News and Notes

Issue Date October 2017
Volume 28
Issue 4
Page Numbers 182-4
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Interview with Ivan Krastev

Journal of Democracy editorial board member and frequent contributor Ivan Krastev is the author of a new book entitled After Europe. In a video interview published this August on the Journal’s website (www.journalofdemocracy.org), Krastev sat down with Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations to discuss some of the key questions raised in this work.

Krastev and Benardo examine a wide range of social, political, and ideological dynamics likely to shape Europe’s politics in the years to come. Their conversation delves into the future of the liberal world order, covering such topics as the impact of generational change on the ascendant liberalism of the 1990s, and the reentry of nationalism and socialism onto the political stage. Krastev and Benardo also touch upon uses and abuses of the term “populism”; the relationship between democracy and inclusion; and the impact on Europe of the refugee crisis, including its perplexing centrality in the politics of Central and Eastern European states that host virtually no migrants.

Ivan Krastev is chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. Leonard Benardo is regional director for the Open Society Foundations’ Eurasia Program and director of the Open Society Fellowship. After Europe is also available in German under the title Europadämmerung: Ein Essay, with additional translations forthcoming.

To watch the interview, read Ivan Krastev’s past contributions to the Journal, or find additional information, visit http://journalofdemocracy.org/after-europe-interview-ivan-krastev.

Ghanaian Scholar Honored

On July 20, the U.S. Embassy in Accra awarded its tenth-annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice to Ghanaian political scientist E. Gyimah-Boadi for his efforts to advance [End Page 182] democracy and good governance in Africa.

Gyimah-Boadi is executive director of both the pan-African survey initiative Afrobarometer and the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, a research and advocacy organization. He is also a member of the Journal of Democracy editorial board. U.S. ambassador Robert P. Jackson presented the award at a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, recognizing Gyimah-Boadi’s promotion of scholarship and human rights across the region and his role as an “advocate for millions of people, giving them greater access to essential services and a greater voice in how they are governed.”

Electoral Integrity in Latin America

On August 14–15, the Kofi Annan Foundation hosted a conference in Mexico City entitled “Electoral Integrity in Latin America.” Regional representatives from government, civil society, academia, and the media participated in discussions on the challenges and prospects of strengthening electoral integrity across the region. An initiative of the Foundation’s Electoral Integrity Initiative, the conference was organized together with the Latin American Parliament, Mexico’s foreign–affairs ministry, and several Mexican electoral institutions. International partners included the UN, International IDEA, IFES, the Carter Center, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the Open Society Foundations.

Keynote remarks were delivered by Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile, and (by recorded video) Foundation chairman Kofi Annan. Other speakers included Mexican foreign minister Luis Videgaray Caso, former president of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla, and Iván Velásquez Gómez, commissioner of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala.

Russia’s Opposition in Focus

On September 13, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) organized a panel discussion at the U.S. Capitol entitled “Prospects for Russia’s Democratic Movement.” The discussion featured Natalia Arno of the Free Russia Foundation, Vladimir Kara-Murza of Open Russia, Miriam Lanskoy of NED, and Vadim Prokhorov, personal lawyer to the family of the late Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Panelists considered avenues for continued political engagement by Russia’s civil society and opposition activists in the period leading up to the March 2018 presidential election. NED president Carl Gershman moderated the discussion.

On September 14, NED hosted a film screening and discussion of the documentary Nemtsov, a profile of Boris Nemtsov, who was fatally shot near the Kremlin in February 2015. Nemtsov’s friend and colleague Vladimir Kara-Murza directed the film. U.S. senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) delivered introductory [End Page 183] remarks, and joined Kara-Murza and Carl Gershman in a discussion following the screening.

Scholars at Risk Director Recognized

On September 14, the Embassy of the Netherlands in the United States presented its 2017 Anne Frank Special Recognition Award to Robert Quinn, founding executive director of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) network, for his efforts to promote academic freedom and offer sanctuary to scholars confronting severe threats of violence. SAR has assisted more than 1,000 scholars since 2000.

Established in 2014, the awards recognize U.S. individuals or organizations committed to combatting intolerance, anti-Semitism, and discrimination. Also recognized was Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan of the Jesuit Refugee Service, who was presented the Anne Frank Award. Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, moderated the ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

NED’s International Forum

On September 18, the Forum hosted a panel discussion entitled “The Globalization of Venality: Kleptocracy’s Corrosive Impact on Democracy.” The panel featured Oliver Bullough, author of The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation; Brett Carter of the University of Southern California; Ambassador Daniel Fried of the Atlantic Council; and Cynthia Gabriel of Malaysia’s Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism. NED’s Christopher Walker moderated the discussion.

The Forum also hosted several roundtable discussions featuring Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows:

On June 21, Yazidi journalist Nawaf Haskan gave a talk entitled “Iraqi Kurdistan at the Crossroads: A Report on Civil Society.” Sherizaan Minwalla of American University’s Washington College of Law provided comments.

On July 11, Arthur Larok, country director of ActionAid Uganda, delivered a presentation entitled “The Next Leap of Faith: Prospects and Concerns for Political Transition in Uganda.” Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace offered comments.

On July 19, César Ricaurte, founder of Ecuador’s FUNDAMEDIOS, delivered a talk entitled “The Media Crackdown in the Andean Region: The Case of Ecuador.” Don Podesta of NED offered comments.

In October, the Forum welcomed a new group of Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows: Ama Asante (Ghana); Oludotun Babayemi (Nigeria); Aurel Croissant (Germany); Turgut Gambar (Azerbaijan); Maxine Tanya Hamada (Philippines); Aya Hijazi (Egypt/U.S.); and Gabor Scheiring (Hungary/U.K.). The cohort joins Khalil Parsa (Afghanistan), who began as a fellow in April. [End Page 184]

Copyright © 2017 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press