What Does Coronavirus Teach about Democracy & Authoritarianism?

What Does Coronavirus Teach about Democracy & Authoritarianism?

The coronavirus pandemic has rocked our world. More than 36,000 people have died (more than 11,000 in Italy alone) and the number of known infections is approaching 1 million. The global economy is facing a recession, international travel has come to a standstill, millions of people have lost their jobs and most governments have ordered their citizens to stay at home. International attention is now exclusively focused on this expanding crisis, which most experts believe is still in its early phase with the worst yet to come.

This pandemic raises many important questions. How did we get to this moment of crisis? Why was the world so colossally unprepared? Are some governments more to blame than others for the spread of this virus and critically, are democracies better equipped than authoritarian regimes in meeting the challenges of a pandemic?

Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies will discuss this topic, with special attention to how Muslim societies have been affected by this crisis. He will also answer your questions.

Hashemi’s publications include Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009; The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and Iran’s Struggle for Democracy (New York: Melville House, 2011), edited with Danny Postel; The Syria Dilemma (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013), edited with Danny Postel.; and Iran’s Green Movement: A Political and Intellectual History (Oxford University Press/Hurst & Co., forthcoming).

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020

Time: 10 am Malaysia | 2 am UTC | 8 PM Denver (1st April 2020)


Organized by the Islamic Renaissance Front & Islam & Liberty Network, Malaysia


1000-1015AM: Introduction by the moderator, Ehsan Shahwahid

1015-1100AM: Presentation by Dr Nader Hashemi

1100-11045AM: Discussion

1145-1200PM: Concluding remarks by Ali Salman, CEO, Islam & Liberty Network

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