Democracy Ideas
















A Forum Interview Series

The International Forum for Democratic Studies brings you “Democracy Ideas,” an interview series 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.

Watch the video interviews with democracy experts located below and join us in the #DemocracyIdeas discussion by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Democracy Ideas: Peter Pomerantsev on “Authoritarian Media and the Era of Disinformation”

In this episode of Democracy Ideas, Peter Pomerantsev discusses modern innovations in Russian propaganda techniques and the effect they have on audiences within and beyond Russia’s borders. 



Democracy Ideas: Anne-Marie Brady on “Telling a Good Story: Censorship, Propaganda, and China’s Media”

In this episode of Democracy Ideas, Anne-Marie Brady describes the evolution of censorship and propaganda techniques employed by the Chinese authorities in the age of the Internet and globalized media. 



Democracy Ideas: Charles Mangongera on “Zimbabwe: The Military vs. Democracy”

Charles-Mangongera-Zimbabwe-Military-vs-DemocracyIn this episode of Democracy Ideas, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow Charles Mangongera discusses the militarization of Zimbabwe’s politics, state institutions, and economy, as well as how the military’s role may affect Zimbabwe’s prospects for democratic reform.



Democracy Ideas: Lilia Shevtsova on “Russia Rewrites the Rules”

Lilia-Shevtsova-Russia-Rewrites-The-RulesIn this episode of Democracy Ideas, Lilia Shevtsova discusses Russia’s political transformation under President Vladimir Putin, the emergence of Russia’s new, illiberal political narrative, and how Russia’s foreign policy serves a domestic agenda.



Democracy Ideas: Anne Applebaum on “Revolutions and Democracy”

Democracy Ideas-Anne-Applebaum-Revolutions-and-TransitionsIn this episode of Democracy Ideas, Christopher Walker asks Anne Applebaum about the factors that were critical for successful democratic transitions in Central Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, including the role of political elites, space for grassroots organizations, and societal expectations. Anne Applebaum also discusses the how these factors may affect current transitions underway in Ukraine and North Africa. 



Democracy Ideas: Javier Corrales on “Authoritarianism in Venezuela”

Javier Corrales, Authoritarianism in Venezuela

In an interview filmed shortly before the Venezuelan government began a violent crackdown against peaceful opposition protesters on February 12, 2014, Christopher Walker met with Forum Research Council Member Javier Corrales to discuss signs of increasing authoritarianism in Venezuela under the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro. 



Democracy Ideas: Marc F. Plattner on “Governance, Government, and Democracy”

Marc-F-Plattner-Democracy-IdeasMarc F. Plattner of the National Endowment for Democracy and Journal of Democracy co-editor reflects on the growing popularity of the term “governance” and questions whether “good governance” is possible in the absence of democratic accountability. The discussion is based on his article titled “Reflections on ‘Governance'”, published in the October 2013 issue of the Journal of Democracy



Democracy Ideas: Larry Diamond (Part II) on “The Arab Spring and the Future of Democracy”

Larry DiamondLarry Diamond of Stanford University discusses the most common misimpressions about ongoing transitions to democracy after the Arab Spring. He also analyzes key developments in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen and encourages the international community to continue supporting democratic activists in these three countries. 


Democracy Ideas: Larry Diamond (Part I) on “Is There an Alternative to Democracy?”

Larry Diamond and Christopher Walker Democracy IdeasChristopher Walker asks Larry Diamond of Stanford University to respond to criticisms of the performance of democracies around the world and whether alternative forms of government would be able to deliver better development results.


Democracy Ideas: Francis Fukuyama on “Democracy and the Quality of the State”

Francis-Fukuyama-Democracy-and-the-Quality-of-the-StateFrancis Fukuyama of Stanford University and author of The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution, talks with Christopher Walker about the importance of effective governance, the role of state bureaucracies in democratic countries, political clientelism, and whether “responsible governance” in the Middle East can be achieved without democracy. Based on Francis Fukuyama’s article, “Democracy and the Quality of the State” in the Journal of Democracy October 2013 issue.


Democracy Ideas: Steven Heydemann on “Syria and the Future of Authoritarianism”

Steven Heydemann SyriaSteven Heydemann of the U.S. Institute of Peace discusses how the Assad regime in Syria has adapted to ensure the regime’s survival, the role of influential authoritarian regimes like Russia in supporting the Assad regime, and the effects of the Syrian conflict on the region. Based on Steven Heydemann’s article, “Syria and the Future of Authoritarianism” in the Journal of Democracy October 2013 issue.



Democracy Ideas: Moises Naim and The End of Power

Moises-Naim-End-of-PowerForum Executive Director Christopher Walker sits down with Moisés Naím to discuss the implications for democracy of the ideas outlined in his new book, The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What it Used to Be.



Democracy Ideas: Sami Atallah and “Democracy Think Tanks in Action”

Sami-Atallah-Lebanese-Center-for-Policy-StudiesForum Executive Director Christopher Walker interviews Sami Atallah to discuss the opportunities and challenges for think tanks in Lebanon and other emerging democracies that Sami described in his chapter in the Forum’s June 2013 report, “Democracy Think Tanks in Action: Translating Research into Policy in Young and Emerging Democracies.”