News and Notes

Issue Date October 2010
Volume 21
Issue 4
Page Numbers 184-186
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NED Democracy Award

On June 10, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) presented its annual Democracy Award to the Green Movement in Iran. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) spoke at the award ceremony on Capitol Hill. Samantha Power, the National Security Council’s senior director for multilateral affairs, read a statement from President Obama and presented her own remarks as well. NED Board Vice-Chairman Judy Shelton presented the award. Iranian poet Simin Behbahani had been invited to accept the award on behalf of the Green Movement, but the Iranian authorities did not allow her to leave the country, and her acceptance statement was read by Mahnaz Afkhami of the Women’s Learning Partnership. A documentary about the Green Movement entitled “Iran: A Struggle for Freedom” was shown before the presentation of the award.

The award ceremony was preceded by a conference entitled “One Year Later: Prospects for a Democratic Transition in Iran” that featured addresses by senators Ted Kaufman and John McCain. Participants on the panels included Abbas Milani of Stanford University, Azar Nafisi of Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Brumberg of Georgetown University, Larry Diamond of Stanford University, Ladan Boroumand of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, Ali Akbar Mousavi of Stanford University, and Nikahang Kowsar, an Iranian satirist and blogger.

For more information and to view the film, please see:

Political Dimensions of the Economic Crisis

The annual meeting of the Institute of Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal [End Page 184] (IEP–UCP), held in Estoril on June 24–26, focused on “Political Dimensions of the Economic Crisis: The Future of the Market Economy and Democracy.” A series of panels and roundtables was devoted to discussions of how support for democracy and the market economy has been affected by the economic crisis in different regions of the world.

A panel and roundtable entitled “The Future of Democracy,” chaired by John O’Sullivan of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, featured presentations by Ivan Krastev of the Centre for Liberal Studies in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Larry Diamond of Stanford University, with comments by Lívia Franco and Raquel Vaz Pinto of IEP–UCP; João Marques de Almeida of the European Commission; and Marc Plattner of the Journal of Democracy.

The meeting also included the first Dahrendorf Memorial Lecture, which was given by Professor Raymond Plant (Lord Plant of Highfield).

North Korea Conference

On August 19–22, the tenth Annual International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees was held in Toronto, Canada. The Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights cosponsored the event with the Canadian human rights organization HanVoice.

Speakers included Randall Baran-Chong of HanVoice; Carl Gershman of the National Endowment for Democracy; Deepak Obhrai, parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs of Canada; Roberta Cohen of the Brookings Institution; Man-ho Heo of Kyungpook National University in the Republic of Korea; and Young Cheol Kim, a former officer in North Korea’s Ministry of People’s Safety who escaped and entered South Korea in February 2008.

Floribert Chebeya Bahizire (1963–2010)

On June 1, Floribert Chebeya Bahizire, director of La Voix des Sans Voix, a human-rights organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was apparently assassinated after being summoned by the police. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an independent and transparent investigation into Chebeya’s death. A longtime leader in Africa’s democratic movement, Chebeya won the Reebok Human Rights award in 1992 for his struggle against the Mobutu dictatorship.

On June 23, the NED held a memorial symposium to honor Chebeya’s life and work. Michael Posner, U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, gave the opening remarks. The panelists were Learned Dees, democracy and human rights officer for the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department; Guillaume Ngefa, president of the Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l’Homme (ASADHO); [End Page 185] Mvemba Dizolele, Peter J. Duignan Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University (2009–2012); and Ann Blyberg of the Institute of International Education.

Comparative Democratization Awards

At the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, held in Washington, D.C., September 2–5, the Comparative Democratization Section presented a series of awards. The award for best book was presented to Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton for The Endurance of National Constitutions. The award for best article was given to two recipients: Daniel Ziblatt for “Shaping Democratic Practice and the Causes of Electoral Fraud: The Case of Nineteenth-Century Germany,” published in the February 2009 issue of the American Political Science Review, and Dan Slater for “Revolutions, Crackdowns, and Quiescence: Communal Elites and Democratic Mobilization in Southeast Asia,” published in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Sociology. For other awards and news about the section, please see

NED’s International Forum

On September 16, the Forum and NED’s Europe Program were scheduled to cosponsor a roundtable entitled “Making Bosnia Work: A Path to a Functioning Democracy.”

On September 24, the Forum was scheduled to host an event to celebrate the publication of Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War by Steven Levitsky, professor of government at Harvard University, and Lucan A. Way, assistant professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

The Forum hosted several luncheon meetings this summer featuring Reagan-Fascell Fellows:

On June 22, Zahid F. Ebrahim, an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, spoke on “The Black Coat Revolution: How Pakistan’s Lawyers Turned the Tide Against General Musharraf’s Dictatorship.” Brian Joseph, senior director of NED’s Asia program, offered comments.

On June 25, María Martin, director of the GraciasVida Center for Media, a nonprofit organization devoted to the practice of independent journalism in the public interest, gave a presentation entitled “The Promise of Rural Journalism in Guatemala’s Fragile Democracy.”

On July 19, Benjamin Reilly, professor of political science at the Australian National University and a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University–SAIS, gave a talk entitled “Democracy in East Asia: An Elephant’s Graveyard?”

The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program has launched a new online application system for the 2011–2012 term. The system can be found at [End Page 186]