Panel Discussion: Rule of Law, Democratic Transitions, and...

Panel Discussion: Rule of Law, Democratic Transitions, and Authoritarianism in Afghanistan

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Thursday, April 4, 2024, 4:00–5:30pm PDT

In this panel, four Afghanistan specialists will discuss critical topics in contemporary Afghanistan, including the rule of law, democratic transitions (and their failures), and authoritarianism.

This event is a collaboration between the South Asia Center, Jackson School, and MESA Global Academy, which awards competitive scholarships to social science and humanities scholars from the MENA region to join interdisciplinary research collaborations at North American universities addressing specific thematic research clusters. Global Academy promotes reconfiguring the careers of individual researchers whose academic trajectory has been adversely impacted by developments in their home contexts.


Anila Daulatzai (UC Berkeley)
Anila Daulatzai is a political and medical anthropologist. She has conducted research in Afghanistan for three decades, and is currently writing a book based on her long-standing research in Afghanistan. She has taught in prisons, universities, and activist spaces across three continents. She is currently based in Oakland, California.

M. Ramin Mansoori (University of Pittsburgh)
Ramin’s primary research interest includes comparative politics, the political history of Afghanistan, and the great power competition. His current research focuses on nation-building in Afghanistan and China’s Afghanistan policy.

Mohammad Bashir Mobasher (American University)
Mohammad’s main areas of research are constitutional law, electoral design, and identity politics. He has also published long and short pieces on extremism, human rights, democracy, and discrimination laws. Most of the countries he has studied are plural societies, including Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, Bolivia, and Sri Lanka. His book, Constitutional Law and the Politics of Ethnic Accommodation, is pending publication.

Shamshad Pasarlay (University of Chicago)
Shamshad’s research interests span the fields of comparative constitutional studies and institutional design in deeply divided societies. His current work explores a novel approach to constitutional engineering in post-conflict, deeply divided societies like Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen. His forthcoming book, under contract with Cambridge University Press, discusses the constitutional history of Afghanistan as a case study in successful models of constitutional coordination in deeply divided societies. He is also interested in questions of Islamic law and Islamic legal history. His work in this field draws on the history of Afghanistan to explore the role of the pre-modern state in shaping the content and in disciplining the authorities of the Hanafi school of Islamic law.


Aria Fani (University of Washington)
Aria Fani is Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Language and Cultures, where he holds the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Professorship in Persian and Iranian Studies and directs the Persian and Iranian Studies Program. Aria’s research and teaching focus on modern Persian literature and translation studies. His first book, Reading across Borders: Afghans, Iranians, and Literary Nationalism, published by the University of Texas Press, details the dynamic and interconnected ways Afghans and Iranians invented their modern selves through new ideas about literature (adabiyāt).

Supported in part by grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Resource Centers Program. The content of this event does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.