GIGA Forum

Democratic Transitions: Learning from the Past, Shaping the Future



Panelists of the event
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Panelists of the event

  • Conversations conducted with world leaders and published in Professor Abraham Lowenthal’s latest book Democratic Transitions (edited with Sergio Bitar, Johns Hopkins University Press 2015) stimulate this exchange. Looking into former transitions from authoritarian rule toward democracy, the panel will discuss what these provide by way of relevant principles and best practices to current and prospective transition cases.

    Speaker: Prof. Dr. Abraham F. Lowenthal is professor emeritus of the University of Southern California, president emeritus of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, and an adjunct professor at Brown University. He was founding director of both the Inter-American Dialogue and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program. His expertise lies amongst others in policy issues in US-Latin American relations; Latin America's changing international role; democratic governance, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean; as well as international influences (particularly of US policies) on prospects for democratic governance. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours.

    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann is Head of the GIGA Berlin Office and Professor of Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin. From 2011 to 2014 he was Acting Director of the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies. His current research focuses on Latin American diaspora policies and Cuba's transformation. He is in the steering committee of the IDCAR research network on International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes.

    Dr. Annette Ranko is the spokesperson of GIGA Research Team Religion, Conflict and Politics. She received an M.A. from the London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and her doctoral degree from University of Hamburg. Her current research includes Political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and transition processes in Tunisia and Egypt. She is the author of The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and its Quest for Hegemony in Egypt: State-Discourse and Islamist Counter-Discourse, VS Springer 2015. She is a recipient of the German Dissertation Award as well as the DAVO Dissertation Award.

    Jasmin Lorch is a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the GIGA in the project "Civil Society Organizations as Supporters of Authoritarian Rule? A Cross-Regional Comparison (Vietnam, Algeria, Mozambique)". She was a Visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and a Research Associate at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700 "Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood" in Berlin. She has passed her doctoral examination at the University of Freiburg. Her research interests include civil society developments in comparative perspective (especially Algeria, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, Philippines) as well as the political liberalization and the ongoing peace process in Burma/Myanmar.

    Moderation: Dr. Josef Joffe is one of the publisher-editors of the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit. He received an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. He is member of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies; Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of International Studies, Stanford University and Abramowitz Fellow of the Hoover Institution. He has taught at the universities of Berkeley, Harvard, Munich, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, Yale and Zurich among others. International politics in relation with Germany's position in the world has been a preferred subject for him. He is the recipient of numerous prizes.


    GIGA Hamburg, Hamburg




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