portrait of Ziyaad Bhorat

Ziyaad Bhorat is a South African political theorist and concurrent 2022 – 2023 USC Berggruen Fellow with the Berggruen Institute and USC’s Dornsife Center for Science, Technology, and Public Life. He studies automated technologies and democratic governance, drawing insights from the history of political thought.

His interdisciplinary work examines automation as both i) a transformational development in human technological history and ii) an underexamined precondition for advanced technologies like AI. His research projects will focus on, inter alia, the classical foundations and relevant policy implications of challenges to democracy like digital authoritarianism.

Ziyaad’s work has been published in academic and general audience outlets across the US, UK, and South Africa, on topics ranging from Aristotle to AI judges. His Ph.D. (Political Science) was awarded from UCLA in 2022, where he also received his M.A (Political Science). He also holds an M.B.A., and an M.Sc. (African Studies) from the University of Oxford, studying there as a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.Bus.Sci. (Economics with Law) from the University of Cape Town. He has been a visiting scholar at the CNRS in Paris, and is a faculty lecturer on technology and politics for EquiTech Futures. He has moreover worked in the media and telecoms industries, consulting for companies like The Walt Disney Co.

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