A Conversation with NED VP Brian Joseph

On September 19, 2019, IRIS hosted a roundtable discussion with Brian Joseph of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) entitled "Promoting Democracy in the Post-9/11 Era." Mr. Joseph spoke about the problems that arise when democracy promotion programs ignore the specific local conditions impacting citizen engagement. Democratic institutions and processes will take a distinct shape depending on particular history, cultural, and socio-economic factors. He stressed that attempts to make predictions around the timing of democratization are usually doomed to fail. “No one would have predicted that Tunisia would undergo a revolution and a turn towards democracy, and so it’s very hard to know what will happen.” He encourage dthe students in the audience to be engaged in local civil society efforts.