Journal of Democracy Launches New Website
The Journal of Democracy recently launched a new website, located at www.ned.org/jod/jod.htm. It contains the table of contents of the current issue, as well as links to “Election Watch” and selected articles in full text. The site also has a searchable index of all the articles ever published in the Journal, as well as tables of contents from previous issues. In addition, supplementary material, such as appendices and related documents, will be posted exclusively on the website. It also features a “Discussion Forum,” where readers can submit comments on current and past articles. For more information, please visit the site or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NED Announces Democracy Award Winners
On May 3, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) presented its 2000 Democracy Award to Veton Surroi, editor and publisher of the Albanian-language Kosovar newspaper Koha Ditore, and Natasa Kandiç, head of the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Center, which has documented human-rights violations in Yugoslavia since 1992. The two individuals were honored for their courage, as well as their commitment to democracy and human rights. Senator Richard Lugar, a NED board member, presented the award to Veton Surroi, and NED chairman John Brademas presented it to Natasa Kandiç. Senator Lugar called Surroi a “true hero” and “a man of moderation in an area of the world where moderation and reconciliation have been extraordinarily difficult to practice.” Brademas praised Kandiç’s unflagging dedication to the cause of democracy in Serbia. Other speakers included Martin C.M. Lee, leader of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong and recipient of the 1997 Democracy Award, Senator Paul Wellstone, and Representative Elliot Engel. [End Page 188]
Constitution-Making for the Commonwealth
Last November, following consultations with constitutional experts in Africa, the New Delhi-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) published a list of recommendations on constitution-making and submitted it to Commonwealth heads of government. The recommendations emphasize the process by which citizens can participate in the making of a new constitution. A number of Southern Africa Development Community representatives have drawn upon the document in the course of their discussions with member countries on constitutional matters. Founded in 1987, CHRI is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving human rights within the countries of the Commonwealth. For more information, see www.human rightsinitiative.org.
Sustaining Democracy in Southern Africa
On May 8-10, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, the government of Botswana, and the Parliamentary and Elections Forums of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) cosponsored a conference in Gaborone, Botswana, entitled “Towards Sustainable Democratic Institutions in Southern Africa.” Panel sessions included overviews of elections, political parties, and political party funding in the region, as well as case studies of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Among those scheduled to attend were Botswana president Festus G. Mogae, SADC Elections Forum president Justice L. Makame, and Lord David Steel, presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament. For more information, see www.idea.int.
Congolese Woman Wins Human Rights Award
On April 13 in Geneva, the 2000 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders was presented to Immaculée Birhaheka, director of the Goma-based Promotion et Appui aux Initiatives Feminines (PAIF–Promotion and Support of Women’s Initiatives). The award, issued by the Swiss-based Martin Ennals Foundation, was given in recognition of Ms. Birhaheka’s efforts to promote the rights of women in her country in the face of constant threats and arrest. For more information, see www.digitalsmile.com/mea/.
Asian Center for Democratic Governance
The governments of the United States and India recently announced the launching of a joint, non-governmental initiative called the Asian Center for Democratic Governance. Organized by the National Endowment for Democracy and the Confederation of Indian Industry, the new center was announced by President Bill Clinton at a joint press [End Page 189] conference with Prime Minister Atul Bihari Vajpayee on 21 March 2000, following the president’s address to the Indian Parliament. The center will be based in New Delhi and will organize conferences and workshops aimed at the strengthening of democracy and market economies throughout Asia. In addition to these activities, the center will involve itself in training young leaders, conducting exchanges of scholars and journalists, and linking Asian research institutions and corporate associations in information exchanges and other forms of collaboration.
Accountability in Latin America
On May 18-19, the Torcuato di Tella University hosted a conference in Buenos Aires on “The Politics of Societal Accountability in the New Latin American Democracies.” Participants included such scholars as Andrew Arato (New School University), Guillermo O’Donnell (University of Notre Dame), Catalina Smulovitz and Enrique Peruzzotti (Torcuato di Tella), and Adam Przeworski (New York University). For more information, visit the conference website at: www.utdt.edu/congresos/politica/account.htm.
On May 8-9, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame held a similar conference, entitled “Institutions, Accountability, and Democratic Governance in Latin America.” The discussions addressed the relationship between horizontal account-ability and institutions in new democracies, including legislatures, judiciaries, civil society, party systems, and presidentialism. The event concluded with the presentation of the first Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America to Enrique V. Iglesias, president of the Inter-American Development Bank. For more information, see www.nd.edu/~kellogg/account.html.
Legal and Judicial Development
On June 5-7, the World Bank hosted a conference in Washington, D.C., entitled “Comprehensive Legal and Judicial Development: Towards an Agenda for a Just and Equitable Society in the 21st Century.” The keynote address was delivered by Amartya Sen. Topics considered in panel discussions included accountability, poverty, corruption, the media, civil society, and the role of multilateral institutions. For more information, see www.worldbank.org/legal/ljrconference.html.
Democratization in Asia
On May 12-15, the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) hosted a conference in Jakarta entitled “Democratic Transitions in Asia: Agenda for Action.” The meeting included addresses by Martin C.M. Lee of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong and Sam Rainsy, CALD chairman and member of the Cambodian parliament. Topics of plenary sessions included “Developing [End Page 190] Democratic Institutions and Processes,” “Strengthening Civil Society and Free Media,” and “Consolidating Democratic Gains: The Indonesian Experience.”
Report on NED’s International Forum
On June 13, the Forum and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars cosponsored a roundtable discussion on “Democratization in Iran.” The meeting had two sessions: The first, entitled “The Situation in Iran” and moderated by William G. Miller (Wilson Center), discussed the current and future political situation within Iran and featured presentations by Ladan Boroumand (International Forum), Ramin Jahanbegloo (University of Toronto), and Mehrdad Mashayekhi (George Mason University). The second session, entitled “Iran in Comparative Context” and moderated by Marc F. Plattner (International Forum), focused on the possible lessons from democratization in other countries that might be applied to Iran and included presentations by Houchang Chehabi (Boston University), Michael McFaul (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and Daniel Brumberg (Georgetown University).
The Forum is pleased to welcome Toshimitsu Shigemura, an editorial writer for Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, as a Visiting Fellow from July to December 2000. He will conduct research on the role of democracy in U.S.-Japanese-Korean relations and will also study the prospects for democratization in North Korea.
Two events were recently held to celebrate the publication of the The Democratic Invention, the ninth Journal of Democracy book to be published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Based on a lecture series cosponsored by the Forum, Portugal’s Mário Soares Foundation, and the Luso-American Development Foundation, this collection of essays is coedited by Marc F. Plattner and JoaÐo Carlos Espada of the Portuguese Catholic University. On April 14, Espada and NED president Carl Gershman presented George Washington University president Steven Joel Trachtenberg with a copy of The Democratic Invention in honor of his university’s role in hosting the lecture series. On May 2, Georgetown University’s Department of Government, where Espada spent the spring semester as Luso-American Foundation Visiting Professor, hosted a reception celebrating the publication both of this volume and of The Liberal Tradition in Focus: Problems & New Perspectives, published by Lexington Books and coedited by Espada, Plattner, and Adam Wolfson. The reception followed a lecture by Espada on “The Tradition of Liberty and Why It Matters.”
Lynne Rienner Publishers recently published Consolidating Democracy in South Korea, coedited by Larry Diamond and Byung-kook Kim. The volume stemmed from a 1996 conference in Seoul cosponsored by the International Forum and Korea University. This book sheds light on the dilemmas, tensions, and contradictions accompanying democratic consolidation in Korea.
Copyright © 2000 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press