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Foreign Policy Research Institute

Launched in 2005, the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Project on Democratic Transitions began with a primary focus on the political transitions of Central and Eastern Europe and later Eurasia. The goal has been to better understand both the successes and the failures of democratization attempts in the post-communist countries, and to draw policy relevant conclusions from this experience.

Led by Ambassador Adrian A. Basora, former U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, the team includes three PhD-holders from top universities and seven other scholars with post-graduate degrees and extensive relevant work and field experience.

PDT’s scholars bring tremendous academic and professional experience and regional specialties that include: the South Caucasus, Iran, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Collectively, they have decades of experience managing democracy and governance programs at the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House, the Center for International Private Enterprise, Eurasia Foundation, and other leading organizations.

PDT scholars are sought out for their expertise: their commentaries have been featured in a variety of publications such as the American Interest, Orbis, World Politics Review, Foreign Policy, and the National Interest.

One of FPRI’s comparative advantages as a research institution is that PDT has surveyed and summarized the vast literature on democratic transitions and formulated them into working hypotheses.  PDT is continually adding to the working hypotheses as new research emerges, but the team plans to publish the working hypotheses as part of a larger book on U.S. democracy assistance in 2015.

To learn about about the Foreign Policy Research Institute, click here.

The Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute was founded as a division of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in December 1974 through the joint initiative of Ambassador George F. Kennan, then Wilson Center Director James Billington, and historian S. Frederick Starr. Named in honor of Ambassador Kennan’s relative, George Kennan “the Elder” (1845-1924), a nineteenth-century explorer of Russia and Siberia, the Kennan Institute is committed to improving American expertise and knowledge about Russia, Ukraine, and other states in the region. Through its residential scholarship programs, lecture and workshop series, and publication program, the Institute strives to attract, publicize, and integrate new research into the policy community.

The Institute offers residential scholarships in the humanities and social sciences to academic scholars and specialists from government, the media, and the private sectors. Thanks to its location in Washington, D.C., scholars at the Kennan Institute have access to libraries, archives, research facilities, and human resources that are among the finest in the world.

The Institute also administers an active program of public lectures and conferences featuring scholars and public figures from the United States, Russia, and other successor states to the Soviet Union. The Institute makes the results of its activities known through a variety of publications including Meeting Reports, Occasional Papers, Special Reports, and commercially published books.

In addition to its office in Washington, the Kennan Institute operates a center in Kyiv. The Kennan Kyiv Project provides on-the-ground assistance to the Washington staff and a communication link with various Ukrainian organizations. The office also organizes publications, seminars, and conferences on major events of the day featuring Kennan Institute alumni.