William & Patricia Ayers Global Tipping Points Series
A Less Free World?
The Future of Democratization
in South Asia
November 3, 2022
Online at www.wacnh.org
South Asia is home to over one quarter of the world's population. The region is marked by the rivalry between its two major countries, India and Pakistan, and by the presence of Afghanistan.
Freedom House classifies both India and Pakistan as "partly free" countries. India is a multiparty democracy, but its government has presided over discriminatory policies against Muslims, certain castes and certain tribes. Although India's constitution guarantees civil liberties, the harassment of journalists, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and other government critics has increased significantly.
According to Freedom House: "Pakistan holds regular elections under a competitive multiparty political system. However, the military exerts enormous influence over security and other policy issues, intimidates the media, and enjoys impunity for indiscriminate or extralegal use of force. The authorities impose selective restrictions on civil liberties, and Islamist militants carry out attacks on religious minorities and other perceived opponents."
Even before its fall to the Taliban, Freedom House classified Afghanistan as a "not free" country. Nevertheless, Afghanistan did have an elected government, though a flawed electoral process, and a wide range of individual rights. "Since overthrowing the elected government, the Taliban have closed the country’s political space; opposition to its rule is not tolerated, while women and minority groups have seen their rights curtailed by the new regime.
Join the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire for our virtual discussion about the prospects for the future of democratization in South Asia with Ayesha Jalal of Tufts University.
About the Speaker
Ayesha Jalal is the Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University. After majoring in history and political science at Wellesley College, she obtained her doctorate in history from the University of Cambridge. Jalal has been Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (1980-1984); Leverhulme Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge (1984-1987); Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. (1985-1986); and Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (1988-1990). From 1998-2003 she was a MacArthur Fellow. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tufts University, Columbia University, and Harvard University.
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