News and Notes

Issue Date October 1995
Volume 6
Issue 4
Page Numbers 185-87
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Conference on Third Wave Democracies Held in Taiwan

On 27–30 August 1995, the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies and the Institute for National Policy Research (INPR) of Taiwan co-sponsored a major conference on “Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies: Trends and Challenges” in Taipei. More than 60 scholars and democratic leaders from over 25 countries attended, along with numerous participants from Taiwan.

An opening address by President Lee Teng-hui of Taiwan appears in this issue of the Journal. During the meeting, the participants also heard special presentations by Premier Lien Chan; James Soong, governor of Taiwan province; and Chen Shui-bian, mayor of Taipei.

President Lee’s address was followed by a keynote speech by Samuel P. Huntington and a panel on “Challenges of Democratic Consolidation,” featuring a paper by Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, with comments by Robert Dahl. The remaining panels focused on institutional designs and party systems; civil-military relations; regional trends; civil society; external influences; democracy and development; democratization in Taiwan; and prospects for mainland China.

Other prominent political scientists who served as paper presenters or commentators included Bolívar Lamounier; Guillermo O’Donnell; Abraham Lowenthal; Robert Scalapino; Philippe Schmitter; Fu Hu; Adam Przeworski; Francis Fukuyama; and Andrew Nathan.

Among the democratic leaders from third wave democracies who participated were former prime ministers Yegor Gaidar (Russia) and Mart Laar (Estonia); former minister of the presidency Edgardo Boeninger (Chile); José María Maravall, former minister of education and science (Spain); Wilmot James, executive director of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa; and Aleksander Smolar, chairman of the Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland).

Also appearing in this issue of the Journal is the paper on mainland China presented by Minxin [End Page 185] Pei. Revised versions of other conference papers will be published in future issues. The papers will ultimately be published in book form under the joint editorship of Hung-mao Tien and Yun-han Chu of INPR and Marc F. Plattner and Larry Diamond of the International Forum. INPR will also publish a report on the conference proceedings.

Conference Examines Options for Africa

Some 35 policy makers, scholars, and representatives of NGOs gathered in Washington, D.C., on June 9 for a symposium on “Elections and Conflict Resolution in Africa.” Organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the meeting highlighted lessons to be drawn for democratization and conflict management from the wave of post-Cold War political transitions in Africa.

Participants debated the utility of elections as a tool for resolving conflict, and discussed ways in which Africans can improve the processes leading up to elections as well as election events themselves. Also explored was the question of which electoral system will best serve the continent’s developing nations; the present issue of the Journal includes a debate by two of the conference presenters, Joel D. Barkan and Andrew Reynolds, on the merits of proportional representation versus majoritarian electoral systems.

With elections slated in more than 30 African states within the next five years, considerable attention was given to the appropriate role of the international community in facilitating democratic outcomes and promoting conflict resolution on the continent.

Papers presented at the conference are currently being prepared for publication in book form; the volume, which will be edited by Andrew Reynolds and Timothy Sisk, is scheduled to be issued by the USIP Press in 1996.

New Resource on Democracy Available

Congressional Quarterly Books has just issued The Encyclopedia of Democracy, a four-volume reference work tracing the evolution of democracy from ancient Greece to the present. Edited by Seymour Martin Lipset, the heavily illustrated work comprises more than four hundred original articles by some two hundred prominent scholars. Coverage includes specific countries, geographic regions, historical eras, prominent individuals, and philosophical concepts relating to democracy. For more information or to place an order, contact Congressional Quarterly Books, 1414 22nd St., NW, Washington, DC 20037; phone, 202-822-1475 or 1-800-638-1710; fax, 202-887-6706.

Ditchley Foundation Hosts Conference on Corruption

“Corruption in Democratic Societies: Patterns, Implications, Remedies” [End Page 186] was the focus of an international meeting sponsored by the Ditchley Foundation in Ditchley Park, England, from June 30 to July 2. The conference was chaired by John Brademas, president emeritus of New York University and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1959–81).

Three working groups explored, respectively, the sources and structures of corruption; the impact of corruption on societies, political systems, and international relations; and strategies and instruments for tackling the problem. Specific topics addressed included the relationship between corruption in government and corruption in business, and the roles of the media and the judiciary in combatting corruption.

Among the conference presenters was Peter Eigen, chairman of the recently formed NGO Transparency International, which seeks to build international coalitions to combat the increasingly global phenomenon. Participants agreed that such nongovernmental efforts were an important complement to a genuine commitment at the top levels of governments and parliaments to a more honest political environment.

Report on NED’s International Forum

The Johns Hopkins University Press has just issued Economic Reform and Democracy, a Journal of Democracy book edited by Forum directors Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner. The volume of essays is the product of the first major research project undertaken by the Forum. It includes essays that were originally commissioned for the Forum’s conference on the subject held in Washington, D.C., in May 1994 (and later published in the October 1994 special issue of the Journal), as well as several essays subsequently commissioned to address other aspects of the topic. Economic Reform and Democracy, as well as three earlier Journal of Democracy books—The Global Resurgence of Democracy (1993); Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy Revisited (1993); and Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Democracy (1994)—can be ordered from the Johns Hopkins University Press, Hampden Station, Baltimore, MD 21211; phone, 1-800-537-5487.

The Forum recently published “Civil-Military Relations and the Consolidation of Democracy,” a report on a conference that the Forum co-sponsored with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in March 1995. Forum reports can be obtained by contacting the Interna- tional Forum for Democratic Studies, 1101 15th St., NW, Suite 802, Washington, DC 20005; phone, 202-293-0300; fax, 202-293-0258; e-mail,

On 14–15 March 1996, the Japan Institute of International Affairs, the Institute of Public Policy Studies (Thailand), and the Forum will jointly sponsor a major conference focusing on “Democracy in East Asia.” More details about the meeting, which is to be held in Washington, D.C., will appear in a future issue.


Copyright © 1995 National Endowment for Democracy and the Johns Hopkins University Press