November 2013

Inside this Issue:
  1. News and Announcements

  2. New Publications and Recent Events by NDRI Members

1. News and Announcements

International Forum Launches New Web Content and Twitter and Facebook

The International Forum for Democratic Studies (IFDS, U.S.) invites readers to follow
 us on Twitter@ThinkDemocracy and connect through our Facebook Group to access
 all the latest research on democracy and opportunities for democracy scholars and
activists. For questions about the website and to submit materials to be posted or
shared on social media, please email

In addition to establishing social media accounts, the Forum also recently launched new
Web content. Drawing on the Forum’s network of distinguished democracy scholars,
experts, and activists, the new online content seeks to showcase the most innovative
 research conducted on democracy around the world. The new site’s features include: 

• Forum news updates, including items from the Journal of Democracy and Fellowship Programs
• Analytical contributions from our global think tank network, the Network of Democracy Research Institutes, including an “NDRI Spotlight,” which highlights how NDRI members are innovating to address challenges to democracy and to impact policy reform in their own countries. The Institute for Public Affairs in Poland was the first think tank featured; the Korea-based East Asia Institute is November’s featured organization; 

Democracy Ideas, a video series that features interviews by Forum Executive Director Christopher Walker with leading thinkers on democracy who share their insights on topics such as the ways in which democracy can work more effectively, the challenges of democratic transition, and the growing authoritarian pushback against democratic development. Recent Democracy Ideas interviews featured National Endowment for Democracy Board Member Moisés Naím, who discussed his book, The End of PowerLebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) Director Sami Atallah, who revealed how his think tank uses research to influence policy in Lebanon; Forum Research Council Member Steven Heydemann, who discussed his article, “Syria and the Future of Authoritarianism,” published in the October 2013 Journal of Democracy; and Forum Research Council Member Francis Fukuyama on democracy and governance based on his “Democracy and the Quality of the State,” also published in the October 2013 Journal of Democracy

• Selected content from experts and scholars on the Forum Research Council

• The Forum’s Worth Reading feature, a periodic, curated list of articles on democracy; 

JoD Classics, in which the Forum revisits notable articles from the Journal of Democracy archives; and 

• Upcoming and past Forum events. Among recent events was a panel entitled “Reconsidering Democratic Transitions: The Arab Spring and Color Revolutions” featuring Research Council Members Alexander Cooley,Larry DiamondFrancis FukuyamaMarc F. Plattner, and Donald Horowitz

Grant Opportunity from USAID’s Democracy Fellows and Grants Program:

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Democracy Fellows and Grants Program has just published a new grant opportunity for researchers to support USAID’s understanding of social movements, with the goal of determining how USAID can identify, understand, and support the informal networks, systems, and leadership that have characterized the social movements of the Arab Spring. The successful applicant will receive an eight-month, $50,000 grant to draft a case study review of social movements in the Middle East and North Africa region, present the case study at a workshop for peer review and for USAID’s Center of Excellence for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center), and finalize the document based on feedback. The full request for applications and all application instructions are available at Any questions about the application process should be emailed to
Application deadline: December 10, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST

NDRI Welcomes New Members:
We are pleased to welcome fifteen new members to the research network (whose activities are reported in the appropriate geographic section of this newsletter): 

• Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA, Kenya), a public policy think tank and a civic forum that seeks to promote pluralism of ideas through open, active, and informed public debates on key economic and political policy issues; 

• Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE, South Africa), an independent policy research and advocacy organisation that focuses on critical national development issues and their relationship to economic growth and democratic consolidation; 

• Institute for Security Studies (ISS, South Africa), a think tank that aims to enhance human security in Africa through independent and authoritarive research, expert policy analysis and advice, practical training, and technical assistance; 

• South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), an independent think-tank that produces research, policy critiques, and risk analysis on the economy, business, labor, education, demographics, living conditions, crime, security, healthcare, land reform, service delivery, politics, and government affairs in South Africa; 

• Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS, Indonesia), an independent, non-profit organization focusing on policy-oriented studies on domestic and international issues that aims to contribute to improved policy making through policy-oriented research, dialogue, and public debate; 

• Merdeka Center for Opinion Research (Malaysia), an opinion research firm established to act as a bridge between Malaysians and leading members of society by collecting public opinion and expressing it through survey results, analysis, and position papers; 

• Jinnah Institute (Pakistan), a non-profit public policy organization that functions as a think tank, advocacy group, and public outreach organization independent of government and that seeks to promote knowledge-based policy making for strengthening democratic institutions and building public stakes in human and national security discourse; 

• Centre for Public Policy “PROVIDUS” (Latvia), a think tank established to provide expertise to other countries undergoing democratic transformation through publishing research and policy analysis, and providing the government with policy-making expertise, advocacy and monitoring, consultancy services, and training; 

• Belgrade Centre for Policy Study (BCPS), an independent research center dedicated to advancing security of citizens and society on the basis of democratic principles and respect for human rights; 

• Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem, Sweden), a project that aims to better conceptualize and measure democracy by distinguishing among seven high-level principles of democracy, disaggregating dozens of lower-level components of democracy, and covering all countries from 1900 to the present; 

• Legatum Institute (LI, United Kingdom), a non-partisan public policy think tank whose research, publications, and events advance ideas and policies in support of free and prosperous societies around the world; 

• Vision Institute for Civil Society and Good Governance Studies (Jordan), an independent, non-profit think tank specializing in civil society and democratic governance issues in the Arab world; 

• Institute for Public Policy (IPP, Kyrgyzstan), an independent analytical and research center designed to promote the practice of public policy and provide mechanisms for constructive interaction between governmental institutions, civil society, mass media, and business structures; 

• Vanderbilt University’s Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP, U.S.), a leading center in the development, implementation, and analysis of public opinion surveys with a principal focus on citizens and democracy in Latin America; 

• Princeton University’s Innovations for Successful Societies (ISS, U.S.), a research center that examines institutional performance and economic growth in fragile states through case studies and interviews. 

A full list of NDRI members is available here.

2. New Publications and Recent Events by NDRI Members


Afrobarometer recently published a Working Paper entitled “Ethnicity and Individual Attitudes Towards International Investors: Survey Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa” in which Thilo Bodenstein examines the role of ethnicity in determining individual support for foreign direct investment (FDI) in sub-Saharan Africa. Bodenstein demonstrates through his assessment of over 15,000 respondents in 19 countries that the predictions of the Heckscher-Ohlin model of trade do not hold true for sub-Saharan Africa, as an individual’s ethnic group identity is the primary determinant of support for foreign investors. 

An October 2013 Policy Brief by Winnie Mitullah and Paul Kamau, “The Partnership of Free Speech & Good Governance in Africa,” explores how free speech is strongly correlated to popular perceptions of good governance and media effectiveness. Out of 34 countries, 49 percent of respondents said they are ‘completely free’ to speak their minds, while 26 percent indicated they were ‘somewhat free.’ Many of the respondents who feel that they are free to say what they think also reported higher levels of trust in their political leaders and lower levels of corruption. Moreover, the results demonstrate that freedom of speech and the media’s role as an effective watchdog are positively correlated. 

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA, Kenya) recently published a report entitled "Integrity in the Public Health Sector Service Delivery in Busia County," which aims to highlight the extent of corruption in the delivery of public health services in Busia County and captures some of the popular perceptions of corruption among the population. In terms of paying bribes, 26 percent of respondents reported that they did so to gain access to a health facility, while 44 percent indicated it was to speed up the process. The survey also found that 68 percent of respondents feel that corruption in the public health sector is a very serious problem, while 18 percent believe that it is a ‘somewhat serious’ problem. 

Another report released by IEA, “Integrity in Water Supply Service Delivery in the Public Sector in Machakos County,” addresses the experience of water consumers and their impressions of water supply service delivery in the public sector. Eighty-three percent of respondents supplied with water through the public sector indicated that they were ‘dissatisfied’ with services, indicating a need for the public to develop mechanisms to address these issues. Recognizing that Kenya has been designated by the UN as a ‘water-scarce country,’ the report highlights the importance of reducing levels of corruption and inefficiency in the water-supply sector to promote long-term sustainability. 

Finally, a Bulletin titled “Opportunities for Youth to Engage in Devolved Governance and Economic Development in Kenya” explores the critical role of the youth in Kenya, where those under the age of 34 constitute 78.31 percent of the population. The Bulletin addresses the following points: the need for extensive youth participation on governance and economic development; reasons for lack of youth participation in governance sectors; existing opportunities for youth to become involved in devolved governance; and opportunities for youth in economic development. The Bulletin states that mainstreaming youth into the political and economic devolution process will better equip the country to address the needs of a large segment of its population. 

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD, Nigeria) recently published “Boko Haram, the Government and Peace Negotiation” by James B. Kantiok. The report focuses on how government negotiation with terrorist groups has the potential to reduce or even resolve long-standing conflict. The author argues that negotiation as a process can actually strengthen the norm of nonviolence, and enhance inclusivity and legitimation of the governing authority. Kantiok argues that the Nigerian government has many creative ways of engaging with Boko Haram at its disposal, and feels that a zero sum approach will have disastrous effects for the Nigerian people as a whole. 

In October 2013, the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE, South Africa) released “Policy Gridlock? Comparing the Proposals Made in Three Economic Policy Documents.” This publication assesses three government strategy documents related to the economy and stresses the many differences in their focus on job creation and stimulating the economy. The Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Economic Development, and the National Planning Commission differ in their identification of the major constraints hampering South Africa’s economic growth. However, the three different policy documents nonetheless agree on the point that job creation is and should be the key objective of economic policy. 

CDE also published a presentation by Oxford Professor Paul Collier titled “Why Africa Needs its Private Sector.” Collier explains that the paucity of effective organizations in Africa, chiefly in the public sector, provides a unique opportunity for the private sector to strengthen the delivery of public services and goods in Africa. As South Africa expands its businesses into other areas of the continent, it can assist in the creation of stronger private sectors and effective organizations that diversify the economies of other nations. Collier states that corporations tend to be more effective than public agencies in overall management and can thus assist in the improvement of public service delivery. 

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS, South Africa) recently published two Policy Briefs. The first, “Burundi: Missed Opportunities for South African Post-Conflict Development and Peace Building?” by Cheryl Hendricks and Amanda Lucey assesses South Africa’s peace building efforts in Burundi and seeks to incorporate lessons learned to the future South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA). Given South Africa’s critical peacemaking role in the immediate aftermath of conflict in Burundi, the Brief argues that South Africa has failed to consolidate gains and that a clear vision and strategy for peace building efforts is needed. 

The second Policy Brief, “SA’s Post-Conflict Development and Peace Building Experiences in the DRC: Lessons Learnt,” also authored by Hendricks and Lucey, examines South Africa’s (SA) post-conflict and peace building engagements in the DRC. Recognizing South Africa’s unique ability to serve as a continental peacekeeper and the key role South Africa played in the DRC’s peace negotiations, this analysis includes major recommendations for SA such as identifying points of leverage, developing a coherent post-conflict strategy, and increased coordination between state and non-state stakeholders. 

ISS also published the Peace and Security Council Report 51, which includes: a country analysis on Egypt that explores key issues and internal dynamics related to the July 2013 military coup; Brussel’s New Deal Conference on Somalia; and an analysis of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic. 

Finally, the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) recently released the findings of its 2011-2012 Rainbow Index, which captures political and economic development in the country by measuring progress in the following ten policy areas: democratic governance, rule of law, individual rights and responsibilities, a vigilant media and free society, good citizenship, effective government, racial goodwill, liberation of the poor, scope for free enterprise, and growth-focused policies. The results for the 2011-2012 Rainbow Index show a decline in all but one of the policy areas (liberation of the poor). 

SAIRR also released its September and October 2013 issues of Fast Facts. The September Fast Facts cover topics ranging from economic growth to racial transformation and life expectancy. The October 2013 Fast Facts provides economic forecasts and assesses constraints on the economy.

Asia and the Pacific

The Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI, Australia) released A Guide for Women Candidates in the 2013 LLG Elections in Papua New Guinea, a campaign handbook intended “to help women who are thinking about contesting the 2013 Local-Level Government (LLG) elections.” Distributed by PNG’s Office for the Development of Women (ODW), the handbook is designed to assist women candidates with understanding the role of LLG offices, election laws, and campaign messaging and administration. It is available in both English and Tok Pisin. 

The Jinnah Institute (Pakistan) released “Apolitical or Depoliticised? Pakistan’s Youth and Politics,” a research report examining the range and depth of political party outreach to the country’s youth. While Pakistan has “a long history of student politics” and youth are generally eager for increased political participation, the report notes that student movements are typically met with either oppression by the state or cooption by political parties, which has contributed to the “increasing violence of student politics.” In a country where 63 percent of the population is under the age of 25, the Jinnah Institute asserts that changing this dynamic will be crucial to Pakistani democracy going forward. 

The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) released two publications. The first, “Assessment of the Quality of Democracy in First 100 Days of National and Provincial Governments,” evaluates the quality of democracy in Pakistan during the hundred days from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s inauguration to September 13, 2013. Sharif’s election marks Pakistan’s first transfer of power from one democratic civilian government to another. After a comprehensive assessment of political developments in the country, PILDAT gives Pakistani democracy an aggregate “quality of democracy” score of 54 percent—up from 45 percent in 2012. 

In its second report, “State of Electoral Reforms in Pakistan,” PILDAT evaluates the effect of three amendments (the 18th, 19th, and 20th) to the Pakistani constitution on the conduct of the recent elections; changes included a bipartisan process for appointing Election Commission members, an improved voter identification process, and a new mechanism for monitoring constituencies. PILDAT called the election “the first to be held under rule of law in Pakistan,” but noted that the election commission should undertake a comprehensive review of the numerous complaints of mismanagement and delayed action on election day. 

The East Asia Institute (EAI, South Korea) published the Journal of East Asian Studies (Vol. 13, No. 3), a tri-annual academic journal “devoted to publishing cutting-edge social science on East and Southeast Asia.” This issue includes “Guerrilla Capitalism: Revolutionary Legacy, Political Cleavage, and the Preservation of the Private Economy in Zhejiang” by Qi Zhang, Mingxing Liu, and Victor Shih; “Alternative Paths to Party Polarization: External Impacts of Intraparty Organization in Japan” by Hironori Sasada, Naofumi Fujimura, and Satoshi Machidori; “Trade Versus Security: How Countries Balance Technology Transfers with China” by Tai Ming Cheung and Bates Gill; “Beyond the Arms Embargo: EU Transfers of Defense and Dual-Use Technologies to China” by Oliver Bräuner; “Japan's High-Technology Trade with China and Its Export Control” by Tomoo Marukawa; and “Between Beijing and Washington: Israel's Technology Transfers to China” by Yoram Evron. The Journal also published reviews of five books in this field. 

On August 30, 2013, the Sejong Institute (South Korea) released a policy study entitled “The UN Non-Proliferation Sanctions on North Korea,” written by Eunsook Chung, senior researcher at the Sejong Institute. The study analyzes the achievements and failures of the UN resolutions imposed on North Korea, and discusses whether the UN has become the most crucial actor in the 21st century's global non-proliferation governance. The Institute also released “Long-Stalled Six-Party Talks on North Korea's Nuclear Program: Positions of Countries Involved,” an article by Eunsook Chung, senior researcher at the Sejong Institute. 

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA, Sri Lanka) released volume 10, issue 2 of Peace Monitor. ThroughPeace Monitor, CPA “seeks to foster and monitor dialogue on key current issues in Sri Lanka.” This issue, entitled “The Challenge of Implementing the 13th Amendment,” includes articles discussing the political ramifications of Sri Lanka’s 13th amendment, the debate surrounding it, its implications for provincial councils, and its effect on representation of women, religious, and ethnic minorities. 

King Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI, Thailand) held its “Fifteenth Annual KPI Congress 2013 Dharmarājā” from November 8 to November 10, 2013. “Dharmaraja” is a term sometimes used to describe the reign of Ashoka, a secular emperor of the Indian subcontinent who formulated principles of what is today called “good governance.” The KPI Congress provided an academic forum through which scholars and practitioners from Thailand and abroad could exchange views on Dharmaraja, the merit of public servants, and other good governance concepts; the Congress included individuals from the Thai legislature, political parties, local government, civil service, and civil society, as well as academics and businesspeople from Thailand and abroad.


The Access to Information Program (AIP, Bulgaria) hosted the 11th Right to Know Day awards ceremony on September 28, 2013. Nearly one hundred freedom of information activists gathered in Sofia for the occasion, and the event featured as a special guest Mr. Toby McIntosh of After receiving nominations through a “Right to Know Day” website, winners were selected for six different categories ranging from most active freedom of information citizen to the most transparent institution in the country. 

AIP Executive Director Gergana Jouleva analyzed an audit of institutional websites, measuring their effectiveness in responding to requests for information and online publication of information. From January 7 to January 25, AIP evaluated 489 websites of 490 executive bodies at various levels of government and noted that 55 percent of institutional websites had access to information sections. Based on these audit results, AIP launched an updated 2013 Active Transparency Rating that ranks municipalities in their compliance with the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) passed in 2000. The audit is included in a larger AIP Annual Report entitled Access to Information in Bulgaria 2012

Christian Welzel, chair of political culture research at the Center for the Study of Democracy (ZDEMO, Germany) and vice-president of the World Values Survey Association, recently published a book entitledFreedom Rising: Human Empowerment and the Quest for Emancipation. In the publication, Welzel tests various explanations for the rise of freedom and provides a theory for the trend away from oppression in recent history. The author identifies the transmission of ‘emancipative values’ as a key factor in the spread of human empowerment, which then translates into a desire for democracy and manifests itself as social capital. The 420 page book features 14 chapters and more than 100 publications and tables. To preorder, please visit

The Institute for Development and Social Initiatives “Viitorul” (IDIS, Moldova) issued a recent publication entitled “Russia’s Pressures and the European Course of the Republic of Moldova.” This report by Eduard Tugui details Russian attempts, usually in the form of trade bans, to obstruct Moldova and other post-Soviet nations efforts to sign EU Association Agreements at the upcoming Vilnius Summit in November 2013. The EU has been an important ally and financial supporter of Moldova, particularly in light of increasing threats from Russia. The report demonstrates, however, that Moldova need not be viewed as an impediment to closer EU-Russia relations, as it can serve as a key player between the two entities. 

In October 2013, IDIS released Issue 4 of the Dniestrian Realities newsletter which includes the following sections: an assessment by Eduard Tugui on the state of the Transnistrian conflict settlement; an “Official Talks and Citizens Expectations” section featuring interviews with two experts on the Transnistrian stalemate; and a concise summary of Moldova-EU related political events that occurred in September 2013. Tugui’s analysis on the recent agreement in September 2013 between Moldova and Transnistria to extend freight train circulation for another year and three months reflects the author’s opinion that the agreement serves as a “maturity test” for the entire negotiation framework. 

The Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM, Montenegro) released a “Needs Assessment of Roma and Egyptian Populations in Montenegro.” The assessment, which covered 276 households and included 1469 people in five municipalities in Montenegro, captures perceptions of the Roma and Egyptian populations on the issue of living conditions and overall inclusion. The report found that “over 90 percent of families of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro live in non-urban, disordered, and extremely environmentally polluted areas,” and that 33.26 percent of respondents had been exposed to some form of discrimination. Overall, the results demonstrate that the Roma and Egyptian populations view the EU accession process as a positive step toward greater inclusion, and that further state engagement and partnerships with Roma NGOs is needed. 

CEDEM also released a “Situation Report in the Area of Judicial Reform and Human Rights in Montenegro.” The report, which reflects independent observations before the publication of the European Commission’s Montenegro Progress Report 2013, provides an overview of the state from October 2012 to October 2013 in the areas of judicial reform, combating corruption, the protection of human rights, and civil society development. The report also includes recommendations for the European Commission and concrete suggestions for policy priority changes. 

In November 2013, the Institute of Public Affairs (ISP, Poland) released a Policy Brief entitled “A European Victory for the Eurosceptics?” which highlights how Poland’s soft eurosceptic party Law and Justice (PiS) is poised make many gains in the upcoming European elections in 2014. However, the ruling Civic Platform, which has lost some support, is still expected to maintain more MEPs in the European Parliament than PiS, partly because of an impressive history in the European Parliament. The left has thus far been unsuccessful in motivating voters, and will likely fail to benefit politically from the rivalry between Law and Justice and the Civic Platform.

ISP also recently released an analysis on Ukraine, “Domestic Challenges in Ukraine: Implications for the EU.” The paper examines how Ukraine’s domestic politics will ultimately shape Ukraine-EU relations and emphasizes the corrosive effect that institutional and political elites have on the democratization process. Ensuring a free and fair presidential election in 2015 is critical for the development of a more pluralistic system and can be accomplished if the EU places “a strong emphasis on the proper conduct of both the campaign and the elections themselves.” 

The Romanian Academic Society (SAR) recently contributed to Transparency International’s Report on Global Corruption in Education. The report features five sections of analysis: global trends in corruption in education, understanding the scale of corruption in education, transparency and integrity in higher education, innovative approaches to tackling corruption, and the role of education in strengthening personal and professional integrity. SAR contributed to a chapter in the report entitled “Ranking University Governance in Romania: An Exportable Model?” that assesses Romania’s introduction of a ranking system in higher education. 

The Belgrade Centre for Policy Studies (BCPS), in cooperation with the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS) and the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), released a public opinion research finding entitled “The Citizens on Serbian-Albanian Relations and the Regional Security Cooperation.” The survey, which was conducted in the first three weeks of October 2013, reveals that the majority of citizens in Serbia and Albania support the continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina even if such dialogue is not conditioned to EU membership. However, the majority of Kosovars and those residing in Metohija favor dialogue only if it is conditioned on EU membership. 

The Institute for Public Affairs (IVO, Slovakia) recently released a book entitled From Where to Where: Twenty Years of Independence, edited by Martin Bútora, Grigorij Meseznikov, Zora Bútorová, and Miroslav Kollár.A total of 61 authors address various social and political developments in the Czech Republic and Slovakia since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The authors provide their observations and reflections on the state of democracy and civic maturity, and questions whether independence created more or less democracy. The book may be purchased here.

FRIDE’s Democratization and Rule of Law Program (Spain) released two new Policy Briefs. The first Brief by Eleonora Tafuro, “Can the EU Help Foster Democracy in Russia?” argues that the EU’s “leverage” over democratic reforms and human rights issues in Russia is limited because strategic and economic interests override the promotion of values. However, Russian President Putin’s recent hardline stance against Russian civil society is of concern to the EU, which can use three measures to support democratic reform in Russia: further progress on visa liberalization, demonstrated support for civil society initiatives, and more goals-oriented human rights consultations.

FRIDE’s second Policy Brief, “Western Sahara: Beyond Complacency” by Anouar Boukhars, analyzes some of the reasons for Western Sahara’s unresolved status as a territory and identifies this as a “potential stability risk for the region” owing to trans-border terrorism and increased militancy. The Sahrawi tribe, based in Western Sahara and seeking independence from Morocco, seeks greater self-governance and control over resources. Boukhars argues that Morocco must “act on its promises to improve its management of the area” and to allow for greater autonomy should it hope to resolve this longstanding issue in the near future. 

The Quality of Government Institute (QoG, Sweden) recently released four articles as part of their Working Papers series. In “Crash in Economy, Crash in Confidence: Perceptions of Corruption and Political Support in Iceland Before and After the Financial Crisis,” authors Erlingsson, Linde, and Öhrvall use Iceland as a case study to measure how the financial crisis impacted levels of political support and the role that public perception of corruption had on these support levels. “The Quality of Government Expert Survey 2008-2011: A Report,” by Dahlberg, Dahlström, Sundin, and Teorell, captures how bureaucratic structures effect political, social, and economic outcomes in developed and developing nations, with the aim of providing hard data on the quality of governance in a host of countries. “Impartiality and Corruption in Sweden,” by Dahlström and Sundell, presents information on corruption in Sweden through the unique approach of surveying local politicians. The survey tried to capture both impartiality and corruption by constructing three indices: a bribery index, a partiality index, and a recruitment index. Finally, Maria Gustavsson’s work on “Democratic Origins of Auditing: “Good Auditing” in Democratic Perspectives” attempts to develop a concept of “good auditing” based on democratic theories. Gustavsson argues that characteristics such as professionalism and independence are well established in democracy theory and that the professional’s attitude with respect toward the reach of audit objectives reflects a certain ‘unclearness of the roles and responsibilities of auditors.”

Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem, Sweden), which is composed of a team of political scientists dedicated to producing better indicators of democracy, recently held the V-Dem Launch Conference on October 25, 2013, at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The conference included NGOs, foreign ministries, government agencies, and researchers and featured results collected from over 80 countries in one of the world’s largest democracy research projects. Participants discussed the results at length, and V-Dem plans to upload the results on the V-Dem database by 2015. For questions about V-Dem, please contact Josefine Pernes

On November 5, 2013, the European Stability Initiative (ESI, Turkey) released “Disgraced: Azerbaijan and the End of Election Monitoring as We Know It.” The report offers a critical assessment of the state of international election monitoring in Europe after various European monitoring groups offered widely divergent assessments on the level of freedom of Azerbaijan’s recent presidential election in October 2013. While there were fifty organizations monitoring the presidential elections, only one, the ODIHR (the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights), refused to praise Azerbaijan’s elections as free and fair. The report stresses the importance of investigating how election monitoring groups arrived at such different assessments and highlights the need to rethink the relationship between long and short-term elections observers. 

Richard Rose, director for the Centre for the Study of Public Policy (CSPP, United Kingdom), will be releasing a new book, Representing Europeans: A Pragmatic Approach, which asserts that a lack of popular support and commitment toward the EU can threaten key EU policies. One of the author’s main critiques is that major EU treaties have been negotiated by European officials and national governments with virtually no input from the public. Ultimately, popular participation was left out of the process. To order the book, please visit theOxford University Press website

In partnership with Transparency International and with funding from the British Economic and Social Research Council, CSPP launched a four year study on corruption entitled “The Experience of Corruption: A Global Analysis.” This study, which will last from January 2012-December 2015, will include surveys from 125 different countries on five continents, and it hopes to identify where people are most vulnerable to bribery and which services are most affected by assessing bribery at the “grass roots” level. The database will reflect the experience of more than 500,000 people worldwide. 

On October 29, 2013, the Legatum Institute (LI, United Kingdom) released its annual Global Prosperity Index, which provides an assessment of global wealth and well-being. Some of the key results from the assessment were Norway remaining in the top position for a fifth year in a row, and the United States slipping out of the top 20 in the economy index. Aside from the index, there are interactive tools that allow users to explore the data. The interactive tools can be found at The launch of the index was also accompanied by numerous talks and presentations at the Legatum Institute in London. 

The Legatum Institute (LI), in conjunction with the Institute for Modern Russia, recently released a report authored by Peter Pomerantsev entitled “Russia: A Postmodern Dictatorship?” The report details how the Russian state utilizes a façade of democratic institutions to mask its authoritarian nature and shield itself from further Western criticism. According to Pomerantsev, Russia under Putin has gone through great lengths, including the creation of an “opposition” media and the appearance of free elections, to convince others of Russia’s respect for liberal values. The first part of the paper addresses how Russia functions as a postmodern dictatorship, and the second part looks at ramifications for Russia’s relationship to the West. The third section contains recommendations for the future. 

Finally, on October 3, 2013, the Legatum Institute launched “Insight on Africa: Special Report,” which reveals how several factors such as economic growth and greater foreign and domestic investment are having a very positive effect on enhancing prosperity in Africa. The report analyzes changing demographics, safety, and corruption and assesses 38 countries on their performance in achieving Millennium Development goals. It also includes a section on the effect that Asian investment in Africa is having. The top performers included Botswana, Morocco, and South Africa while some of the lower ranking countries included Congo (DR), the Central African Republic, and Chad. The report concludes with a breakdown of methodology.

Latin America

The Global Center for Development and Democracy (CGDD, Peru) through its Latin American Institute for Leadership and Governance (ILLGP) has created a database of Spanish-language online courses in public administration being offered by various universities and international organizations. In an effort to build the capacity of public officials and administrators in Latin America, ILLGP seeks to promote tools, such as online education courses, that enable more effective policy action and public management, with an emphasis on promoting ethics, efficiency, democratic integrity, economic growth, and an inclusive political sphere. In August–November, ILLGP partnered with the United Nations Development Program to offer three online classes designed for public administrators on the prevention and risk management of corruption in Latin America’s public sector. 

The Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC, Argentina) has undertaken several projects in recent months under the auspices of its Argentine Election Observatory (OEA). During the primaries and main campaign period for Argentina’s October 2013 legislative elections, the OEA database allowed citizens to search through candidates running for the national legislature to learn more about their party affiliation, platform, political experience, and education. After the election, the OEA candidates’ database was updated to reflect results of the election to show citizens which candidates were elected from their region. During the period prior to the election, the OEA also dedicated a section of its website to informing new youth voters about voting procedures because of a 2012 law lowering Argentina’s voting age from eighteen to sixteen years old. 

Julia Pomares, director of CIPPEC’s Program on Political Institutions, published an election report in theWashington Post’s political science blog, “The Monkey Cage,” analyzing the results of Argentina’s October 2013 legislative elections. Pomares noted that these elections were significant because President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was seeking to change the constitution to enable her to run for reelection for a third term as president, which would have required her congressional allies to win a majority of seats in the legislature. To learn more about the election results and their implications, read the full report at “The Monkey Cage.”

The Center for Opening and Development in Latin America (CADAL, Argentina) celebrated the launch of its third Legislative Barometer report, “Institutional and Economic Agenda in Argentina 2012–2013,” on October 1, 2013. Conducted every two years, CADAL circulated a ten-question survey to legislators and their staff about economic and institutional priorities. According to the 51 completed survey responses, Argentina’s legislators are most concerned about inflation, a lack of legal certainty, and low rates of investment in the country’s economy. Other survey questions explored issues such as legislative transparency, the legislative process, and taxes. The full report is available in Spanish from CADAL’s website

Also in October, CADAL organized an event entitled “Venezuela: A Neo-Dictatorship with a Democratic Facade?” featuring several elected officials representing Venezuela’s opposition. Invited to analyze the political situation in Venezuela, speakers commented that “Today, in Venezuela there is no democracy. We are in the presence of a regime that, in addition to controlling the public spaces, wants to control the consciousness and individuals’ will.” The event provided public attendees an important opportunity to ask questions and hear directly from Venezuelan opposition leaders about the current political environment.

In September, CADAL’s Executive Director Gabriel Salvia attended the annual meeting of Forum 2000, a global meeting of democracy activists and supporters in Prague held to carry on the legacy of Vaclav Havel and support democratic actors around the world. To share some of the lessons learned from the event, which focused on the theme of “Societies in Transition,” CADAL’s Puente Democrático initiative published the conference’s concluding remarks, given by Gareth Evans, former foreign minister of Australia, in Spanish andEnglish

Congresso Visible (CV, Colombia) published the second issue of its Caribe Visible bulletin, focusing on the platforms, views, and actions of legislative representatives from Colombia’s Caribbean region. Through a partnership with the Universidad de los Andes and Universidad del Norte, Caribe Visible provides a quantitative analysis of legislative activity conducted by legislators from Caribbean departments. In addition, this issue of Caribe Visible explores two pieces of recently-debated reform legislation affecting healthcare and territorial organization in Columbia and tracks whether legislative members from Caribbean departments voted in favor or against these reforms. 

The Instituto de Ciencia Política’s (ICP, Colombia) Observatory for Policy and Strategy in Latin America (OPEAL) will host a day-long event in Bogotá on November 28, “Between Transition and Restoration: Challenges for the Colombian Post-Conflict Society.” During the event, speakers will discuss some of the most important issues facing Colombia in the coming years as the national peace process and negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) move forward, including the implementation mechanisms for a truth commission in Colombia, the extent of victims’ reparations, the form of guarantees of non-repetition in this process, as well as the role of the media in the upcoming transitional period. Featured speakers include Humberto de la Calle, the Chief Negotiator of the Colombian government in the FARC peace talks, Clara Rojas, a former vice-presidential candidate who was held in FARC captivity for six years, and Colombian Congressman Guillermo Rivera, among others. To learn more about the conference,

Latinobarómetro (Chile) published the results of their 2013 public opinion survey, collected from interviews with 20,204 individuals in eighteen countries during the month of June 2013. The 2013 report found that while more Latin Americans expressed the highest level of overall satisfaction with their lives since Latinobarómetro began the annual survey in 1995, poverty, economic uncertainty, and inequality remain severe challenges for the region’s population. Across the region, 68 percent of Latin Americans remain in the lowest economic class and 30 percent in the middle class, while only 2 percent of the population belongs to the upper class. Nevertheless, overall support for democracy across Latin America remains high with 56 percent of respondents agreeing with the statement “democracy is preferable to any other form of government.” A summary of the findings was published in The Economist on November 2, and the complete survey report can be downloaded in Spanish from Latinobarómetro’s website

The State of the Nation Program (Programa Estado de la Nacion, Costa Rica) produced several reports analyzing statistical data from Costa Rica and other Central American countries, including the 19th edition of its flagship publication, the State of the Nation Report (2013). The statistics reported in the 19th edition demonstrate that while Costa Rica has maintained a stable democratic system and a modest level of economic growth, Costa Rica’s overall level of human development remains the same, implying that the country has still not identified policies that can successfully address outstanding development challenges. To identify reasons why existing policies may not be improving development indicators, the State of the Nation Report(2013) identifies 13 myths about the country’s social and economic performance, environmental management, and political administration and challenges many underlying assumptions about Costa Rica’s level of development. 

In September, the State of the Nation Program released “Costa Rica County Indicators (2013).” Based on data from the 2011 Population Census, this booklet summarizes the main economic, social and demographic indicators for each of the country's 81 counties, with the goal of providing municipalities and local leaders with basic data that can help them design and implement better public policies. The IVth State of the Education Report (2013) provides an in-depth assessment of Costa Rica's educational system’s performance. 

In August, the State of the Nation program published “Statistics of Central America,” compiling economic, social, demographic, institutional, environmental, and political indicators for each country in the region to generate a handbook for researchers interested in comparative and verifiable data on Central America. Finally, “Costa Rica: Human Development Assessment and Dilemmas (2012)” synthesizes the main findings of the 18th State of the Nation Report’s 2012 data in English, adding a comparative outlook for development in Latin America. 

Grupo Faro (Ecuador) celebrated the International Day of Democracy in September by awarding eleven civil society organizations in Ecuador with the Prize for Civic Innovation in recognition for creative and innovative projects that address social challenges in Ecuador. Grupo Faro Executive Director Orazio Bellettini marked the award presentation by noting that civil society plays an important role in generating ideas and initiatives that can later be converted into public policy. To read profiles of the recognized organizations and to learn more about their innovative strategies for public policy reform, download the award recipient report from Grupo Faro’s website. 

Also in September, Grupo Faro produced two new manuals for civil society organizations under the umbrella of its “Strengthening Civil Society in Ecuador” program, which seeks to develop the capacity of civil society organizations in Ecuador to enable them to come together to more effectively influence democratic processes and foster sustainable and transparent organizations. The first publication, “Civil Society Organization Networks: Benefits and Services,” collects the experiences of civil society networks in other developing countries to identify lessons that would help strengthen the collective action of Ecuadorian civil society. In addition, the publication also provides a guide for Ecuadorian civil society organizations on how to develop organizational capacity. The second document is a manual entitled “Incorporating Gender Perspectives in the Management of Civil Society Organizations” to encourage civil society organizations to pay attention to the ways that gender hierarchies contribute to social inequality in Ecuadorian society. The manual also offers Ecuadorian civil society organizations tools to ensure gender- mainstreaming within their own organizations. 

The Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, A.C. (CIDE, Mexico) published two working papers written by Andreas Schedler that will be of interest to DRN readers. In “Emerging Trends in the Study of Electoral Authoritarianism,” Schedler reviews the conceptual and empirical foundations of “electoral authoritarianism” as an emerging field of study in comparative politics and identifies substantive issues that merit exploration through further research. In “Mexico’s Civil War Democracy,” Schedler uses the case of Mexico to explore how widespread criminal violence has the potential to subvert democratic elections as a form of horizontal threat. 

FUNDAR (Mexico) launched new recommendations for Mexico’s national budget in 2014 on its microsite, “Las 10 Faltantes del Presupuesto” (The 10 Missing Budget Items). The web portal is intended as an accountability tool to launch discussions about national priorities in Mexico that are not being sufficiently addressed in the national budget. In 2014, FUNDAR identified funding deficiencies in strategic areas such as government accountability, human rights and budgets, local public debt, official government communications, and climate change, among others. 

The Latin America Public Opinion Project (LAPOP, United States) at Vanderbilt University published the 2012 AmericasBarometer report, “The Political Culture of Democracy in Latin America 2012." Conducted every two years, the data from each round of the AmericasBarometer is available to the public and can be used to draw conclusions about trends in politics and democracy across the region, as well as in each individual country. In reports based on the 2012 AmericasBarometer, LAPOP noted interesting contrasts between increased positive opinions of national economies and staggering inequalities between racial groups, socioeconomic classes, and genders. Further information about AmericasBarometer and access to country reports can be found on LAPOP’s website

Data from LAPOP’s Americas Barometer survey was analyzed and cited in two UNDP publications. Daniel Moreno and Fernando Calderón analyzed AmericasBarometer 2012 public opinion data to draw conclusions about the historical impact of charismatic political leaders in their chapter, “Carisma, sociedad y política: los líderes del neodesarrollismo,” published in the book América Latina, ¿del neoliberalismo al neodesarrollismo(Siglo XXI Editores, 2013). Fernando Calderón, Caterina Colombo, and Daniel Moreno also analyzed public opinions regarding political leaders, national economies, and governance preferences across eighteen Caribbean and Latin American countries in “Líderes y sociedad frente al espejo” from Las huellas del futuro: Contrapunto de voces sobre la realidad política latinoamericana (Siglo XXI Editors, 2013).

LAPOP is also conducting a special study in Cobán, Guatemala, a region where the penetration of narco-trafficking has been extensive, to assess the impact of interventions by USAID and its contractors to combat this violence. The expectation is that the area will see an improvement in terms of crime victimization, perception of insecurity, perception of state institutions in charge of providing security and enforcing the rule of law, and an increase in overall support for democracy. The initial phase of surveying took place in September 2010 to gauge the starting point. In September 2013, LAPOP’s Diana Orces began pretesting, training, and data collection using a new Adgys android system developed by LAPOP’s partners in Cochacamba, Bolivia. Questions about this project can be directed to Georgina Pizzolito

Middle East

The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) recently released Israeli Democracy Index 2013, its annual assessment of the state of Israeli democracy. Written by Tamar Hermann, Nir Atmor, Ella Heller, and Yuval Lebel, the Index “seeks to examine the institutional, procedural, and perceptual aspects of Israeli democracy.” The survey finds, among other things, that while Jewish Israelis are most trusting of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the President, Arab Israelis are more likely to trust the Supreme Court and the media. While a majority of Jewish respondents believe that Israel can be both Jewish and democratic, only a third of Arab respondents agreed. The rift between Jews and Arabs was seen as the “greatest area of friction” in Israel by 68 percent of all respondents; meanwhile, a majority of Jewish Israelis felt that “critical national decisions should be determined by a Jewish majority,” while a majority of Arab Israelis disagreed. 

IDI also released the September and October issues of its Peace Index, a monthly survey on important political and social issues in Israel. In September, the Index reported that a majority of Jewish Israelis and a plurality of Arab Israelis believe that US posture toward Syria and Iran projects weakness, not strength; respondents also doubted that Obama would act to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capability. The Israeli public is split on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s overtures to the West, with Jewish respondents overwhelmingly doubting that they mark real change and a small plurality of Arab respondents believing they are genuine. However, majorities of both groups agreed that living with a nuclear Iran was possible. On the issue of Palestine, both groups support negotiations but doubt they will succeed. 

In the October Index, surveys found that while neither Jewish or Arab Israelis view the military threat to Israel as very high, Jewish Israelis do have a slightly higher threat-perception than their Arab counterparts. Ninety percent of respondents are confident that the IDF can protect Israel from military threats; however, more than twice as many respondents believe socioeconomic challenges are more threatening to the country’s future. Both Jewish and Arab respondents favored offering an option for compulsory civilian service, rather than military service. 

In addition to the above newsletters, IDI released the September and October issues of Terrorism and Democracy, a monthly newsletter devoted to analysis of Israel’s legal counter-terror framework. The September issue includes a position paper by B’Tselem on the implementation of the Turkel Commission Report, a discussion of a district court’s rejection of a tort claim against the Palestinian Authority for terrorism-related damages, and a report by Human Rights NGO Yesh Din on indictment and conviction statistics for IDF soldiers allegedly involved in the deaths of Palestinian civilians.