Pivotal authoritarian regimes have adapted and modernized their repressive methods and are undermining democracy in updated, sophisticated, and well funded ways. The result is a disruptive and serious new challenge to the emergence of an international system based on the rule of law, human rights, and open expression. Freedom House, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia convened experts for a series of workshops over the course of 2008 and 2009 to analyze the ways in which five influential countries—China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and Venezuela—are impeding democratic development both within and beyond their borders. These countries were selected because of their fundamental geopolitical importance. They are integrated into broader economic, political and security networks and exert influence on international policy at the regional and global levels.
What Tavaana Students Have to Say
How good that a free space for challenging and critical discussion, where questions and answers can be exchanged with the guidance of our esteemed professors, has been created to counter the current political and social situation in Iran. I thank all of those involved with Tavaana from the bottom of my heart. I know how important you are, and I hope you will be steadfast in your future steps. Do not hesitate because giving even one bit of knowledge to one person is an effective and lasting service to the nation.
- Firouzeh, Foundations of Democracy course graduate