Faculty in the Media: Fewsmith on China, Woldemariam on Ethiopia, Keylor on Ukraine

July 30, 2014

A number of faculty members of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University were in demand by the media on their many areas of expertise in recent days.

In a news story in Bloomberg News (July 30, 2014) on how Chinese President Xi Jinping is asserting strong control over all aspects of domestic governance, Prof. Joseph Fewsmith of the BU Pardee School—and a leading expert of domestic politics and power elites in China—is quoted, explaining the implications of the recent crackdown on former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang:

“At least in the reform era, no other member of the Standing Committee has been attacked for corruption… The fear has always been that if factional infighting is taken to the Standing Committee level, then it might deepen rifts and make maintaining the appearance of unity more difficult.”

Prof. Fewsmith also points out that the handling of the situation shows that “everybody has now signed off on the handling of Zhou’s case,” and that this demonstrates the strong hold President Xi now has on power in China.

Earlier this week, in a feature story on AlJazeera News (July 29, 2014), Prof. Michael Woldemariam of the BU Pardee School commented on the rise of Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia:

“The recent Oromo protests and the new online activism is significant, mostly because it represents a fresh, much younger generation of Oromo nationalists, and signals that Oromo nationalism is durable politically.”

The news report went on to say:

Recent government arrests of opposition politicians and bloggers suggest that will be difficult, said Woldemariam. “The existence of armed Oromo opposition makes the task of the non-violent opposition who participate in the electoral process a lot more difficult,” he said.

Earlier still, Prof. William R. Keylor of the BU Pardee School was a guest on Fox News TV affiliate WFXT (July 17, 2014) discussing the downing of the Malaysian airliner MH17 over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

Video of what Prof. Keylor had to say, here.

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