College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

2013 Conference on Governance


7th Annual Conference for Governance



Speakers representing different institutions and regions of the world will deliberate this year's theme: "Why Democracy?" 

OBJECTIVE: Speakers will provide expert insight on various facets about democracy's strengths and weaknesses. International relations students and audience members will debate the issue through session discussions. Example questions MAY include:

  • Is democracy the most desirable form of government? Why?
  • How democratic is policy-making during periods of economic crisis?
  • Do authoritarian countries such as China challenge the assumption that democracy is the best form of government by suggesting that authoritarian regimes are better at creating economic growth?
  • Can terrorist organizations that promote violence one day really become democratic the next? If so, how?
  • Does gender really make a difference? As more women enter politics, will the political system change?
  • Can women’s under-representation in politics be explained because of voter bias?
  • Where does media play a role in democracy or the success of a nation?
  • Are democratic nations less likely to go to war? Why?


  • First, students will be exposed to the many current international relation’s issues/views. While being outside a traditional classroom, students will have the opportunity to obtain expert insight (via presentations).
  • Second, students and audience members will participate in moderated discussions post-presentations. Controversial questions about democracy will be debated, to foster a true understanding.
  • Lastly, students will be able to obtain ideas about different career paths in the field of international relations. Speakers will include ambassadors, military leaders, policy makers, professors, and other scholars. This should aid in future career/academic decision-making. 


Conference Schedule

8:00 am Doors open
9:00 - 11:00am First session
11:15 - 12:45pm Lunch
1:00 - 3:00pm Second session
3:00- 3:15 Break (if second session does not run over)
3:30- 5:30pm Third session



Overseeing Professor - Dr. Eric Shiraev

Head Chair - Jennifer Cookson

Committee Members: Karina Arango, Sam Hughes, Wayne Bertino, Mary Kazarian, Patrick Greenwalt, Marisa Rieger, Stephanie Cassidy, Adam M. Hamza, Codie Hammond, Michael Essiaw, Sauad Alsaleh, Alzahraa MIrza, Leena Halabi, Zi Yang,
Krystal Hintz, Isabelle Pollack 


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