Democracy Rising? Global Prospects, Perils, And Policy Challenges

Event Series: 

Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 8:00pm to Saturday, September 15, 2012 - 12:15am (ended)

Heyns Room, Men's Faculty Club 

Thursday, September 13, 1-5:30 p.m. & Friday, September 14, 9-5:30 p.m.

"Democracy Rising?"is a two-day conference on the challenges of democracy transition and development for countries emerging from authoritarian regimes.  Invited panelists include scholars and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and civil society activists.  Faculty and students are encouraged to attend.  The conference is free and open to the public, but RSVP is suggested via the website link below.  

The conference goal is to illuminate challenges inherent in the construction of inclusive democratic governance, and to advance research in the various disciplines involved, but also for the benefit of practitioners engaged in democratic development on the ground, and for outside policy-makers seeking to identify the most effective ways to be supportive.

The program begins Thursday, September 13 with a panel on citizen engagement in democracy, including preparedness and participation in the electoral process, featuring India’s former Chief Elections Commissioner. The panel will also look at post-electoral governance, the management of pluralism and cultural diversity, and the legal embedding of minority rights.

On Friday, September 14, panels will examine experience through a dual lens: Tunisia, 2010-12 and the wider “Arab Spring;” and post-communist Russia, leading to the “Russian Winter” of 2011-12. We are not suggesting a causal relationship between events in Tunisia and events in Russia, but we believe the two sets of experience over time provide insight into the varied processes of democracy development and its constraints. 

Closing panelists will attempt to summarize political implications and normative conclusions for policy-makers and practitioners, bearing in mind that democracy cannot be exported or imported but must arise from within the country in question.

Schedule and RSVP:  please visit or contact Alan Unger at

Sponsored by the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Institute of International Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, the UC Berkeley School of Law, and the Religion, Politics, and Globalization Program.