International Meeting on Building Democracy
On February 1–2, representatives of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (United Kingdom), the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Canada), the Friedrich Ebert, Friedrich Naumann, and Konrad Adenauer Stiftungen (Germany), and the National Endowment for Democracy (United States) convened in London to exchange views and information about their common international democracy-building efforts.
Also invited to the meeting, hosted by the Westminster Foundation, were a number of other publicly funded nongovernmental organizations engaged in democracy promotion, mostly affiliated with political parties. These included the Renner Institut (Austria); Fondation Jean Jaurès (France); the Alfred Mozer Stichting and the Instituut voor Samenwerking Oost-en-Midden Europa (Netherlands); the Centerns Internationalle Fond, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, the Olof Palme International Center, and the Swedish International Liberal Center (Sweden). Other groups represented included the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party, Labour Party, and Liberal Democrats, as well as three of the National Endowment for Democracy’s core institutes—the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Republican Institute, and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
A dinner address was presented by the Rt. Hon. Malcolm Rifkind, U.K. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Other sessions focused on the current political environment, including domestic funding pressures, issues of independence from government, and the future role of democracy-building organizations. Three working groups addressed the issues of evaluation and monitoring, support for political parties, and support for nongovernmental organizations. The meeting also featured a demonstration by Allen Overland, librarian at NED’s International [End Page 186] Forum for Democratic Studies, of DemocracyNet, NED’s home page on the Internet’s World Wide Web.
Symposium Commemorates Marshall Plan
Inaugurating the commemoration of the Marshall Plan’s fiftieth anniversary, George Washington University’s Program on Transitions to Democracy, in conjunction with the White House and the Department of Defense, convened an international symposium on January 8–12 entitled “The Marshall Legacy: Partnerships for the Future.” The symposium brought military and civilian leaders from the republics of the former Soviet Union and from Central and Eastern Europe together with government officials, scholars, and private-sector leaders from the United States.
Discussions centered around the following issues: the goals and direction of the Partnership for Peace; current efforts to develop democratic and free-market institutions in the postcommunist world; methods to broaden and deepen the community-based context of bilateral democratic civil-military ties; and strategies for fostering democracy and comprehensive security in light of the opportunities presented by the information age. Presiding over the plenary sessions were symposium co-chairs John O. Marsh, Jr., former secretary of the army, and Hodding Carter, former assistant secretary of state.
A summary of the symposium proceedings is now in preparation. For more information, contact Dr. Constantine C. Menges, Director, George Washington University Program on Transitions to Democracy, 2130 H St., N.W., Suite 601, Washington, DC 20052; phone, 202-994-7099.
Publication on Promoting Democracy
In December 1995, the Carnegie Corporation of New York published a report to its Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict entitled “Promoting Democracy in the 1990s: Actors and Instruments, Issues and Imperatives.” Written by Journal of Democracy co-editor Larry Diamond with a foreword by Commission co-chair David A. Hamburg, the report examines the rationale for democracy promotion, briefly surveys the many agencies directly engaged in this work, and considers other policy instruments that can be used toward this end. Copies may be obtained free of charge from the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, 2400 N St., N.W., Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20037-1153; phone, 202-429-7979.
Report on NED’s International Forum
On January 26–27, the Forum co-sponsored with the Pacific Council on International Policy a conference in Los Angeles on [End Page 187] “Constructing Democracy and Markets: Comparing Latin America and East Asia.” The meeting, which featured a luncheon address by NED president Carl Gershman, brought together leading scholars on democratic development in Latin America and Asia. The principal speakers were Yun-han Chu (Insitute for National Policy Research, Taipei), Andrew MacIntyre (University of California at San Diego), Minxin Pei (Princeton), Orville Schell (Columbia), Denise Dresser (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México), Albert Fishlow (Council on Foreign Relations), Terry Karl (Stanford), and Anibal Romero (Harvard). The meeting included panels on “Democracy and Markets in East Asia” and on “Democracy and Markets in Latin America,” along with a roundtable discussion comparing the two regions. The Forum and the Pacific Council will jointly publish a report on the workshop this spring.
On February 22, the Forum marked the official opening of its Democracy Resource Center (DRC) with an open house at which over 40 librarians from Washington-area universities, think tanks, and NGOs joined NED grantees and others for tours of the DRC and demonstrations of DemocracyNet, NED’s home page on the World Wide Web. DemocracyNet (located at http://www.ned.org) now includes the DRC’s electronic library catalog, a democracy grants information database, electronic links to other democracy-related sites on the Internet, and information about NED, the Forum, and the Journal of Democracy. For information about the DRC and DemocracyNet, contact librarian Allen Overland at 202-293-0300 or email@example.com.
On March 14–15, the Forum co-sponsored with the Japan Institute of International Affairs and the Institute of Public Policy Studies (Thailand) a conference in Wash-ington, D.C. on “Democracy in East Asia.” The conference featured sessions on “East Asian Political Cultures and Democracy,” “East Asia’s Democratic Experience,” “Consolidating East Asia’s New Democracies,” and “Prospects for Transitions from Authoritarianism,” and concluded with a roundtable discussion of the prospects for democracy in East Asia. A report will be published on the conference proceedings, as well as a volume containing revised versions of the conference papers.
This spring, the Forum welcomes four new fellows engaged in research on topics concerning the postcommunist world. The fellows are Ghia Nodia, chairman of the Caucasian Institute for Peace, Democracy, and Development and head of the Department of Political Philosophy at the Academy of Sciences of Georgia; Andrei Marga, rector of the University of Cluj in Romania; Kathleen Smith, assistant professor of political science at Hamilton College in New York; and Oleg Zaznaev, assistant professor of political science at Kazan State University in Russia. For more information about the Forum’s Visiting Fellows Program, contact Art Kaufman at 202-293-0300.