"Diverse Afghanistan" Symposium with Dr. Omar Sadr and Dr. Margaret Mills will be held in Hagerty Hall Room 159 on March 27th from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.
This book analyses the problematique of governance and administration of cultural diversity within the modern state of Afghanistan and traces patterns of national integration. It explores state construction in twentieth-century Afghanistan and Afghan nationalism, and explains the shifts in the state’s policies and societal responses to different forms of governance of cultural diversity. The book problematizes liberalism, communitarianism, and multiculturalism as approaches to governance of diversity within the nation-state. It suggests that while the western models of multiculturalism have recognized the need to accommodate different cultures, they failed to engage with them through intercultural dialogue. It also elaborates the challenge of intra-group diversity and the problem of accommodating individual choice and freedom while recognising group rights and adoption of multiculturalism. The book develops an alternative approach through synthesising critical multiculturalism and interculturalism as a framework on a democratic and inclusive approach to governance of diversity.
Dr. Omar Sadr is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Governance and Markets (CGM) at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously, he worked as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in 2021, as a Researcher at the Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) in 2018 and National Centre for Policy Research (NCPR), Kabul University in 2011. His primary research interests include pluralism, democratic governance, as well as the Middle East. He has been an advocate of political reform, constitutionalism, and pluralism in Afghanistan. Dr. Sadr holds a Ph.D. (2018) and an MA (2013) from South Asian University (SAU), a university established by the SAARC nations. Dr. Sadr is the author of numerous books, chapters, papers, and articles. His most recent book, Negotiating Cultural Diversity in Afghanistan, published by Routledge in London examines the problematique of multiculturalism in Afghanistan. His work has appeared in venues such as Fair Observer, The Atlantic Council and The National Interest. He also appears regularly on BBC Persian, Afghanistan International, and ToloNews (three prominent Persian TVs). He founded the Negotiating Ideas Podcast where he discusses political ideas on peace, democracy, and pluralism.
Dr Sadr has received numerous fellowships including MESA Global Academy Fellowship at the Middle East Studies Association in Washington, the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) Fellowship at the Institute of International Education (IIE), and CAMCA fellowship at the Rumsfeld Foundation and Central Asia-Caucasus Institute. He is also a member of The New University in Exile Consortium at The New School in New York.
Dr. Margaret Mills came to OSU in 1998 from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was Chair of the Department of Folkore and Folklife. She is widely regarded as a leading specialist in the popular culture of the Persian-speaking world.Her book, Rhetorics and Politics in Afghan Traditional Storytelling, won the 1993 Chicago Folklore Prize for best academic work in folklore. She is the author or co-editor of four additional books, with two others in preparation, as well as numerous other publications. Dr. Mills served as the Chair of the Department of NELC.