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Journal of Democracy 13.1 (2002) 189-191



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News and Notes


Aung San Suu Kyi Honored

As part of the Nobel Institute's centennial celebration, past peace-prize winners, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jose Ramos Horta, gathered in Oslo on December 8 to salute Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, who received the award in 1991 but remains under virtual house arrest. The event was linked by video with similar gatherings around the world. The Washington ceremony was sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy and its four associated institutes, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Republican Institute, and the National Democratic Institute.

Designing Electoral Systems

Professors Joel Barkan (University of Iowa), Paul J. Densham (University College London), and Gerard Rushton (University of Iowa) are pleased to announce the creation of a new computational program designed to enable political leaders, democratic practitioners, and scholars to deepen their understanding of alternative electoral systems and how these affect governance in emerging democracies. Recognizing the fact that political leaders rarely examine the possible impact of electoral systems other than their country's current one, the project aims to give new democracies a means to select "the best acceptable" electoral setup.

The new program uses geographic information systems (GIS) for the display and management of geographic information and a math-ematical model from operations research to compute the boundaries of electoral districts according to specified criteria. These two modeling methodologies are combined to create a spatial decision support system (SDSS). With these tools at their disposal, policy makers can easily evaluate the strengths and [End Page 189] limitations of a wide variety of electoral systems. More information on the new program may be found online at www.uiowa.edu/~electdis.

Conference on Orthodoxy and Democracy

On October 26-27, Columbia University's Harriman Institute, the Union Theological Seminary of New York, and the Center for Church-State Relations at Baylor University organized a conference entitled "Orthodoxy and Democracy: Challenges After the Cold War." The conference featured panels on "Orthodox Theological and Historical Perspectives on Democracy" and "Orthodox Churches in the Post-Cold War Political Transformation: National Perspectives." Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia delivered the keynote address. For more information on the Harriman Institute's Seminar Series on Orthodox Christianity, see www.columbia.edu/cu/sipa/REGIONAL/HI/ortho.html.

Two African Journalists Receive Awards

On October 13, the Northcote Parkinson Fund awarded its Civil Courage Prize to Paul Kamara of Sierra Leone. As editor of the independent newspaper For Di People and chairman of the National League for Human Rights, Kamara has sought to promote freedom and democracy in his country through years of violence and threats against his life.

In a ceremony in New York on November 20, the Committee to Protect Journalists presented one of its 2001 International Press Freedom Awards to Geoff Nyarota, editor of the only newspaper in Zimbabwe not controlled by Robert Mugabe's government. The other recipients were imprisoned Chinese journalist Jiang Weiping; Argentinean reporter Horacio Verbitsky; and Palestinian cameraman Mazen Dana.

Report on NED's International Forum

The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program welcomed its first cohort of visiting fellows in the fall of 2001. The fellows, who will be in residence at the International Forum from three to ten months each, include Ramin Jahanbegloo, Myro-slava Gongadze, and Chaihark Hahm.

Ramin Jahanbegloo is an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Born in Iran and educated in France, where he received his doctorate in philosophy from the Sorbonne, Jahanbegloo has written 15 books in English, French, and Persian. These include Thinking Nonviolence (2001) and Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (2000). Jahanbegloo's research will focus on the role of Iranian intellectuals in the democratization of their country.

Chaihark Hahm is a legal scholar whose interests span American constitutional law, Confucian political philosophy, and Christian theology. A native of Korea, Hahm studied law at Seoul National University. After completing his doctorate at Harvard [End Page 190] Law School in 2000, he spent a year as a research fellow at Harvard's East Asian Legal...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 189-191
Launched on MUSE
2002-01-01
Open Access
No
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