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Authoritarian Backlash: Turkey and Venezuela in Comparison

A Discussion with Robert Pearson and Patrick Duddy
September 8th, 2017
12:00 PM


Friday, September 8, 2017

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Forum for Scholars and Publics
Duke West Campus
011 Old Chem

A light lunch will be served.

Former US Ambassadors to Turkey and Venezuela discuss the ongoing political crises in each country, addressing the respective roles of government authority (personified by Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Nicolás Maduro) and civil society. Our panelists will address the constitutional issues at stake and the political and economic consequences of these crises.

Co-sponsored by the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies (CLACS), and the Political Science Department.

Robert Pearson

The Middle East Institute

Ambassador (ret) W. Robert Pearson is a non-resident scholar at The Middle East Institute. He focuses on Turkey with particular emphasis on U.S.-Turkey relations. His areas of interest include Turkey's relations with the EU, with Russia, with Middle Eastern countries, and with Central and East Asia in addition to the United States. Issues of concern encompass political, military, and economic questions of importance. Ambassador Pearson is a retired professional Foreign Service Officer who served as U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 2000 to 2003. He was Director General of the U.S. Foreign Service from 2003 to 2006, repositioning the American Foreign Service to meet the new challenges of the 21st century and winning two national awards for his efforts. In 2008, he became President of IREX, an international development NGO based in Washington, spearheading its expansion to reach more than 125 countries worldwide and to touch the lives of more than 1 million people. He retired after six years at IREX to pursue his additional interests in international affairs. He has published numerous articles, blogs, and opinion pieces on diplomacy, foreign policy, Turkey, NGOs, and development. He is a frequent speaker on issues concerning Turkey, international development, and the role of diplomacy in American engagement abroad.

Patrick Duddy

Duke University

Patrick Duddy, a Visiting Senior Lecturer at Duke University, was one of the Department of State’s most senior Latin American specialists with exceptionally broad experience in trade, energy, public affairs, and crisis management. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for both President Bush and President Obama. Prior to this, Ambassador Duddy served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) for the Western Hemisphere, responsible for the Office of Economic Policy and Summit Coordination, which included the hemispheric energy portfolio, as well for the Offices of Brazil/Southern Cone Affairs and of Caribbean Affairs. During his tenure as DAS, he played a lead role in coordinating U.S. support for the restoration of democracy in Haiti.