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Understanding Pakistan’s politics, extremism, and foreign policy

March 5, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This public lecture will address the current state of Pakistan, its society, domestic politics, and foreign policy. All are welcome and encouraged to bring questions!

Speaker: Dr. Madiha Afzal

Dr. Madiha Afzal is the David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Dr. Afzal is the author of Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State”(2018).

She has also written for publications including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, Lawfare, and Dawn, and published several journal articles, book chapters, policy reports, and essays. She is regularly interviewed by media outlets including BBC, NPR, and PBS. In addition, she has consulted for international organizations including the World Bank and UK’s Department for International Development.

For her writing on education in Pakistan, Dr. Afzal was named to Lo Spazio della Politica’s list of “Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013.” She previously worked as an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. Afzal holds a PhD in economics from Yale University.

Signed copies of Dr. Afzal’s book will be available for purchase at a greatly discounted price of $25 after the program!

About the book:

Over the last fifteen years, Pakistan has come to be defined exclusively in terms of its struggle with terror. But are ordinary Pakistanis extremists? And what explains how Pakistanis think?

Read more…



“Afzal’s multi-layered approach to explaining Pakistan makes it sound like a normal country—almost. The book details the rise of religious extremism and explains how the state has been both complicit in extremist violence and victimized by it. . . . Afzal’s book offers a useful survey of the many pressures—cultural, religious, economic—that add to social and political instability in Pakistan.”
—Mohammed Hanif, Foreign Affairs









5:00 PM:  Registration and Cash Bar opens

5:45 PM: Program begins

6:30 PM: Q&A

7:00 PM: Book-Signing


Parking options at the Jefferson Hotel include street-side parking, valet parking, or self-parking at the Jefferson’s Main Lot, where a discounted rate of $4 is available. Find parking instructions for the Main Lot here.


Online registration has closed. A limited number of tickets is available at the door as well.


Date: March 5, 2020
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Venue Name: The Jefferson Hotel (Empire Room)
Address: 101 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23220 United States


Organizer Name: Richmond World Affairs Council