2012 Conference: "Should America Promote Democracy Abroad?"
The Center held its second biennial conference April 12-14, 2012, oriented around the question "Should America Promote Democracy Abroad?" The conference was made possible in part by support from a "We the People" Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities*, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, and the George L. Ohrstrom Jr. Foundation.
Held over the course of three days, the conference took place on the Kenyon campus in Gambier, Ohio, and involved broad student, faculty, and campus participation. The conference included public panels and private discussions, with participants from a variety of fields: journalists, academics from a variety of disciplines, political actors, policy analysts, and representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in the work of democratization. Panels looked at the political, economic, and social aspects of democracy, as well as how or to what extent the promotion of democracy coheres with the principles and values of the United States. While recent developments in the Middle East made the conference topic timely, panelists considered a broad spectrum of regions and questions, including:
- What are the prospects for democracy in the Middle East, after the Arab Spring?
- Is it in America's national security interest to promote democracy abroad?
- What can we learn from experiences with democracy promotion outside the Middle East?
- What are the underpinnings or prerequisites of successful liberal democracies?
- What are the practical impediments to the further spread of democracy?
Thursday, April 12
5:30 pm: Evening Reception
7:00 pm: Keynote Address-George L. Ohrstrom Jr. Lectureship on Democracy:
Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations (7:00 pm, Rosse Hall)
Friday, April 13
9:30 am: Morning Remarks
Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations and former White House official
Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
10:30 am: Morning Panel 1: Assessing the Arab Spring and Democracy in the Middle East
John Agresto, Board of Trustees of the American University of Iraq
James Zogby, Arab American Institute
Danya Greenfield, Atlantic Council
Karan Bhatia, Senior Counsel & Vice President of General Electric
1:30 pm: Afternoon Remarks
Judy Woodruff, Bloomberg News, PBS News Hour
Al Hunt, Bloomberg News
2:45 pm: Afternoon Panel 1: Is Democracy Promotion in America's Interest?
Scott Carpenter, Principal, Google Ideas
Charles Kesler, Claremont McKenna College
Michael E. O'Hanlon, Brookings Institution
Anthony Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Tony Smith, Tufts University
4:30 pm: Afternoon Panel 2: Democracy Promotion Beyond the Middle East
Morton H. Halperin, Open Society Institute
Nadia Diuk, Vice President, National Endowment for Democracy
Adam Przeworski, New York University
John D. Sullivan, Center for International Private Enterprise
5:45 pm: Evening Reception
Saturday, April 14
9:00 am: Morning Panel: The Mechanics of Democracy Promotion
David Kramer, President of Freedom House
Barrie Freeman, National Democratic Institute
Melinda Haring, American Security Project
Jamila Raqib, The Albert Einstein Institution
Tom Garrett, International Republican Institute
11:30 am: Closing Address: Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
The Center for the Study of American Democracy is made possible in part by support from a "We the People" Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this conference do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.