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About Vidar Helgesen

Vidar Helgesen is minister of EEU and EU affairs in Norway. He formerly served as special advisor to the president of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva (1998-2001), as deputy minister of foreign affairs of Norway (2001-05), and as secretary-general of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) (2005-13)

Articles by Vidar Helgesen

This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Brexit: a Norwegian view

"British leadership is needed to help Europe become stronger, more free and more prosperous". Norway's minister of EU affairs draws on his country's experience to make the case.

Democratic politics: a glorious messiness

The combination of post-election protest in Egypt and parliamentary stalemate in Nepal teaches Vidar Helgesen a wider lesson about democracy.

Tunisia: the power of example

The pioneering role of Tunisia in the Arab awakening is being sustained a year on as it negotiates its democratic transition, says Vidar Helgesen.

2012, the age of the citizen

The dramatic citizens' uprisings and protests across the world this year are signals of an emerging era that demands a renewal of democracy itself, says Vidar Helgesen.

Libya: a time for patience

The task of building a democratic and inclusive Libya with working institutions must overcome the international community’s key flaw as well as the Gaddafi regime’s legacy, says Vidar Helgesen.

Tahrir Square: snapshot of revolution

A huge gathering in central Cairo on 29 July 2011 is a measure of the fluid state of Egypt’s political transformation, says Vidar Helgesen.

Arab democracy rising: international lessons

The popular revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the middle east are driven by a profound democratic impulse. This represents both learning and test for international democracy actors, says Vidar Helgesen.

The future of democracy (-support)

The global landscape of democracy is changing amid geopolitical shifts and new critical assessments. The financial crisis and the election of Barack Obama have further transformed the context in which democracy-assistance functions. In this emerging era, what do democracy-support practitioners need to do to keep their projects and ideas fresh, relevant and effective? Vidar Helgesen, secretary-general of International IDEA, reflects.

(This article was first published on 15 September 2009)

Democracy support: where now?

The extension of democracy has been central to the experience of much of the world in the last three decades. But the mixed record and complex challenges of democracy support in the 2000s makes this a propitious moment for a debate on the topic, says Vidar Helgesen of International IDEA. 

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