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Democratic Transitions and Counterterrorism

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 8:30am

World Policy Institute and the EastWest Institute present the second annual Ian Cuthbertson Memorial Lecture:

Democratic Transitions and Counterterrorism

With panelists Naureen Chowdhury Fink and Scott Helfstein.  Moderated by Andrew Nagorski..


Click Here for:
"Debating Democracy and Terror" by Thomas Lynch
A blog-post / recap of the December 4th Event


Wednesday, December 7, 8:30 to 10:00 AM

EastWest Institute
11 East 26th Street (Between Madison and Fifth Avenues)
20th Floor
New York, NY 

The cascade of events loosely known as the Arab Spring has overturned authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and ushered in a period of transition in a number of countries, transforming U.S. alliances and upending strategic thinking in the region. How will this affect counterterrorism strategies? In what ways do efforts to establish more democratic systems help or hinder the international work of combating terrorist networks? Will elections and more representative governments spell the end of al-Qaeda's popularity or provide new openings for radicals of various persuasions to operate, spawning new terrorist threats? What will happen to intelligence sharing and other cooperative efforts? What can we learn from similar experiences of political and socioeconomic change in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere?

World Policy Institute and the EastWest Institute invite you to hear Naureen Chowdhury Fink and Scott Helfstein discuss the positive and negative impacts of democratic transitions on the fight against terrorism.

Ian Cuthbertson Memorial Lecture

This is the second in an annual series of lectures in memory of counterterrorism expert Ian Cuthbertson, who passed away in 2009. A senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, Ian was a former member of the Diplomatic Service of the United Kingdom; a former vice president of Programs at the EastWest Institute in New York; and a past editorial director and executive vice president of the media publishing company TV Books. He was also a consultant on security issues to a number of governments, international organizations, and multinational companies. Ian's work explored options for American and Western foreign and defense policy, particularly in countering the threat of terrorism in such areas as the spread of radical Islamist terrorist networks within Western prisons. He authored and edited books and articles on European military affairs, transatlantic security issues, and the balance between protecting civil liberties and conducting essential intelligence-gathering in the war on terrorism. Most recently he was the co-editor, with Professor Heinz Gaertner, of the book European Security and Transatlantic Relations after 9/11 and The War in Iraq: A Fork in the Road.

About the Speakers

Scott Helfstein, Ph.D. is the Director of Research for the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy, West Point. His research has appeared in numerous academic journals and addresses transnational issues such as terrorism, nonproliferation, interstate conflict, financial contagion, and economic interdependence. Dr. Helfstein talks and publishes frequently on these issues, and provides advice to organizations in the public and private sectors. He holds a Joint Doctorate in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Michigan, where he focused on world politics, and a Master's Degree in War Studies from King's College, London. From 1999 to 2002, he worked as an investment banker focusing on mergers and acquisitions at Credit Suisse First Boston, prior to which he worked at the Federal Reserve. Dr. Helfstein is also a Term Member in the Council of Foreign Relations and a member of National Defense University’s Combating WMD Program for Emerging Leaders.

Naureen Chowdhury Fink, is a Senior Analyst in the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation's New York Office.  She focuses on the international and multilateral response to terrorism and related challenges, such violent extremism, armed conflict and political instability, and the role of the United Nations.  Naureen comes to CGCC after five years at the International Peace Institute, where she developed the counterterrorism portfolio and published on international efforts to promote deradicalization and violent extremism; regional counterterrorism cooperation in South Asia; terrorism and political violence in Bangladesh and the United Nations’ counterterrorism program.  She has also worked closely with the UN Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) on developing their initiatives in South Asia.  Prior to that, Naureen has worked with the Middle East Programme in Chatham House and the World Intellectual Properties Organization and World Trade Organization in Geneva.  Naureen holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and an MA in War Studies from Kings College, London.

Andrew Nagorski is Vice President and Director of Public Policy at the EastWest Institute, a New York-based international affairs think tank. During a long career at Newsweek, he won several awards and served as the magazine’s bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw and Berlin. His newest book, Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power, will be published in March 2012 by Simon & Schuster.


Wednesday, December 7, 8:30 to 10:00 AM
Breakfast will be served beginning at 8:30, with remarks starting at 8:45


EastWest Institute
11 East 26th Street (Between Madison and Fifth Avenues)
20th Floor
New York, NY 


This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required to reserve a seat. 

RSVP by December 5 to or to the WPI events line at 212 481 5005, Option 2.

About the Sponsors

The World Policy Institute  and World Policy Journal engage fresh ideas and new voices from around the world to address critical shared challenges. We provide a forum for solution-focused policy analysis and public debate toward an inclusive and sustainable global market economy, effective and fair governance, and collaborative approaches to security.

The EastWest Institute is an international, non-partisan, not-for profit policy organization focused solely on confronting critical challenges that endanger peace. EWI was established in 1980 as a catalyst to build trust, develop leadership, and promote collaboration for positive change. It has since became a global organization, working with the USA, NATO, Turkey, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and many other countries in Europe and Asia.



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