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    William Milam

    Ambassador William Milam is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC and a former US diplomat who was Ambassador to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Chief of Mission in Liberia.

Author's Posts

  • Bangladesh: Enabling the Future0

    The problem in Bangladesh is primarily that no basis was ever established for an effective two-party system, writes William Milam by William Milam October 18, 2019 “As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” So said the celebrated French pioneer aviator, poet, novelist and journalist Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

  • USA: The Impeachment Gamble0

    Impeachment will not get rid of Trump. The only way is to defeat him in next year’s election, writes William Milam by William Milam October 6, 2019 I have tried faithfully in the past few months to avoid writing about American politics, but the sudden emergence of a serious attempt to impeach President Trump is

  • It ain’t necessarily over in Afghanistan0

    This rupture gives all stakeholders a chance to come together and build a revised peace process around a new structure, writes William Milam by William Milam September 20, 2019 I wrote a fortnight ago about the dangers of negotiating with the Afghan Taliban, in the context of the news that the US and the Taliban

  • The cut-and-run strategy in Afghanistan0

    The Taliban are ready to negotiate. The question is whether they are negotiating in good faith, writes William Milam by William Milam September 6, 2019 It is Monday, September 2, as I write this, the Labour Day holiday in the US. The equivalent holiday in most other countries is May Day, or International Workers Day,

  • Authoritarianism marches on in South Asia2

    India acted similarly to Russia, as the hegemon of South Asia, doing what it wanted to because it could, writes William Milam by William Milam August 25, 2019 I promised friends that I would write more this week about the contradictions and trade-offs involved in governing countries which revere free speech but face internal extremist

  • USA: The enemy within0

    White nationalists have always been present in American life. But what no one expected was that a president would imply sympathy to their cause, writes William Milam The enemy within – The Friday Times by William Milam August 9, 2019 Americans these days seem to be waking up every morning to the news of another

  • Imran Khan goes to Washington0

    If you listen to Khan, corruption is not only the main problem, it is the solution, writes William Milam  by William MilamJuly 26, 2019  Because it centred on corruption, I couldn’t help thinking of the 1939 film Mr Smith Goes to Washington at the beginning of Imran Khan’s public presentation to a friendly audience at the US Institute

  • Democratic Decline: Real or Imagined?0

    by William Milam July 5, 2019 I have written much in the past few months about what academics have been calling “democratic decline” or what more recently some academics have renamed “autocratization.” No matter what one calls it, clearly there are a number of countries which have moved away from a more liberal democratic political

  • The Orwellian Future is Now0

    The Orwellian Future is Now – The Friday Times Orwell seems to have foreseen the constants of our global and national life in the second decade of the 21st century, writes William Milam by William Milam June 14, 2019 Last week we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 D-Day landings on the

  • Now the days are dragon ridden, the nightmare rides upon sleep0

    William Milam on the implications of Narendra Modi’s decisive electoral win on South Asia by William Milam May 31, 2019 In some ways, it seems to me, the world has turned in the last few weeks from just topsy-turvy, meaning unpredictable and worrisomely unstable, to downright scary. Yeats’s words in his poem about the 1919-1921

  • The wages of censorship0

    Self-censorship is not uncommon in today’s world, but it is usually the result of threat by a government, writes William Milam by William MilamMay 17, 2019 in News & Analysis, Comment 0Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Earlier this week I attended a lecture by the eminent American historian of early American culture, Joanne Freeman of

  • Democracy to Autocracy: Bangladesh in Context0

    The old BNP cannot be part of the new opposition. It needs to cut away the baggage of its mistakes and its toxic parts, writes William Milam by William Milam April 19, 2019 I received another interesting academic article on the retreat of democracy a few days ago. It is co-authored by two scholars, one

  • Bangladesh; Back to BAKSAL?0

    Bangladesh has clearly crossed the midline on the continuum between full democracy and closed autocracy, writes William Milam by William Milam April 5, 2019 According to a report carried in a Bangladeshi news service, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ruminated about Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL) in an address at an award ceremony on March

  • Autocratization: Is Bangladesh ahead or behind schedule?0

    Where there are waves, there must be retreats, writes William Milam by William MilamMarch 22, 2019 Two Swedish political scientists have just published a fascinating study of the continuing growth of authoritarianism, which seems to have been renamed “autocratization.” Google defines autocratization as the reverse of democratization, i.e. going from a democratic political system or


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