Faculty Publications: Sacred Aid and Worldviews of Aspiring Powers

September 28, 2012

Sacred Aid: Faith and Humanitarianism

book cover: Sacred Aid

In Sacred Aid, GW University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science Michael Barnett and co-editor Janice Stein explore the impact of the global humanitarian movement, which originated within Western religious organizations in the early nineteenth century and, according to Professors Barnett and Stein, has been of most important forces in world politics in advancing both human rights and human welfare.

From church-sponsored AIDS prevention campaigns in Africa to Muslim charity efforts in flood-stricken Pakistan to Hindu charities in India, the book examines how religious groups have altered the character of the global humanitarian movement. In Sacred Aid, Professors Barnett and Stein have gathered chapters from leading scholars that focus on the relationship between secularism and religion in contemporary humanitarianism throughout the developing world. Collectively, the chapters in this volume comprise an original and authoritative account of the ways in which religion has reshaped the global humanitarian movement in recent times.

"This volume is a timely response to the challenge of how to think and write about the politics of humanitarianism after the critique of secularism. These essays take us deep inside a diverse series of projects, actors and associations that intervene in the lives of individuals and communities around the world in the name of convictions and commitments both secular and religious. Sacred Aid sets a high bar for a new research agenda on these influential actors and processes, and the political and religious worlds that they create."
– Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Associate Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University


Worldviews of Aspiring Powers: Domestic Foreign Policy Debates in China, India, Iran, Japan, and Russia

In their new book, Worldviews of Aspiring Powers, GW Professors Henry R. Nau and Deepa Ollapally assemble a series of essays that promote the serious study of the domestic foreign policy debates in five emerging world powers — China, Japan, India, Russia, and Iran. Featuring a leading regional scholar for each essay, the authors identify the most important domestic schools of thought for each country — nationalist, realist, globalist, idealist/exceptionalist — and connect them to the historical and institutional sources that fuel each nation's foreign policy experience. While scholars have applied this approach to U.S. foreign policy, this book is the first to track the competing schools of thought within five of the world's most important rising powers.

book cover: Worldviews of Aspiring Powers

This book draws on the work of the first phase of a current project at the Elliott School's Sigur Center for Asian Studies. By understanding how major and aspiring powers think about their own national security, international economic policymaking, identity and power, and the role of the United States in the world, this project will illuminate the implications for U.S. global leadership in the 21st century. The first phase of the Worldviews project, which was completed in 2011, focused on identifying and tracking the internal foreign policy debates in the five target countries. The second phase aims to apply the already-developed framework by exposing these countries' domestic debates to a Washington audience, looking specifically at how issues related energy, maritime security and nuclear power fit into their internal foreign policy frameworks. The Worldviews of Aspiring Powers project is supported by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Concise and systematic, Worldviews of Aspiring Powers will serve as both an essential resource for foreign policy scholars trying to understand international power transitions and as a text for courses that focus on the same.