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  • News and Notes

Eighth Annual Lipset Lecture

Abdou Filali-Ansary, founding director and now professor at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations at the Aga Khan University in London, delivered the eighth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on October 26. The lecture was also given at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto on October 24. An article based on the lecture, which was entitled “The Arab Revolutions: Democracy and Historical Consciousness,” will be published in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Democracy.

Ion Ratiu Lecture

On December 1, Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, received the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award. The award was presented as part of a workshop at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., consisting of two panels: “Youth, Democratic Change and the Arab Spring” and “The Price of Freedom and Democracy: Defiant Bahrainis and the Arab Spring.” Rajab delivered his lecture as part of the second panel, and comments were offered by Bahraini journalist and Wilson Center visiting scholar Wafa Ali, NED president Carl Gershman, and Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch.

Guillermo O’Donnell (1936–2011)

On November 29, eminent Argentine political scientist Guillermo O’Donnell, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and former director of its Kellogg Institute for International Studies, passed away. A member of the Journal’s Editorial Board and later its International Advisory Committee, he was one of the world's leading scholars [End Page 185] of democracy and authoritarianism. He is perhaps best known for Transitions from Authoritarian Rule (with Philippe Schmitter and Laurence Whitehead, 1986). A memorial tribute to Guillermo O’Donnell will appear in the April issue of the Journal.

Alliance of Democrats Conference in Rome

On November 11 in Rome, the Alliance of Democrats held an international conference entitled “The Future of Democracy.” The meeting was organized by Italian MP Gianni Vernetti, coordinator of the Alliance, which is a loose partnership of liberal political parties from around the world. Discussions focused on new strategies for democracy promotion and connections between economic development and democracy. Participants included Roland Rich of UNDEF, Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Alaksiej Michalevic, Burhan Ghalioun of the Syrian National Council, Saad Eddin Ibrahim of Egypt’s Ibn Khaldun Center, Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, François Bayrou of the European Democratic Party, and Carl Gershman of NED.


In the article “Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy: ‘Mixed Governance’ and Welfare in South Korea” by Taekyoon Kim et al., which appeared in the July 2011 issue, the Table on p.122 included some figures for South Korea’s Gini coefficient at various points in time that the authors no longer consider accurate. The authors have amended the Table, and the new figures and revised text are available at The corrected figures and text will also appear in Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy, a Journal of Democracy book that will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press early in 2012.

In Soli Özel and Gencer Özcan’s essay “Do New Democracies Support Democracy? Turkey’s Dilemma” in the October 2011 issue, it was reported that Turkey’s 1991 general elections brought to power a coalition government consisting of the True Path and Motherland parties. In fact, that coalition government comprised True Path and the Social Democratic People’s Party. The editors regret the error.

NED’s International Forum

On August 18–19, the Forum’s Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI) and Korea’s East Asia Institute cosponsored a workshop in Seoul entitled “Translating Research into Policy: Successful Experiences, Relevant Lessons.” Funded by the Korea Foundation, the meeting brought together representatives from NDRI member institutes in Ecuador, Ghana, India, Korea, Lebanon, and Romania that have been successful at having their research influence policy. This was the first in a planned series of workshops that will examine how think [End Page 186] tanks can enhance their policy impact in different regional environments.

On August 24–25, the Forum and National Taiwan University cosponsored a conference in Taipei entitled “Democracy in East Asia and...


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