Panel Discussion at Allegheny College To Focus on Oppressed Minority Groups and Electoral Politics

Nov. 13, 2014 – A panel of experts will bring an international perspective to the issue of oppressed minority groups and electoral politics at noon on Thursday, Nov. 20, in the Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center at Allegheny College. The event, “Religious Minorities, Voting Rights and Democratic Participation in South Asia,” is part of the college’s Year of Voting Rights and Democratic Participation.

The discussion will focus on how the recent general election in India, the world’s largest democracy, and recent agitations in South Asia have affected religious minorities.

Panelists include Philip Oldenburg, who has taught political science at Columbia University since 1977 and has served as director of Columbia’s South Asia Institute. His published scholarly work focuses mainly on Indian politics, particularly local government and elections. His current research and writing project has the working title of “The Indian Politician.”

Joining Oldenburg on the panel will be Neil DeVotta, an associate professor in politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University. His research interests include South Asian security and politics, ethnicity and nationalism, ethnic conflict resolution, and democratic transition and consolidation. His current work focuses on democratic regression and authoritarianism.

Sadia Saeed, a visiting lecturer at the Department of Sociology at Boston University, will also join the panel. She is a political sociologist with research and teaching interests in religion, law, nationalism and minority relations. Saeed is currently working on a book manuscript on how issues pertaining to religious difference have been debated and institutionalized in Pakistan.

More information on Year of Voting Rights and Democratic Participation events at Allegheny College can be found at