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Expert on Islam and democracy lectures at AUS
Dr. Shaheen Mozaffar, a professor of political science at Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts, USA, lectured on the challenges and opportunities of democratic transitions in the MENA Region at American University of Sharjah (AUS) on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.
Dr. Mozaffar is an internationally recognized expert on elections and democracy. The author of numerous articles, his current work focuses on the dynamics of political transitions. He is currently developing a grant proposal on Islam and democracy.
In his lecture, Dr. Mozaffar explored the similarities and differences between the current wave of uneven democratic transitions in the MENA region with the uneven democratic transitions in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. He discussed the lessons these earlier transitions have for the challenges and opportunities that confront democratic transitions in the MENA region.
"Transitions do not produce answers. Good transitions only produce opportunities and successful transitions takes advantage of these opportunities to make meaningful changes in response to the needs of the people," said Dr. Mozaffar.
His lecture touched on four key areas: the empirical foundations of political transitions; how to understand current transitions; lessons, challenges and opportunities presented by political transitions; and conclusions and implications of these transitions.
Dr. Mozaffar will spend about a week as a scholar in residence at AUS, meeting with numerous faculty and administrators as part of the development of his research project on Islam and democracy.
Before the lecture, Dr. Mozaffar spoke to two international studies classes at the AUS College of Arts and Sciences.