It often comes down to money and on June 27, Svet Derderyan and Andrew Wilson sat down with the Vail Symposium to talk about dirty money – how corrosive capital is undermining democracy around the world.
The end of the Cold War ushered in a brief democracy honeymoon, particularly in the former Soviet Bloc states of Eastern Europe. According to Svet Derderyan, our speaker from the University of Colorado Boulder and Denver University, the West, especially the United States, was there to help. Western aid flowed to civic society organizations until those countries began to join the European Union. Aid that had been flowing from the United States diminished with the expectation that it would be replaced with aid from the EU. Unfortunately, the bureaucratic hurdles for that aid proved difficult to surmount and aid dwindled. Stepping in with strategically targeted funding was revanchist Russia.
Andrew Wilson, executive director of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) revealed Russia’s modus operandi in gaining and increasing their influence in their former client states. He also expounded on China’s efforts. Though the strategies differ, the goals are ultimately similar: expand donor nation influence, erode the rule of law and weaken fledgling democracies.
This conversation continues on a global scale with Larry Diamond of the Hoover Institute discussing the retreat of democracy around the globe on Monday, July 15 at 6 p.m. at the Sebastian.