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An Open Letter to the Harvard Crimson from the Israeli Students of Harvard


Earlier this month the Harvard Crimson published an editorial endorsing the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel. We, the Israel societies of Harvard College and the Harvard Kennedy School, would like to respond.  It is important to note that we welcome criticism of Israel’s policies and laud anyone, anywhere, who stands up for the […]


Gender Equity at HKS: The Time for Change is Now


In 2019, I arrived at the Harvard Kennedy School after two years working in Indian politics, where I would often have to squint to see another woman around me. I was hopeful that here I would find ways to achieve equal representation. In my first year, however, I had only male professors. Seven of my […]


Why Professor Seglin’s Column Writing Class Goes to Bid Every Year


I am a visiting professor at Dr. B.R Ambedkar University Delhi. I had given up hope that I would find a professor at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) whom I wanted to emulate in my own career. Then I took a class with Professor Jeffrey Seglin. DPI 830B: Column and Op Ed Writing changed my perspective […]


Ask What You Can Do, Harvard Kennedy School


“Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart”. Writing about bureaucracy in 1904, little did German sociologist Max Weber know that his description could extend to the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) in 2022. Next month, hundreds of students will don regalia for their HKS graduations. They will leave Cambridge having been insufficiently prepared by HKS to be […]


Missing the Other Side in Palestine and Israel


Last week, Harvard Law School hosted the event Bearing Witness, during which participants of the Palestine Spring Break Trek (Pal-Trek) reflected on their experiences. The event provided a valuable opportunity to hear from my friends on the trek sharing stories about what they saw and learned. However, it became apparent that Pal-Trek, with its focus […]


Does development have a diversity problem?


To some, this question may seem absurd. The work of development is to improve quality of life and expand economic opportunity across diverse global communities, and graduate programs such as the MPA/ID program at HKS are enormously diverse in national origin, gender, and professional and lived experience. Yet, a 2020 survey of MPA/ID alumni (which […]


Introducing Volume 32


Fifty years ago, James Baldwin penned the following words in No Name in the Street: “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” This year, amidst the weight of continued injustice that the COVID-19 pandemic has both revealed and exacerbated, Baldwin’s words are as […]

Law Banning Marital Rape in India Crucial Amidst Global Instability


India is engaged in a heated debate about whether to make marital rape illegal. Far from criminalizing the act, the section of India’s Penal Code on sexual offenses specifically calls out marital rape as “not rape.” It reads, “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under […]


Making Course Selection Easier at HKS


It was the start of the academic year at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) in August 2021.  Nikoli* – a civil servant from Croatia and a mid-career Master in Public Administration (MCMPA) candidate – was already finding it tough to acclimate to a new country amid the pandemic.  She had to relocate, fulfill the Health Services’ […]


As a realist, I still have hope


Offensive realism, developed by Professor John Mearsheimer at University of Chicago, is the idea that great powers fear each other, and are always looking for opportunities to gain power at the expense of others. They do this to maximize its share of world power, regardless of domestic policy, foreign policy, and ideological differences on both […]


What they didn’t tell you on Israel trek


“I have killed many Arabs in my life, and there’s no problem with that.” “When you [Palestinians] were still climbing trees, we had a Jewish state here.” These are the words of current Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, who 282 of our HKS classmates met with last month as part of the HKS Israel Trek. […]

What I didn’t learn in Israel


The author made updates to this piece on April 18, 2022. The paragraphs added later are identified with an asterisk at the end. The author would like to acknowledge that the timing of publication coincides with the deadly terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv that have killed 13 Israeli civilans as of March 22nd. While this […]

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