Institute of Democracy and Cooperation
Institute of Democracy and Cooperation is a Russian think tank based in Paris. It was founded in 2008 and is headed by Natalia Narochnitskaya, a former deputy to the State Duma (Russian parliament). It is not connected to the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation in New York.
It was set up to provide a forum for discussion on international affairs, modern history and its relation to contemporary politics, international law and human rights. It organises regular seminars at its office in central Paris and also in other European cities (Berlin, Prague, Rome, Geneva, Brussels etc.). Although it expresses no collective view, its president and Director of Studies,the British philosopher and historian, John Laughland, are well-known advocates of national sovereignty and classical international law based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.
It describes its aims as being
|“||part of the debate about the relationship between state sovereignty and human rights; about East-West relations and the place of Russia in Europe; about the role of non-governmental organisations in political life; about the interpretation of human rights and the way they are applied in different countries; and about the way in which historical memory is used in contemporary politics.||”|
It describes its outlook on human rights and international relations as "broadly conservative", referring to its emphasis on the nation-state as the best framework for the realisation of human rights and a belief that "humanitarian intervention" is often counter-productive.
Prominent figures who have spoken at its events include President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic; the senator and former minister, Jean-Pierre Chevènement (France); member of the National Assembly and former minister, Thierry Mariani (France); the former Russian prime minister, Evgeny Primakov; the perpetual secretary of the Académie française, Hélène Carrère d'Encausse; Yury Shafranik, the president of the Union of Russian Oil and Gas Producers and former energy minister; the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay; the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mairead Maguire; the former French Foreign Minister and former President of the Constitutional Council, Roland Dumas; and the then Russian ambassador to NATO (now deputy prime minister of Russia) Dimitry Rogozin.