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  • News and Notes

Fourteenth Annual Lipset Lecture

On November 29, William A. Galston delivered the fourteenth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Galston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and College Park Professor at the University of Maryland, spoke on "The Populist Challenge to Liberal Democracy." An article based on Galston's lecture will appear in the April 2018 issue of the Journal.

Established in 2004, the Lipset Lecture is a joint initiative of the National Endowment for Democracy's (NED) International Forum for Democratic Studies and the Munk School for Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Galston is scheduled to deliver the lecture at the Munk School on January 18.

For a video recording of the Washington lecture, visit:

Conferences on Democracy

On September 12–13, Britain's Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) brought together 200 delegates from around the world for its twenty-fifth anniversary conference in London. Panels addressed such topics as the United Kingdom's role in democracy assistance, the future of democracy support, and democracy's impact on state stability. Founded in 1992, the WFD is a democracy-strengthening organization funded principally by the British government. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivered the opening remarks by video.

Also at the conference, the WFD launched its five-year "Strategic Framework" to expand the Foundation's focus on political parties and parliamentary capacity to include deeper partnerships with civil society and electoral institutions. For more information, visit: [End Page 185]

On October 20, Korea's National Academy of Sciences devoted its annual international conference to "Democracy in Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities." Kyong Dong Kim of Seoul National University delivered the keynote address entitled "Is Perfect Democracy Possible?" Panels addressed topics such as democracy in Asia, democracy from a global perspective, and the impact of institutional design on democratic consolidation. Foreign participants included David Held of the University of Durham, Hiroshi Watanabe of the University of Tokyo, and Marc Plattner of the Journal of Democracy.

Zagreb Youth Summit

On November 6–9, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) organized its fourth youth summit in Zagreb, Croatia, convening more than 250 activists, politicians, academics, and practitioners to discuss the challenges confronting democracies worldwide. Panels addressed topics including the "Rise of Liberal Autocracies and Illiberal Democracies" and "Can Millennials Lead Democratic Renewal?" The Summit also featured a lecture by NED president Carl Gershman on "Autocratic Superpowers' Methodology of Influence," chaired by Andrej Nosov of the Heartefact Fund.

The 2017 summit follows three prior summits convened by the YIHR in Sarajevo (2015), Priština, (2012), and Belgrade (2009). For more information, visit:

IDEA Report on Democracy

On November 29, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) hosted an event at UN headquarters in New York profiling its new report, "The Global State of Democracy: Exploring Democracy's Resilience."

Opening remarks were delivered by Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peruvian ambassador to the UN, and Massimo Tommasoli, permanent observer of International IDEA at the UN. Former UN deputy secretary-general Jan Eliasson delivered the keynote address. To access the report, visit:

Venezuelan Opposition Honored

On November 16, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights presented its thirty-fourth annual human-rights award to Alfredo Romero, executive director of the Venezuelan human-rights organization Foro Penal Venezolano (FPV). Remarks were offered by Luis Almagro, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, and Maria Hinojosa, executive producer of NPR's LatinoUSA. Established in 2005, FPV offers pro bono legal aid to victims of human-rights violations in Venezuela. It has assisted more than 4,000 individuals since its founding.

At a ceremony in Strasbourg on [End Page 186] December 13, the European Parliament presented its 2017 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the "democratic opposition in Venezuela." Honorees included the Venezuelan National Assembly and the several hundred political prisoners identified by the latest Foro Penal Venezolano report on...


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