Democracy Institute sponsors talk by Middle East and democracy expert

Juan Cole, an expert on the Middle East and democracy and blogger at Informed Comment, will give a talk, “The Arab Spring, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Prospects for Democracy in the Middle East” as part of the Penn State’s Democracy Institute’s lecture series. The talk will be held at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on Penn State’s University Park campus. Co-sponsored by University Libraries, the event is free and open to the public.

He will discuss the ongoing developments throughout the Muslim world by placing the Arab Spring and the West in historical context while also showing the best way forward to peace, prosperity and democratic development. An extended question and answer session will follow the talk.

Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan and  author of "Engaging the Muslim World and Napoleon's Egypt." His latest book is "The New Arabs: How the Wired and Global Youth of the Middle East is Transforming It."

He has been a regular guest on PBS’s "News Hour" and also has appeared on "ABC Nightly News," "Nightline," the "TODAY" Show, "Charlie Rose," "Anderson Cooper 360," "Rachel Maddow," "Colbert Report," "Democracy Now!," "Aljazeera America" and many others. He has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Iraq, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Syria, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs. Cole has a regular column on For more information, visit

Based in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State, the Democracy Institute brings together the top faculty and graduate students in several disciplines to develop knowledge and training that will provide legislators, policymakers, voters, and the public with better ways to improve debate, discussions, and governing both domestically and globally. Through teaching, creative research projects, and public programs, the Democracy Institute will explore better routes to deciding controversial issues, like healthcare and environmental regulation, and address how government can become more responsive to the people.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015