||The first of the Collaborative's Roundtables on "The Theory and Practice of Civic Globalism" was held in April, 2001, in Washington, D.C. A report on this first meeting may be downloaded via this link. (PDF 459KB).
The Democracy Collaborative will convene the second meeting of its International Roundtable — "Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Democracy" — at the American Academy in Berlin from June 2 to 4, 2002. The reconvening of the group of distinguished academic and activist leaders from some 15 nations who met in April 2001 in Washington, DC, has particular relevance after the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. That event dramatically manifested the new interdependence that ties nations together and links their destinies. The need for new transnational governing institutions and alternatives to the anarchy of global markets which were last spring's themes has now become an imperative of national security. Issues of democracy that seemed utopian last year are the new stuff of political realism this year.
At the first meeting of the International Roundtable in April of 2001, participants identified and explored five areas:measurement of global civic trends, technology and global civil society, the arts and civil society, and global civil society with regard to markets and governance. Among the global leaders and thinkers who deliberated these issues were Adam Michnik, founder of Solidarity and publisher of Poland's largest newspaper today; Edward Mortimer, a top United Nations official; Ambassador Cinnamon Dornsife, U.S. executive director, Asian Development Bank; Andre Gratchev, former press secretary to Mikhail Gorbachev; Martin Palous, former deputy minister of foreign affairs of Czechoslovakia and now ambassador to the United States; Ambassador Franklin Sonn, former South African ambassador to the United States; Kumi Naidoo, the secretary general of Civicus; and Jin Canrong of the Institute for American Studies of the Chinese Academy.
The June 2002 meeting will build on the knowledge gained in deliberations of April 2001, taking into account the events of September 11, 2001, and begin to develop strategies for treating terrorism from the perspective of democracy. This conference will address both the inequities that make some of the world's people so lacking in hope that they are seduced by a culture of death, and the aggressive secular materialism that often seems to marginalize religion and drive it into the hands of fundamentalists. It will focus quite specifically on the relationship between terror and democracy, beginning with the premise that as democracy offers a remedy to famine and economic market anarchy, it also offers a powerful riposte to terrorism. Those Islamic states such as Turkey, Bangladesh and India (with a large Moslem minority) that have democratized, have been the least vulnerable to terrorist recruitment and propaganda. Dr. James Gilligan's work with democratic community and prison recidivism rates in the United States is also relevant here. We believe that September 11 opens up a new chapter in the story of democracy's growth as a basis for interdependence and global civic relations, offering a constructive and civic interdependence in place of terrorism's malevolent and anarchic interdependence.
In the longer term, the International Roundtable will continue as a kind of moveable think-tank — the beginnings of a "civic Davos" — identifying issues, discussing them from the perspectives of rich and poor nations that are geographically and culturally diverse, finding ways to correct the unjust asymmetries that exist, and laying the groundwork for building an authentically interdependent global community of democratic societies and citizens.
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