-Democracy Research News-November-December 2007
Welcome to Democracy Research News, the newsletter of the Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI). The Network is a membership association of institutions that conduct and publish research on democracy and democratic development. It is also one of several functional networks associated with the World Movement for Democracy (www.wmd.org). This newsletter is one means of informing democracy scholars and others worldwide about the activities of and publications produced by NDRI member institutes. The newsletter will continue to evolve as the Network grows, and we invite readers' comments and suggestions of useful features they would like to see in future issues. Additional information about the Network and profiles of all member institutes are available at www.wmd.org/ndri/ndri.html. To submit comments or to inquire about joining the Network, please write to Melissa Aten ().
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1. NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTSNDRI Washington Workshop:
The International Forum for Democratic Studies hosted the fourth NDRI Washington Workshop for Think-Tank Managers from September 17–21, 2007, in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the workshop was to strengthen NDRI members as institutions and to improve the administrative skills of key staff members. Eleven participants, selected through a competitive application process, spent a full week visiting many of the most important policy-research centers in Washington, including the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, the Heritage Foundation, the Koch Charitable Foundation, and others. They met with top administrators responsible for fundraising, budgeting, book publishing, communications and outreach, Web-site development, and networking. Participants in this year’s workshop included Flora Maria Aguilar (Centro Estudios Para El Futuro, Costa Rica), Nagham Al Akkad (Center for Strategic Studies, Jordan), Stella I. Amadi (Center for Democracy and Development, Nigeria); Einav Livne Ben-Eliezer (Israel Democracy Institute), Banzragch Delgermaa (Academy of Political Education, Mongolia), Anna Ganeva (Centre for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria), Maria Eugénia Nobre Gambôa (Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal), Nenad Koprivica (Center for Democracy and Human Rights, Montenegro), Nancy Merheb (Lebanese Center for Policy Studies), Edem Ernestina Selormey (Ghana Center for Democratic Development), and Ugis Oskars Ziemelis (Gulf Research Center, United Arab Emirates).
Rights & Democracy Names New Interim President:
Rights & Democracy (Canada) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jean-Paul Hubert as Interim President. Mr. Hubert led a distinguished career in Canada’s foreign service, serving as Ambassador to Senegal, Belgium, Argentina, Switzerland, and the Organization of American States, among other high-profile appointments. He will serve as Interim President while maintaining his current position on the faculty of the School of Applied Politics and the University of Sherbrooke. He replaces outgoing President Jean-Louis Roy.
Call for Submissions: Democracy & Society:
The Center for Democracy and Civil Society (CDACS, United States) has issued a call for papers for a special issue of Democracy & Society on “Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and Terrorism.” The issue will explore how nations are reexamining the balance between protecting individual freedom and ensuring national security in an age of global terrorism. The editors welcome submissions that explore how consolidated democracies, fragile democracies, and non-democracies are addressing this issue. They are also interested in submissions that analyze how these policy changes are affecting foreign assistance programs, especially those seeking to encourage democratic changes abroad.
Submissions should be between 800 and 2,000 words in length on these themes, including summaries and/or excerpts of recently completed research, new publications, and work in progress. Deadline for submission is January 25, 2008.
Email submissions (MS Word preferred) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Endnotes preferred. Please include your name, department or organization, title, and contact information. For additional information, please contact Julie Lantrip at email@example.com.
Call for Applications: M.A. Program in Democracy and Governance
Georgetown University’s Democracy and Governance program is seeking applications for its M.A. program for the fall 2008. Complete applications must include a CV or resume, official copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts (if applicable), a state of purpose, an academic writing sample, three letters of recommendation, the application fee, and the appropriate Georgetown Graduate School of Arts and Sciences admissions forms. More information about the program is available here. Interested applicants can apply online.Deadline for applications is February 15, 2008.
Call for Applications: CDDRL Hewlett Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral Fellowships The Center for Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law welcomes applications from pre-doctoral students at the write-up stage and from post-doctoral scholars working in any of the four program areas of democracy, development, evaluating the efficacy of democracy promotion and rule of law. Applicants working at the intersection of two or more of these issue areas will receive preferential consideration. The Center expects to award between four and six fellowships each year, for nine months of the academic year.
Pre-doctoral fellows must be enrolled currently in a doctoral program or equivalent through the time of intended residency at Stanford, and must be at the dissertation write up (post course work) phase of their doctoral program. Post-doctoral fellows must have earned their PhD within 3 years of the start of the fellowship, or plan to have defended their Ph.D. dissertations by August 31, 2008.
Applicants are required to submit a completed application form, letter of application of no more than 3 typed pages, current resume, three letters of recommendation, a statement of proposed research (5-10 pages) and a complete set of transcripts (undergraduate and graduate). The Center Committee will only review complete files. Notifications will be sent in mid-March. More information about the fellowship opportunity, including an application packet, are available here. Deadline for applications: January 11, 2008.
Call for Applications: Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development The Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development Program (SSFDD) is a three-week executive education program that is run annually on the Stanford campus by an interdisciplinary team of Stanford faculty. In 2008, the program will run from July 28 - August 15.
The program is aimed at early to mid-career policymakers, academics, and leaders of civil society organizations (such as representatives of trade unions, nongovernmental organizations, the media, business and professional associations) who will play important roles in their country's political, economic, and social development. We anticipate recruiting a group of 25-30 individuals dedicated to democracy, development and rule of law promotion within their home countries (particularly in, but not limited to, the regions of the Middle East, Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and former Soviet Union).
Successful applicants will be proficient in spoken and written English and will have academic and practical credentials necessary to benefit fully from the course and actively contribute to programmatic discussions. The ideal course participant will have extraordinary motivation, at least three to five years of experience in a relevant field of democratic development, and a keen interest in learning and sharing knowledge and experiences in transforming his or her country. More information about the fellowship and application procedures is available here. Deadline for applications: January 9, 2008.
International Forum for Democratic Studies Welcome New Deputy Director:
The International Forum is pleased to announce that Dr. Diego Abente is joining the Forum as its new deputy director, effective January 1, 2008. A Paraguayan political scientist and an expert on democracy in Latin America, Abente’s academic career includes professorships at the Graduate School of Political Science at Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela (1982-1983), the Department of Political Science at Miami University in Ohio (1984-1992), the Graduate School of the National University of Asunción (1994-2004), and the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Catholic University of Paraguay(1994-2007), a senior research fellowship at the Centro de Análisis y Difusión de la Economía Paraguaya, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the research and study of economic and social issues in Paraguay as well as visiting fellowships at the Helen Kellog Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame (1988 and 2006) and a Reagan-Fascell Democracy fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy (2007).
In 1992, he resigned his academic position at Miami University to return to his native Paraguay to contribute to the process of transition to democracy. He served as Senator (1993 to 2003), Senior Cabinet Advisor to the Minister of Finance (2003-2005), Ambassador to the Organization of American States (1999-2002), and Minister of Justice and Labor (2002).
He has published and edited several books, including Estado, Economia y Sociedad: Una Mirada Internacional a la Democracia Paraguaya (2005), and Stronismo, Post Stronismo, and the Prospects for Democratization the Paraguay (1989), and has written numerous book chapters and journal articles in such publications as the Journal of Democracy, Comparative Politics, Journal of Latin American Studies, and Latin American Research Review.
Very few distinguished scholars have served their countries in such high-level public positions. We hope you will join us in welcoming Diego to the Forum.
2. New Publications and Recent Events by NDRI Members
AfricaAfrobarometer has added several new Working Papers since the last issue of Democracy Research News. “Optimism and Poverty in Africa: Adaptation or a Means to Survival?” (November 2007), by Carol Graham and Matthew Hoover, examines the correlation between higher levels of optimism and happiness and other positive traits and behaviors, such as productivity in the labor market, better health, and support for democracy markets. In Africa, the authors find unusually high levels of optimism among the poorest and most insecure respondents, in contrast to other regions were optimism is positively correlated with wealth and high level of democracy education. Furthermore, the poor’s optimism is also positively correlated with presence for democracy, but not with preference for market.
In Margaret Levi and Audrey Sacks’s, “Legitimating Beliefs: Sources and Indicators” (November 2007), the authors empirically investigate the factors that influence individual variation in democratic attitudes in eighteen African societies, paying particular attention to the role of education as an influence on the endorsement of democracy and rejection of alternatives to democracy. The authors find that educational level is the dominant social structural factor conditioning support for democracy.
“Identity Voting and the Regional Census in Malawi” (September 2007), by Karen Ferree and Jeremy Horowitz, examines the extent to which Malawians who hold regional identities are more likely to be regional partisans than Malawians who identify differently. After examining recently-held elections, the authors conclude that election in Malawi do indeed follow a regional census pattern: where a voter lives strong predicts who he or she will support.
“A Vicious Circle of Corruption and Mistrust in Institutions in sub-Saharan Africa: A Micro-level Analysis” (September 2007), by Wonbin Cho and Matthew F. Kirwin, examines how corruption and mistrust in political institutions related to each other. The authors argue that political corruption worsens governmental performance, thus reducing popular trust in institutions’ capacity to address citizens’ demands.
The Ghana Center for Democratic Development has released “A ‘United States of Africa’ by 2015?” a short briefing paper that discusses the feasibility and logistics of the creation of a federalized government of Africa. The paper tackles a wide-range of questions, from “Why create a United States of Africa?” to “How would the United States of Africa address the problem of funding?” to “What Is the Criteria for Membership?” Full-text of the 4-page document is available here.
CDD Ghana also published the July 2007 Democracy Watch, in which featured articles in “Motions and Counter-Motions in the Energy Crisis: Is Parliament Service the Public Well,” “The Office of Accountability: Which Mandate, What Future?” “The Party Foot Soldier Phenomenon and Ghanaian Democracy,” “Avoiding Accusations of Bias in the Prosecution of Politicians,” and “The Problem with Too Many Ruling Party Presidential Aspirants.”
In October the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) published “Defending Women-Defending the Rights of a Nation,” an examination of the total transformation of economic and social spaces in the country. The formal economy has collapsed, producing intense social dislocation, emigration and extreme forms of poverty. Even though political opposition grew and civil society organizations mounted protests, the government responded with draconian legislation to silence all but the bravest of government critics. One civic organization that has refused to be silenced is the Women of Zimbabwe Arise, a grassroots women’s social just movement. This preliminary report on political violence against members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise reflects some of the initial findings of a research study of the violence experienced by the women’s group.
Asia and the PacificIn August 2007, the Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI, Australia) released its latest Policy Paper on Political Governance entitled “The Use and Abuse of Electoral Development Funds and Their Impact on Electoral Politics and Government in Papua New Guinea,” by Joseph Ketan. The paper analyzes the impact of electoral development funds on democracy and governance in Papua New Guinea and suggests a number of reform options to ensure that they are used for development eradicating corruption and restoring public confidence.
CDI Director Ben Reilly published “Democratization and Electoral Reform in the Asia-Pacific Region: Is There an ‘Asian Model’ of Democracy?” in the November 2007 Comparative Political Studies, in which he traces the recent processes of democratization and political reform across the Asia-Pacific region which, he argues, is leading to the development of a distinctive Asian model of democratic development.
In November 2007, CDI organized a training workshop for Members and staff of the Papua New Guinea Parliament to discuss the role of parliamentary committees with an emphasis on engaging the community through committee work. The program was designed to give Members and parliamentary staff a greater appreciation of the value of parliamentary committees as a means of ‘taking Parliament to the people', thus enabling Members to be better informed about community views; of providing a bridge between Members' constituents' concerns and the broader community interest; of promoting public debate; and of scrutinizing the Executive, and contributing towards better government through a more informed administration and policy making process.
Finally, in September, CDI held its annual Responsible Parliamentary Governance course. This intensive three-week program examines the fundamental principles and doctrines underlying the practice of responsible parliamentary governance, and is designed for mid-level officials from Southeast Asia and the Pacific. This year’s course covered the constitutional foundations, the main activities of parliament, and related structures for accountability and scrutiny of administration.
The Centre for Policy Research (CPR, India) recently published two new Working Papers. “Exclusive Growth-Inclusive Inequality,” by Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandaril, which uses NSS data and other sources to estimate inequality in India, finding that inequality has increased dramatically across Indian states. “Troubled Transitions: The Politics of Social Harmony in China,” by Nimmi Kurian, in which the author argues that the critical question China needs to debate is whether it can get the politics of social harmony right.
In October, Christine Loh, executive director of Civic Exchange (Hong Kong) published her “An Alternative Policy Address: 2007-2008,” an annual publication released prior the annual address delivered by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Loh places sustainable development at the core of her address and policy concerns, along with the quality of the environment, healthcare initiatives, and education.
Civic Exchange also published Reflections of Leadership: Tung Chee Hwa and Donald Tsang, 1997-2007, which examines how the visions, styles, beliefs, and choices made by Tung Chee Hwa and Donald Tsang affected how Hong Kong has been governed in the last ten years. Ordering information for the book is available here.
On September 21, 2007, the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) launched the weekly Election Monitor, to update the citizens of Pakistan, the media, and the international community about the presidential and general elections in Pakistan. The inaugural issue, “What Are the Prospects for This Crucial Presidential Election to Be Free and Fair?”, concluded that although direct rigging on the day of the election is not anticipated, the majority of indicators point to an election perceived to be unfair and manipulated. Recent issues include the November 28 “Nawaz Sharif’s Return is a Positive Step but Serious Concerns Remain about Free, Fair, and Credible General Elections;” the November 21 “Induction of Caretaker Governments at the Centre and the Provinces;” and the November 14 “Are Free, Fair and Credible Elections Possible?” A full archive of the Election Monitor is available here.
In November, PILDAT held an event to release the report on “Citizens’ Report on the 5-Year Performance of the National Assembly,” which concluded that the National Assembly continued to lack the institutional tools and resources crucial to performing its role effectively. Besides, the 5-year period has been marred by a lack of respect and dignity among the general public due mainly to the support of the ruling alliance to the military led government of President Pervez Musharraf and the role played in the judicial crisis and turmoil in the country.
The September–December issue of the Journal of East Asian Studies, edited at the East Asia Institute (EAI, South Korea) and published by Lynne Rienner Publishers, included a discussion on Asian regionalism that features articles on “The Evolution of Regionalism in East Asia” by Vinod K. Aggarwal and Min Gyo Koo; “Made in America? Agency and Power in Asian Regionalism” by Amitav Acharya; “The Theory and Practice of Regionalism in East Asia” by Richard Higgott; “In Search of an East Asian Region: Beyond Network Power” by John Ravenhill; and “Regionalism Reconsidered” by Peter J. Katzenstein. The issue also features articles on “Transformation of Japan’s Civil Society Landscape” by Mary Alice Haddad; “Global Competition and Technology Standards: Japan’s Quest for Techno-Regionalism” by Hidetaka Yoshimatsu; “Democratization and the US-South Korean Alliance” by Dong Sun Lee, as well as numerous book reviews.
In 2007, the Asian Barometer has added fourteen new Working Papers to its website, the full-text of which are all available here. Recent titles include: “Why East Asians React Differently to Democratic Regime Change: Discerning Their Routes to Becoming Authentic Democrats” by Doh Chull Shin; “Is ‘Not So Bad’ Good Enough: Retesting Churchill’s Lesser-Evil Notion of Democracy in East Asia” by Doh Chull Shin; “Political Culture and Diffuse Regime Support in Asia” by Andrew J. Nathan; “Income Inequality and Satisfaction with Democracy: Evidence from East Asia” by Chin-en Wu and Yun-han Chu; “A Synthetic Analysis of Sources of Democratic Legitimacy” by Yun-han Chu and Min-hua Huang; and “Quality of Democracy and Regime Legitimacy in East Asia” by Min-hua Huang, Yun-han Chu, and Yu-tzung Chang.
EuropeIn 2007, the Centre for Liberal Strategies (CLS, Bulgaria) published Communal Capitalism: Reflections on Bulgarian Economic Past, by Roumen Avramov, which examines the economic culture of the first period of Bulgarian capitalism that took shape between the liberation and the beginning of the 1940s.
CLS released the August/September 2007 Foreign Policy Bulgaria, which includes articles on European integration, a historical overview of the Bulgarian economy, investment firms in the developing world, and the Failed State Index.
The Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS, Bulgaria) published the “Russian Elections and Putin’s Succession,” by Ognyan Minchev, which examines how Putin tries to adapt Russian institutions to his own ambition to informally control the Kremlin after the end of his second term by manipulating the December elections and personally endorsing his successor.
IRIS also published “Budget Advocacy Methodology: Training and Policy Papers,” a collection of brochures, handbooks, PowerPoint presentations, and policy papers on budget advocacy.
In November 2007, the European Stability Initiative (ESI, Germany) released “The Worst in Class: How the International Protectorate Hurts the European Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” a policy paper that discusses the European Union’s failure to sign a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Bosnia in October due to its perception that Bosnia has not sufficiently completed police reforms. The paper discusses how many reforms have indeed been implemented and concludes that the EU is holding Bosnia to different standards than its neighbors.
In October 2007, the Center for Policy Studies (CPS, Hungary) published Multiple Meanings of Gender Equality: A Critical Frame Analysis of Gender Policies in Europe. Edited by Mieke Verloo, the book aims to map the diversity of meanings of gender equality across Europe and reflects on the contested concept of gender equality, taking into account the existence of different visions of gender equality and the way in which different political and theoretical debates crosscut these visions. It also reflects upon the geographical contexts in which visions and debates over gender equality are located.
In 2007, the Institute of Public Affairs (ISP, Poland) published “New EU Member States' Policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: the Case of Poland,” by Lena Kolarska-Bobinska and Magdalena Mughrabi. The paper examines Poland’s policy in the Middle East and the potential it yields to become a more active player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also examines whether there is a need for Poland’s involvement and its potential added value in the context of the new American initiative and the Annapolis Peace conference.
IPA also published “Poland’s Post-Election Foreign Policy: A Turning Point?” by Krzysztof Bobinski, which examines how the October 2007 election results will cause a duality in Polish foreign policy which will make it difficult for the country to present a coherent face to the outside world. Although Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Law and Justice Party-led government was defeated by the more Western-leaning Civic Platform party, the presidency is still controlled by a Kaczynski’s twin brother, Lech.
The Romanian Academic Society (SAR) published its 2007 Policy Warning Report, its regular publication of political and economic developments in Romania. Topics covered include main economic indicators and forecasts, regional development in the new European Romania, Romania’s gas and electric sectors’ integration with the EU, human resources and the education system, and Romania’s competitiveness in the European landscape.
On November 3, 2007, the Center for Liberal–Democratic Studies (CLDS, Serbia) held a conference on “Corruption in Serbia Five Years Later” in Belgrade. The meeting marked the release of CLS’s latest study on corruption by the same name, edited by Boris Begovic and Boško Mijatovic. The 220-page study examines the politics of corruption in Serbia, public perceptions of corruption, a historical overview of corruption, anti-corruption public policies, and the role of the media in corruption.
In October 2007, the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM, Montenegro) published the September/October 2007 " Political Public Opinion in Montenegro" poll. The survey reveals that many Montenegrins are apathetic towards the government, with 38 percent neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the government’s performance, followed by 22 percent who are mostly satisfied. Other results indicate that 49 percent of respondents will vote for the new constitution in an upcoming referendum; that 72 percent support EU membership, but only 32 percent support NATO membership; and that 48 percent cooperation with the Hague’s International War Crimes Tribunal.
The Institute for Public Affairs (IVO, Slovakia) published Democracy and Populism in Central Europe: The Visegrad Elections and Their Aftermath, edited by Martin Butora, Olga Gyarfasova, Grigorij Meseznikov, and Thomas Skladony. The topics covered in this edited volume include a comparative introduction to the party systems and coalition behaviors in the Visegrad Group (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia) countries, individual country election case studies, a comparison of the rise of populism in the region to developments in Western Europe and beyond, and an examination of European security, especially in the Western Balkans region.
On November 19, 2007, the Democratisation and Rule of Law Program of FRIDE (La Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior, Spain) organized a seminar on the “EU Strategy for Central Asia: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights.” The rationale behind the event was to assess the EU position toward the region after a Strategy for Central Asia was published this summer and to provide policy recommendations for increased cooperation and EU assistance to Central Asia.
Also in November, FRIDE published Political Islam and European Foreign Policy, edited by Michael Emerson and Richard Youngs, in which contributors recommend a policy of broad inclusion of Muslim democrats in EU initiatives aimed at the reform of governance and the development of civil society, without extending them any singular, exclusive, or unsolicited privileges.
The Centre for the Study of Public Policy (CSPP, U.K.) recently added two new papers to their website. “What Makes A Good Citizen? Attitudes Towards Civic Virtue in Europe and How Social and Political Participation Impact Upon Them,” by Florian Pichler and Claire Wallace, examines normative models of good citizenship, focusing on the role of the citizen towards the state and towards the public good. The authors also consider the relationship between norms of good citizenship, social capital, and political participation in order to test whether these things are indeed associated.
“Explaining the Gap between the Experience and Perception of Corruption,” by Richard Rose and William Mishler” employs a nationwide survey of Russians to show that there is a big gap between the 86 percent who perceive most public officials are corrupt and the 23 percent who say their household has paid a bribe in the last two years. The study finds that neither the payment of bribes nor the number of contacts with public officials has a significant effect on the perception of corruption. Perceptions are principally influenced by the circulation of information locally and through the media and by the perceived fairness of public officials.
Latin AmericaIn November 2007, the Center for Opening and Development in Latin America (CADAL, Argentina) published Democracy, the Market, and Transparency 2007, by Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernan Alberro. The three dimensions taken into account to evaluate the performance of 153 countries are democratic liberties, the market economy, and governmental transparency. New Zealand, Denmark, and Finland rank at the top three spots. The top performing Latin American countries are Chile (17), Uruguay (24), and Costa Rica (38). Full text of the survey is available in Spanish and English.
In October 2007, CADAL also published Press Freedom and Economic Freedom in Latin America 2007, by Hernán Alberro. Using Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press, the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, and the World Bank’s measures of per capita purchasing power parity, the author seeks to disentangle and analyze the relationship between indicators of freedom of the press, economic liberty, and economic development in Latin America. The survey finds that Chile, Costa Rica, and Uruguay enjoy the highest levels of press and economic freedom, while the only country still behind Venezuela is Cuba. Bolivia fell five positions in the region, Haiti did not change its position, but it did manage to increase its distance from Venezuela.
The Latinobarómetro (Chile) released the 2007 Latinobarometro survey, an annual public opinion survey that involves some 19,000 interviews in eighteen Latin American countries, representing more than 400 million inhabitants. Full-text of the 150-page survey is available here.
In August 2007, Congreso Visible (CV, Colombia) implemented a series of workshops on “Political Pedagogy in the Cauca Valley.” The objective was to present the profile of the gubernatorial and mayoral candidates and to learn the requisites established in the Political Reform Act of 2003 to participate in the election and to become a candidate.
The Instituto de Ciencia Política (ICP, Colombia) published “Desarrollo Político y Democratización,” by Eduardo José Sánchez Sierra and María Lucía Rodríguez. The paper calls the attention to the fact that Latin American countries have assuming, wrongly, that economic reform would produce social support for market policies and thus failing to address this as an issue in and of itself.
State of the Nation Program (Programa Estado de la Nacion, Costa Rica) is preparing the 2008 State of the Region Report. It invites subjects to be included in such report. More information is available here.
Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, A.C. (CIDE, Mexico) recently published Latin America’s (Legal) Subnational Authoritarian Enclaves: The Case of Mexico, by Allyson Lucinda Benson, which analyzes how local leaders perpetuate authoritarian control over subnational governments amidst national democracy.
CIDE also published "Policymaking, Parties and Institutions in Democratic Costa Rica," by Fabrice Lehoucq, a paper that identifies the political and institutional conditions that encourage parties to construct long-term agreements for effective public policymaking.
Finally, CIDE recently published Cultura política y consolidación democrática (1997-2006), by José Antonio Crespo, an examination of the prevailing conditions of the last decade in Mexico that asks if they have stimulated or halted the development of a democratic political culture likely to contribute to the consolidation democratic practices.
FUNDAR (Mexico) recently published Reversal in Transparency: The 2008 Budget Process, which includes a discussion of the congruence between public policies and the diagnostic of the problems and warns about the limited and inadequate indicators adopted to evaluate the quality of public spending. It includes comparative analysis of the Fox and the Calderón administrations.
Middle EastSaad Eddin Ibrahim, founder of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies (EICDS, Egypt), delivered a lecture entitled “Reluctant Arab Political Reform” at the “Forum for the Future 2007: Partnership for Development and Progress” in October 2007 in Berlin, Germany, in which he discusses the small steps toward political reform in the Arab world (including the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the “Kefaya” movement in Egypt, and women’s suffrage in Kuwait). Despite these small steps forward, autocrats have fought back, using traditional methods of arrests, detentions, and disappearances. The United States also “significantly lowered its democracy promotion rhetoric” after pro-Islamist parties won elections in several countries. Mr. Ibrahim sees signs of hope in countries like Morocco and in the development of the Arab Democracy Foundation.
The Center also published the August 2007 Civil Society, which includes civil society news from around the region, as well as articles on “Turkey as a Middle East Democratic Role Model,” “Egypt’s Unchecked Repression,” “Lebanese Christians Divided in By-Elections,” “Jordanian Islamists Boycott Municipal Elections,” “Eastern Europe Meets Middle East in Democracy Exploration Camp,” “Kurdistan is the Cure for Iraq,” and “America Getting it Wrong Again.”
The Gulf Research Center (GRC, United Arab Emirates) published Development of the Study of Civil Societies in the GCC States, by Hasanain Tawfeeq Ibrahim in October 2007. This Arabic-language book analyzes the significant stages in the emergence of civil society in the CGG, as well as the most prominent features that characterize it in the context of the Arabic and English literature on the subject. It pays special attention to the many governance changes that took place in these countries and studies the oil boom and the rentier state phenomenon, the rapid economic growth, and the social change that increased interaction with the rest of the world, the ever-expanding effect of globalization, and the rise of the “international civil community.” Ordering information for this book is available here.
In May, the GRC translated Larry Diamond's Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, into Arabic as part of its translation program. After spending several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the American occupation authorities, Diamond discovered, among others, that the first U.S. civilian administration arrived in Baghdad with virtually no capacity to function in Arabic, that Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani repeatedly assumed more pro-democratic positions than the U.S. itself, that the Bush administration ignored numerous warnings that the Shiite heartland was going to erupt, and that the U.S. effort to “sell” the interim constitution to the Iraqi people was undermined by the failure to listen to Iraqi popular concerns. Purchasing information for the book is available here.
The GRC also published the October 2007 Gulf Monitor, in which topics covered include “Where Are US-GCC Relations Headed?, “US Loses Ground in the Gulf,” “The Nawaz Sharif Case: A Testament to Excellent Saudi-Pakistan Relations,” “Demography and the Political Violence in the Middle East,” and “The Gulf Countries and Nuclear Energy.”
The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) recently released two new public polls. The June 2007 Survey 24 found that anger and lack of confidence prevails in the Palestinian street. Popularity of Hamas and Mahmud Abbas declines, and the public loses confidence in its leadership, in most of the security services, as in the various armed “brigades.” Three quarters of those polled also demand early presidential and parliamentary elections and 63 percent support the American security plan.
The September 2007 Survey 25 reveals that three quarters of Palestinians reject Hamas’s military action in the Gaza Strip, President Mahmud Abbas has gained popular support as a result of Hamas’s actions, a majority of respondents support the presidential decree regarding the election law and supports early elections. Forty percent want the government of Ismail Haniyeh to stay in power and half of Gazans feel they are secure and safe in their homes.
In the November 2007 Democracy Watch, the monthly publication of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID, United States) topics (in Arabic) covered include “Tunis: For A Serious Transformation,” “Tunisia: Secularists and Islamists: Together for the Freedom of Belief,” Palestine: The PLO Struggle for Hegemony and the Absence of Democracy,” “Hamas after Gaze: Which Direction” “Syria: Will There Be a Political Reform after the Economic Reform,” Saudi Arabia: More Legislations for Reform,” and “The UAE: Investment in Knowledge.”
The October 2007 Democracy Watch features articles on “The Crisis of the Arab Left and its Impact on Democracy,” “The Arab Left and the Repercussions of its Withering Away,” “The Palestinian Left: The Lack of Effectiveness,” “The Crisis of Moroccan Left: Causes and Perspectives,” “Jordan: The Left in Limbo between Ideology and Politics,” and “The Strife between the Secularists and the Islamists.”
Russia and the Former Soviet UnionThe Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy, and Development (CIPDD, Georgia) published Newspapers Outside the Capital: How International Assistance Influenced Print Media in Georgia’s Regions, by Malkhaz Saldadze and Giorgi Shubitidze. The book is available in English and Georgian.
CIPDD also published (in Georgian) Political Party Funding, the third volume in a series of toolkits prepared and published for Georgian political parties. The toolkit presents the aims, objectives, and mechanisms of regulations of party funding.
On October 23-28, 2007, CIPDD, the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, and the International Centre of Civil Culture organized a training workshop for journalists. The goal of the workshop was to raise awareness among journalists, develop professional capacity, and establish a network among regional journalists. The training sessions focused on local governance, elections, civil rights, conditions of ethnic minorities and their integration, and the rights and obligations of journalists.
The Carnegie Moscow Center (Russia) released the July-October 2007 Pro et Contra, a special issue on the “Successor’s Burden.” Articles reviews Putin’s two terms as president and the problems that accumulated while vast intellectual, financial, and administrative resources were invested in the construction of the political system Russia has today. The contributors also analyze the inheritance that Russia’s new head of state will receive, regardless of the shape of the ruling coalition.
In November 2007, the Center published a briefing paper on “The Clash Is Real,” by Alexey Malashenko, in which he examines the clash of civilizations most famously articulated by Samuel Huntington. Rather than noting a clash between the West and the Muslim world, however, Malashenko argues the clash is between Christians and Muslims. Malashenko published another briefing paper in July, “The Two Faces of Chechnya.”
Recent issues of the weekly newsletter of the International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS, Ukraine) include “Kucherenko: “People’s Voice” Raised Community Profile and NGO Capacity” (December 10); “Political Reform: Evaluation and Recommendations from the Public” (November 19); “Lobbying Is the Only Legitimate Instrument for Influencing Policy” (September 17); and “Lessons in democracy for Ukraine” (July 30). A complete archive of ICPS’s newsletter is available here.
United States and CanadaIn 2007 Rights & Democracy (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, Canada) published Governing Diversity: Democratic Solutions in Multicultural Societies, edited by Razmik Panossian, Bruce Berman, and Anne Linscott, in which contributors examine how political leaders and policy-makers throughout the world meet the challenge of democratically governing multi-ethnic, multi-national, and multi-religious societies. Topics covered in this 100-page volume include the global diffusion of multiculturalism, the debate between integration and accommodation, ethnic politics, minority rights in Europe, secular states, national minorities in Southeast Asia, and hybrid federalization in Asia.
Rights & Democracy also recently published Human Rights Impact Assessments for Foreign Investment Projects: Learning from Community Experiences in the Philippines, Tibet, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Argentina, and Peru, a publication that resulted from the three-year Human Rights Assessment project. The assessment “emphasizes the obligations of states as the primary duty-bearers with respect to international human rights law,” and “recalls the corresponding responsibilities of non-state actors to respect human rights, to not benefit from violations of human rights, and to not be complicit in human right violations.”
The November 2007 libertas, Rights & Democracy’s newsletter, is a special report on the John Humphrey Freedom Award 2007 winner, which was awarded to Akbar Ganji for his “tireless and non-violent effort to expose the human rights abuses being committed by Iran’s fundamentalist regime.” The award is presented each year to an organization or individual from any country for exceptional achievement in the promotion of human rights and democratic development. Other topics covered in this special edition include an overview of the human rights situation in Iran, an article by Nobel Prize winning lawyer and activist Shirin Ebadi on women’s rights in Iran, and a discussion of Iran’s Student Movement.
In October 2007, the Applied Research Center at IFES (ARC, United States) published “A Nigerian Perspective on the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: Summary of Findings,” in which surveys conducted before and after the 2007 elections reveal that Nigerians maintain a strong commitment to holding elections despite some disappointment in pre-election expectations of fairness. The summary of findings stem from a 77-page report published by the same name in August 2007.
Also in October, ARC published “Public Opinion in Ukraine Prior to the 2007 Rada Elections,” in which researchers found that approximately six in ten Ukrainians surveyed agreed with Viktor Yuschenko’s decision to call early parliamentary elections, but roughly half believe the September 30 vote will not increase political stability.
The Center for the Study of Democracy (United States) recently added several papers to its eScholarship Repository. Amy C. Alexander’s October 31 “Empowering Women: The Role of Economic Development, Political Culture, and Institutional Design in the World’s Societies” argues the comparison of factors thought to figure prominently in explanations of women’s increasing empowerment (economic modernity, cultural modernity, cultural legacies, institutional legacies, political institutions, and the status of women’s civil society) across different stages of women’s empowerment will present a clearer picture for understanding the roles of social conditions, natural histories, institutional designs, and associational behaviors in empowering women.
Yuliya V. Tverdova’s October 16 paper on “Economic Perceptions and Economic Voting in Post Communist Countries of East Central Europe” explores the formation of economic perceptions in post-communist Europe and investigates the mechanism of economic voting in the region during the early transition years. The author finds that national economic perceptions were disconnected from the objective economic reality, and mostly driven by personal economic evaluations and political attitudes.
Michael McFaul, director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL, United States), and Francis Fukuyama published “Should Democracy Be Promoted or Demoted?” in the Winter 2007 Washington Quarterly, in which the authors argue for continued American efforts to promote democracy and present a plan to strengthen policy tools for those efforts. They advocate a concept of dual-track diplomacy and the creation of a new Cabinet-level department of development, with distinct resources and programs for democracy promotion.
In June 2007, Larry Diamond, coordinator of the democracy program at CDDRL, and Carlos Pascual published “A Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq,” advocate for the need for a diplomatic strategy to achieve a sustainable peace in Iraq. Diamond argues that U.S. troops should aim to prove security needed to create an environment to negotiate a peace agreement to end the war and warms that if the parties in Iraq cannot reach a political settlement to reduce the violence and achieve peace, then military force must be redeployed to contain the regional spillover from the conflict.
On November 20, 2007, CDDRL held a research seminar on “Democracy Promotion and Civil Society: Six Models in Search of Reality,” featuring Jeffrey Kopstein. The lecture was based on Kopstein’s Spring 2006 Washington Quarterly article on “The Transatlantic Divide over Democracy Promotion.”
On October 17, Lilia Shevtsova (Carnegie Moscow Center) led a research seminar on “Russia After Putin.” The seminar was based on Shevtsova’s recent International Affairs article on “Post-Communist Russia: A Historic Opportunity Missed,” in which she addresses the nature of the current Russian system built by Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, assessing its effectiveness, its sustainability, and its future trajectory. A full archive of events sponsored by CDDRL is available here.
On November 15, 2007, the International Forum for Democratic Studies (United States) and the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., hosted the fourth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World, featuring Pierre Hassner, who addressed the topic “Russia’s Transition to Autocracy.” A transcript of the lecture will be online soon.
In November, the Forum held two luncheon presentations. On November 27, Ladan Boroumand discussed “Iran’s Resilient Civil Society,” in which she explored the many indicators of a strong civil society in Iran, despite the opinion of many Western observers. Video of this event can be found here. On November 5, 2007, the Forum hosted a luncheon presentation on “Rule of Law and Democracy in Central America: The 2007 Central American Report on Legal and Institutional Governance,” featuring former Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow Jaime Ordóñez, with comments by Olav Kjorven and Adrian Torrealba. Video of the event is available here.
The October 2007 Journal of Democracy, produced at the Forum, features a symposium on “Is East-Central Europe Backsliding?” an exploration of recent populist and illiberal trends in postcommunist Europe, while a second cluster of commentaries by scholars and activists marks 25 years of democracy promotion. Two essays address civil society in Iran, and others examine recent electoral setbacks in Nigeria, a way forward for Tibet, and more.
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