News and Notes

Issue Date January 2017
Volume 28
Issue 1
Page Numbers 189–90
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Thirteenth Annual Lipset Lecture

On November 29, Ghia Nodia delivered the thirteenth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. He is also scheduled to deliver the lecture, entitled “The Crisis of Post-nationalism,” on January 19 at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Nodia is professor of politics and director of the International School of Caucasus Studies at the Ilia Chavchavadze State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. An article based on Nodia’s lecture will appear in the April 2017 issue of the Journal of Democracy.

Russian City Council Recognizes Boris Nemtsov

On November 23, the city council of Nizhny Novgorod approved a resolution commissioning a commemorative plaque for Boris Nemtsov (1959–2015), the region’s first democratically elected governor. The plaque will be installed at the site of Nemtsov’s former apartment complex; its dedication is scheduled for 27 February 2017, the second anniversary of Nemtsov’s assassination. The resolution follows pledges by the councils of Kyiv, Ukraine, and Vilnius, Lithuania, to rename city streets in Nemtsov’s honor.

NDI and IRI Host Celebration of Democracy

On the evening of November 29, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) co-hosted a “Bipartisan Celebration of Democracy.” IRI chairman Senator John McCain and NDI chairman Madeleine Albright joined in discussion on the topic of “American Leadership Abroad: Foreign Policy Challenges and Opportunities.” Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor of the Washington Post, moderated. In a separate panel, former Danish prime minister and NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke on the imperative for continued [End Page 189] U.S. support for democracy worldwide. The evening concluded with a video profiling democracy activists around the world. Further information can be found at

Forum of Former Dissidents and Political Prisoners

On November 10–11, the second Crimean Forum of Former Dissidents and Political Prisoners was held at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv in recognition of the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. Established in 1976, the group monitored and sought to enforce Soviet compliance with the human-rights provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. Due to these activities, group members were systematically imprisoned or exiled by Soviet authorities.

An estimated one-hundred former political prisoners attended the Forum. Following the event, a statement was issued condemning the Russian occupation of Crimea and expressing solidarity with the Crimean Tatar people. The first Crimean Forum was held in Simferopol, Ukraine, on 19 May 2012.

IFES Elections Conference

On November 6–10 in Washington, D.C., the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) convened 550 participants from 90 countries for its thirteenth annual U.S. Election Program and the seventh Global Elections Organization conference. Panelists spoke about the U.S. electoral system, addressing topics including voter identification, campaign finance, the role of social media in elections, and open data and transparency. On November 8 (U.S. Election Day), participants toured nearby polling sites to observe the U.S. electoral system in practice.

At the conference, participants engaged in discussion about trends in electoral transparency and accountability. Thomas Carothers, senior vice-president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, delivered the keynote address on the topic of “Democracy’s Uncertain State.”

NED’s International Forum

On October 4, the Forum hosted a discussion featuring Ivan Krastev and moderated by Marc F. Plattner on “The Specter Haunting Europe.” The discussion was based on a series of articles published in the October 2016 issue of the Journal of Democracy that concluded with Krastev’s essay, “The Unraveling of the Post-1989 Order.”

On October 5, the Forum organized a conference entitled “The Legacy of Václav Havel and the Future of Democracy” (pp. 185–87 above).

On October 27, João Carlos Espada, director of the Institute of Political Studies at the Portuguese Catholic University, spoke about his new book The Anglo-American Tradition of Liberty: A View from Europe (2016). [End Page 190]


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