Nov 13, 2012
The Ninth Annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World
Democratization Theory and the Arab Spring
Alfred C. Stepan
Wallace Sayre Professor of Government, Columbia University
About the Speaker
Alfred Stepan is the Wallace Sayre Professor of Government and the director of the Center for Democracy, Toleration and Religion at Columbia University. A specialist on democratization, civil-military relations, federalism, and religion in politics, he has traveled repeatedly to Egypt and Tunisia since the Arab Spring. Professor Stepan began his professional life as a special foreign correspondent for The Economist. He served as the Gladstone Professor of Government at All Souls College, Oxford, and was the first President and Rector of Central European University in Budapest.
His many books, which have been translated into over a dozen languages, include Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe (with Juan J. Linz) and Crafting State Nations; India and other Multinational Democracies (with Linz and Yogendra Yadav). He is currently working on a book tentatively entitled Democracy and the World’s Religions: Crafting The Twin Tolerations. Professor Stepan, who has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy since its founding, is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy.
About the Lecture Series
The Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World was inaugurated in 2004 by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Munk Centre for International Studies of the University of Toronto as an important new forum for discourse on democracy and its progress worldwide.
The lecture is named for one of the great democratic scholars and public intellectuals of the twentieth century. Seymour Martin Lipset’s scholarship on such themes as the conditions for democracy, political parties, voting behavior, extremist movements, ideologies, and public opinion constitutes one of the most prolific, insightful, and widely read bodies of work on democracy ever produced by a single author.
Lipset was also one of the most important comparative analysts of the two great democracies of North America, and a strong advocate for US-Canadian cooperation. The joint US-Canadian sponsorship of the Lipset Lecture provides an opportunity for influential audiences in both countries to hear and discuss a major intellectual statement on democracy each year. It serves as a catalyst for further cooperation between Canada and the United States in the promotion of democracy and democratic ideas around the world.
The Lipset Lecture is delivered in both the US and Canada. It is an intellectual platform for men and women who, like Lipset, have made important contributions to our thinking about key issues of democracy through their writings and other accomplishments.
While some lecturers may be known primarily for their academic achievements, others will have records of public service that equal their intellectual stature. The lecture is published each year in NED’s Journal of Democracy.