Promoting democracy in the world: the main objective of ICHS

Is democracy possible in all cultures? Can it be imported? These are essential and urgent questions to be answered today, especially in the current context of economic and social crisis and at a time when democratization processes are at the center of international politics. In this regard UNESCO plays a crucial role in promoting democratic values which it considers as fundamental for building peace.

The objective of the UNESCO Integrated Strategy of Democracy within the Framework of the International Center for Human Sciences (ICHS), Byblos is the re-boost the reflection on democratic development by stimulating analysis on the contemporary challenges and obstacles at regional and international levels. The presence of ICHS in Byblos, under the auspices of UNESCO contributes to the implementation of this Strategy launched by UNESCO whose aim is to produce knowledge on the nature of democracy and the learning of democratic practices. In the past, the Center thus devoted its work to the relationship between democracy and culture. In future years, the main focus of ICHS will be widened to address democracy and its relationship to other relevant themes, such as peace, development and the ethical impact of financial and economic crisis.

To meet these objectives, the activities focus on 3 main fields of action:

Fostering comparative analytical research in order to generate new knowledge and develop the capacities of researchers:

·         By conducting studies in a number of countries under the Centers supervision;
·         By tutoring graduate and doctoral students in their research on topics in relation to the Center’s objectives;
·         By holding the Byblos Middle East Autumn School for researchers.

Organizing international dialogues on the future of democracy with academics, policy-makers, business leaders and journalists. These dialogues are grounded on reflection and research on democratic norms, values and principles and their relationship to the key issues of globalization and development.

Supporting democracy and post-conflict societies by encouraging the promotion of democracy by local actors and through academic cooperation and in particular through a function of clearinghouse.