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Weatherhead Assembly

  • April 12, 2019
  • 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • CGIS South, Belfer Center Case Study Room, S020 1730 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA


  • A symposium, co-sponsored with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, to consider democratic institutions in the Middle East and South Asia, against the backdrop of assessments of democracy in America.

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On April 12, 2019, the Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program will host a symposium, co-sponsored with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, to consider democratic institutions in the Middle East and South Asia against the backdrop of assessments of democracy in America.

In the course of the day, BBLP will convene experts on democratic institutions in the U.S. and abroad and bring them together with ClassACT HR73 affiliates, BBLP’s inaugural Fellows at HKS, BBLP Associates from the broader Harvard community, and the general public. Together and in panels and working groups, we will explore the motives and means to deliver on the ideals that drove Benazir Bhutto’s career and generate next steps for the BBLP community.

What's Wrong with Democracy?

The Challenges and Promise of Democracy in the Middle East, South Asia, and the U.S. 

Modern democracy was conceived as an experiment in governance and takes a multitude of forms across the globe. In South Asia, the Middle East, and in the U.S., democratic institutions are facing unprecedented challenges including the rise of populism, the influence of social media, and extreme political posturing. In light of 1) U.S. efforts to encourage and strengthen democracy abroad that have been intermittent and tempered by realpolitik, and 2) the aspirations of many from these areas for greater political participation, what might these political systems learn from one other? 


Sugata Bose Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University; Chair, Weatherhead Research Cluster on Global Transformations (WIGH)


Roohi Abdullah

Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program Fellow; Mason Fellow at theKennedy School of Government 

Prince Moulay Hicham Alaoui of Morocco

Weatherhead Associate; Director of the Hicham Alaoui Foundation;  Co-founder of the Institute for the Trans-regional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia at Princeton University; Founder of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University
Muhammad Ali Former Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission, Pakistan; Mason Fellow at Kennedy School of Government '18 
Ayesha Jalal Professor at the Fletcher School, Tufts University; MacArthur Fellow
 Sonu Jain Senior Communications Officer, The World Bank
Natasha Jehangir Khan Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program Fellow; Mason Fellow at Kennedy School of Government; former egal expert, Ministry of Energy, Pakistan  
Sylvester Monroe '73 Senior Fellow at USC Annenberg’s Center on Communication, Leadership, and Policy; former Europe and South Asia Editor at the Washington Post 
Cameron Munter

CEO and President of the East West Institute; former US ambassador to Pakistan

Roger Myerson '73 David L. Pearson Distinguished Service Professor of Global Conflict Studies in the Harris School of Public Policy; Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago; Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
Erum Khalid Sattar Visiting Fellow, Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World, Harvard Law School 

ClassACT HR ‘73

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