Former Provost and Dean of the Faculty, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani
"Is Promoting Democracy in the Middle East a Mistake?"
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Cosponsored with the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry Into Religion and American Public Life
“As sectarian violence in the Middle East increases, as Iraq falls further into the orbit of Iran, as Afghanistan seems poised to hand over its corrupt democracy to terrorists and Taliban murderers, and as American interests and lives are sacrificed to the depredations of the so-called Arab Spring, it might be worthwhile to take stock of what these unfolding debacles mean for neoconservatives and our attachment to democracy’s expansion.
“We should begin with Iraq, where our most recent foray into democratic nation-building began.”
John Agresto is the chair of the New Mexico State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights. He is former acting chancellor, provost and dean of the faculty at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani and serves on its Board of Regents and Trustees, chairing its academic committee. He previously served as the senior advisor for Higher Education and Scientific Research for the Coalition Provisional Authority.
From 1989 to 2000, Agresto was president of St. John's College in Santa Fe. He has published in the areas of politics, law, and education, and has taught at the University of Toronto, Kenyon College, Duke University, and the New School. In 2002–03 he was Lily Senior Research Fellow at Wabash College and in the 1980s served as both administrative and policy head of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The author of a book on the situation in Iraq, Mugged by Reality (Encounter Books, 2007), Agresto holds a PhD from Cornell University.