Ethnic Polarization and Power Sharing

Event Summary

Professor Donald Horowitz, one of the world’s leading scholars on accommodating ethnic diversity, delivered a masterclass seminar hosted by UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. During this seminar, Professor Horowitz introduced and examined the institutional and policy remedies that have been recommended to tackle problems of ethnic divides. Horowitz brought in cases from Africa, East and Southeast Asia. Professor Horowitz shared that many of the remedies were either not implemented or did not achieve their intended effect for a whole host of reasons, such as issues of fairness, free-riding, risk aversion, credibility commitments and the failure of memory. 

The lively and thought-provoking seminar was followed by an exciting Q&A session. Professor Horowitz fielded questions on the democratic commitment of political participants, while Dr. Kai Ostwald asked how the new Pakatan Harapan government in Malaysia can push for reform in the face of an increasingly radical ethno-religious opposition.