NED’s Democracy Award
On June 7, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) presented its annual Democracy Award to five activists combating corruption around the world: Khalil Parsa (Afghanistan), Rafael Marques de Morais (Angola), Claudia Escobar (Guatemala), Cynthia Gabriel (Malaysia), and Denys Bihus (Ukraine).
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, delivered keynote remarks at a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. Five members of Congress presented the awards: NED Board members Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), along with Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Mario Díaz-Balart (RFla.), and Norma Torres (D-Calif.). NED Board Chairman Judy Shelton paid tribute to the honorees and moderated the event.
That morning, NED organized a panel discussion with the Democracy Award recipients entitled “Counting the Cost: The Impact of Corruption on Democratic Growth and Stability.” Opening remarks were delivered by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and, via video, by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Michelle Kosinski of CNN moderated the discussion. For a video of the event, visit: www.ned.org/events/counting-the-cost-the-impact-of-corruption-on-democratic-growth-and-stability/.
Launch of Haleh Esfandiari Forum
On March 29, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a public event marking the launch of the Haleh Esfandiari Forum. This joint initiative of the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program (MEP) and the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative will host public events focused on women’s empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The Forum is named for Haleh Esfandiari, the former MEP director who led the program from its founding in 1998 until 2015. [End Page 189] Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright delivered the keynote address and was joined in conversation by Wilson Center president Jane Harman. Henri J. Barkey, Esfandiari’s successor as director of the MEP, delivered opening remarks. A recording of the discussion is available at: www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-inaugural-haleh-esfandiari-forum-event-secretary-madeleine-albright.
Conference on Human-Rights Scholarship
On March 31–April 1, the University of Virginia School of Law convened an interdisciplinary conference entitled “What’s Next for Human Rights Scholarship?” Thirty-four scholars from North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania participated in the conference with the aim of identifying areas for future collaboration in the field of human rights law. Risa Goluboff and Kevin Cope of the University of Virginia delivered opening remarks.
Also at the conference, Benjamin Doherty and Loren Moulds of the Law Library introduced the Library’s new database comprising digitized versions of the travaux préparatoires of the United Nations’s core human rights agreements.
International Charlemagne Prize
On May 25, British historian Timothy Garton Ash of Oxford University was awarded the 2017 Charlemagne Prize at a ceremony in the town hall at Aachen, Germany.
Established in 1950 by the city of Aachen, the Prize recognizes individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the cause of European unity. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council and 2010 recipient of the Charlemagne Prize, delivered the opening remarks.
Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928–2017)
Zbigniew Brzezinski, the distinguished Polish-born diplomat and political scientist who served as national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter (1977–81), passed away on May 26 at the age of 89.
In addition to his government service, Brzezinski was an eminent scholar who spent almost thirty years on the faculty of Columbia University, where he was the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government. He also taught at Harvard University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Brzezinski was noted as the author of important books on geopolitics and totalitarianism, but he also held an intense and enduring interest in the struggle for democracy. He served for many years on the NED Board, and was a member until his passing of the Journal’s International Advisory Committee. He contributed four articles to the Journal on subjects ranging from China and the former Soviet Union to human rights and U.S. global engagement. In 1981, Brzezinski was awarded [End Page 190] the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 1995, the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest award.
Giovanni Sartori (1924–2017)
Italian political scientist and sociologist Giovanni Sartori passed away on April 4 at the age of 92. A noted contributor to the study of democratic theory and party systems, Sartori served for nearly two decades as Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities (1979–94) at Columbia University. Sartori was previously dean of the department of political science at the University of Florence (1969–72).
A prolific author, Sartori’s best-known works in English include Parties and Party Systems (1976); The Theory of Democracy Revisited (1987); and Comparative Constitutional Engineering (1994). Sartori also contributed two articles to the Journal: “How Far Can Free Government Travel?” (1995) and “Understanding Pluralism” (1997). Sartori was the 2009 recipient of the International Political Science Association’s Karl Deutsch Award, its highest award to scholars engaged in cross-disciplinary research.
NED’s International Forum
On March 28, the Forum hosted a presentation by Alexander Cooley of Columbia University on his new book (coauthored with John Heathershaw), Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia. Comments were offered by Miriam Lanskoy of NED and Marlene Laruelle of George Washington University, whose review of the book appears on pp. 173–76 above. Christopher Walker of the NED moderated the discussion.
On May 3, the Forum and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) organized a panel discussion in recognition of World Press Freedom Day entitled “Media Freedom: The Struggle from the Front Lines.” The event featured six current and former Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows: Nawaf Haskan (Iraq), Raul Peñaranda (Bolivia), César Ricaurte (Ecuador), Ashif Rabi (Bangladesh), James Smart (Kenya), and Simegnish “Lily” Mengesha (Ethiopia). Forum Director Shanthi Kalathil moderated the discussion.
On June 13, the Forum organized a discussion featuring Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow and journalist Raul Peñaranda on “The End of an Era? Bolivia’s Evo Morales and the Alternation of Power.” Ronald MacLean-Abaroa, former mayor of La Paz, offered comments.
On June 15, the Forum hosted a roundtable discussion on “The Liberal International Order’s Popularity Problem” featuring Michael Kimmage of the Catholic University of America, the author of a March 2017 essay bearing the same title. Marc F. Plattner of the Journal of Democracy and Stephen Sestanovich of the Council on Foreign Relations and Columbia University provided comments. Christopher Walker moderated the discussion. [End Page 191]