Wintersession 2019

Challenges to Democracy: Authoritarianism and Future Technologies

The theme of Wintersession 2019 explores the complex factors and challenges impinging on democracy in today’s environment.  Important questions to be explored include: What is the influence, role and responsibility of the press in an age of populism? How is technology used in authoritarian regimes and in what ways does it counter democratic principles? How might global humanitarian crises be assessed and addressed in today’s environment with the aid of technology and international collaboration? What is appropriate development and use of artificial intelligence and what are the societal implications and tradeoffs? 

During the first two weeks of Wintersession, the Albright Fellows will attend classes with prominent speakers, including Wellesley faculty, alumnae practitioners, and thought leaders from outside organizations and around the globe. The Fellows will work in interdisciplinary groups to research and form perspectives on pressing international issues, culminating in presentations to the Institute’s Distinguished Visitor at the end of Wintersession. The eight topical issues of the 2019 Wintersession are:

  • The Authoritarian Challenge to the European Union
  • The Legacy of the Arab Spring in Egypt
  • Tech Policy in the Chinese Market
  • Political Violence in South Africa
  • Erasure of Rohingya Cultural Identity and Narratives in Myanmar
  • Democratizing Access to Antimalarial Medication
  • Climate Change Lawsuits by Youth Against Australia
  • Populist Authoritarianism in Brazil

Ambassador Samantha Power, the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School, will join the Albright Institute Wintersession as our Distinguished Visitor and will provide feedback to Fellows on their group projects. From 2013 to 2017 Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet.

All Wintersessions