elliott Abrams (Council on Foreign Relations); Michael Mandelbaum (SAIS); Paula Dobriansky (Kennedy School of Government); David J. Kramer (Freedom House); Robert Kagan (Brookings); Andrew Nathan (Columbia University); Zainab al-Suwaij (American Islamic Congress); Ruth Wedgwood (SAIS); Carl Gershman (National Endowment for Democracy); Thomas Carothers (Carnegie Endowment); and Daniel Calingaert (Freedom House).


The April 2009 essay, “Singapore: Does Authoritarianism Pay?” coauthored by Marco Verweij and Riccardo Pelizzo, incorrectly listed Singapore’s land area as “fewer than fifty square miles”; it is in fact 276.5 square miles, or 716 square kilometers. The editors regret the error.

NED’s International Forum

On July 14, the Forum hosted a discussion on “Ukraine: The Maid-an and Beyond” in conjunction with the publication of a cluster of articles on Ukraine in the July 2014 Journal of Democracy. The panel featured the authors of four of the articles: Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics; Nadia Diuk, vice-president for programs at the National Endowment for Democracy; Serhiy Kudelia, assistant professor of political science at Baylor University; and Lucan Way, associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

On July 28, the Forum hosted an event entitled “Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova: How Corruption[End Page 187] Threatens the Eastern Partnership,” based on a series of papers commissioned by the London-based Legatum Institute in partnership with the New York-based Institute of Modern Russia. The panelists included journalist and author Oliver Bullough; British journalist and documentary producer Peter Pomerantsev; ; and Olga Khvostunova, editor-in-chief of Anne Applebaum, director of Legatum’s Transitions Forum, moderated the panel, and Forum executive director Christopher Walker delivered opening remarks.

On July 31, the Forum hosted a roundtable on “Russian Propaganda and the New Information War,” led by Peter Pomerantsev and moderated by Christopher Walker.

On August 29, the Forum and ANTICORRP (a five-year research project funded by the European Commission) organized a panel at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in Washington D.C. Entitled “Transitions to Good Governance: Who Is Succeeding and Why?” the panel was chaired by Marc F. Plattner, coeditor of the Journal of Democracy. Papers were presented by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, ANTICORRP and Hertie School of Governance, Berlin; Bruce M. Wilson, University of Central Florida; Daniel Buquet, Universidad de la República, Uruguay and Rafael Piñeiro, Catholic University of Uruguay; and Jong-Sung You, Australian National University. Michael Johnston, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science at Colgate University, served as a discussant.

The Forum also hosted several events featuring Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows. On June 19, human-rights lawyer Delphine Djiraibe (Chad) delivered a talk entitled “How to Bring a Dictator to Justice: The Hissen Habré Trial.” On June 24, Ekaterine Popkhadze (Georgia), former executive director of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), spoke at a roundtable discussion on “Judicial Independence: A Linchpin for Georgian Democracy.” On June 26, journalist Maria Clara R. M. do Prado (Brazil) gave a talk entitled “More Equality, More Democracy: The Case of Brazil.” On July 8, law professor Gábor Halmai (Hungary) spoke on “The Rise and Fall of Constitutionalism in Hungary.” On July 10, Merera Gudina Jefi, a professor and opposition leader in Ethiopia, delivered a presentation entitled “Ethiopia’s Democratic Transition: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.” On July 23, Sabir Nazar, an editorial cartoonist with Pakistan’s Express Tribune, gave a talk on “Resisting Extremism through Media: Claiming a Space for Political Cartoons in Pakistan.”

On September 19, the Forum is scheduled to resume its roundtable series on the “World Movement Against Democracy,” with a session on the efforts of authoritarian regimes to undermine international democratic norms. Alexander Cooley (Barnard College) and Christopher Sabatini (Americas Society) will be the opening speakers. [End Page 188]