News and Notes

Issue Date April 2000
Volume 11
Issue 2
Page Numbers 187-89
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Does Federalism Matter?

On February 25-26, Princeton University’s Center of International Studies sponsored a conference entitled “Does Federalism Matter? Political Institutions and the Management of Territorial Cleavages.” The meeting, organized by Nancy Bermeo (Princeton University) and Ugo Amoretti (University of Genoa), focused on North America and Europe, with case studies presented on Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium. Comparative papers were presented by Alfred Stepan (Columbia University), Thomas Romer (Princeton), R. Kent Weaver (Brookings Institution), Ferran Requejo (Pompeu Fabra University), Bert Rockman (University of Pittsburgh), and Uwe Leonardy. On September 22-23, the International Forum for Democratic Studies will cosponsor a follow-up conference with the Center of International Studies that will focus on developing and post-communist countries, including India, Nigeria, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, and Turkey.

Conference on Democracy in the South

On January 29, the Moroccan quarterly Prologues, the French quarterly Esprit, and the Fondation Abderrahim Bouabid cosponsored a conference in Salé, Morocco entitled “The Future of Democracy in the Countries of the South.” The speakers included Mohamed Guessous (Université Mohammed V) on processes of democratization in the South; Olivier Mongin (Esprit) on the lessons of Kosovo; Isidoro Cheresky (University of Buenos Aires) on democratic stability in Latin America; Jean-Philippe Béja (CERI) on political reforms and democratic transition in China; Zaki Laidi (Fondation Abderrahim Bouabid) on globalization and democracy; Mohamed [End Page 187] Tozy (Université Hassan II) on political transitions in the Maghreb; and Mohamed Charfi (CERI) on international pressures and democracy in the South.

Liberian Journal of Democracy Launched

In December 1999, Liberia Democracy Watch published the first quarterly issue of the Liberian Journal of Democracy. Edited by Jerome J. Verdier and Augustine P. Toure, the Journal is intended to stimulate both intellectual debate and discussion of practical policy issues. Essays in the first issue included “Beyond Authoritarianism: The Quest to Build Democracy in Liberia,” “Instability in Liberia and Sierra Leone and the Growing Menace of Political Violence,” and “The Role of a Free Press in an Emerging Democracy.”

Democracy in the New Millennium

On February 16-19, the University of Houston, with the support of the National Science Foundation, sponsored a conference entitled, “Re-Thinking Democracy in the New Millennium.” Topics of discussion included “Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Social Identity”; “Can Democracies Survive in an Environment of Political Intolerance?”; “Funding Opportunities and Collaborative Research”; “Institutional Design as a Panacea for Successful Democratization?”; “Political Parties: Relevant or Inconsequential in Modern Democracies?”; “Electoral Systems in New Democracies”; “Political Culture: Does it Matter? For What?”; “Judicial Institutions as Agents of Democratization?”; and “Social Capital in New Democracies.” For more information, including papers from the conference, see

Burma Fund Meeting

The Burma Fund held a conference at the American University in Washington, D.C., on January 29-30 intended to open up a broad-based and participatory dialogue on meeting the challenges before, during, and after a future democratic transition in Burma. The meeting brought together policy specialists in a variety of fields and supporters of the Burmese democracy movement to focus on policy issues that need to be addressed to improve the prospects for democratization and national reconstruction. For more information contact or visit

Report on NED’s International Forum

On January 20, the Journal of Democracy celebrated the publication of its tenth anniversary issue with a panel discussion and a reception at George Washington University (GWU). The panel, whose subject was “Alexis de Tocqueville and the [End Page 188] Future of Democracy,” was introduced by Larry Diamond and moderated by Marc F. Plattner, coeditors of the Journal. The panelists were Francis Fukuyama (George Mason University), Hahm Chaibong (Yonsei University, Korea), Seymour Martin Lipset (George Mason University), and H. Kwasi Prempeh (Center for Democracy and Development, Ghana). An edited transcript of the panel discussion is posted on the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website (located at A reception following the panel also honored retiring NED board members Edward Donley and Thomas H. Kean. Remarks were presented by NED chairman John Brademas and president Carl Gershman and GWU president Steven Trachtenberg.

The Forum is pleased to welcome two new visiting fellows. Joel Barkan, professor of political science at the University of Iowa, will be at the Forum from January through August. He will first be completing his book “Decentralization and Democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa” and then will be working on a comparative study of early elections in transitional polities. Anita Inder Singh, recently a fellow at the Centre for International Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science, will be a short-term fellow from February through April, working on “Democracy, Ethnic Diversity, and Post-Cold War Security.”

Two luncheon seminars were recently hosted by the Forum. On February 17 Moisés Naím, editor of Foreign Policy, presented “Reflections on the Situation in Venezuela.” On March 1 Forum visiting fellow Dogu Ergil spoke on “Turkish Democracy and the Kurdish Question.”

On December 11-12, the Democracy Forum for East Asia (a joint project with Korea’s Sejong Institute) held a workshop in Sungnam, Korea on “Politics of Economic Reform and Civil Society Responses.” The sessions were titled “Providing Democratic Leadership,” “Conflicting Interests and Strategies of Governmental Actors in Effecting Economic Reform,” and “Civil Society’s Response to and Shaping of the Economic Reform Agenda.” On March 21-22, a workshop was held in Seoul on “Democratization of Political Parties in East Asia,” with sessions on “Party Structure,” “Party Decision-Making,” “The Candidate Nomination Process,” and “Citizen Outreach.” The workshops were attended by participants from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Australia, and Japan, as well as Korea and the United States.

Finally, in March the Johns Hopkins University Press published The Democratic Invention, its ninth Journal of Democracy book. The volume, edited by Marc F. Plattner and Joao Carlos Espada, is a collection of essays based on a lecture series held in Washington, D.C., and cosponsored with the Mário Soares Foundation and the Luso-American Development Foundation.


Copyright © 2000 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press