National Endowment for Democracy
The National Endowment for Democracy
) is a U.S. agency that was founded in 1983 with the stated goal of promoting democracy
While sometimes referred to as a non-governmental organization,
the NED functions as a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization
Funded primarily by an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress
the NED was created by The Democracy Program as a bipartisan, private, non-profit corporation, and in turn acts as a grant-making foundation.
In addition to its grants program, the NED also supports and houses the Journal of Democracy
, the World Movement for Democracy
, the International Forum for Democratic Studies
, the Reagan–Fascell Fellowship Program
, the Network of Democracy Research Institutes
, and the Center for International Media Assistance
National Endowment for Democracy
The President of the National Endowment for Democracy, Carl Gershman
(second from the left), presents an award to a Tunisian leader of the Arab Spring
in November 2011.
A bill was introduced in April 1967 by Congressman Dante Fascell
(D-FL) to create an institute of International Affairs. And although the bill did not pass it led to discussions on Capitol Hill to establish an institution in which democracy efforts abroad would benefit the U.S. as well as countries struggling for freedom and self- government.
In a 1982 speech at the Palace of Westminster
, President Ronald Reagan
proposed an initiative, before the British Parliament, "to foster the infrastructure of democracy—the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities."
The U.S. government, through USAID
(United States Agency for International Development), contracted The American Political Foundation
to study democracy promotion, which became known as "The Democracy Program." The Program recommended the creation of a bipartisan, private, non-profit corporation to be known as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). NED, though non-governmental, would be funded primarily through annual appropriations from the U.S. government and subject to congressional oversight.
The State Department and United States Information Agency (USIA) proposed the Endowment to encourage and facilitate exchanges between democratic institutions through private sectors; promote nongovernmental participation in democratic training programs; strengthening democratic electoral processes abroad in cooperation with indigenous democratic forces; fostering cooperation between American private sector groups and those abroad "dedicated to the cultural values, institutions, and organizations of democratic pluralism.", and encouraging democratic development consistent with the interests of both the U.S and the other groups receiving assistance.
In 1983, the House Foreign Affairs Committee proposed legislation to provide initial funding of $31.3 million for NED as part of the State Department Authorization Act
(H.R. 2915), because NED was in its beginning stages of development the appropriation was set at $18 million. Included in the legislation was $13.8 million for the Free Trade Union Institute
, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO
, $2.5 million for an affiliate of the National Chamber Foundation
, and $5 million each for two party institutes, which was later eliminated by a vote of 267–136. The conference report on H.R. 2915 was adopted by the House on November 17, 1983 and the Senate the following day. On November 18, 1983, articles of incorporation were filed in the District of Columbia to establish the National Endowment for Democracy as a nonprofit organization.
1980s to present
An analysis by political scientist Sarah Bush found that while NED activity in the 1980s focused on direct challenges to autocrats by funding dissidents, opposition parties, and unions, the majority of 21st-century NED funding goes to technical programs that are less likely to challenge the status quo, with the proportion of NED funding for "relatively tame programs" increasing from roughly 20% of NED grants in 1986 to roughly 60% in 2009.
Political scientist Lindsey A. O'Rourke writes that, "Today, NED programs run in more than ninety countries. Although the number of US-backed democracy promotion programs have grown, most of today's programs pursue less aggressive objectives than their Cold War counterparts."
Funding and structure
Source of funding
The NED receives an annual appropriation from the U.S. budget (it is included in the chapter of the Department of State budget destined for the U.S. Agency for International Development-USAID) and is subject to congressional oversight even as a non-governmental organization.
From 1984 to 1990 the NED received $15–18 million of congressional funding annually, and $25–$30m from 1991 to 1993. At the time the funding came via the United States Information Agency
. In 1993 the NED nearly lost its congressional funding, after the House of Representatives initially voted to abolish its funding. The funding (of $35 million, a rise from $30 million the year before) was only retained after a vigorous campaign by NED supporters.
In 2018, President Donald Trump
proposed to slash the NED's funding and cut its links to the Democratic and Republican Institutes.
NED's Board of Directors annually gives a Democracy Award to recognize "the courageous and creative work of individuals and organizations that have advanced the cause of human rights and democracy around the world." The trophy is a small-scale replica of the Goddess of Democracy
that was constructed during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests
Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) In 2006, CIMA was founded as an initiative of the National Endowment for Democracy with encouragement from Congress and a grant from the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
CIMA promotes the work of independent media and journalists abroad, with a focus on the developing world, social media
, digital media
, and citizen journalism
It issued its first report, Empowering Independent Media: U.S. Efforts to Foster Free and Independent Media Around the World
, in 2008, and subsequently issued other reports, including a report on digital media in conflict-prone societies and a report on mobile phone use in Africa.
Writing in Slate
in 2004, Brendan I. Koerner
wrote that, "Depending on whom you ask, the NED is either a nonprofit champion of liberty or an ideologically driven meddler in world affairs."
NED has sometimes come under fire from both the right and the left.
Some on the right accuse the NED of having a pro-social democracy agenda, promoted through its labor affiliate; conversely, some on the left accuse the NED of being "a rightwing initiative" oriented toward Reagan's Cold War politics.
Within Latin America, some critics accuse the NED of manifesting U.S. paternalism or even imperialism,
conversely, "supporters say that it helps many groups with a social-democratic and liberal orientation across the world," providing training and support for pro-democracy groups that criticize the U.S.
In a 2004 article for the Washington Post
, Michael McFaul
argues that the NED is not an instrument of U.S. foreign policy; as an example of this, he states that the NED was willing to fund pro-democratic organizations even when the U.S. government was supportive of non-democratic governments in the region.
NED has said in public statements that democracy evolves "according to the needs and traditions of diverse political cultures" and does not necessitate an American-style model.
In 1986, NED's President Carl Gershman said that the NED was created because "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the 1960's and that's why it has been discontinued".
Throughout the course of a 2010 investigation by ProPublica
, Paul Steiger, the then editor in chief of the publication said that "those who spearheaded creation of NED have long acknowledged it was part of an effort to move from covert to overt efforts to foster democracy" and cited as evidence a 1991 interview in which then-NED president Allen Weinstein
said, "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."
Critics have compared the NED's funding of Nicaraguan groups (pro-U.S. and conservative unions, political parties, student groups, business groups, and women's associations) in the 1980s and 1990s in Nicaragua to the previous CIA effort "to challenge and undermine" a left-wing government in Chile.
(Latin Americanist scholar William M. LeoGrande
writes that the NED's roughly $2 million funding into Nicaragua between 1984 and 1988 was the "main source of overt assistance to the civic opposition," of which about half went to the anti-Sandinista
newspaper La Prensa
) According to sociologist William Robinson, NED funds during the Reagan years were "ultimately used for five overlapping pseudo-covert activities: leadership training for pro-American elites, promotion of pro-American educational systems and mass media, strengthening the 'institutions of democracy' by funding pro-American organizations in the target state, propaganda, and the development of transnational elite networks."
Critiquing these activities, Robinson wrote that "U.S. policymakers claim that they are interested in process (free and fair elections) and not outcome (the results of these elections); in reality, the principal concern is outcome."
Political scientist Lindsey A. O'Rourke writes that the Reagan-era NED played a key role in U.S. efforts "to promote democratic transitions in Chile, Haiti, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, and Suriname," but did so to promote the success of pro-U.S. parties, not just to promote democracy, and did not support communist or socialist opposition parties.
In the 2020 Thai protests, pro-government groups cited NED support for protester-sympathizing groups to assert that the US government was masterminding the protests. The United States Embassy in Bangkok
formally denied allegations of funding or supporting protesters.
Reaction from foreign governments
In 2019, the government of the People's Republic of China
sanctioned the NED in response to the passage by the U.S. Congress
of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act
The Chinese government stated that the NED and CIA worked in tandem to covertly foment the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests
and that NED acted as a U.S. intelligence front.
NED was one of several U.S.-based NGOs
sanctioned by the Chinese government; others included the Human Rights Watch
, Freedom House
, the National Democratic Institute
, and the International Republican Institute
China also already tightly restricted the activities of foreign NGOs in China, particularly since 2016, and the NGOs sanctioned by China typically do not have offices on the mainland; as a result, the sanctions were regarded as mostly symbolic.
NED grant recipients in Hong Kong included labor advocacy and human rights groups such as the Solidarity Center
and Justice Centre Hong Kong
The Chinese government said that the sanctioned organizations were "anti-China" forces that "incite separatist activities for Hong Kong independence;
a U.S. State Department official said that "false accusations of foreign interference" against U.S.-based NGOs were "intended to distract from the legitimate concerns of Hongkongers." Michael Pillsbury
, a Hudson Institute
foreign policy analyst and former Reagan administration
official, stated that the Chinese accusation was "not totally false."
In August 2020, NED chairman Carl Gershman was sanctioned – together with the heads of four other U.S.-based democracy and human rights organizations and six U.S. Republican lawmakers – by the Chinese government for supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement in the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests
. The leaders of the five organizations saw the sanctioning, whose details were unspecified, as a tit-for-tat measure in response to the earlier sanctioning by the U.S. of 11 Hong Kong officials. The latter step had in turn been a reaction to the enactment of the Hong Kong National Security Law
at the end of June.
In December 2020 China sanctioned the senior director of the NED, John Knaus, saying he "blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and grossly interferes in China’s domestic affairs".
- ^ a b c Lowe, David. "History - Idea to Reality: NED at 30". National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ Richmond, Yale (2008). Practicing Public Diplomacy: A Cold War Odyssey. Berghahn Books. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-85745-013-5. NED was founded at the initiative of a small group of Washington insiders, who believed that the United States needed a "quango" (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization) to promote democracy and counter communist influence abroad...
- ^ a b Otsuru-Kitagawa, Chieko (1998). "The Role of QUANGO in American Democratic Assistance". International Relations (119): 127–141. eISSN 1883-9916.
- ^ "National Endowment for Democracy is first 'undesirable' NGO banned in Russia". The Guardian. The Guardian. 28 Jul 2015.
- ^ Dominguez, Jorge I. (2013). The Future of Inter-American Relations. Routledge. p. 429. ISBN 978-1-136-68424-1. 13: On NED and other QUANGO programs...
- ^ "About the National Endowment for Democracy". NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
- ^ Philip Seib (2012-06-06). "The Reagan Legacy and Democracy". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ Bush, Sarah (2012-07-09). "Are we repeating democracy promotion mistakes in Tunisia?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ a b "History". National Endowment for Democracy. Archived from the original on April 26, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
- ^ a b O'Rourke, Lindsey (2018). Covert Regime Change: America's Secret Cold War. Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. Cornell University Press. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-1-5017-3069-6.
- ^ a b c "U.S. groups nurtured Arab uprisings". UPI. 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ "On a shoestring, U.S. groups helped nurture Arab opposition". East Bay Times. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ Mekay, Emad (2018-01-25). "Exclusive: US bankrolled anti-Morsi activists". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act Builds on Work of NED Grantees". National Endowment for Democracy. 2020-05-29. Archived from the original on 21 Jun 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
- ^ "Driven to 'near extinction': Beijing's high-pressure campaign against the foreign Chinese-language press". Coda Story. 2020-05-06. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ "Trump Administration Freezes Funding Intended to Benefit Hong Kong Protesters". Time. 2020-06-26. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ "China sanctions US senators over Hong Kong". BBC News. 2020-08-10. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ a b "An Interview With Carl Gershman '65, President of the National Endowment for Democracy". The Politic. 2017-11-20. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ "Grants". National Endowment for Democracy. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
- ^ a b "2008 Independent Auditors' Report"(PDF). National Endowment for Democracy. 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
- ^ Carothers, Thomas (1994). "The NED at 10". Foreign Policy (95): 123–138. doi:10.2307/1149427. ISSN 0015-7228. JSTOR 1149427.
- ^ "Recipient Grants: National Endowment for Democracy". Media Transparency. Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
- ^ "Trump's Disdain for Democracy Promotion". The New Republic. 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ Rogin, Josh (2018-03-05). "The Trump administration wants to dismantle Ronald Reagan's 'infrastructure of democracy'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- ^ World Movement for Democracy, Carl Gershman Archived April 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "Meet Our President". National Endowment for Democracy. July 9, 2008. Archived from the original on April 26, 2008. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
- ^ Democracy Award – Official website of the National Endowment for Democracy
- ^ Center, Foundation. "National Endowment for Democracy Honors President of Mexico". Philanthropy News Digest (PND). Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- ^ "Veton Surroi, journalist and activist, to speak about Kosovo War | U-M LSA Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE)". www.ii.umich.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- ^ "Senator John McCain's Remarks To NED On Iran's Opposition And The U.S."RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- ^ "Speaker Ryan to Address NED 2017 Democracy Award Ceremony". Speaker.gov. June 6, 2017. Archived from the original on December 23, 2018. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- ^ "Pelosi Remarks at the National Endowment for Democracy - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi". Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- ^ a b c "SUDAN'S CIVIL SOCIETY WILL BE HONORED WITH 2020 NED DEMOCRACY AWARD". National Endowment for Democracy. 5 March 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- ^ a b c "DEFENDERS OF HUMAN AND RELIGIOUS RIGHTS IN CHINA TO RECEIVE 2019 DEMOCRACY AWARD ON 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF TIANANMEN MASSACRE". National Endowment for Democracy. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- ^ 2018 DEMOCRACY AWARD RECIPIENT: CITIZENS’ ALLIANCE FOR NORTH KOREAN HUMAN RIGHTS (NKHR), National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ 2018 DEMOCRACY AWARD RECIPIENT: NOW, ACTION & UNITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (NAUH), National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ 2018 DEMOCRACY AWARD RECIPIENT: TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE WORKING GROUP, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ 2018 DEMOCRACY AWARD RECIPIENT: UNIFICATION MEDIA GROUP, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ 2017 DEMOCRACY AWARD: FIVE ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVISTS HONORED, CYNTHIA GABRIEL, MALAYSIA, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ 2017 DEMOCRACY AWARD: FIVE ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVISTS HONORED: KHALIL PARSA, AFGHANISTAN, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ 2017 DEMOCRACY AWARD: FIVE ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVISTS HONORED: CLAUDIA ESCOBAR, GUATEMALA
- ^ 2017 DEMOCRACY AWARD: FIVE ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVISTS HONORED: RAFAEL MARQUES DE MORAIS, ANGOLA, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ 2017 DEMOCRACY AWARD: FIVE ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVISTS HONORED: DENYS BIHUS, UKRAINE, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ 2015 Democracy Award, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ a b 2014 Democracy Award, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ a b c d 2013 Democracy Award, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ a b c d e 2012 Democracy Award, National Endowment for Democracy.
- ^ a b c d "Publications". National Endowment for Democracy. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
- ^ "National Endowment for Democracy" (PDF). Archived from the original on March 12, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- ^ a b Marion Jeanette Herbert (2013). "Center for International Media Assistance". Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. 2. SAGE. pp. 249–50.
- ^ Brendan Koerner, Bush Aims To Raise Whose Budget? The skinny on the National Endowment for Democracy, Slate (January 22, 2004).
- ^ a b c d e O'Toole, Gavin (2014). Politics Latin America. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-86195-9.
- ^ Conry, Barbara (8 November 1993). Cato Institute Foreign Policy Briefing No. 27: Loose Cannon: The National Endowment for Democracy (PDF) (Report). Cato Institute. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
- ^ McFaul, Michael. "'Meddling' In Ukraine: Democracy is not an American plot". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
- ^ Shipler, David K. (1 June 1986). "Missionaries for democracy: US aid for global pluralism". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2021. It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the 1960's and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created.
- ^ The National Endowment for Democracy Responds to Our Burma Nuclear Story -- And Our Response, ProPublica (November 24, 2010).
- ^ Dent, David W. (1995). U.S.-Latin American Policymaking: A Reference Handbook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 467. ISBN 978-0-313-27951-5.
- ^ William M. LeoGrande (2009). Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977-1992. p. 543.
- ^ a b c O'Rourke, Lindsey (2018). Covert Regime Change: America's Secret Cold War. Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. Cornell University Press. p. 6768. ISBN 978-1-5017-3069-6.
- ^ English, Khaosod (31 August 2020). "U.S. Embassy Denies Funding Anti-Govt Protests". Khaosod English. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
- ^ a b c Alec Luhn (July 28, 2019). "National Endowment for Democracy is first 'undesirable' NGO banned in Russia". The Guardian.
- ^ a b c d Shih, Gerry (3 December 2019). "China announces sanctions against U.S.-based nonprofit groups in response to Congress's Hong Kong legislation". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
- ^ a b Steven Lee Myers, In Hong Kong Protests, China Angrily Connects Dots Back to U.S., New York Times (September 9, 2019; updated October 15, 2019).
- ^ a b "China suspends US warship visits and sanctions NGOs over Hong Kong unrest". Hong Kong Free Press. 2 December 2019.
- ^ a b Amy Qin, China Hits Back at U.S. Over Hong Kong Bill in a Mostly Symbolic Move, New York Times (December 2, 2019).
- ^ a b China bars U.S. military ships, aircraft from Hong Kong, sanctions U.S.-based NGOs, Reuters (December 2, 2019).
- ^ a b Snyder, Christopher (24 March 2015). "China tries to blame US for Hong Kong protests". Fox News.
- ^ Pillsbury, Michael (13 October 2014). "China Tries to Blame US for Hong Kong Protests". Hudson Institute.
- ^ Morello, Carol (11 August 2020). "U.S. democracy and human rights leaders sanctioned by China vow not to be cowed into silence". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
- ^ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-hongkong-sanctions/china-sanctions-four-with-us-democracy-promotion-ties-over-hong-kong-idUSKBN28A0RH
- ^ Singh, Vijaita Singh/Soibam Rocky (2020-01-29). "George Soros' Open Society Foundations moves Delhi High Court against Union Home Ministry". The Hindu. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
- Bollen, Kenneth; Paxton, Pamela; Morishima, Rumi (June 2005). "Assessing international evaluations: An example from USAID's Democracy and Governance Programs"(PDF). American Journal of Evaluation. 26 (2): 189–203. doi:10.1177/1098214005275640. S2CID 146522432. Evaluation performed on behalf of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), at the request of and with funding from the Strategic and Operational Research Agenda (SORA) of USAID (Office of Democracy and Governance in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance), according to the National Research Council (2008, p. 28).[permanent dead link]
- National Research Council, Committee on Evaluation of USAID Democracy Assistance Programs (2008). Goldstone, Jack A (ed.). Improving democracy assistance: Building knowledge through evaluations and research (6×9 inches, 15×23 cm). pp. xvi+336. doi:10.17226/12164. ISBN 978-0-309-11736-4. Individuals can download the complete report (pdf format) for private use.
- Robinson, William I. (1996). Promoting polyarchy: Globalization, US intervention, and hegemony. Cambridge University Press.
- Kate Geoghegan, "A Policy in Tension: The National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Response to the Collapse of the Soviet Union," Diplomatic History, Volume 42, Issue 5, November 2018, Pages 772–801,
- Søndergaard, R.S. 2020. "The contested origins of US democracy promotion: the national endowment for democracy and its congressional critics." International Politics.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to NED
Last edited on 15 April 2021, at 07:06
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0
unless otherwise noted.