Are Dictators Getting Smarter? The Battle Between Dictatorship and Democracy

WDobson-6d045c78William J. Dobson is the politics & foreign affairs editor for Slate. Previously, he served as the managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine. Under his editorial direction, the magazine was nominated for the National Magazine Award five years in a row–the only publication of its size to be nominated for five consecutive years–and in 2007 and 2009, Foreign Policy won the overall award for General Excellence. Earlier in his career, Mr. Dobson served as Newsweek International‘s Senior Editor for Asia and as Associate Editor at Foreign Affairs.

During the height of the Arab Spring, the Washington Post editorial page commissioned Mr. Dobson to write daily on modern authoritarianism. While in Cairo, Mr. Dobson reported the first account of the Egyptian military conducting torture of female protestors from Tahrir Square.

Mr. Dobson is the author of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy. Mr. Dobson’s first book, it was selected as one of the “best books of 2012” by Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, The Sunday Telegraph, and Prospect magazine. The New York Times called it “intelligent and absorbing” and wrote, “Mr. Dobson’s book, with luck, will find its way into the hands of people who aspire to be free.”

Mr. Dobson has published widely on international politics. His articles and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Newsweek, and elsewhere. He has provided commentary and analysis on international politics for ABC, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, PBS, and NPR.

From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Dobson was a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 2006, Mr. Dobson was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He has been recognized and awarded honors by a number of international foundations, including the Salzburg Global Seminar, the East-West Center, the Knight Foundation, the Council for the United States and Italy, and the Singapore International Foundation. He has received fellowships from Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University. Mr. Dobson is a 1994 Truman Scholar.

Mr. Dobson holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Masters degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University. He received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Middlebury College. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children.

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TOPIC:  “Are Dictators Getting Smarter? The Battle Between Dictatorship and Democracy”

RECORDED: Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 at the Hilton Anchorage

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