NED@40 book list
Since NED’s founding in 1983, NED has benefitted immensely from the world-class expertise of our staff and board of directors. Celebrate NED at 40 with this curated list of books from the Democracy Resource Center written by NED experts, both past and present.
celebrating 40 years of NED Experts
Advancing the rule of law abroad : next generation reform By Rachel Kleinfeld
Rachel Kleinfeld — Member of the Board of Directors
In the modern era, political leaders and scholars have declared the rule of law to be essential to democracy, a necessity for economic growth, and a crucial tool in the fight for security at home and stability abroad. The United States has spent billions attempting to catalyze rule-of-law improvements within other countries. Yet despite the importance and the hard work of hundreds of practitioners on the ground, the track record of rule-of–law promotion has been paltry. In Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad, Rachel Kleinfeld describes the history and current state of reform efforts and the growing movement of second-generation reformers who view the rule of law not as a collection of institutions and laws that can be built by outsiders, but as a relationship between the state and society that must be shaped by those inside the country. Based on research in countries from Indonesia to Albania, Kleinfeld makes a compelling case for new methods of reform that can have greater chances of success at helping these internal reformers and improving the rule of law.
Dave Peterson — Senior Director, Africa
Disappointment with the ability of democracy to deliver economic rewards in much of Africa―and with the persistence of instability, corruption, and poor governance in democratic regimes―has undermined democracy’s appeal for many on the continent. At the same time, many external actors are expressing sympathy for regimes that have demonstrated an ability to impose stability and deliver economic growth, despite the limits placed on their citizens’ freedom. In this context, Dave Peterson asks: Is totalitarianism emerging as an acceptable alternative to democracy in Africa? And if so, with what consequences? Peterson draws on extensive research in countries across the continent to thoroughly explore the dilemma of the totalitarian temptation.
Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy Edited by Larry Jay Diamond, Marc F Plattner, Christopher Walker
Larry Diamond — Co-Chair for International Forum for Democratic Studies, Founding Co-Editor of the Journal of Democracy | Christopher Walker — Vice President for Studies and Analysis | Marc Plattner — Member of the Board of Directors, Founding Co-Editor of the Journal of Democracy
Over the past decade, illiberal powers have become emboldened and gained influence within the global arena. Leading authoritarian countries including China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela have developed new tools and strategies to contain the spread of democracy and challenge the liberal international political order. Meanwhile, the advanced democracies have retreated, failing to respond to the threat posed by the authoritarians. As undemocratic regimes become more assertive, they are working together to repress civil society while tightening their grip on cyberspace and expanding their reach in international media. These political changes have fostered the emergence of new counternorms such as the authoritarian subversion of credible election monitoring that threaten to further erode the global standing of liberal democracy. In Authoritarianism Goes Global, a distinguished group of contributors present fresh insights on the complicated issues surrounding authoritarian resurgence and the implications of these systemic shifts for the international order. This collection of essays is critical for advancing our understanding of the emerging challenges to democratic development. Contributors: Anne Applebaum, Anne-Marie Brady, Alexander Cooley, Javier Corrales, Ron Deibert, Larry Diamond, Patrick Merloe, Abbas Milani, Andrew Nathan, Marc F. Plattner, Peter Pomerantsev, Douglas Rutzen, Lilia Shevtsova, Alex Vatanka, Christopher Walker, and Frederic Wehrey.
Balkan fighters in the Syrian war By Tanja Dramac Jiries
Tanja Dramac Jiries — Deputy Director, Europe
This book analyses the process of the recruitment of foreign fighters from the Western Balkans, specifically Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, to Syria and Iraq from 2012 to 2015. Utilizing in-depth, semi-structured interviews with foreign fighters and their families, as well as a number of relevant stakeholders it answers the question of what were the processes and circumstances leading up to the departure of foreign fighters from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo and what informed their agency? The author draws on the theories of social movement approaches, more specifically, contentious politics literature and utilizes the specific concepts of triggering mechanisms, which refer to the enabling circumstances that make the radicalization and departure possible, and pleasure in agency, to elaborate on individual motivation. The book also shows how a wider state- fragility within the context of the post-Yugoslav wars and the transitional period that never ended, aided radicalization and how an incomplete process of post-war transition can fuel the process of political and religious radicalization creating a wider enabling web for recruitment.
Beyond the final score : the politics of sport in Asia by Victor Cha
Victor Cha — Member of the Board of Directors
The Beijing Olympics will be remembered as the largest, most expensive, and most widely watched event of the modern Olympic era. But did China present itself as a responsible host and an emergent international power, much like Japan during the 1964 Tokyo Games and South Korea during the 1988 Seoul Games? Or was Beijing in 2008 more like Berlin in 1936, when Germany took advantage of the global spotlight to promote its political ideology at home and abroad? Beyond the Final Score takes an original look at the 2008 Beijing games within the context of the politics of sport in Asia. Asian athletics are bound up with notions of national identity and nationalism, refracting political intent and the processes of globalization. Sporting events can generate diplomatic breakthroughs (as with the results of Nixon and Mao’s “ping-pong diplomacy”) or breakdowns (as when an athlete defects to another country). For China, the Beijing Games introduced a liberalizing ethos that its authoritative regime could ignore only at its peril.
The Chechen Struggle: Independence Won and Lost by Ilyas Akhmadov, Miriam Lanskoy
Miriam Lanskoy — Senior Director, Russia and Eurasia
The Russian-Chechen war has been the longest, cruelest, and bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II, surpassing even the level of destruction of Bosnia and Kosovo. It is also far from finished. Having ignited multiple flashpoints throughout the North Caucasus, the Chechen resistance continues to be a serious destabilizing factor for the region. This uniquely candid and thoughtful account of Chechnya’s struggle for independence is told from the perspective of a member of the Chechen leadership – Ilyas Akhmadov, who was Foreign Minister from 1999 to 2005. He offers new insight into the two wars against Russia, the crises within Chechen society and the conflicts inside its command, and his own efforts as Foreign Minister to bring about peace.
China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay by Minxin Pei
Minxin Pei — Member of the Board of Directors
When Deng Xiaoping launched China on the path to economic reform in the late 1970s, he vowed to build “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” More than three decades later, China’s efforts to modernize have yielded something very different from the working people’s paradise Deng envisioned: an incipient kleptocracy, characterized by endemic corruption, soaring income inequality, and growing social tensions. China’s Crony Capitalism traces the origins of China’s present-day troubles to the series of incomplete reforms from the post-Tiananmen era that decentralized the control of public property without clarifying its ownership.
Beginning in the 1990s, changes in the control and ownership rights of state-owned assets allowed well-connected government officials and businessmen to amass huge fortunes through the systematic looting of state-owned property―in particular land, natural resources, and assets in state-run enterprises. Mustering compelling evidence from over two hundred corruption cases involving government and law enforcement officials, private businessmen, and organized crime members, Minxin Pei shows how collusion among elites has spawned an illicit market for power inside the party-state, in which bribes and official appointments are surreptitiously but routinely traded. This system of crony capitalism has created a legacy of criminality and entrenched privilege that will make any movement toward democracy difficult and disorderly.
Rejecting conventional platitudes about the resilience of Chinese Communist Party rule, Pei gathers unambiguous evidence that beneath China’s facade of ever-expanding prosperity and power lies a Leninist state in an advanced stage of decay.
Constitutional processes and democratic commitment by Donald L. Horowitz
From one of our leading scholars of comparative constitutionalism, advice for everyone involved in the surprisingly common practice of constitution-writing. Enhancing prospects for democracy is an important objective in the process of creating a new constitution. Donald L. Horowitz argues that constitutional processes ought to be geared to securing commitment to democracy by those who participate in them. Using evidence from numerous constitutional processes, he makes a strong case for a process intended to increase the likelihood of a democratic outcome. He also assesses tradeoffs among various process attributes and identifies some that might impede democratic outcomes. This book provides a fresh perspective on constitutional processes that will interest students and scholars. It also offers sound advice for everyone involved in the surprisingly common practice of constitution‑writing.
Counting Islam : religion, class, and elections in Egypt By Tarek E Masoud
Tarek Masoud — Co-Editor of the Journal of Democracy
Why does Islam seem to dominate Egyptian politics, especially when the country’s endemic poverty and deep economic inequality would seem to render it promising terrain for a politics of radical redistribution rather than one of religious conservativism? This book argues that the answer lies not in the political unsophistication of voters, the subordination of economic interests to spiritual ones, or the ineptitude of secular and leftist politicians, but in organizational and social factors that shape the opportunities of parties in authoritarian and democratizing systems to reach potential voters. Tracing the performance of Islamists and their rivals in Egyptian elections over the course of almost forty years, this book not only explains why Islamists win elections, but illuminates the possibilities for the emergence in Egypt of the kind of political pluralism that is at the heart of what we expect from democracy.
Defending Democracy in an Age of Sharp Power Edited by William J Dobson, Tarek E Masoud, Christopher Walker
Christopher Walker — Vice President for Studies and Analysis | Tarek Masoud – Co-Editor of the Journal of Democracy | Will Dobson — Co-Editor of the Journal of Democracy
Explores how authoritarian regimes are deploying “sharp power” to undermine democracies from within by weaponizing universities, institutions, media, technology, and entertainment industries. The world’s dictators are no longer content with shoring up control over their own populations-they are now exploiting the openness of the free world to spread disinformation, sow discord, and suppress dissent. In Defending Democracy in an Age of Sharp Power, editors William J. Dobson, Tarek Masoud, and Christopher Walker bring together leading analysts to explain how the world’s authoritarians are attempting to erode the pillars of democratic societies and what we can do about it. Popular media, entertainment industries, universities, the tech world, and even critical political institutions are being manipulated by dictators who advance their regimes’ interests by weakening democracies from within. Autocrats’ use of “sharp power” constitutes one of the gravest threats to liberal, representative government today. The optimistic, early twenty-first-century narrative of how globalization, the spread of the internet, and the rise of social media would lead to liberalization everywhere is now giving way to the realization that these same forces provide inroads to those wishing to snuff out democracy at the source. While autocrats can do much to wall their societies off from democratic and liberal influences, free societies have not yet fully grasped how they can resist the threat of sharp power while preserving their fundamental openness and freedom. Far from offering a counsel of despair, the international contributors in this collection identify the considerable resources that democracy provides for blunting sharp power’s edge. With careful case studies of successful resistance efforts in such countries as Australia, the Czech Republic, and Taiwan, this book offers an urgent message for anyone concerned with the defense of democracy in the twenty-first century.
Democracy Without Borders? Global Challenges to Liberal Democracy by Marc Plattner
Marc Plattner — Member of the Board of Directors, Founding Co-editor of the Journal of Democracy
Will Dobson — Co-Editor of the Journal of Democracy
In this riveting anatomy of authoritarianism, acclaimed journalist William Dobson takes us inside the battle between dictators and those who would challenge their rule. Recent history has seen an incredible moment in the war between dictators and democracy—with waves of protests sweeping Syria and Yemen, and despots falling in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. But the Arab Spring is only the latest front in a global battle between freedom and repression, a battle that, until recently, dictators have been winning hands-down. The problem is that today’s authoritarians are not like the frozen-in-time, ready-to-crack regimes of Burma and North Korea. They are ever-morphing, technologically savvy, and internationally connected, and have replaced more brutal forms of intimidation with subtle coercion. The Dictator’s Learning Curve explains this historic moment and provides crucial insight into the fight for democracy.
The end of power : from boardrooms to battlefields and churches to states, why being in charge isn’t what it used to be By Moisés Naím
Moisés Naím — Former Member of the Board of Directors
In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím illuminates the struggle between once-dominant megaplayers and the new micropowers challenging them in every field of human endeavor. Drawing on provocative, original research, Naím shows how the antiestablishment drive of micropowers can topple tyrants, dislodge monopolies, and open remarkable new opportunities, but it can also lead to chaos and paralysis. Naím deftly covers the seismic changes underway in business, religion, education, within families, and in all matters of war and peace. Examples abound in all walks of life: In 1977, eighty-nine countries were ruled by autocrats while today more than half the world’s population lives in democracies. CEO’s are more constrained and have shorter tenures than their predecessors. Modern tools of war, cheaper and more accessible, make it possible for groups like Hezbollah to afford their own drones. In the second half of 2010, the top ten hedge funds earned more than the world’s largest six banks combined. Those in power retain it by erecting powerful barriers to keep challengers at bay. Today, insurgent forces dismantle those barriers more quickly and easily than ever, only to find that they themselves become vulnerable in the process.
John Glenn — Senior Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies
At the close of the twentieth century, democracy appeared to have overcome the Cold War partition of the world, as countries across the globe had deposed autocratic regimes and held free elections. Nowhere were these developments dramatized more brightly than in Eastern Europe in 1989, as newly formed civic movements replaced long-standing Leninist regimes with democratic governments.” “Yet it is clear that the “waves” of democracy that initially seemed similar have led to widely varying outcomes. While some countries in Eastern Europe were invited to join NATO and the European Union, others were excluded. Former communists were elected to power in post-communist Poland and Hungary, but were largely absent in the Czech Republic and were transformed into populists in Slovakia. These differences have led the author to address several questions, including: How similar actually were the Leninist regimes before their dissolution, and how similar were their demises? How did the way communism fell affect the founding of democratic states in Eastern Europe, notably in Poland and Czechoslovakia?” “This book offers a critique and reformulation of existing theories of democratization, as well as of earlier understandings of the fall of communism.” “The book also emphasizes the transformation of networks associated with the birth of a democratic nation, such as the Catholic Church in Poland and the theater strikes in Czechoslovakia. Finally, it analyzes how paths of change structured political competition in new democracies in both the short and the medium term.
Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum
Anne Applebaum — Member of the Board of Directors
A fully documented history of the Soviet camp system, from its origins in the Russian Revolution to its collapse in the era of glasnost. Anne Applebaum first lays out the chronological history of the camps and the logic behind their creation, enlargement, and maintenance. Applebaum also examines how life was lived within this shadow country: how prisoners worked, how they ate, where they lived, how they died, how they survived. She examines their guards and their jailers, the horrors of transportation in empty cattle cars, the strange nature of Soviet arrests and trials, the impact of World War II, the relations between different national and religious groups, and the escapes, as well as the extraordinary rebellions that took place in the 1950s. She concludes by examining the disturbing question why the Gulag has remained relatively obscure, in the historical memory of both the former Soviet Union and the West.
How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future by Maria Ressa
Maria Ressa — Chairperson of the World Movement for Democracy Steering Committee
Maria Ressa is one of the most renowned international journalists of our time. For decades, she challenged corruption and malfeasance in her native country, the Philippines, on its rocky path from an authoritarian state to a democracy. As a reporter from CNN, she transformed news coverage in her region, which led her in 2012 to create a new and innovative online news organization, Rappler. Harnessing the emerging power of social media, Rappler crowdsourced breaking news, found pivotal sources and tips, harnessed collective action for climate change, and helped increase voter knowledge and participation in elections. But by their fifth year of existence, Rappler had gone from being lauded for its ideas to being targeted by the new Philippine government, and made Ressa an enemy of her country’s most powerful man: President Duterte. Still, she did not let up, tracking government seeded disinformation networks which spread lies to its own citizens laced with anger and hate. Hounded by the state and its allies using the legal system to silence her, accused of numerous crimes, and charged with cyberlibel for which she was found guilty, Ressa faces years in prison and thousands in fines. There is another adversary Ressa is battling.
Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency by Larry Diamond
Larry Diamond — Co-Chair for International Forum for Democratic Studies, Founding Co-editor of the Journal of Democracy
From America’s leading scholar of democracy, a personal, passionate call to action against the rising authoritarianism that challenges our world order–and the very value of liberty. Larry Diamond has made it his life’s work to secure democracy’s future by understanding its past and by advising dissidents fighting autocracy around the world. Deeply attuned to the cycles of democratic expansion and decay that determine the fates of nations, he watched with mounting unease as illiberal rulers rose in Hungary, Poland, Turkey, the Philippines, and beyond, while China and Russia grew increasingly bold and bullying. Then, with Trump’s election at home, the global retreat from freedom spread from democracy’s margins to its heart. [The book’s] core argument is stark: the defense and advancement of democratic ideals relies on U.S. global leadership. If we do not reclaim our traditional place as the keystone of democracy, today’s authoritarian swell could become a tsunami, providing an opening for Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and their admirers to turn the twenty-first century into a dark time of despotism. We are at a hinge in history, between a new era of tyranny and an age of democratic renewal. Free governments can defend their values; free citizens can exercise their rights. We can make the internet safe for liberal democracy, exploit the soft, kleptocratic underbelly of dictatorships, and revive America’s degraded democracy. Ill Winds offers concrete, deeply informed suggestions to fight polarization, reduce the influence of money in politics, and make every vote count. In 2019, freedom’s last line of defense still remains ‘We the people.’
International Media Development: Historical Perspectives and New Frontiers Edited by Nicholas Benequista, Susan Abbott, Paul Rothman, Winston Mano
Nick Benequista — Senior Director, Center for International Media Assistance
This collection is the first of its kind on the topic of media development. It brings together luminary thinkers in the field – both researchers and practitioners – to reflect on how advocacy groups, researchers, the international community and others can work to ensure that media can continue to serve as a force of democracy and development. But that mission faces considerable challenges. Media development paradigms are still too frequently associated with Western prejudices, or out of touch with the digital age. As we move past Western blueprints and into an uncertain digital future, what does media development mean? If we are to act meaningfully to shape the future of our increasingly mediated societies, we must answer this question.
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama
Francis Fukuyama — Former Member of the Board of Directors
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution, is intended to provide a account of how today’s basic political institutions developed. The first of a major two-volume work, The Origins of Political Order begins with politics among our primate ancestors and follows the story through the emergence of tribal societies, the growth of the first modern state in China, the beginning of the rule of law in India and the Middle East, and the development of political accountability in Europe up until the eve of the French Revolution.
The next generation in Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan : youth, politics, identity, and change By Nadia Diuk
Nadia Diuk— Former Vice President, Programs
In the past twenty years, the countries that used to make up the former Soviet Union have seen plenty of change. There have been revolutions, youth-led protest movements, and other forms of incredible political upheaval. At the center of all of this were young leaders fighting to be heard and clamoring for change. In Nadia Diuk’s meticulously researched and insightful book. The Next Generation in Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan, she shows how those young leaders have risen up and become a part of the new political system. Using unique public opinion polling data and personal interviews, she explores how the new generation of leaders is shaping the political system and how the young people of today continue to exhort pressure for reform. This book is important to anyone interested in Eastern European studies, political transitions, protest movements, or youth and politics.
A New World Order by Anne-Marie Slaughter
Anne-Marie Slaughter — Former Member of the Board of Directors
Global governance is here–but not where most people think. This book presents the far-reaching argument that not only should we have a new world order but that we already do. Anne-Marie Slaughter asks us to completely rethink how we view the political world. It’s not a collection of nation states that communicate through presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and the United Nations. Nor is it a clique of NGOs. It is governance through a complex global web of “government networks.”
Slaughter provides the most compelling and authoritative description to date of a world in which government officials–police investigators, financial regulators, even judges and legislators–exchange information and coordinate activity across national borders to tackle crime, terrorism, and the routine daily grind of international interactions. National and international judges and regulators can also work closely together to enforce international agreements more effectively than ever before. These networks, which can range from a group of constitutional judges exchanging opinions across borders to more established organizations such as the G8 or the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, make things happen–and they frequently make good things happen. But they are underappreciated and, worse, underused to address the challenges facing the world today.
Of empires and citizens : pro-American democracy or no democracy at all? BY Amaney A. Jamal
Amaney A. Jamal — Member of the Board of Directors
In the post-Cold War era, why has democratization been slow to arrive in the Arab world? Jamal argues that to understand support for the authoritarian status quo in parts of this region, and the willingness of its citizens to compromise on core democratic principles, one must factor in how a strong U.S. presence and popular anti-Americanism weakens democratic voices. By examining such countries as Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, Jamal explores how Arab citizens decide whether to back existing regimes, regime transitions, and democratization projects, and how the global position of Arab states shapes people’s attitudes toward their governments.
Politics in southern Africa : state and society in transition by Gretchen Bauer, Scott D. Taylor
Scott D. Taylor — Member of the Board of Directors
Prague winter : a personal story of remembrance and war, 1937-1948 By Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright — Former Member of the Board of Directors
In Prague Winter, Albright reflects on her discovery of her family’s Jewish heritage many decades after the war, on her Czech homeland’s tangled history, and on the stark moral choices faced by her parents and their generation. Often relying on eyewitness descriptions, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exile leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are shaped by concepts familiar to any growing child: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, the quest for independence, and the difference between right and wrong.
Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa Edited by Jendayi E. Frazer, E. Gyimah-Boadi
Jendayi Frazer — Secretary of the Board of Directors
Essays and speeches discussing how to prevent electoral violence in Africa collected during the March 2010 Conference on Preventing Electoral Violence and Instituting Good Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Azar Nafisi — Former Member of the Board of Directors
For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading—Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, Daisy Miller and Lolita—their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran.
Nafisi’s account flashes back to the early days of the revolution, when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. When a radical Islamist in Nafisi’s class questioned her decision to teach The Great Gatsby, which he saw as an immoral work that preached falsehoods of “the Great Satan,” she decided to let him put Gatsby on trial and stood as the sole witness for the defense.
War and the art of governance : consolidating combat success into political victory By Nadia Schadlow
Nadia Schadlow — Member of the Board of Directors
Success in war ultimately depends upon the consolidation of political order. Consolidating the new political order is not separate from war, rather Nadia Schadlow argues that governance operations are an essential component of victory. Despite learning this the hard way in past conflicts from the Mexican War through Iraq and Afghanistan, US policymakers and the military have failed to institutionalize lessons about post-conflict governance and political order for future conflicts. War and the Art of Governance distills lessons from fifteen historical cases of US Army military intervention and governance operations from the Mexican War through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Improving outcomes in the future will require US policymakers and military leaders to accept that the political dimension is indispensable across the full spectrum of war. Plans, timelines, and resources must be shaped to reflect this reality before intervening in a conflict, not after things start to go wrong. The American historical experience suggests that the country’s military will be sent abroad again to topple a regime and install a new government. Schadlow provides clear lessons that must be heeded before next time.