World Affairs Luncheon Addresses Indigenous Democratization NGOs

Fisher Melton portrait croppedTopic:  Importing Democracy: The Role of NGOs in South Africa, Tajikistan and Argentina

Presenter:  Julie Fisher Melton

Location:  Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort, 1297 Bishop’s Lodge Road

Cost: $26 CIR Members; $32 Nonmembers & Guests (includes lunch)

Please reserve for this event by Tuesday, May 13!

Is the world experiencing a “global democratic recession?”   Except in Tunisia, the results of the Arab Spring are less than promising, and some street protesters, such as those in Thailand, actually challenge the results of democratic elections.


Although Julie Fisher agrees that democratization as a “long, hard slog,” her book describes a global trend largely ignored by the media—the emergence of indigenous democratization NGOs. These organizations promote democratic reforms in their own countries, by “importing” democratic ideas and combining them with their own democratic traditions, often most visible at the local level.

Given the failure to export democracy militarily, these organizations lead the effort to institutionalize democratization and link it to civil society.  Importing Democracy: The Role of NGOs in South Africa, Tajikistan and Argentina is based on more than 100 interviews with the leaders of these organizations and an appendix includes 15 other countries.  Democratization, according to Fisher, is not only linked to improved economic performance, increasing stability, good governance and the avoidance of war. It also gives people hope, even in authoritarian countries.

Julie Fisher is a retired program officer of the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio and was previously a Scholar in Residence at the Program on Non-Profit Organizations at Yale University. In addition to teaching at Yale and Connecticut College, she has been a consultant specializing in both nongovernmental organizations and microenterprise development  to numerous international agencies, including CIVICUS, Technoserve, CARE, Save the Children, Trickle Up and Lutheran World Relief. She is also the author of The Road from Rio: Sustainable Development and the Nongovernmental Movement in the Third World (Praeger:1993) and Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World  (Kumarian: 1997) .

JFM Book - Importing DemocracyCopies of Importing Democracy: The Role of NGOs in South Africa, Tajikistan and Argentina, will be available at this event at a reduced author’s price of $20.  Julie will be happy to autograph your copies.  

To make reservations for this event, call the CIR Office: (505) 982-4931 or register online below.