Dr. Ahmet Kuru, director of the Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies and professor of political science at San Diego State University, will address the problems of authoritarianism and underdevelopment faced in many Muslim-majority countries during a lecture on Thursday, Sept. 28, at noon in Niagara University’s Gallagher Center. The event is open to the public.

The lecture, “Historical Golden Age and Contemporary Underdevelopment in the Muslim World,” is organized by Niagara’s Middle Eastern and Islamic studies program and sponsored by the Academic Innovation Fund and the Niagara Vincentian Center for Justice. It is being presented as part of the university’s Vincentian Heritage Week activities, an annual observation of NU’s rich history of education and service in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul.

Referring to his award-winning book, “Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison,” Dr. Kuru will explain how Muslims achieved a golden age of philosophy and economy between the eighth and 11th centuries, and the ways in which the alliance between religious and political authorities, or the ulema-state alliance, has hindered democracy and development in the contemporary Muslim world. He will also provide some recommendations for solving these problems.

Dr. Kuru is also the author of “Secularism and State Policies toward Religion: The United States, France, and Turkey.”