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Special Lecture by Prof. Larry Diamond - Discussion





Special Lecture by Prof. Larry Diamond: “Crises of Democracy: Key Trends, Causes, and Policy Responses”
August 8, 2017 15:00-17:00
Conference Hall, KFAS


On August 8, Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies hosted a special lecture by Prof. Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Titled “Crises of Democracy: Key Trends, Causes, and Policy Responses,” this lecture provided an opportunity to hear Prof. Diamond’s valuable insights on the makings of democracy and how to hold firm to our cherished values. Attended by more than three hundred people, the event also included a tete-a-tete session with Prof. Lee Sook Jong of Sungkyunkwan University.


The lecture was followed by a discussion with Prof. Lee Sook Jong of Sungkyunkwan University. On the rise of the China model and its impact on democracy, Prof. Diamond conveyed that he is critical of the China model argument. There is little faith in the current system among the entrepreneurs and the ruling elites in China, he argued, and that is why they send their kids and money abroad. Once again, he urged Korean civil society to have moral responsibility and help the Chinese people go through peaceful political change. 


On the question of how to include democracy promotion in the American foreign policy, Prof. Diamond answered that it has to be woven into the policy making process, while keeping the balance with economic and security concerns. While the government is constrained by other concerns, civil society can do many things, and the keyword is partnership. “Democracy cannot be imposed on people,” he stated, “but should be a response to their initiative.”


In the Q&A session, one student audience asked about the lessons we could draw from the Cross-Strait relations. Prof. Diamond answered that in the Cross-Strait relations, positive development was possible because the mainland China went through economic modernization under pragmatic leadership of Deng Xiaoping. Along the same line, it is fundamental for North Korea to modernize. He reinforced that organic change will be hard to achieve if there is no liberalization inside North Korea.


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