Democracy | Wilson Center


You Are the Media: How Iranians "Democratized" the Media

As Iranian bloggers have increased their presence on the Internet and activists have harnessed the power of new social media, they have effectively "democratized" the media in Iran, according to journalist Iran Davar Ardalan. She indicated that this transformation is evident in the responses to Iran's disputed 2009 election, which demonstrated the role of the new media in Iran and the rise of citizen journalism.

Lebanon: Is Real Reform Possible?

Despite a political system and social structure in which sectarianism shows few signs of dissipating, genuine reform can still occur in Lebanon that not only drives growth, but also creates political momentum for reform and has a significant economic and social impact on Lebanese society.

Democratization as a Source of Tension Between the United States and Egypt

On December 14, the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted a meeting featuring Heba Elkoudsy, Wilson Center Visiting Arab Journalist. Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center, moderated the event.

Prisons and Protests: Covering Iran After the Election

Iason Athanasiadis discussed his extensive background in covering the Middle East in a range of media and described his experience while detained for two weeks in Iran during its post-election crackdown. He believes the Western media has entered a "new age" in covering the Middle East, particularly Iran. Due to the increasing constraints on foreign media inside Iran, fluency in Farsi and having access to insider contacts have become essential to the job of journalists and correspondents.

What's Next? Perspectives From Afghan Civil Society

On October 1, 2009, the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, together with the Institute for Inclusive Security of the Hunt Alternatives Fund, hosted a panel discussion with Mary Akrami, Afghan Women Skills Development Center; Orzala Ashraf, Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan; and Palwasha Hassan, International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development. The meeting was moderated by Carla Koppell, director of the Institute for Inclusive Security.

Afghanistan's Emerging Health Portrait: A Dialogue with Afghanistan's Minister of Public Health

This event was cosponsored by the Wilson Center's Middle East Program and Global Health Initiative, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Embassy of Afghanistan.

Book Launch: "Liberalization Against Democracy: The Local Politics of Economic Reform in Tunisia"

Stephen King, former Woodrow Wilson Center fellow and Assistant Professor of Government at Georgetown University, discussed his new book Liberalization Against Democracy: The Local Politics of Economic Reform in Tunisia. The volume explores a local-level study of a rural Tunisian town to illustrate why market-oriented reforms have not yet fostered democratization or led to political liberalization.

Women, Politics, and Islam: The Case of Tunisia

Summary of a meeting cosponsored by the Middle East Project and Africa Project with Lilia Labidi, University of Tunis (Tunisia) and current Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow.

The Sudanese War and the Nuba People

Following a video presentation cataloguing the extent to which the Nuba people of Sudan have been marginalized and treated inhumanely by the Khartoum government, Suleiman Musa Rahhal, Director of Nuba Survival, argued that the fighting in Sudan, contrary to popular belief, is not due solely to religious differences.

Angola: Past, Present, and Future

Panelists discussed the history of colonial Angola and the struggle for independence, beginning in 1961 until independence was achieved in 1975, only to be followed by a brutal Cold War era civil conflict. The Lusaka Protocol of 1994 signaled an end to that civil war, only to have it resume as UNITA elements "went back to the bush" until the death of their leader, Jonas Savimbi, in February 2002. The April 4, 2002 Memoranda of Understanding between the Angolan Government and UNITA signaled the final end of the civil war.