Message from the President
Welcome to the website of the International Republican Institute. Here you will find information on how IRI continues to expand the frontiers of freedom, and how you can help.
Democracy greatly lessens the likelihood of conflict between nations, and of want within nations. For more than a quarter century, therefore, IRI has helped men and women working to bring liberty to their lands. We know that they, not we, have made the majority of countries around the globe free. As many attest however, IRI has been an important part of a democratic wave that was once unthinkable.
We’ve been able to help people abroad accomplish their idealistic goals because our talented staff and dedicated volunteers have a pragmatic, consistent philosophy.
First, IRI works in countries important to U.S. interests, where we can make a difference.
Second, IRI focuses on three tasks: helping political parties broaden their appeal, ensuring that they rule justly once elected and aiding civil society in guaranteeing democratic governance.
Third, IRI can help catalyze the efforts of democratic activists in a country -- so long as they want change more than we want it for them. We cannot implant democracy.
Fourth, we understand in doing our work that it is their country, not ours. America’s democratic institutions differ from those of our mother country, the United Kingdom; other nations will adopt and adapt democratic methods and forms to fit their unique historical experiences and culture. For this reason, we impart global experiences and knowledge.
Fifth, we must have patience; we are prepared if necessary to work in a country for many years to help those struggling to gain democracy.
As you’ll see in our website, we’ve put a great deal of attention on the role of democratic governance, women, and marginalized groups, such as the poor, disabled and minorities, in their country’s political life. Last but not least, you’ll find that IRI is a leader in evaluating democracy work, to ensure we use the best methods to advance freedom.
As you’ll see in our website, IRI works with multilateral organizations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations, with partners like Australia’s Liberals and the European People’s Party, and with institutions in newer democracies, such as Mexico, Lithuania, Slovakia and Indonesia, who bring recent, relevant democracy building experiences to bear.
Ultimately, of course, IRI’s objective is to help make all people free, so that we’re no longer needed. In the meantime, when aspiring democrats ask for our help, IRI will stand with them, proudly, in advancing the frontiers of freedom.