tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 20, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
>> we are doing that. and i think that we need to be doing it in a strategic, patient way that acknowledges that it's not just about us, but we need to be prepared for when people have a moment to move their countries in a better direction that we will be supportive of them in the ways that we have been when there are willing governments in various parts of the world willing to accept our technical advice or political assistance. in ways that we continue to do. the millennium challenge corporation is very effective in a certain range of country
possibilities. my own office at the state department has had a pretty consistent budget thanks to the congress to support civil society actors in a variety of countries and, of course, the national endowment for democracy remains the pree moore institution in the world -- premier institution in the world for targeting assistance to democrats usually many tough places. so they know they have support from the outside community, from the international community. so let me mention a couple of things just to wind up this opening scene setter. one is that i think we in the united states need to appreciate the important role that congress plays. while we disparage its occasional polarization and inability to resolve certain major things, the congress has been a major contributor to american democracy programming in a lot of ways. not least in the creation of my part of the state department. you know, the bureau for
democracy, human rights and labor was created 30 years ago over the objections of the state department and the executive branch. because it has long been seen in our political culture that we need to have some people minding this part of the store, and so we have played a role and increasingly, i think, prominent role inside the u.s. government in being part of the conversations about how we integrate security, prosperity and our support for freedom as well. and so we do that, can we get increasing support from congress in various ways. one of the ones that's important for this discussion in an age of heightened security consciousness in our foreign policy is something called the leahy law. senator pat leahy 10 or 12 years ago first put into congressional appropriations a provision that says we cannot provide military equipment or training to security forces units that we have credible evidence are involved in gross human rights violations. this open toes up a whole other
dimension -- opens up a whole other dimension of engagement with foreign governments and societies about how security forces can be made more rights respecting and law-abiding. and it works to some extent. it works in key ways to provide a different kind of pressure on authoritarian governments, particularly those who are allied to us, the kind that was referred to, you know, that are not democratic, but are friends of ours, so we're willing to provide them with certain kinds of security assistance. we do that, but now we have a rights dimension to that discussion as well in many places. so i appreciate the role that congress has played in framing our assistance, our engagement in the world, not at least through the funding of the national endowment for democracy, but also the large budgets that aid and others get. but also these policy discussions about things like the terms on which we provide security assistance. and i'll just end by echoing what several people have already said, that one of the most important things we can do in the united states to strengthen
democratic systems abroad is to be a better democracy. we need to be a better democracy just like europe needs to be better democracies and more persuasive and to carry in the wider world. and so i think we need finish those of us who care about our international profile need to take an interest in domestic politics in a way i don't think we always do. i think we figure somebody else is working on that x we're just going to solve the rest of world's problems. those of us who travel a lot and are called on to explain the u.s. system, i think, need to pend more of our time -- spend more of our time promoting better government in the united states. >> thanks so much, tom. before we open the floor to questions, we're going to give each speaker a chance to give a brief response to what they've heard, two to three minutes. we'll start with carl. >> thanks. maybe the first point to make is one that nikolas concluded on
which is, you know, the nehru problem, as it were. i prefer nehru to mao and a democratic india to totalitarian china. we don't expect every country when they become democratic to somehow do our business, you know, do our bidding. but democracies tend to be friendlier than dictatorships which, you know, often rely upon needing enemies which whip up extreme nationalism to deal with their legitimacy problems. i prefer south korea to north korea. south korea's not perfect, and a lot of people in south korea that have problems with the current government. but i assure you, it's better than north korea and not just that it doesn't have a gulag and murder its own people, but it's friendlier to us than north korea. and those are the choices we face in the world. and it's not irrelevant, you know, that dem can accuracies
are not perfect -- democracies are not perfect and 100% allies. second point, yeah, change sometimes difficult. first of all, we don't bring all, about all that change. mubarak was not going to be permanently there. the question is how to manage change. the problem with the mansfield argument that you referred to is he considered milosevic to have been a product of democratic change, that this was a transitional government. milosevic was not a democrat, and it's a false argument. there is instability in the world. the question i think we have to face is, you know, as we think about this work, what is the division of labor between a nongovernmental entity and the u.s. government? and what do we want from the u.s. government? i mean, one thing we do want, and i've said this, is that the people that we support could use the help, the diplomatic and political support of the united
states. and of the west. a lot of that is being done to a certain degree. they need it more. you cannot view democracy assistance in a vacuum. you need to back it up with the political support that the activists need in order to survive, in order to -- and to function. we need a strong voice on these issues. we should not call dictatorships democratic or in the process of a democratic transition as we've, you know, basically referred to egypt recently. we may need to work with egypt as a country that shares certain interests with us in the middle east at a time when you have isis, but we don't need to call them democratic. and we need to speak about human rights, and it doesn't necessarily conflict with our interests in these countries. finally, i think we underestimate the extent to which democracy and progress for democracy depends upon an
orderly international environment. you're much more likely to get democratic progress where there is a certain modicum of world order than you are where there is chaos. and one of the things i was arguing for is that i don't think it helps to remove the pole that holds up the tent of world order. and i consider that pole -- and we can argue about this -- to be u.s. leadership, u.s. influence. because nothing is going to take its place. it's not all the answers that we have, but a stable world will depend upon that, and i think democracy needs that in order to progress. two last quick points. we as a country in thinking about our foreign policy have to find the balance between what my board member calls maximalism and minimalism. we tend to have these swings, sometimes very, very sharply. there is the possibility of a solvent, stable middle ground. we have to fight for that which can take account of the need for
power, the need for deterrence and also the need to support people who are fighting and struggling for democracy. and second and related to that, manager we're thinking about -- something we're thinking about, i think we have to really start thinking very clearly about the relationship to security issues to democracy issues. these are complex questions, and i think it's important to bring people together to start thinking through these complex questions. because it's not necessarily, you know -- friendly tyrants are not necessarily the source of stability and friendship in the world, and we have to somehow think about how to balance the tensions that exist. there'll always be tensions, but we can find a better way to balance them than we have in the past. >> thanks. >> certainly, north korea is a worse case than south korea, and i think there's no disagreement there. for the u.s., of course, the india example is that our preference for pakistan when it did not have a democratic government because of the belief that it was closer to u.s.
security interests, i think, is more akin to what i was trying to get at, not the -- we can always have a clear cut case of where democracies are always preferable even when they have issues. and then we do have to get, i think though, and, tom, i think that this point you were bringing up is very critical of how we find these balances, what we're willing to give up in terms of our security agenda. and with egypt i think it is a great case. we could have advanced a democratic agenda or been more willing to do so if there were certain elements of our security agenda we were willing to give up. what i'm trying to argue, we can't do both. we will have to have these debates. we have to find where the balance is going to be between -- we would prefer to see a democratic government and, therefore, willing to cede on a set of issues, a recession, and then conversely, i think, when we have security issues where we might feel that transitions might be problematic in the
short run. and, again, having a calculus, i think, is better than simply flailing out and simply saying, well, these issues don't exist, or we can do can it all. and i think that one of the issues that we've had in recent years, the criticisms that are out will is that we don't seem to be able to strike this balance. we also then have to strike a balance with our diplomacy. you can't go to a government that is authoritarian that you are now asking for a whole list of security cooperations and then say, by the way, we're also working to change your form of government. be that change of government is being -- if that change of government is being perceived as change of regime. and, again, it's not that we can't do both or that we should give up one or the other, it's just being able to have these conversations about what we're willing to accept, what half a loaf solutions we're willing to have. i was glad that you mentioned the leahy amendment was if we always are more time, we can always bring up more things, and i think that's a great example
of where we can use our conditionality. a state is free to reject our assistance if they don't want to abide by those terms, and some countries don't. certainly what i see in the context of the international military education is that it has ap impact because when you say that -- in order to get security assistance from the u.s., you have to meet these standards. and when our diplomats can go to other countries and say you will have to pass certain smell tests with the u.s. congress in order to get certain things, that can be effective. so i think that is one of the ways that we can find, we can search for the conditionality that we need if we want to pursue these things without having it, again, become this either/or; we can either pursue security or democracy, but not both. so i think that the leahy amendment and other things like that are important for us as we continue our discussions today. i think we should look at those as being tools that can serve both sets of interests. >> um, i want to pick up on
point of instability in the world. i think it's a working in africa and spending a fair amount of time there, i see this all over the place, and i think that what we're seeing, take somalia as an example. this is a problem that we've been faced with for over two decades now, 1994 is when the u.s. went in the first time there. and it's still broken. and it's still -- and the security threats there are real, and we have to think about what is a way to work more constructively in these societies. i think israel has been trying to bomb hamas out of existence for a long time now. the more bombs they drop, the more problems they wind up creating for themselves. i'm not saying that we need to go and bring terrorist groups into governments. i'm not, certainly not saying that at all. but if you think about libya or
large parts of the sahel or large parts of the middle east, these are countries that are going through profound and difficult challenges, and it's going to take much more than a military solution. and i hope that tom is leading a lot of these efforts to bring the state department into these and to bring usaid more into these challenges because it is -- they require political settlements. now, on the positive side, and i said that i think u.s. democracy assistance has been very effective overtaking a broad view is that most of africa, where i work, there are elections, and there are vibrant elections and getting into power really means something. and, certainly, there are problems in almost all of these cups with corruption and -- countries with corruption and vote rigging and poor rule of law. but i i also see that losers are upset, too, and they take steps to try and make these countries more effective. and so i see in that sense, i see a lot of positive change,
and i see a lot of countries that are just, i mean, the competitive role of politics makes people and times want to improve the rules of the game so they can increase their chances of winning or more transparency for the government or stronger media for it to be critical. and so in that sense i think that we have, that two or three or decades ago no one would have predicted that ghana would be such a great democracy or senegal or even all the problems in kenya or zambia. it can go on. and so i think we shouldn't have undue pessimism because i think that given where a lot of these countries started 30 be or 40 years ago, no one would have predicted that -- they had challenging problems. and i think that we should be proud of the work that we've done there and learned there those lessons and apply them to challenges we face today.
>> thanks. and tom. >> the united states remains the most important country in the world and is also the one that's providing the most important leadership on democracy and human rights. bar none. pick next ten most active democracy promoters in the democratic world, and they don't add up to half of what the united states is doing. and that's not just in the funding, that's in the diplomatic and political leadership that the united states continues to provide. we're trying to overcome a period in which we seem to do that in an arrogant and clumsy way, and so it may have -- it may be sometimes too subtle for some or not as over the top in our rhetoric as we might be or might be more pleasing to some. but the united states is at the center of every important conversation on how to defend democratic governor nance and institutions -- governance and institutions and developing strategies on trying to widen
those circles. it's not always public, but every other government will tell you that when they want to have a discussion about what to do about x country, it starts here. so i'm confident and comfortable that we're managing an effort. the effort, as i said earlier, has some very strong opposition to it in some key governments and some key nongovernmental actors in the world. and we're incurring some costs in other parts of our relationships. i mean, our advocacy for activists in places like azerbaijan and russia comes at some cost to our bilateral relationships in those places. we are active with, in defending those who speak up for the kind of values that we share. we do that publicly and privately. we are engaged with nondemocratic but allied or partner countries in a wide range of ways, and it does come
at some cost in other parts of our relationships on security and other matters. so that's the enduring trade-off, that's the balance we have to sometimes find is where, you know, how much, how much of a cost in a different part of our relationship can we incur in defense of our values. and that's what we wrestle with every day. and depending on the circumstance, depending on the threat, depending on various things, you know, we might be more forward leaning in some dimension and less so in another dimension. but that is what happens on a daily basis inside the u.s. government. it was mentioned earlier that at world bank there's a movement for democrat, you know, among people that work there thinking that it matters more and more to their work. and that's also true in the united states. during this last 25 years in the united states government, these last 25 years it has become part and parcel of every diplomat's dna to appreciate that the democratic character of governments that we partner with
affects their international posture and policies as well. and our military establishment, our intelligence agencies, i think, increasingly understand that and increasingly weave that into their engagements with their partners as well. so it's -- but it's, it's not a universeally held view yet, but it's an emerging and growing view. and so i think that we will -- continue in this direction for at least another 25 years and, hopefully, we'll have a few more successes to talk about in the next -- when we meet 25 years from now. [laughter] >> well, thanks very much, tom. i am going to open the floor to questions. i do ask that you keep your questions to actual questions. we've had some very long and very detailed presentations here. i know this is a very, an issue that a lot of people have opinions on, but i want to restrict the discussion to questions and answers. so, please, focus on questions and not comments. so we'll take this person right here.
we'll get a microphone to you. >> thank you. thank you. my name is miriam from the collaborative for civic education. we run projects to help civil societies through civic education, and one of those is tavana which is an e-learning institute for iranian civil society. my question is when does u.s. oil harm democratic -- policy harm democratic development? it seems like we're focused on ways that we help it or don't help it, but not focused on ways that we can and do sometimes harm it. one case in point for me, and i was surprised that people didn't really mention syria. in syria, we had a case -- and it wasn't just for a few days, it was for a considerable amount of time when there was a peaceful, liberal, democratic opposition to assad. and president obama, the
approach was support that wasn't really support, red lines that weren't really red lines x now we have a fight that is not really a fight. and what the result has been, an emboldened iran, an emboldened russia, and these things respect good for democratic development. -- aren't good for democratic development. >> question, please. so the question is when does u.s. policy harm democracy? >> with a focus on syria. >> with the focus on syria. so someone who wants to pond to that question. to respond to that question. >> all i can say is that you're basically just putting a little bit of flesh on the bones of the argument that i was making. >> could you spell that out? >> you don't understand what i just said? >> no. >> i don't think it was wise not to allow, not to support the secular struggle in syria. i don't think that was wise. and i think that was the view
that was taken by panetta, by petraeus, by clinton. i think it was a mistake. and i don't think it was helpful. and i think it helped produce the problems that we have. there were a lot of other things that helped produce the problems that we have today, you know? and, you know, i would like to see us do much, much more in ukraine. and when we don't, we open the way up. we give the green light to some very bad actors who feel that they can take advantage and have, you know? i think that a we really need to be looking at not just, you know, providing net democracy assistance in ukraine. they need to be able to deter a foreign aggression. and we have to be able to help hem. and if we don't, you know, we're not helping democracy. >> okay. in the back here. >> thank you. i'm leon -- [inaudible] university of wisconsin. i'd like to ask what's the best
way to respond to efforts by authoritarian governments such as in russia and elsewhere that pass legislation that tries to isolate local civic society groups to say if be you so much as accept a dollar from any outside source, you have to register as a an agent? obviously, they're painting them as somehow unpatriotic and in other ways. do we attempt to fly under the radar, or should we take a more active response to these efforts? >> well, you know, i addressed that in my remarks. i said that president obama made a very good statement last month at the clinton global initiative where he laid all this out. we really need follow up. a lot of this has to do with political support, political backup to the activists on ground. let me just say that regarding russia, there are some people who draw -- jump to the conclusion that when putin speaks, everything, you know, that's the way it goes.
the groups in russia, you know, have refused to abide by that law to register as foreign agents. they're fighting back. and for what it's worth, you know, our grants program in russia has been growing over last number of years. it's at a peak right now. so they're not running away. the people who are running away, i regret, are a lot of the western donors who have just withdrawn from the situation which is a mistake. you need to reengage with both concrete support to the activists on the ground wherever possible and political support to push back against this kind of aggressive behavior. putin says, you know, what he's doing is just the same thing that we do. it's not. it's a violation of international law, it's consistent with an international law for nongovernmental organizations in a transparent way to seek support, financial support for their work. there's nothing inconsistent with that. and i think we need to push back
very, very hard. >> [inaudible] >> as the u.s. has done. you know, the foreign agents law that was enacted a couple years ago after putin's return is an echo of an earlier effort from six or eight years ago to overregulate ngos and restrict their access to the international community. we're not as persuasive with the government of russia as we might be with some others, and so they haven't taken our advice on how to organize their ngo laws and their approach to international funding for nonprofit activity. but as president obama said last month on the margins of the u.n. general assembly in the meeting that carl has referred to, it is our policy to continue to support civil society around the world including, especially, in places where it's under pressure from their own governments. so we're continuing to do that. and we're working with other governments and other international organizations to do that. there's a wide range of ways in which those in russia and other countries that want to access not just funding, but want to be part of international community
can do so. and so we're working to make more and more opportunities available to them including from our embassy. there's an embassy program to provide grants to russian group that is want to work with americans and vice versa. as carl said, you know, the endowment continues to work there. the u.s. government continues to support civil society in russia. the only thing that's changed is that the russians obliged us to close the usaid mission two years ago, so there is no mission there, but that doesn't mean our support to civil society in russia has diminished in any notable way, at though as miriam's comments suggest, there are organizations who have decided to manage their own environment in such a way that they don't want to receive grants from the outside or from the u.s. or other governments. so they're making their own choices. but when they want our support, they get our support. >> any other comments? nick? no? okay. >> [inaudible] >> okay. let's take right down here. we'll get a microphone to you. >> thank you.
leann bernstein. it's difficult not to hear the discussion of democracy, u.s. support for democracy and hear itsy anonymous with countries -- hear it synonymous with countries who share our economic interests, security interests. i know you've raised some specific countries where that's not the case, but overall democracy seems synonymous with u.s. interests. now, what do you say to countries who are, who are doing well like china, like russia casual to its past -- comparable to its past who view, who view these democracy movements as inherently subversive, as attempting to subvert their specific national interests to one of simply u.s. interests, the u.s. global hegemony?
>> anyone? >> i mean, i'm happy to say something, but let -- [laughter] >> i have a lot to say. >> exactly. >> no, let me just respond briefly. i think it was already put forward here by this panel that democratic movements and democratic countries don't always agree with u.s. policy. so that's a discussion we can have with democratic governments and democratic societies. we do that all the time. we don't automatically agree with france or qanta or australia -- canada or australia on every question that comes down the pike. so we're perfectly comfortable with democratic processes leading to governments that may disagree with us on one policy question or another. it's not about u.s. hegemony in the world, as you put it. it's really about whether people can decide for themselves who governs and how they govern. and in china there's, you know, there's not a real discussion about public policy in china. there's no critical views of the economic system, there's no critical views about the treatment of religious minorities or of what's going on
in hong kong, for that matter. so china is an example of a certain kind of economic system, but it's based in large part on political repression. and so that's -- we don't know, we don't know if the chinese people support that system because they're not allowed to be asked or to to answer that question. >> well, they have -- i mean, look, you have charter 08, you have signed by, you know, it's very hard for people to sign a charter, but, you know, over 11,000 people immediately signed that charter, and the main author of it is now in prison. you know, what do i say to xi? i don't talk to him. [laughter] the u.s. responsibility to talk with him or to talk to putin. it's not my job. i mean, there are people in those countries that you need to recognize. they are people who are aspiring toward a different kind of a life, a life that will give them, you know, a little bit
more recognition, dignity and so forth. the only question is whether we're going to recognize those people. it doesn't mean that our government does not have an obligation to maintain, you know, stable relations with some of these countries. but, you know, what's going to happen in china is not going to be because of what obama says to xi. i mean, you have really revolutionary forces at work there. we'll see how successful china is, you know, given the fact that their, you know, middle class is growing. you have geometric growth of the internet, communications. it has some very, very severe problems, and i think, you know, we publish a lot of articles about this in the journal of democracy, and i think the feeling is that -- and larry is just back, and he may talk about it today. i think you should question larry on this. but he's not gloomy when it comes to the prospects for
china. you know, when you say russia, which is doing so well, well, yeah, compared to stalin's russia, it's doing great. [laughter] and i, i really, i really think, frankly, you know, i think it's enormous progress. but it's actually in some ways, i mean, putin, he took over 15 years ago, it was the fsb taking over. they felt, you know, they were taking over from people they considered to be traitors, feckless democrats, people who were giving up russian interests, and they were going to assert russian interests. he's a problem. you know? >> [inaudible] >> the democracy -- look, a movement emerged, a movement emerged in december 2011. snow revolution, they called it. where they wanted something different. they wanted real elections, they wanted protection for human rights. you call it overthrow, i call it, you know, rights and
democracy. they wanted it more open political system. they were objecting to the fact that putin just said, you know, i'm coming back. medvedev, you know, you move aside. and it was almost like it was an arranged, something arranged without having any consultation with the people. and i think that's one of the things that stimulated the protests. then he comes in, and he's cracked could be -- cracked down on that. a very important speech as freedomhouse a couple of weeks ago and talked about a strategy for the future. there are alternative voices there. right now they're not a majority, and i don't suggest that they are. but there are alternative voices, and we'll see where russia goes. the economic crisis is going to deepen, there's no question about that, especially now with the oil prices going down. it's going to sharpen the contradictions. and a lot of people feel, you know, that the putin regime could collapse. the question really is, is it possible, is it possible for it
to be replace by something better, or will it be replaced by something worse? we don't know. but if that does happen, i think we should hope that the people who offer a better alternative are in a position to exercise some influence in that transitional situation. >> right here. >> thank you. >> please identify yourself as well. >> [inaudible] thank you for the panel and your time. >> could you identify yourself, please? >> -- [inaudible] with development agencies within the government. a question for dr. hoffman and mr. thomas as well. development versus democracy, especially in africa and around the globe, when -- is there a time for development? is there a time for democracy? because we've kind of been talking about the dynamic system that we're in. how do we decide when we need to focus on development versus democracy, or do we implement them at the same time, or, you know, in that kind of dynamic timeline of countries within
especially africa, but around world as well. >> i mean, i don't -- i think that many people in here have written about this. i don't think that there's any inherent contradiction. and, certainly, the argument that we shouldn't push for democracy, because it's going to somehow derail development, i don't see that's -- i've, i can see certain countries maybe want to say rwanda or ethiopia that are developing and not democratic. but at the same time, i think that you're not going to, there's no reason not to support it there, and there's no reason not to give assistance to groups there. and then i see in other countries where development along a democratic trajectory can be complicated at times. it can be prone to all sorts of perhaps instability or corruption. but at the same time, i think that if you look at growth rates in sub-saharan africa over past
decade, africa's the fastest growing region in the world. so some countries that have very high levels of instability -- kenya's a chaotic democracy, for example, is growing quite rapidly. and i spend a lot of time there. and they have an incredibly dynamic private sector that doesn't feel threatened or too concerned about the instability there that comes around election times. and even in nigeria, you talk to nigerian business people, and they have strategies. they leave the country for a few week, put their money in overseas bank accounts, but it's still a thriving country. so i think the notion there's some sort of trade off will is one that's been in this warted in the past -- thwarted in the past and rejected, i think, in most cases. >> tom, you want to -- >> just point out that world experts agree. [laughter] the developmental advantage to dictator hardship. >> and, carl? >> i just want to make that opportunity to elaborate.
there's obviously a relationship between economic growth and democracy. we're looking through our center for international media assistance at an initiative that will try to embed support for free media. i think it would be critical for development if there could be more independent, free media in countries that are seeking to make economic progress. because without free media and without the exchange of information, without the accountability on corruption governments that free information and free media can bring, you're not going to get real development. >> just to state the obvious, that has been a major part of u.s. development strategy so support independent media through aid programs, and my own office supports a variety of independent media operations and training programs. so you're -- >> i'm talking about embedding it in development strategies so that development institutions and agencies more explicitly support free media. not drl or the state department -- >> usaid does. ask part of aid concern. >> it's not, it's not, it's not
a priority. i'm talking also about europe, i'm talking about the global development agencies. it's not there, tom. >> okay. we're going to bring adrian into the conversation. >> adrian, foreign policy research institute. some of you have alluded to the increased u.s. leverage in the world and the adversities, and we've all talked about it this morning. my question is what are, what is -- i though that you, carl, and tom and, barack, of course, you at the world bank, are trying to get others to do more of the job. you said that overwhelmingly we are the main supporter of democracy around the world. the national endowment -- the european endowment for democracy has been created, there are some others, i know you have been taking some issue with that. my general question is what are the prospects for and what is the methods of getting to a point where other democracies help a lot more? it's not always the case that
the u.s. is the best point man. sometimes international entities, sometimes other countries will be much more credible. thank you. >> that's, it's a good question. let me just say that, you know, next month i'm off to korea where we're going to have a meeting on precisely that subject. there's now the creation of a asia democracy network, bringing together activists from all over asia. the korean government is looking outward more as we've been with, you know, sort of withdrawing a little bit. they're beginning to become more active, and we're trying to encourage that. this asian democracy network is based in korea. it's, the secretary is provided by four korean ngos, and they want to see the creation will provide the institutional resources that they need really to exercise more of a role in asia. there are going to be people there from the u.n. democracy fund and from some of the ned
family institutions and the center for international private enterprise to talk about different models and to encourage korea to take this step. and we've done that with a lot of other countries. >> okay. i see several hands up, so i'm going to take -- as best i can, i'm going to take three questions, and then we might be running out of time so one, two and three. >> alan -- [inaudible] from the foreign policy research institute. a number of the commentators have talked about the trade-off between security and democracy. i'd like to ask about the trade-off between democracy and liberalism. in other words, if we have democratic elections tomorrow throughout the middle east and muslim brotherhood governments come to power, is that good for democracy? and is it good for the united states? >> okay. and the second question was right here. bringing you a mic. could we bring a microphone right here to this gentleman, please? right here. [inaudible conversations] >> raise your hand again. it was this gentleman right here.
just bring the microphone to him. thank you. could you just stand and identify yourself as well? >> hi, dominic -- [inaudible] i guess i would play off the trade-offs and, carl, you mentioned this in your point four about placing of the values. economics, there's a lot of emphasis on global trade, deregulation, economic growth, these things which some economists have said contributes to wealth inequality. to what extent does that conflict with democracy, the levels of wealth and global trade? >> okay. and the last question right here. this gentleman right here. if you could stand up and identify yourself. >> good morning, my name is calvin willis, i'm a student at georgetown university. my question is for mr. meal ya, but also for the rest of you based on a comment that several of you made about the crisis of democracy at home and how we can better promote that as agents of
foreign policy more or less. especially in the state department when we have to maintain an image of solidarity. how we can come home from our work abroad and make ourselves a better democracy and in turn, turn that around to work to our advantage abroad. thank you. >> okay. let's take those three questions and -- >> you choose the order. >> we'll start with the first question, the question about democracy versus liberalism in the world today. >> of course. i mean, look, majoritarian democracy is not liberal democracy. just an election is not democracy. when we think of democracy, we think about the balance of -- not only separation of powers, the bill of rights, ridge right ands so forth. -- individual rights and so forth. and that's going to be a long and difficult struggle. and i think the middle east is where it's, you know, maybe the weakness of liberal values in, you know, in democratic, in
democratic aspirations is probably most dramatic, but it exists in other regions of the world. and when we talk about democracy, when freedomhouse rates countries according to its survey, it involves not just political rights, but also civil rights. and we -- and that's very, very central. so, you know, we don't accept something which is democratic if a majority uses it to impose its power on the minority, and that's what i was talking about when i was speaking and my remarks about the problem of the democratic backsliding. >> and economics and trade? who -- >> that's you, barack. >> yes. i mean, i think this is -- this is critical many much of -- in much of the part of the world where i live, and i see this from south africa to egypt. it was problems of lack of, i
mean, i think we have it right. i think it's about shared economic growth and in particular jobs. and when the contradictions between the elite and the regular people got so severe in egypt, perhaps not so much in other countries, but ultimately it was about that. so i think this is critical. i know that in much of sub-saharan africa you've got a -- there's a very large youth bulge, and most people are under the age of 30 be, and and the growth there is in producing jobs. this is a harbiner of a -- hard binger of a very big crisis. it's been the biggest crisis in south africa for and it's a very unstable situation. so i think that also in the middle east, and i think that also in syria that as large groups of reasonably well
educated but unemployed men of working age is a sure sign of instability, no question about it. >> you know, sidney hook, the philosopher, late philosopher once wrote an essay called "the social democratic prospect" in which he said, you know, we put freedom first, but if you have levels of inequality that are so great, it ultimately will undermine the kind of political freedoms that we cherish. so inequality is a very, very fundamental problem that has to be addressed. the only thing i would say i believe that a free and open society with the rule of law will do better this terms of managing these issues of inequal the i. you can say -- inequality. you can say, yes, china has grown, it's made a middle class, but if they want to continue along this road, you're going to need the rule of law to do that. last point. in democracy, people are organize if they have the rights to organize and defend their
interests, and that also can lead to greater protection for them and greater respect for their economic rights. >> well, we've almost -- last comment, tom? >> you going to go back around at the end? >> i think we're about run out of time, so i do want to get nikolas back into the conversation because there haven't been any questions directly to nikalas but i do want to get his take about the role of democracy and development and so forth in terms of how we create long-term interests. where does these issues play in term of these short-term goals? tom also talked about balancing these very important considerations. so from your perspective as you take a more real poll teak view of the world, where do you place issues like democracy and development, and to what extent by focusing on real poli,tique issues do you face the backlash
when the ultimate revolt comes and we are unprepared to deal with that action? >> i think it comes back to a point that the ambassador raised in his opening remarks which is democracy promotion, what pint of the -- what point of the foreign policy pyramid should it be? is it one of many of several issues, and whether it's syria, ukraine or the middle east or anywhere else, we do struggle with where are we going to put this, and i think that coming back to this question offing with real politique, one of things we've found is if a country is tied to us because it has an existential security threat, when it changes governments, when it becomes democratic, it doesn't usual abandon the relationship with the united states. so the south korean activists who were jailed in the 1980s who then come to power later on don't repudiate the u.s. alliance because as long as the north korea exists, there's a
reason for south korea to remain tied, there's simply a hard security connection as well. so i think understanding those dynamics is important, understanding the die dynamics f interest. when you have a i growing middle class that has economic ties to the united states or has ties to the u.s. business economy and to what we do here, those can help to smooth over when there's been a transition from an authoritarian to a democratic regime without jeopardizing the security interests. and then in contrast in the absence of those interests, in the absence of those security and business connections, you can then have this sudden reversal as you've pointed out that when a government that is seen as authoritarian or if the u.s. has been seep as backing an authoritarian government when you have the transition occur, you don't have those constituencies in place to continue maintaining a good relationship with the united states. we also come back, i think we all talked about our internal democracy, and i think ultimately and perhaps in future sessions we'll get at this, we
also have a question of we are a democracy ourselves, and our foreign policy reflects what the american people want, and the american people generally want a low cost intervention policy around the world. we're happy to support democratic movements, we're happy to support and give aid up to a certain point, and then the question is, is when that costs, when those costs are hit, political leadership either has to make the case to the american people why this matters and why you have to sacrifice, or political leadership backs away and says, okay, the costs are too high now, now, and so we'ret going to do it. syria, i think, was a great question of that. we could have supported a movement there, but there were costs involved, and i don't know that people were willing to pay those costs or at least to justify that into a domestic audience. and given that we are a democracy, our foreign policy can't, you know, ultimately comes back to that a question as well. the american people get the final vote, and they'll determine what mix of values, what mix of real politique and
values and promotion of democracy. and i think americans would like to do both, but again, when they come into conflict, i think that's where we end up with these debates. >> 30 seconds or less. >> boots on the ground are doing nothing? there is something in between. >> oh, of course there is something in between. i'm not saying it's either/or, i'm just saying -- >> well, pose the choices clearly to the american people before -- >> i think the job of political leadership to do that. >> i think we can thank all our speakers for a very interesting panel. [applause] and thank you all for coming. we're going to take a ten minute break, and we'll resume here at 11:00. punctually, please. ten minutes. [inaudible conversations]
>> a short break here in this conference on the promotion of democracy around the world. when they return, an examination of the core components and their effectiveness in efforts to encourage the development of democracy internationally. temple university, columbia university and the czech public policy group will take part in that discussion. should begin in about ten minutes, at 11:00 eastern, and we'll have it live for you here on c-span2. while this break continues, we'll show you some of this morning's discussion. [inaudible conversations] >> all right.
good morning, everyone. i think we'll get started. i'm matt rue january sky, director here at the kennon institute. i'm very pleased to be able to cosponsor and present this conference to you. welcome all of you this morning. there's no question this is a timely and important subject. it's always been an important subject, but i think never has it been more timely. for us in particular in the russia/ukraine/former soviet world, the question of whether democracy, the development of democracy, democracy building and democracy promotion matters, whether it can be successful, what are the tools it takes to make it so. these are all questions i think we'll address today, particularly compelling now. and i think questions on which many other important questions hinge including those of security and prosperity not only for the region that we work on at the kennon institute, but for the wilder world. so i look -- wider world. so i look forward to hearing the insights that our panelists
have, and i look forward to spirited discussion. before i hand the floor over to ambassador basora, i want to thank him for really taking point on organizing this entire event for many months now which has become more and more and more compelling as we've approached the date as well as ambassador ken yalowitz who, unfortunately, due to transsiberian syndrome, i guess we call it, he just came off a two-and-a-half week train journey from beijing to moscow and picked up the cold that i think, mary ann, we all got on the train last year, so he's not able to join us today. i also want to thank my deputy, will pom rants, who will moderate this next panel, melinda, madison brady here and many others who have made this possible. ambassador basora, i think, will introduce the first panel in the conference.
>> thanks very much, matt, and welcome to you all. ken was, has the dual hat of having been associated with a project on democratic transitions for the last nine years since its inception and being a global fellow here at the kennon institute. so working with him, with will pommer rants, matt, we put it together. you're very kind to give can us all the credit. would not be at all possible without the extraordinary cooperation we've had with you. so let me thank you and the wonderful team here at the kenno to n institute and the wilson center and for these wonderful facilities that you provided as well. it would be very hard to imagine a more appropriate venue for today's event than the woodrow wilson center. given that president wilson
started it all in some sense a century ago when he called for the united states to strive to make the world safe for democracy. furthermore, the timing could not be more opportune. as matt suggested, it was opportune when we started planning it last spring, even more so today. this is the 25th anniversary, give or take a couple of weeks, of the fall of the berlin wall and the entire change of central europe, the revolutions in central europe, but it's also a season of severe testing or threat to democracy. in many of these same countries where things looked promising two decades ago but also most notably in ukraine and hong kong today. so we are extraordinarily fortunate in having as our lead speakers today two of the most revered or respected and revered american figures in the field of
democratic transitions, carl gershman. for over 30 years president of the national endowment for democracy and larry diamond, who's right in the front row -- second row, one of our most eminent scholars of democratization, as you know, based at stanford university in the hoover institute. and we are also pleased, very pleased to have as panelists several outstanding younger scholars and practitioners in our two panels. who have been chosen for their fresh perspectives and their often dissenting views from the conventional wisdom or the traditional policies of the last 30 years. indeed, one of the goals of this conference -- could we have, if there are guests in the back row, could we have them move up? we don't need to use all the -- the reserve seats can be used at least for this session.
rather than your having all to be stuck in the back. if you're able to stay for the full session. so as i started to say, one of the goals of this conference is to engage the younger generation in deciding what we should or should not do, what we should desist from doing. in the area of support for democracy abroad in the decades ahead. and so it's appropriate that the next generation have a major voice in this in formulating the new consensus or, hopefully, what we will get to as a new consensus. now, you have bios. i've introduced only two of our speakers by name. you have bio in your conference packages, you have bio information on all of them. our goal today is to have a really intense, focused discussion where people have a chance to engage, the panelists have a chance to engage with each other. they have dissenting and differing views. and then leaving plenty of time
for discussion with you. so that is why we're going to dispense with a lot of formalities. now, before going on, thomas melia, who has agreed -- who is our fourth panelist -- is stuck in traffic. he's pretty confident of being here in time to engage in the discussion, but we, i just wanted to explain that that will be, hopefully, part of the agenda. here are the three central questions that we've asked our speakers and that i ask you, the audience present here and the audience present through webcast, to think about and focus on during this entire day. three questions, three topics, three issues. first, should support for democratic transitions continue to be major goal of u.s. foreign
policy? particularly in view of the drastically changed circumstances that we face today as compared to the 1990s? what priorities should we give to democracy support when it conflicts with other major u.s. national interests? so that's the first cluster of issues, the macro issue. there's room in the front row. you can use a reserve seat for now. please come up. second issue, if we should continue policies of active support for democracy abroad, what do we need to do differently to make them work more effectively? where should we focus our efforts in the coming decades? and what should future democracy assistance programs look like if we, indeed, continue them? third question, be we should no long -- if we should no longer continue providing active support to democratization
abroad, then what should be the alternatives to our present policies? it's not enough to say, no, no, no, no, no, we haven't done anything right, tell us what we should do differently. for example, should america still work to support human rights and balk freedoms -- basic freedoms abroad at some level or should we instead drop this traditional deeply-rooted theme of u.s. policy in favor of a more cold-eyed real politique? before going any further, let me underline one key definition in framing today's discussions. it's essential for proper framing of the discussions. what we do not mean by democracy support is the imposition of democracy through external intervention on the model of afghanistan, iraq or other places.
instead our focus today is on the pros and cons of assisting and nurturing existing attempts at transition and supporting new, locally-driven attempts at transition when and if they occur as we did the velvet revolution, for example, or so many others, round table agreements in poland come to mind powerfully as well. ..
and try to take them from a different perspective, we might able to help a little new ground. your conference folders, if you don't have one i think there are still some outside, on the table outside. this is tom neely. welcome. you made it through the traffic jam. it looks like. i mean, you made it safely. so you have in these folders, conference folders you have a one page summary of our activities and we have here today with us fpri as president, alan luxenberg right here to introduce our luncheon speaker set little bit of the chance and there are several of us here who are members, who are scholars affiliated with fpri. when fpri invited almost 10 years ago now to start this
program to set up a program on post-communism, on democratic transitions, it was mostly the post-communism transitions we focus on. at the time the leaders of the orange revolution a just come to power as you all recall and the energy initially positive outcomes that seemed to be happening in the first months and couple of years of that revolutionary movement, and more importantly of the many passages of the 1990s, successful beginnings of transitions of that period led to many i would say most analysts and policymakers to believe that the prospects for post-authoritarian transitions, not only in the post-communist world, the prospects for democratization, formerly authoritarian country very promising not only an economist countries but also in other areas of the world. of course, when the russian, soviet federation fell apart,
people were even more optimistic. today, by contrast we see authoritarian regression in many of the same countries. as well as deeply disappointing results over the past three plus years in the so called arab spring countries. therefore, a background for our conference today is one of significance, i would call democratic disillusionment, and much questioning as to the efficacy of u.s. policies in support of democracy abroad. therefore my hope today is that we will come away from our proceedings of this conference with a clearer sense of whether this current pessimism or discouragement is wanted, and whether democratic retrenchment, either on the ground in countries overseas or in the u.s. policies in support of
democracy abroad, whether that retrenchment is inevitable, or whether there are new rationales and new approaches have my permit us to deal more effectively with these resurgent autocratic trends. so those are the three questions, and that is going to stress once more our desire for real dialogue, not talking past each other, not making speeches but looking for alternatives to the extent that any of our panelists or any of the audience disagrees with current policy. so we've asked our speakers be very brief in their initial presentations, and they've all said that they will try to stay very short but well pomerantz, our moderator will kindly stepped in for the last moment, has promised to be strict with
his gavel and his clock, his watch. and so presentations by our for panelists, been a very brief round where they can respond to each other or add a border to the maven stimulated by the others comments, and then open it above all we wanted your comments and questions. so think about your questions but please keep them brief. your questions and comments, but please keep them brief when the time comes. i believe we will have a microphone, is that correct? when the time comes for questions. so what we're seeking here is real engagement and discussions that really stimulate fresh thinking and help to break new ground. so thanks to our very larger turnout, as you can see we have moved the sessions into this large auditorium and which no food is allowed but as a result of that when we come after the second panel we have a very
short time to move into the wilson dining room in order to permit our luncheon speaker, our keynote speaker, larry diamond, proper time to make his presentation. is agreed to speak as you eat but when you go into the conference room, very important that you grab your lunch beverage and beverage quickly come sit down so we can get started very promptly. larry will speak. dr. diamond will speak for 30 minutes and then we left 30 minutes of discussion. immediately after that we will write in the same room go into the final panel that you see on your programs, and the id of that is to have four different members, three or four different members of the organizers of this conference give you their takeaways. they will know about the different takeaways but we view this conference as a starting point for further discussion and further deepening of our understanding of these issues and what the way forward is on
these issues. now, as you probably have noticed on the cameras in the back, the entire, c-span is broadcasting all of the proceedings. all of the proceeds in this auditorium life. unfortunately, for tactical reasons they cannot switch over to the lunch session, and the entire webcast, the entire conference will be webcast and will be available on the canyon institute and the foreign policy research institute websites. finally, we encourage you to tweak and ask questions online using the hashtag democracy matters, all one word. so thank you, wil, for stepping in. i do turn it over to you to strictly keep to the agenda. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. ambassador. and welcome to the first panel on revisiting the case for democracy assistance.
we have a group of very distinguished speakers as the ambassador noted. their biographies are in the panel, but this is really a distinguished group they can get to the basic question about how to prioritize democracy promotion, and where to allocate different resources as we go forward. the first speaker is carl gershman. it is of course a great privilege to me to introduce carl gershman who not only has led a national endowment for democracy for decades but also was my boss for a good seven years. so carl, the floor is yours. >> do i push this on or is it on? thanks very much. it's a great pleasure to be year. i've been given 10 minutes to get a picture of the whole world. output in a snapshot and speak in shorthand so bear with me. i'll raise a lot of issues. you won't be able, i will probably not talk about all of them. it's a very different today than it was 25 years ago when
communism fell. when the third wave of democratization crested, communism collapsed at democracy appeared to be trying to -- triumphant. democracy was thought to be inevitable. all countries were thought to be like poland which we were going to welcome the united states. that wa was no longer need interviews a lot of people. the government could step in and do the jobs that these issues were no longer terribly sensitive. there was something called the transition paradigm where democracy which is progress in traditional countries according to certain stages, marc plattner here and larry pollution article by tom carruthers on that in 2002 but it was a period which i think is a little bit, charles krauthammer calls it a vacation from history. today i think we're a lot wiser. we understand how difficult it is to build democratic societies especially in countries that lack strong institutions and to
middle-class. strong resistance to democracy is from the old establishment. this doesn't people don't want democracy. they are fighting for it china and russia, venezuela to saudi arabia, pakistan. it doesn't mean there hasn't been, and it doesn't mean there's been some kind of failure of democracy promotion which in my view trivializes the problem which has five broad dimensions. the first is that there is a growing effort by the world's hypocrisy to push back against the defense of democracy whose purpose, and whose purpose is to control civil society and independent media to contain democracy, to project their own version of reality into the flow of information around the world and to modify the international norm and body any of those declaration by elevating the principle of sovereignty above all others. we call that the pushback. the second is the dismal fate of recent efforts to achieve which is a joint venture between the
"foreign policy" magazine and we cover transitioning democracies come democratic transitions around the world, and because that's the subject i've been asked to moderate the second panel. was asked to moderate this panel, i was think about a moment a few weeks ago when i was in rwanda and i found myself having drinks and a very nice outdoor café with a general, what of the members of the ruling party of rwanda he was very upset with the flak they've been getting on human rights lately. as you probably know, vermont has a very tough autocratic regime but they are also very good as on corruption issues, on some various governance issues but they are a darling at the international donor community, and this general really want to take me to task.
he said, you know come here in the west heavy on ideas of democracy. we have our own notions of democracy. you can't just tell us what to do. he cannot go on criticizing us forever. the really fascinating thing was that unlike perhaps a chinese or russian interlocutor in this situation, he was not my enemy and didn't seem as such. he was quite proud of these countries record on a number of things. he wanted context with the west. he wanted to save rwandans educate in the west. he wanted westerners in rwanda. is a very, very interesting, complicated mix of things. and i thought of him when i was asked to moderate this panel, which is in some ways the panel about tactics. the last that was very much a panel about the big picture, about vision, about strategy or this panel we would like to talk about how you get it done. so, for example, was talking to my rwanda in general i found
myself wondering, how do you go about combining democratization in a country like that? do try to cultivate civil society? do you educate, do you trained lawyers? do you promote free media, or do you just forget about those things and counted it up economic development in the hope it simply will reached the magic threshold when heavy metal class and they will take care of it. it's those sort of questions would like to focus on in this panel, and for that reason i'd want to talk anymore but i would rather give the floor to the experts. and so i think the best thing for me to do is to hand over to the esteemed sarah bush who will talk about these issues. so thank you very much. let's have a big welcome for her and the other members of the panel. [applause] >> so thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this exciting covers but it's an honor to be discussing these
issues with an esteemed group of panelists, and with all of you. so as our moderator already noted, in this panel in contrast to the previous one which was focusing on questions like whether the united states should promote democracy, i'm going to be focusing my remarks along with those sitting beside on the topic of how the united states should promote democracy. and i think this question about the united states should promote democracy is vitally important, although it's one that is often been i think overlooked in the debates we've been having about democracy promotion at the big picture over the last decade or so. but i do think that the devil is in the details, and it comes to democracy promotion as it does with so many things. if we're not promoting democracy effectively or if we can't promote democracy effectively, then we probably need to reassess whether we should promote democracy at all. on the flip side is democracy promotion works, and i think it's hard to argue that it
shouldn't be part of the foreign policy picture. so i'm going to try to focus my remarks on the question of what we've learned about how to promote democracy after three decades. and i'm approaching this question from my perspective as a university professor and as someone who follows the large and growing body of research on the topic. an ungrateful of the people who on the panel with me can speak from their rich personal expenses working in this field. so from where i stand, a perspective from the research on democracy assistance effectiveness is next. so i will start with what i think is the good news. so from what i see, american democracy assistance works on average at 80 countries to democratize. about 10 years ago usaid funded an academic study conducted by highly respected and independent scholars led by stephen finkel from the university of pittsburgh to investigate the
subject of usaid's program's effectiveness. and they found both in the report that they were commissioned to write as well as in a peer-reviewed study that was published by a java-based at princeton university that on average usaid's democracy and governance programs to have a causal impact, a positive causal impact on democracy. but they also noticed a lot of challenges to identifying this kind of effect. one of the challenges they noted is that the countries get targeted to receive democracy aid are not selected at random and they tend not to be like the countries that don't receive aid. so that makes it hard to make a good comparison to gauge the effectiveness of the program. they also noted it can be hard to agree on how to define and measure democracy. and although we have a number of indicators from freedom house and from the quality project among others, that do give us excellent measures as democracy,
we worry that these indicators may be a such a high level of aggregation that it's difficult to assess the impact of programs and the fine grain kind voice we need to do to know under what conditions they are effective. another problem that was noted by the study is that some of our historical records on u.s. democracy and governance programs, so there are a lot of challenges to identifying the impact, but no matter how they slice and dice the data they found a good strong positive relationship between democracy a and democratization. and they think the gets better because it wasn't just this group of people that founded this kind of relationship to numerous other independent scholars have replicated the findings. people like james scott and carry steel, and not only do they find that democracy paid seems because of associate with
democratization, but they find that democracy paid seems to help countries that are emerging from civil conflict, maintain a fragile peace by reducing political uncertainty. i think that speaks to some of the debates from the previous panel about fragility and uncertainty. but although there's all this good news, there's also some bad news. from where i sit, although the studies seem to demonstrate that democracy promotion works on average, i think we don't have a fully compelling understanding of why it works and under what conditions it works. that's pretty tricky. without that knowledge it's hard to figure out how to avoid some of headline grabbing worst case nice of the past and it's hard to know how to design programs that are in the future. i wanted to offer some tentative ideas here about the conditions under which democracy promotion seems most likely to succeed, and i'm sure others on the panel, maybe some of you, can and will disagree with me, which is fine.
i'd like to propose what i would call the three b's of democracy assistance effectiveness. the first d is don't interest. this is something we have talked about in the previous panel that donors interest matters a lot for democracy paid. one of the emerging consensus findings is that conditionality by which i mean the linking of punishment and rewards to demand or improve democratic conduct, it can really work. an excellent recent book has been published by a woman named daniela bono on the subject of democracy promotion and elections, and here i'm quoting from her and said she found it's rather normative criticism alone can influence a leader with a track record of -- likewise, aid alone is often insufficient. instead, countries democratize when the united states and other western countries bring out the carrots and sticks.
and so i think although this is an obvious point out t is worth repeating democracy promotion activities face a much more uphill battle in the country for the united states doesn't genuinely want democracy. from my point of view it makes sense for use government agencies to concentrate their time and money and other resources in the countries where the u.s. is willing to back up democracies with other tools as pressure, be they conditionality or diplomacy, otherwise i worry that democracy promotion can end up playing into the hands of undemocratic leaders, the very people who you want it to be challenging. my second d for democracy assistance effectiveness is the livery. to have a shot of supporting democratic change in countries where the united states has competing interests, initiatives that have insulation from the u.s. government like the national endowment for democracy, has to be an essential part of the formula.
i'm sure many people in the room have experience with this, that american ngos that receive government funding to work on democracy in the developing world although they may have some suspicion that they have to face, i think it's important from the perspective of delivery to use strategies that are insulated in this way from the u.s. government. because doing so prevents competing foreign policy from overloading the programs good intention of promoting democracy. so i think democracy outside of the u.s. government is often the best strategy because doing so ties the u.s. government's hands and revisit from anything in programming decisions. otherwise, if you return to my first d of donors interest, it's too easy for donors interest to swap democratizing good intention. i think there a couple of other aspects of delivery. my second d that are important for democracy is efficacy and i will just mention one. although we could go on.
in my own research one of things i've looked at is how difficult it can be for donors to keep track of results overseas, and that sometimes this can lead organizations to focus a lot of energy on programs that seem likely to produce quick quantitative outputs and outcomes, which may not be the same programs that are most likely to democratize countries. i think it's important for democracy paid to be delivered in ways that can help donors monitor success overseas so that they don't end up having to encourage organizations and what a former speakers turn the democracy bureaucracy to teach to the test instead of innovate. and my former analyst melinda haring has written i think persuasively about the important role that competition can play in helping officials keep track of results overseas. i hope that something she'll pick up in her remarks. my third d is designed. one of the most consistent
problems that i've seen the devil democracy assistance in the middle is, which is the reason i'm interested in as well as in other regions of the world, is that sometimes the u.s. government, whether for conditions at home or condition in the country where the programs are taking place, u.s. government is simply not a position to support directly support activities that are genuinely likely to promote democracy. many of the us government efforts that i've seen in the region are quite tame. they're not very confrontational towards the status quo. they may take on issues like promoting women's inclusion on local governance. and i think that these types of programs may be good and right. and my own research actually in jordan, i find that these programs can have very positive effects. however, i think that these kinds of programs are more questionably democratizing. and although it may be the case
that they plant the seed for democratic change in the future, i think the jury is still out on whether or not that's the case. and so in my view, democracy assistance seems most poised to have a positive effect in countries with genuine opposition movements. so to wrap up my comments here because i think i'm running out of time, you can view the core component of u.s. democracy promotion from a glass half-full or glass half empty perspective. and i'm going with glass half-full for today at least, and i think one of the things that makes me optimistic about the future of u.s. democracy promotion is the recent push towards aid transparency. there's a number of initiatives in this realm. one of them but i will highlight is a recent usaid funded initiative aid data which is gathering and geocoding microlevel data on u.s. government aid projects. and aid data on with other initiatives is leading new
detailed case studies of democracy assistance and foreign assistance, many of which are modeled on the research of the award-winning economist esther to flow was conducted randomized controlled trials out of the poverty action lab at mit. i think this movement towards looking at the microlevel, kind of more transparency and allocation and design of foreign aid and really looking at the details of how programs work on the ground overseas, of course is not a plan to sue for any of the political problems identified in the previous panel. however, it's -- of democracy promotion is here to stay, i imagine it is, i think this knowledge is just what we need to understand the questions of why and under what conditions it will work. and until we are finished looking through these detailed case studies i will leave you with my own speculation about the three d's.
>> thank you very much for that. let's go over to tsveta. >> thank you so much for including me this conversation but i think i'm one of the few relative optimists in this room, and so for that reason, again, i am especially grateful to be here since sometimes it feels that there are fewer optimists left nowadays that i guess they were sometime ago. my own work is on the democracy promotion efforts of the center and eastern european countries, members of the european union. so those would be poland, czech republic, slovakia, the baltic countries. and this work has provided me with an unintended but i still think valuable and unique perspective on the effectiveness of the u.s. democracy assistance. so what i'd like to be in my presentation today is give you a quick sense of the central and european europeans are promote democracy with that teaches us but effectiveness of u.s. assistance.
then i will move on to briefly reflect on the effectiveness of the center and eastern european themselves of one of the potential cooperation opportunities i see a joint eastern, central europe and the u.s. in the field of democracy promotion. without worrying about central and eastern european to marx promotion and some country and started immediately after their own democratic breakthrough. and it was championed by some of the same people who organize those domestic breakthroughs. so given the nature of those regime change in center and eastern europe, civil society asking an important and driving role in terms of democracy promotion, but as -- such support abroad as well as champions and advocates for their states to invest similarly in supporting democratization abroad. has centered on eastern european
countries has leverage their bilateral diplomatic channels as well as their citizen diplomacy forums to support democratization abroad and have also leveraged their membership in the eu and nato. lastly and number of the center and eastern european countries have started providing democracy assistance but extend to be more on the technical than the financial side. so in some and we have several of these countries that have began supporting democracy, primarily in the neighborhood, and if emphasized diplomacy and especially regional multilateral diplomacy. and their efforts have been limited in terms of the number of recipients and the geographic scope of perseverance to a few neighboring countries. that's the point of a come to you later, come back to later in my presentation. so this point you may wonder what, if any, role the u.s. has played in encouraging and
supporting center and eastern european to moxie promotion. and i've seen two types of impacts the the first one is that in a number of the conversations that i had with key civic activists and foreign policymakers in central and eastern europe, i kept hearing a common refrain, which is to use a quote from one of my interviews, we have a debt to be repaid. so most of the people i talk to express w the belief that they should themselves support democracy abroad because they received such support from a number of countries in the west, and especially from the u.s. so what that says to me is that u.s. -- has mattered if that is because some of the recipients are still active domestically. so for some of the key ngos working in central and eastern europe, and secondly is democracy is assistance and
promotion more broadly has also mattered because it is the multiplier effects. some are direct recipients in central and eastern europe are now providing their own assistance for the east and southeast. a second way in which i have seen u.s. democracy promotion matter is in the specific activities that are undertaken by the center and eastern europeans. they have a very political approach to supporting democracy abroad. and by that they mean that they seek to, oftentimes, in general, seek to build a reservoir of democratic actors in recipients state institutions, and civil society, they would push their country any more democratic direction an opportune moment. in other words, the central and eastern europe approach is that much like the u.s. approach except with less emphasis on elections. so to the extent that the u.s.
has again similarly built, sought to build and to our political actors in central and eastern europe and we have a number of academics arguing that it has done that, was seen that it has succeeded. because the central and eastern europe who were themselves apart by the u.s. in part and to are now seeking to share some of the best practices of their own democratization experience, including best practices that were developed by the u.s. in fact again, thinking to the conversations i had with a number of those individuals, they oftentimes shared that it was primarily u.s. support that helped develop a whole sector of political actors in central and eastern europe. and those are actors that would have probably been
underdeveloped or missing because of the nature of their work and its opposition to powerful domestic, political and economic actors. so again, stepping back to what it tells me is that u.s. democracy promotion has mattered also the specific activities for which there has been implemented has also mattered. because it has produced enduring domestic actors. it has empowered enduring domestic actors. the caveat here is that some of those actors are struggling to survive. they have the withdrawal of u.s. support, have become somewhat dependent on eu funding. but nontheless, they are effective and an important part of the domestic debate in those countries in which begins i think is a positive sign. so at this point i want to cause just a little bit and say that i trust these findings primarily because i did not ask the center
or in eastern europeans about the u.s. role in supporting democracy center in asia and europe and thus i canno could ne them an opportunity to give me a line -- [inaudible] its evidence that i collected indirectly and it came up in conversations about central and eastern european democracy promotion. again by collisions -- conclusions are not proper for fewest to mark's promotion or its unintended negative consequences, but just to highlight that this can and has mattered and that it's an investment is the office up and down in the short and long-term as we saw in the first panel, but it's an important investment. now, in conclusion a limey to return to the mayors and limitations of the center and eastern europeans as democracy promoters. again, to discover those i talked to the recipients in their neighborhood. those recipients highlighted three important merits. the first one is the firsthand
experience with democratization, that the central and eastern europe have. as i said, a lot of the individuals involved in this work were themselves the organizers of the domestic breakthroughs. and so they have this unique expense with a marketization as well as moral authority in the eyes of their recent games. and they can with what i call recipes, or those are sets of steps that could be taken to implement certain reforms that could be again sets the steps to be taken that could be tailored to the needs of recipients given the recipients stage of democratization. the second important merits of those actors, their lack of knowledge and their ties to important law go into lockers, which gave the center and eastern european's access to important democratization stakeholders, and allow them to broach sensitive issues as peers, rather than against the
pulpit of a conscience and centuries of democratic experience. and the last merits that was very important to recipients was the sustainability of the central and eastern europe efforts but as i said a number of those countries have been active in the same set of recipients for more than two decades. and so, however small their efforts might have been, the impact has cumulated overtime to produce some effect. now, before spent so far, but you will have to wrap it up. >> okay. the limitations, the most important limitation that those democracy promoters have had is their limited capacity. the second most important limitation is that their democracy promotion efforts have had certain geopolitical or political component which is sometimes undermined their impartiality. with that said i believe that
may help make some democratization gains to the way of intellectual revolutions in central and eastern europe. to me what that means is that they've held open windows of democratization opportunity, but, unfortunately, their efforts have not been enough to ensure our help country towards sustainable long-term impact. so i will conclude your, and in sort of the second round of comments i will return to talk about the opportunities i see for cooperation between the u.s. and some of the new democracies that have developed around the globe in the last two decades. >> great. thanks very much. so michal. >> thank you very much. and first of all many thanks to ambassador bus or a for organizing this, ever kind the enlightening me. it's a great honor to. i want to say a few words when it comes to democracy and offer a kind of -- i'm afraid i will
differ a bit from what tsveta just appeared not in the analysis with which i fully agreed, but my starting point is central europe has been changing slightly in the couple of past years. to say maybe the obvious, the united states with the first point of reference for anyone striving for freedom under the communist rule in central and eastern europe, and americans were among the first to come to assist with the transition effort after 1989. even though in terms of quantity the u.s. funding was quickly and by far exceeded by the european union, transformation assistance, the u.s. political leadership and commitment greatly computed to thriving processes. as a result many even felt kind of a special kinship had developed between the two sides over the years.
after president barack obama took office, as we all know, certain bitterness appeared. several prominent political figures from tsveta to respond in an alarming mode to the changes that the new administration introduced. too complex and has articulated what we can g call and approacho central european democracies. and october 2009 vice president joe biden turned to us saying you delivered on the promise of your revolution. you are not encouraged of others -- now a pursuit of others do the same. as we just heard i think the central european come europeans most accepted the challenge and started working on that. however, what we could see that on the one hand we could see the european union's struggling with its own normative power in the past two years. and on the other hand, we could see that there was, despite what
you've heard in the morning, there was a lot of political commitment of the united states toward the region of eastern europe. since 2009. and as a result the entire region became more susceptible to forces that do not wish democracy well. we've heard about the disturbing political developing in hungarian, but also look at the new czech republic comment that i despise for imminent future. the government works on changing its support of transmission in the way that might undermine the very concept of helping democracy to gain ground in authoritarian regimes. for example, the concept of a check tresemme sponsor will likely include a provision that any future assistance will be based on a conference of the official government, that he will seek to support moderate --
of the status quo regime, and from what i know all references to the term democracy are likely to be removed. that our populace nationalists in slovakia advancing at a local and regional governments, and poland despite his current stable and i stand in europe, systematically possible political opposition which is never good for a democracy. i could go on and on with this but i won't. so what i want to say is we're facing a very treacherous makes, and it was confronted -- confirmed that many speakers today. to democratize this country of the central europeans seem unwilling or unable to provide a political coalition. the european union is fully. but with its own economic governance problems and central european countries struggle with the post trend transnational difficult. the west increase redoubts that democracy can penetrate hearts
and minds of people universally. at the same time, and i find this quite bizarre, we never see the company do that democracy is not have any series contender of the global market of ideology as a consequence of these trends democracy promotion became progressively -- technical and essentially nonsensitive, that is nonpolitical project. these projects eight enormously to bolster civil society ngos and institutional capacities and so on. but because they're nonpolitical by definition, these projects cannot address the crucial issue, that is the lack of democracy mode of thinking of the level of politics. working democracy requires personal a democratic mindset of practicing an aspiring politicians, and we do not address this issue.
therefore, any solution to these challenges must be a political, a political one. but the very first step towards democracy revitalization must include singing the heart and since you of what is liberal democracy losing its effectiveness in the west? and by singing hard i can actually name the expert singing to a challenge for politicians to do thinking because we can disagree but we need to make this issue political. we have to start at home. even though i agree with the statement from the u.s. is a leader in democratization in third countries, i would like to challenge this view that when i have to see more engagement within the family of democratic countries. because that's where i think we are losing confidence. we have to find a joint way to hold a political dialogue and democracy, and i'm afraid that this can take place without a
firm commitment and co-leadership of the united states. entities do where i see the central european ricci case into the this part of the remark off if you want to go there are still fastened elements of idealism and central europe, but this idealism which has a very realistic and needed understanding of what is at stake right now, just where is this coming from? everyone must know, but there were times where, for example, the west largely accepted division of europe for the sake of european security and stability. this was a time where the central european had nothing but ideology left. and people tirelessly argued that stability based on this principle only aids to the forceful kidnapping of central europe. and now europe is undivided and no major war and no chaos, no
instability occurred. so they were probably right in their assessment. so they're still plenty of people who are sensitive to trading democracy for pursued mature games. what may be one surprising element of central european society that might be worth engaging in a dialogue with small and medium enterprises owners but these are people whose fate is most linked with a threat to liberal democracy. these are people who are most endangereindanger by strengthene state about making open society not so much open anymore. to conclude, we for the actual suggestions regarding new approaches an instance for democratization. and under heavy, i was able to be. mike occupation to this is, instrument might work only if we are confident about our principal goal. i do not see this confidence lately. we have to some of the 1990s as an allusion while we see
current department as reality. at the same times dreams of free and undivided europe were dealing labels dilution in the 1980s and they became reality in the 1990s. it's my pragmatic american philosophy of science leads me to believe that in human affairs there's nothing like an illusion or reality. therefore, i am more afraid about the lack of confidence than a disillusionment. thank you. >> thanks are much. melinda, over to you. >> also very grateful for the opportunity to be here this morning and delighted we're having a serious conversation about reforming u.s. democracy assistance in washington. i think it's high time. like many others, my commitment to this it was inspired by the legacy of individuals mr. wagoner program often of years ago i just we tried to understand the logic spend my $3.5 million program it was a civil society program, the
program was meant to empower youth and women, and these are two powerless constituencies. the thinking was that if we were to empower these youth and women, they might convince their friends to pick up trash and start computer centers. sounds good, but hardly the stuff of great change. we would have been far better off by putting those funds into investigative journalism, courageous journalists have shown that this is his problem with elite corruption and the presidents totaled some at the time of nine waterfront mansions in dubai that are worth approximate $44 million. these are the kinds of stories that will break the fear factor and inspire people to change their own societies. i am very critical of the democracy bureaucracy especially usaid for implement an effective cookie cutter programs but let me be clear. democracy promotion is too
important and schmidt of u.s. foreign policy to be badly. there are many programs we could discontinue today, and nothing would change. we can do better. said that i would like to offer three recommendations in the and is a perfect solution but i want to start the conversation about how to reform u.s. excess and i like to make a point on structures can strategy and transparency. i'm going to start with structure. like sarah said, not many scholars focus on the actual delivery of u.s. assistance but it's crucial. there are two main institutional models for delivering assistance in the united states. we have a field-based model and an independent grantmaking model to the field-based model is primarily headquartered, has headquarters in washington and has field offices around the world. the independent grantmaking model typically has headquarters office but it works primarily through grants and local partners. the u.s. government
overwhelmingly distributes its s democracy assistance of dollars through the field-based model, and a couple of the names that are probably very from a journal here are the international republican institute, the national democratic institute, counterpart international, and dozens of others. they all operate roughly along the same kind of lines. of a large office in washington assets the strategy. field office ask rapid test they scattered throughout the world. the programs are executed in those countries. but field offices have two main disadvantages and unlike to get us think about these and talking about this today. number one, field-based organizations are affordable to strong arm tactics by repressive regimes. look no further in moscow and baku. often has been pushed out of moscow and were operating in field-based organizations. donor organizations without field offices are less vulnerable to pressure because they don't have local offices to shut down. the second obvious disadvantage
i see is that the field-based model is really inefficient. overhead costs, including salaries, rent and expatriate perks in an artificial with field offices can reach up to 70%, while overhead and independent grant making organization is 16%. 70 versus 16. when pressed on why they need an in country presence in not free countries, organizations with field offices will argue that the press will enable them to seize opportunities when this greater political space. but if political change comes to a place like uzbekistan were dashed the rule for two decades without a with of democratization, having had field office will make no difference. if anything, implementing programs with the permission of the clearly authoritarian leader only touches and organizations credentials. credentials.
if a democratic awakening occurs in a place like uzbekistan, real reformers may refuse to work in an organization that had cooperated with the old regime. having had relationship with civil society activists not making field offices put organizations in the best position to take advantage of newly opened space. i want to give you some examples. so you know -- when it pointed couple examples. usaid spent $5.6 million from 2007-2011 to enhance the overall effectiveness of azerbaijan's parliament. and it probably wanted to azerbaijan experts are, somebody got to the chase and tell you that the parliament has never been freely elected and every member of parliament as a member of the ruling party. yet u.s. taxpayers paid for an orientation program for the new parliamentarians, all of them want elections at the u.s. embassy described as not meeting
international standards but it gets worse. the u.s. government rejected these elections and then they trained the winners. usaid even pay for a new website to make this illegitimate parliament more efficient. this is not farce. is all publicly available in usaid's report to a final assessment carried out by two outside experts found that this parliament to program, $5.6 million program, did not change how the parliament functions or how ordinary people in azerbaijan relate to and understand the parliament. sent azerbaijan's independence in 1991, usaid has spent $55 million on programs to make the country more democratic. account remains undemocratic and disinfect becoming more and more authoritarian. in spite of this obvious negative trajectory, the u.s. government presses on with multimillion dollar programs in azerbaijan but in 2012, usaid issued a $1.5 billion call four,
i want you to listen to this competes in bureaucratic language beautiful. that would enable key civil society or positions to better respond to presidents vision and calls for more meaningful and states of society partnerships fulfilling the government's commitment to praise international human rights instruments, end quote. the idea of euros of taxpayer ur dollars going to a moment to suppose a democratic vision of azerbaijan's authoritarian president reinforces the notion that foreign aid is a scam. i will give an example from kazakhstan but this is a typical program but uses every part of the world. i make you raise a special so mike sounds special so mike sounds off on the eurasia region to give eddie work with the contractor, $1.75 million program to increase the capacities of has extensively leading civil society organizations. there's a problem. that presumes that kazakhstan -- so we're going to pump up the
capacity of civil society organizations so they could better represent the interest and reflect those of the government and the problem is that extend has to parliament that does not derive its legitimacy from constituents. and the act eliminate the the elections. though the program makes absolutely no sense. why does usaid continued to fund these misguided programs and authoritarian countries with no interest in reform? it's simple. bureaucratic self-interest and the assumption that more is always better. we can end this ways with the emphasis on triage allocating more money when there's a greater chance of change. the alternative model of the national endowment for democracy and is a well-known model. it does things very differently. it funds small grants directly around the world, and selects the most promising ideas from indigenous organizations. the russians are trying to fix
russians aside. there's a lot of wisdom in this model. it acknowledges like tom melia said, outsiders have a limited role to play in political transition. in my opinion it's a unique model and what it should be commended and bolstered. practically speaking, though i've come up with big about the division of labor as carl and purchase to do is only the n.e.d. should operate in countries that freedom house ranks as not free. is it the invisible letters should concentrate their skill and know-how and partly free environment. >> will have to get to the conclusion. >> sure. my to the point, i'm going to summarize them, are on strategy, and on strategy we are to deploy our shrinking resources in places where democratic outcome is likely. so that means the multimillion dollar programs in afghanistan, azerbaijan, kazakhstan, russia or uzbekistan. these countries are not in transition and we shouldn't fool ourselves thinking that they are. my final point is on competition tcompetitionthe competition neee
encouraged and transparency is about aspect of competition. there's some noncompetitive mechanisms in this field and those need to be eased out. so in conclusion, i think the democracy assistance community needs to a tough conversation about the meaningfulness of this program. as a program officer i was appalled when i went to old files and so we've been implementing the same tired strategies for more than 10 years. this needs to change. taxpayers deserve better as to aspiring democrats. thank you. >> so thanks very much. it's have a round of applause first of all for our panelists. [applause] they did hard work of year. and now i would like to ask you all to very quickly sum up your conclusions what we have said before. you each have three minutes, which is not very much, but let's keep it crisp. thank you.
>> okay. i'm actually not really sure where to begin. there's a lot of interesting things that were just said. so i guess i would just pick up on a few points that the of the panelists made that really resonated with me, and as i am not a eraser, i'm learning a lot from them. so i think -- eurasia. 1.0 like it on is i think some of the structural problems that melinda identified with the field base model, i think occasionally some of the donors interest concerns that i tried to emphasize in my presentation can be working in the background. i think that i have observed pretty similar legislative assistance programs, large legislative assistance programs in countries like jordan where there can be kind of magnificent attempts to build the
parliament's capacity parliament is no longer exist because it's been dismissed by the monarchy. i think that they originate from some of the same dynamics that melinda is talking about. but some of the geostrategic and charges also are at play. i guess i would just emphasize the continuing role of donors interests, even as we look at some of the structural and kind of competitive aspects that were highlighted. and i think in tsveta his comments, the idea that some actors, there's a debt to be repaid, really ardent commitment to promoting democracy. you know, these are i think the donors that are willing to make the hard trade-offs against competing interests. and financial pressures to promote democracy in ways that are most likely to make a change. i think, i'm sure that is under my time but i think let me give
it to my fellow panelists to finish their remarks. >> so i'd like to return to this idea of reforming u.s. democracy promotion by encouraging its cooperation with actors, democracy promoters from other new democracies around the world. and again i will speak, expense and central and eastern europe but i think there are important cases. i believe that the u.s. reputation is one of the oldest democracies around the globe, but still a democratic innovator. as well as its capacity are a good match for the firsthand express with democratization, as well as the local knowledge and ties up a lot of those new democracies that are regional players. some such cooperation has already began, but i think there is room for improvement. so allow me to put forward for such ways in which i think this
cooperation can be more fruitful, which in part responds to some of the criticism that was seen about the democracy promotion efforts of the new democracies. the first one is that a lot of u.s. engagement with those actors has been top down. and it's mostly in the form that my colleague talked about of u.s. diplomats putting pressure on those governments to do democracy work. i don't think that works. and hungary is a great example here. there was a lot of investment both from the u.s. as well as western europe in getting hungary to support democracy in its neighborhood, and that didn't work. now we see that was perhaps for the better good of the neighborhood. but what i think is more important here is that what the u.s. could do instead is invest in organic bottom up civics,