- News and Notes
Guillermo O'Donnell Wins IPSA Award
The International Political Science Association (IPSA) has awarded its first Prize for Lifetime Achievement to renowned Argentine democracy scholar Guillermo O'Donnell, who holds the Helen Kellogg Chair in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. O'Donnell, whose works on authoritarianism, democratization, and democratic theory are widely read and cited, received the prize in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of political science around the world. Funded by the Mattei Dogan Foundation, the award will be presented in July at the 20th IPSA World Congress in Fukuoka, Japan, where O'Donnell also will present a prize lecture.
Human Rights Violations in Iran
The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF), a human rights organization based in Washington D.C., has launched a Web site as a memorial to the victims of human rights abuses committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Named Omid after the Persian word for "hope," the database includes the names and stories of individuals whose human rights have been violated. The information is drawn from statements issued by the Iranian authorities; the mass media; reports by human rights, political, and civil society organizations; and victim testimonies. Through this project, ABF seeks to give voice to the thousands of forgotten victims while providing the basis for the eventual establishment of an official truth commission in Iran. The site is available in English and Persian at www.abfiran.org.
Liu Binyan (1925–2005)
Liu Binyan, one of China's most distinguished and revered writers, passed away on December 5 from cancer. Liu's long career was rooted [End Page 186] in a devotion to social ideals, an affection for China's ordinary people, and an insistence on honest expression even at the cost of great personal sacrifice. He was expelled from the Communist Party in 1957 after publishing two fictional works exposing bureaucratic corruption and media censorship, and spent the next two decades in and out of labor camps. After being pardoned and rehabilitated in 1978, he continued criticizing the government in his writings, until in 1987 he was finally banned from publishing. A year later, he came to the United States, where he taught and wrote. After denouncing the Chinese government for the Tiananmen Square massacre, Liu was never again allowed to return to his home country. His article "China and the Lessons of Eastern Europe" appeared in the April 1991 issue of the Journal of Democracy.
Democracy in the Arab World
The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, in collaboration with Partners for Democratic Change, has created a Network of Democrats in the Arab World. Launched on December 16–17 at a conference in Casablanca, Morocco, the Network brings together moderate Islamists and secularists working to promote and strengthen democracy in Arab countries. The conference included more than 60 democratic leaders and activists from 13 Arab countries. See www.islam-democracy.org.
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) has released Arabic versions of three country reports—on Jordan, Egypt, and Yemen—providing comparative analysis and information on women's political participation, political-party development, and electoral-system reform. A synthesis report, "Democracy in the Arab World: An Overview of the International IDEA Project," has also been published in English and Arabic. For more information, visit www.idea.int.
Youth Movement for Democracy
On December 13–15, the Youth Movement for Democracy (YMD) organized the "Global Youth Conference on Democracy and Political Participation" in S~ao Paulo, Brazil. Panel discussions were held on such topics as education for democracy, confronting corruption, and intergenerational dialogue. The YMD, a network within the World Movement for Democracy, was founded in 2004 by a group of young democracy and human rights activists from around the world. For more information, see www.ymd.youthlink.org.
New Journal of Democracy Site
The Journal of Democracy recently revamped its Web site, redesigning the interface and adding fresh content. New features include a site-wide "Search" function, a "Searchable Database" of past issues, and a "Receive Issue Alerts" service that allows readers to sign up to receive by e-mail the table of contents of each new issue. The Journal...