The Arab Spring presents policy-makers with more difficult choices than the post-Communist transitions in east-central Europe in balancing democracy and human rights with economic, security and other strategic interests, analysts suggest.
As the French are said to say, that may be true in practice, but what about in theory?
“Democratization Theory and the Arab Spring” is the subject of the 9th annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World. The lecture will be delivered by Columbia University’s Dr. Alfred C. Stepan (left) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13 at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC. Stepan’s lecture is coauthored by his longtime collaborator Juan J. Linz, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political and Social Science at Yale University.
Sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the University of Toronto’s Munk School for Global Affairs, the annual lecture is an important forum for discourse on democracy and its progress worldwide.
The Lipset 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.
Alfred C. Stepan is currently Wallace Sayre Professor of Government, Columbia University 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. A prolific author whose books have been translated into over a dozen languages, Stepan 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.
This event is open to the media. Interested journalists should register with Jane Riley Jacobsen at 202-378-9700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.