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Afternoon Breakout Sessions

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Session Details

February 17, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

“When Democracy Dies: Connecting Policy with Migrant Stories”

Panel discussion: Jason S. Kilgore, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, Washington & Jefferson College; Student Panelists: Lily Bonasso, Kenneth Jimenez, Jose Angel Lagunas, Margaret McQuaid, Adriana Rodriguez-Ruiz, Laurel Sipe, and Zivya Sutton

Immigration policy is a contemporary example of the fragility of democracy when we as a country no longer truly care about how people are treated by the government. Panelists share their experiences about the Latin American migrant and the effects of immigration policy through storytelling. Similar to playing dice, the journey to the United States is plagued by uncertainty, but, in this game, suffering and mortality are real. Could you live your life throwing the dice? Room 114/Yost Auditorium

“Implications of Nuclear Technology – Promise and Perils”

John & Jonna Murphy, Nuclear Nonproliferation and Arms Control Consultants, moderated by Cory Christenson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics, Washington & Jefferson College

Nuclear Technology has tremendous potential to help society and mankind while at the same time threatening our democracy, society and maybe even the future of the human race. The decisions we need to make over the next decade can be terribly destabilizing to global society, or strengthen it by providing carbon free energy. In this session, we will discuss the world of nuclear technology, nuclear proliferation, and arms control, including the social, political, ethical, and technical decisions we will face when determining how to manage these technologiesRoom 103

“Visions and Realities Threatening Democratic Institutions”

W&J Conflict & Resolution Studies Program

Featuring: Professor Richard Easton’s CRS students Professor Richard Easton, M.A. CRS 100 students, moderated by Melissa A. Cook, Ph.D. Program Chair, Communication Arts; Room 109

Student Presenters:

  1. Emilee Byers “Women’s Equality in Legislatures.”
  2. Jordon Templeton Harris “Understanding is Essential for Democracy.”
  3. Wengly Saintlouis “Significance of Local Governments in Today’s Democracy.”
  4. Fransia Rodriguez “Remaining Poised in the Presence of Racism.”
  5. Olivia Durkin “Trapped in a cycle of lying and deceit: Implications for American Democracy.”

“The Rise of Religious Nationalism and the Crisis of Democracy”

Mohamed Nawab Bin Mohamed Osman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor with the Malaysia Program at RSIS, Visiting Fullbright Fellow.

Nawab will look at examples of religious nationalism from Asia and the Middle East as it relates to the crisis of democracy. Room 203

In a speech to his supporters in 2015, Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh touted that if given a chance, he will install statues of Hindu deities in every mosque. This was a direct provocation against the country’s Muslim minority population. He belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which assumed power in 2014 through free and fair elections. Yet, the BJP has sought to homogenise India as a Hindu nation to exclude the country’s minorities, curtail civil society and dissent, and skew the political system it’s favour. The rise of ethno-religious political parties is not limited to India. Many democratically elected governments in Asia, from Pakistan to the Philippines, have employed divisive ethno-religious politics which undermine democratic norms. This seminar seeks to understand why democratic elections have led to the rise of enthno-religiosity and the concomitant regression of democratic norms in Asia. The central thesis of the seminar is that the unbridled competition for power and the failure of government to deliver on democratic dividends have to the utilisation of ethno-religious politics as a legitimating tool. The seminar concludes with the implications these trends have for democracy in Asia.


February 17, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Washington & Jefferson College
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