David Lesch ’83, Political Science, in the New York Times

David Lesch ’83, political science, reflected this week on the presidency of Bashar al-Assad at a time of hightened unrest in Syria. Lesch suggests that “while Syrians are desperate for leadership, it’s not yet clear what sort of leader Mr. Assad is going to be.” Lesch met Assad in May 2007 and explores, through this New York Times op-ed, the contextual factors that might impact Assad’s choices as he responds to protesters’ demands for change in his country. “No one denies the difficulty of announcing, much less carrying out, serious reforms in a country like Syria,” says Lesch, before lamenting al-Assad’s decision to approach protests with a “conspiratorial mindset” rather than eye to effective change.


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