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The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Democracy Dialogue

NDI President Kenneth Wollack (center), with Lorne Craner (left), the president of the International Republican Institute, and Ambassador Robert Neumann at a panel discussion.

Support for democracy has been a priority of U.S. foreign policy since the earliest days of the republic, and its advantages over other forms of government have come to be accepted globally. But there are many manifestations of democratic governance – how it is achieved and how it delivers for its citizens – that are the subject of continuing debate. To help illuminate this debate, NDI has collected commentary from its own experts and others along with some of the key documents upon which democracy programs are based.

Our Perspectives

Commentary from NDI Board members and staff on democracy promotion generally and on specific NDI programs. | Read more »

News and Views

Commentary from experts on the directions and challenges of democracy promotion programs. | Read more »

Key Documents

A library of the basic documents upon which democracy programs are based. | Read more »

New Additions


Voice of America News

Chris Doten, manager for digital technology programs at NDI, spoke with Voice of America News about digital security solutions for journalists and democracy advocates.

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Politico Magazine

NDI Vice Chair and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle reflects on his recent trip to Ukraine in an op-ed for Politico Magazine. He applauds the strides Ukrainians have made in creating a more democratic society, though emphasizes the need for greater U.S. support for Ukraine.

“There may be no place on the globe where the stakes for democracy and freedom are higher or more reliable than Ukraine. The United States shouldn’t let the opportunity pass,” Daschle wrote.

The op-ed cited public opinion research recently conducted by NDI in Ukraine. The democratic values that underpinned Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity in 2014 still unite Ukrainians today, according to the public opinion research. Ukrainians have little nostalgia for the pre-revolution government, even among those who voted for opposition parties in October’s parliamentary elections. NDI conducted a nationwide face-to-face survey of 5,842 respondents in April and May, as well as implicit association tests, a method of measuring implicit or underlying attitudes, among 600 Ukrainians.

In spite of the pressure they are under, Ukrainians are overwhelmingly committed to defending the country’s right to determine its own future. A clear majority wants Ukraine to join the European Union, and nearly 80 percent regard Russia’s influence in the country as negative. Ukrainians are impatient to see political parties respond to the needs of society as a whole and challenge, rather than protect, the interests of the small clique of oligarchs that control much of the country's political scene. According to the survey results, Ukraine possesses a significant reservoir of untapped potential for citizen engagement in the reform process.

View the results of the public opinion research here

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The Hill

Tunisia remains an important example of what can be achieved when our democracy community stands with local citizens seeking to build a democratic future. Authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali's ousting in 2011 set the country on a fragile course that has been challenged by acts of terrorism and economic malaise.

But even as neighboring countries have slipped into chaos, a willingness by Tunisia's political and civic leaders to reach consensus through peaceful dialogue has produced key milestones, including the Arab world's most progressive constitution and credible democratic elections for parliament and president in 2014.


Green and Sweeney are the presidents of the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, respectively. Campbell is a senior associate and regional director for Middle East and North Africa programs at the National Democratic Institute. Their organizations are the core partners of the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening.

Read the full op-ed:

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Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies (City University of New York) blog

Sheila Fruman, former NDI country director in Pakistan, discusses a recent resolution passed by the Pakistan parliament regarding the crisis in Yemen.

According to Fruman, the resolution represented a significant moment of “debate and decision making on vital matters of state.” Fruman added, “The open debate marks a turning point that respects the right of citizens to hold their representatives accountable and strengthens the institution of parliament within the democratic framework.”

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