International Forum for Democratic Studies Research Council Member

Thomas Carothers

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Thomas Carothers is the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founder and director of the Democracy and Rule of Law Program, which analyzes the state of democracy in the world and the efforts by the United States and other countries to promote democracy. He also oversees the Carnegie Endowment’s European activities, including Carnegie Europe in Brussels.

Dr. Carothers is a leading authority on democracy promotion and democratization worldwide as well as an expert on U.S. foreign policy generally. He has worked on democracy-assistance projects for many public and private organizations and carried out extensive field research on democracy-building efforts around the world. In addition, he has broad experience in matters dealing with development aid, human rights, rule of law, and civil society development.

He is the author or editor of eight critically acclaimed books on democracy promotion as well as many articles in prominent journals and newspapers. Dr. Carothers has also worked extensively with the Open Society Foundations (OSF), including currently as chair of the OSF Think Tank Fund and previously as chair of the OSF Global Advisory Board and the Human Rights and Governance Grants Program. He is an adjunct professor at the Central European University in Budapest and was previously a visiting faculty member at Nuffield College, Oxford University and Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment, Dr. Carothers practiced international and financial law at Arnold & Porter and served as an attorney adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. Carothers is the author of Confronting the Weakest Link: Aiding Political Parties in New Democracies (Carnegie, 2006) and Promoting the Rule of Law Abroad: In Search of Knowledge (Carnegie, 2006), as well as many other relevant publications.

Forum Events

“Is Democracy in Decline?: Celebrating 25 Years of the Journal of Democracy,” Hotel Monaco (Jan. 29, 2015)

“The Elusive Synthesis: Exploring the Changing Relationship Between Democracy Support and Development Aid,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Oct. 7, 2010)

“Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War,” International Forum for Democratic Studies (Sept. 24, 2010)

Forum Publications

“Democracy Aid at 25: Time to Choose,” Journal of Democracy (Jan. 2015)

“How Democracies Emerge: The ‘Sequencing’ Fallacy”, Journal of Democracy (Jan. 2007)

“The End of the Transition Paradigm,” Journal of Democracy (Jan. 2002)