News and Notes

Issue Date January 2006
Volume 17
Issue 1
Page Numbers 185-88
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Penn Kemble and the Legacy of Sidney Hook

On October 1, friends of Penn Kemble organized a conference that he had conceptualized on the political legacy of philosopher Sidney Hook. A luncheon address, “Defending American Values at Home and Abroad,” was delivered by Jean Bethke Elshtain of the University of Chicago. Other sessions were devoted to “International Democracy and the New Totalitarianism”; “Liberty and Security: The Precarious Balance”; “Prospects for American Labor”; and “American Liberalism and the Legacy of Sidney Hook.” A special concluding session consisted of tributes to the work of Penn Kemble, coeditor of the online publication Democracy Digest, former deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency, and longtime democratic activist, who died of brain cancer two weeks later on October 15. (A collection of obituaries for Kemble may be found at Panelists at the conference included Tom Donahue, Carl Gershman, Adrian Karatnycky, Joshua Muravchik, Morton Halperin, Michael Allen, Arch Puddington, Paul Berman, Rachelle Horowitz, Max Kampelman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Ben Wattenberg.

Human Rights Awards

At a November 6 ceremony in Bergen, Norway, the Thorolf Rafto Foundation for Human Rights awarded its 2005 Memorial Prize to Chechen lawyer Lida Yusupova for her work documenting human rights violations as head of the Grozny office of Memorial, one of the very few human rights organizations that continue to operate in Chechnya.

The European Parliament awarded its 2005 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to three recipients: The Cuban opposition movement Damas de Blanco (Women in White), which holds peaceful demonstrations against the detention of [End Page 185] their husbands and sons for political reasons; Nigerian human rights lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim; and the international organization Reporters Without Borders, which campaigns for press freedom and defends journalists against censorship and harassment. The awards were scheduled to be presented in Strasbourg on December 14.

Evaluating Democracy in Latin America

Latinobarómetro celebrated its tenth anniversary with a conference at Oxford University’s Latin American Centre on September 19–20. Latinobarómetro, a nonprofit organization based in Santiago, Chile, has carried out regular surveys of opinions, attitudes, and values in Latin America since 1995. Participants included Latinobarómetro executive director Marta Lagos, Alfred Stepan of Columbia University, Laurence Whitehead of Oxford, Leonardo Morlino of the University of Florence, Michael Bratton of Michigan State University, and Doh Shin of the University of Missouri. For more information, see

Lectures on Democracy

A number of notable lectures on democracy were held in Washington, D.C., and New York City:

The second annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World was presented at the Canadian Embassy in Washington on November 2 by Francis Fukuyama of the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), on the topic “Identity, Immigration, and Liberal Democracy.” An earlier version of the lecture was presented on October 19 at the Munk Centre for International Studies of the University of Toronto, which cosponsors the annual Lipset Lecture with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

On November 15–17, Nobel Prize-winning economist and Harvard University professor Amartya Sen delivered a series of three lectures entitled “The Foundations of Democracy,” hosted by the Bernard L. Schwartz Forum on Constructive Capitalism at SAIS.

The New York Democracy Forum, a joint venture between the NED and the Foreign Policy Association, organized three lectures. On October 6, Mark Malloch Brown, chef de cabinet to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and former UNDP administrator, spoke on “UN Reform, Democracy, and Human Rights.” On November 3, Larry Diamond, coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, addressed the question, “Can the Whole World Become Democratic?” And on December 1, former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim discussed “The Future of Muslim Democracy.”

CDATS to Offer New Democracy Degree

The Center for Democracy and the Third Sector (CDATS) and the Department of Government at [End Page 186] Georgetown University have created a new master’s degree program in democracy studies that will commence in the academic year 2006–2007. CDATS also launched a new lecture series, cosponsored by the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, in memory of prominent Romanian philanthropist and statesman Ion Ratiu. The first Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture was delivered on November 8 by Sergio Aguayo, professor of international relations at El Colegio de México, on “Mexican Democracy and the 2006 Presidential Elections.” For more information, visit

Serbia’s Transition

On October 8, Serbia’s Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies (CLDS) organized a conference in Belgrade to launch the 500-page report “Four Years of Transition in Serbia,” edited by Boris Begoviæ and Boško Mijatoviæ. Speakers included Serbian president Boris Tadiæ as well as current and former cabinet members. The CLDS is an independent think-tank that seeks to encourage economic, political, and social change in Serbia. The report is available at

Focus on Burma

A recent report commissioned by former Czech president Václav Havel and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu called on the UN Security Council to discuss the deteriorating situation in Burma. Avoiding demands for sanctions, which would alienate key regional and global players, the report calls for UN intervention as a “necessary international and multilateral vehicle to restore the peace, promote national reconciliation, and facilitate a return to democratic rule.” The report can be downloaded at

On October 26, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, the Church World Service, and the NED cosponsored a day-long conference called “Burma: Looking Ahead.” Among the speakers were Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, former special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, and Paula Dobriansky, U.S. under-secretary of state for international affairs.

The American Society of International Law hosted a December 8 panel discussion entitled “Burma: A Challenge to the International Legal System.” Panelists were Aung Din, policy director and cofounder of the U.S. Campaign for Burma; Jared Genser, coauthor of the abovementioned report; and Andrew Samet of the George Washington University School of Law.

Report on NED’s International Forum

On September 19–23, the International Forum hosted the second Washington Workshop for Think-Tank Managers. The purpose of the workshop was to improve the administrative skills of senior managers of member institutions of the Network [End Page 187] of Democracy Research Institutes. Participants received briefings and attended meetings at various Washington think-tanks.

An October 31 event, entitled “Azerbaijan’s Impending Elections: Last Chance for Democracy?” featured a presentation by Leila Alieva, president of the Baku-based Centre for National and International Studies. Miriam Lanskoy, NED program officer for Central Asia and the Caucasus, offered comments.

On November 17, Asher Arian, senior fellow at the Jerusalem-based Israel Democracy Institute and professor of political science at the City University of New York, and Shlomit Barnea, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, gave a presentation entitled “Auditing Israeli Democracy 2005: A Decade after the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.”

On November 18, Maye Kassem, assistant professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, spoke on “Egypt’s 2005 Elections.” NED president Carl Gershman commented on the presentation.

A number of Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows gave luncheon presentations based on their research at the Forum:

An October 19 seminar, entitled “Democracy and Inclusion in Ecuador: The Way Forward,” featured a presentation by Ambassador Raúl Gangotena, former envoy of Ecuador to the United States. Christopher Sabatini, senior director of policy at the Council of the Americas, served as a commentator, and NED board member Ambassador Terence Todman chaired the discussion.

On November 22, Roland Rich, founder and former director of Australia’s Centre for Democratic Institutions, gave a presentation entitled “Political Parties in Asian Democracies: The Weakest Link?”

Three Fellows spoke at a November 29 event entitled “Democratization of the Black Sea Area: A Roundtable on the Use and Abuse of Regional Constructs”—Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, director of the Romanian Academic Society; Do¢gu Ergil, president and cofounder of the Ankara-based Centre for the Research of Societal Problems; and Andrei Piontkovsky, director of the Moscow-based Center for Strategic Research. Also participating was Charles King of Georgetown University, author of The Black Sea: A History. Michael McFaul, senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, served as moderator.

Alina Mungiu-Pippidi spoke again on December 1, this time on “Anticorruption as a Democratization Tool.” Finally, on December 14, Charles Fairbanks, director of the Central Asia–Caucasus Institute at SAIS, was scheduled to address the topic “‘Revolution’ Reconsidered: The Alternative to ‘Democratic Transition.'”

In September, the Johns Hopkins University Press published the seventeenth Journal of Democracy book, entitled Assessing the Quality of Democracy. Edited by Larry Diamond and Leonardo Morlino, the volume focuses on methods for evaluating and improving the quality of democratic regimes and includes six theoretical essays and six comparative case studies.