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2015 – Diplomacy and Elected Autocrats

The American Academy of Diplomacy and The Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello

US foreign policy has a recurring problem when national leaders are elected but are increasingly autocratic in their actions while maintaining strong support from their electorate. Does the United States accept dictatorial actions and human rights violations because leaders are democratically elected? When do we decide they’re not democrats? Do autocratic behavior and human rights violations trump our other interests? Even if they do, how do we meld our dealings and interests into effective policies? The panel will examine the related issues from several angles.

2015  –  Diplomacy and Elected Autocrats

Lorne Craner, the keynote speaker, is a Founder of Redstone Global, a new risk firm focused on the political potential of current non-elites in emerging markets. He is also Co-Director of the Transatlantic Renewal Project, which is dedicated to reviving relations between the US and Central Europe. Craner was twice President of the International Republican Institute, a widely praised democracy assistance organization. For his accomplishments as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in the George W. Bush administration, Secretary Colin Powell presented Craner with the Department’s Distinguished Service Award. Earlier, in the George H.W. Bush administration, Craner was a Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council under General Brent Scowcroft, and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs u
nder Secretary James Baker. He began his career assisting Congressman Jim Kolbe and Senator John McCain on national security issues.

Keynote Speaker

About the Panelists

Nicholas A.


Robert Mason


Peter F.


Ronald E.




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