NED Democracy Awards
On June 9, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) awarded four longtime Russian activists its annual Democracy Award. The four honorees were Ludmilla Alekseeva, founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Group and since 1998 president of the International Helsinki Foundation; Arseny Roginsky, cofounder of the Memorial International Society; Aleksei Simonov, president of the Glasnost Defense Foundation; and Mara Polyakova, director of the Independent Council of Legal Expertise. Speakers at the award ceremony included Lorne Craner, U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, and U.S. senator Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.).
The event included a panel discussion on the threats to Russian democracy, featuring former dissident Elena Bonner, widow of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov; Michael McFaul, Stanford University; and U.S. senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). U.S. librarian of Congress James H. Billington moderated the discussion. More information about the Democracy Awards and a video of the event can be found at www.ned.org.
Conference: The Transatlantic Relationship
“Ideas of Europe and the Trans-Atlantic Relationship” was the theme of the Twelfth Annual Meeting in Political Studies, hosted in Cascais, Portugal, on July 7-10 by the Institute for Political Studies of the Portuguese Catholic University. The many Portuguese participants included João Carlos Espada, director of the Institute, and José Arantes, assistant to the prime minister. Among the speakers from elsewhere were Radek Sikorski, New Atlantic Initiative; Craig Kennedy, German Marshall Fund; Penn Kemble, Freedom House; John O’Sullivan, The National Interest; Anthony O’Hear, Royal Institute of Philosophy; Daniel [End Page 187] Johnson, Daily Telegraph (London); Susan Shell, Boston College; Piotr Naimski, Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu (Poland); Rafael Bardají and Florentino Portero, GEES (Madrid); Marc F. Plattner, Journal of Democracy;James Ceaser, University of Virginia; and William Kristol, The Weekly Standard. The program and a number of the papers are available at www.ucp.pt/iep/eep_prog_2004.html.
The European Profile in Democracy Assistance
On July 4-6, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy hosted a working conference entitled “Enhancing the European Profile in Democracy Assistance.” The meeting, convened in The Hague during the Dutch EU presidency, produced a declaration (available at www.democracyagenda.org) that calls on the European Parliament and other European bodies to make democracy assistance an integral feature of the common EU foreign and security policy. Among those who addressed the conference were Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende and former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright.
Taiwan Foundation Celebrates First Anniversary
A ceremony attended by Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian was held in Taipei on June 14 to commemorate the first anniversary of the nonpartisan Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), which strives to aid the consolidation of Taiwan’s democracy and to participate in assisting democracy throughout the world. In his speech, President Chen noted that Taiwan was grateful for external support in its democratic reform, and hoped to repay the good will it had received by sharing its democratization experience with others. Other speakers included Foreign Minister Tan Sun Chen; TFD chairman and Legislative Yuan president Wang Jin-pyng; TFD president Michael Y.M. Kau; NED president Carl Gershman; and University of Paris professor Charles Zorgbibe.
In Response to Ivan Krastev
A German translation of “The Anti-American Century?” the article by Ivan Krastev featured in our April 2004 issue, appeared in the June 2004 issue of Transit, which is published by the Vienna-based Institute for Human Sciences. Transit also ran two comments on Krastev’s article: “Little America” by Janos Matyas Kovacs, and “Amerikanophilie wider Willen” (Americanophilia against their will) by Michael Mertes. Journal of Democracy readers who wish to read these responses may find them at www.journalofdemocracy.org. (Mertes’s article is available only in German.)
Report on NED’s International Forum
In cooperation with Democracy Digest—a weekly electronic bulletin published by the Transatlantic [End Page 188] Democracy Network—the International Forum hosted an August 13 event entitled “The State of Arab Liberalism: Implications for Democracy Promotion in the Middle East.” The seminar featured Middle East experts Tamara Cofman Wittes, research fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, and Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herziliya, Israel. Laith Kubba, NED senior program officer for the Middle East and North Africa, commented on the presentations. The event was broadcast live on C-SPAN and can be viewed at www.ned.org.
The International Forum’s Network of Democracy Research Institutes organized a panel discussion entitled “Bridging the Gap Between Research and Policy: A Roundtable on the Role of Democracy Research Institutes in New and Developing Democracies”at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in Chicago on September 2-5. The panelists were Byung-kook Kim of the East Asia Institute (Korea), E. Gyimah-Boadi of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, Elizabeth Ungar of Congreso Visible (Colombia), and Alina Mungiu-Pippidi of the Romanian Academic Society.
A number of Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows in residence at the Forum gave luncheon presentations as described below:
On June 16, Muborak Tashpulatova, executive director of the Tashkent Public Education Center, spoke on “Uzbekistan: The Road to Nowhere?”
On June 21, Oleksandr Fisun, associate professor of political science at Kharkiv National University in Ukraine, gave a presentation on “Understanding Post-Soviet Politics: New Democracies or Neopatrimonial Systems?”
A July 22 seminar entitled “Encouraging Youth Participation in Human Rights Work: Perspectives from Central Asia and the Caucasus” featured a presentation by Maria Lisitsyna, director of the Youth Human Rights Group based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
On July 28, Fidaa Shehada of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Institution for the Dissemination of Democracy and Community Development (Panorama) gave a presentation entitled “Is Democracy Possible in Palestine?”
And on August 5, Mohamed Al-Yahyai, an Omani journalist who has served as an editor, correspondent, and columnist at a wide range of Arab-language newspapers and magazines, spoke on “The Internet as a Tool for Democratization in the Arab Gulf Region.”
Nine new Reagan-Fascell Fellows were scheduled to arrive in early October: Ilyas Akhmadov (Chechnya/United States), Dragan Djurić (Montenegro), Hoon Jaung (South Korea), Abiodun Kolawole (Nigeria), Chingiz Mammadov (Azerbaijan), James Lapani Ng’ombe (Malawi), Akintola Olaniyan (Nigeria), Julia Savchenko (Kyrgyzstan), and Vitali Silitsky (Belarus). In addition, political scientist Michael McFaul of Stanford University will be in residence as an unfunded part-time visiting fellow.
Copyright © 2004 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press