A debate that is becoming salient, over the past few years is if philanthropic foundations are becoming powerful by the day? A recent article in The Huffington Post points this out. The writer points out, correctly, that Jeff Bezos solicited ideas for his philanthropy, just a few days before the purchase of Whole Foods. PR… Continue reading America’s philanthropy problem?
What is the role of US Aid in developing contexts?
ON March 23rd, the founder of modern day Singapore – Lee Kuan Yew died – and with him, an era of change and reform in Singapore passed. While the man is remembered for ‘building’ Singapore, he is also known as the man who brought into sharp focus the idea of ‘tradition’ and ‘Asian values’. The… Continue reading Singapore, Dubai and the limits of Freedom?
I taught my students about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a law that is being used to pass similar laws in various states in the U.S. The most controversial case involves a similar law in Indiana. The contours of the case point to the idea that private businesses can discriminate against LGBT couples. But… Continue reading Religious Freedom laws in the U.S. : Freedoms used to justify discrimination?
I met Dr. Abusaleh Shariff about a year ago, through a common friend. We kept in touch and promised to connect the next time I was going to be in D.C. It turned out that I was able to meet him just yesterday and spent a good hour chatting about various initiatives at the US… Continue reading Social Development in India – What do We Know?
About half a dozen friends have reached out to me, over the last two and half years since I have been in a Ph.D program (in the U.S.) to ask me what it is like. While it is impossible to fully describe what it is to be a full-time student, and the joys of going… Continue reading So, you want to get a Ph.D ?
The amount of b&%* shit that I see in the ‘public domain’ on a regular basis makes me want to cry. Really.I am researching Islam in the U.S. and one can only imagine the amount of non-sense that there is, out there, along with genuine, credible scholarship. I would hazard a guess that at least… Continue reading Do Scholars have a social responsibility?
I am reading Peter Frumkin’s Strategic Giving, a must read for anyone interested in understanding the current debates in the field of philanthropy and also teaching a course on Governance and civil society in the U.S. Together, these two sources are shaping my ideas about democracy, civic engagement and political theory. I will discuss the… Continue reading Is philanthropy inherently undemocratic?
I was a dictator for half a day during a simulation in a Public Administration and Democracy course I took at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where I was finishing up my MPA in 2010. I volunteered to be the General of a fictitious state, ‘Kush,’ which is landlocked between the mongrelized… Continue reading My experience as a dictator
The ongoing contestations, protests and debates in Egypt, Turkey between the people and the leaders is being framed as one of clash of modernity vs. traditionalism. Enough ink has been spilled trying to explain how the Islamists (read those who believe there is space for Islam in the public sphere) are harmful, retrograde and generally… Continue reading Can Turkey, Egypt become “modern?”