2012 Books

January 01, 2012



book cover: Conflicts and Wars

Hossein Askari, Iran Professor of International Business and International Affairs

Conflicts and Wars: Their Fallout and Prevention. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

What are the costs of wars and conflicts – and why do governments of nation states continue to incur them? Using detailed examples drawn from recent conflicts in the Persian Gulf, Conflicts and Wars explains how the price of aggression is low enough that governments do not avoid conflicts, examines many dimensions of costs incurred by warfare, and proposes a private sector solution to warfare's low cost.

 


book cover: Sacred aid

Michael Barnett, University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science

Sacred Aid: Faith and Humanitarianism. Michael Barnett and Janice Stein. eds. Oxford University Press, 2012.

The global humanitarian movement, which originated within Western religious organizations in the early nineteenth century, has been of most important forces in world politics in advancing both human rights and human welfare. While the religious groups that founded the movement originally focused on conversion, in time more secular concerns came to dominate. By the end of the nineteenth century, increasingly professionalized yet nominally religious organization shifted from reliance on the good book to the public health manual. Over the course of the twentieth century, the secularization of humanitarianism only increased, and by the 1970s the movement's religious inspiration, generally speaking, was marginal to its agenda. However, beginning in the 1980s, religiously inspired humanitarian movements experienced a major revival, and today they are virtual equals of their secular brethren.

From church-sponsored AIDS prevention campaigns in Africa to Muslim charity efforts in flood-stricken Pakistan to Hindu charities in India, religious groups have altered the character of the global humanitarian movement. Moreover, even secular groups now gesture toward religious inspiration in their work. Clearly, the broad, inexorable march toward secularism predicted by so many Westerners has halted, which is especially intriguing with regard to humanitarianism. Not only was it a highly secularized movement just forty years ago, but its principles were based on those we associate with "rational" modernity: cosmopolitan one-worldism and material (as opposed to spiritual) progress. How and why did this happen, and what does it mean for humanitarianism writ large? That is the question that the eminent scholars Michael Barnett and Janice Stein pose in Sacred Aid, and for answers they 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 religion has reshaped the global humanitarian movement in recent times.

 


book cover: When Victory is Not an Option

Nathan J. Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

When Victory Is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics. Cornell University Press, 2012.

Throughout the Arab world, Islamist political movements are joining the electoral process. This change alarms some observers and excites other. In recent years, electoral opportunities have opened, and Islamist movements have seized them. But those opportunities, while real, have also been sharply circumscribed. Elections may be freer, but they are not fair. The opposition can run but it generally cannot win. Semiauthoritarian conditions prevail in much of the Arab world, even in the wake of the Arab Spring. How do Islamist movements change when they plunge into freer but unfair elections? How do their organizations (such as the Muslim Brotherhood) and structures evolve? What happens to their core ideological principles? And how might their increased involvement affect the political system?

In When Victory Is Not an Option, Nathan J. Brown addresses these questions by focusing on Islamist movements in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Palestine. He shows that uncertain benefits lead to uncertain changes. Islamists do adapt their organizations and their ideologies do bend — some. But leaders almost always preserve a line of retreat in case the political opening fizzles or fails to deliver what they wish. The result is a cat-and-mouse game between dominant regimes and wily movements. There are possibilities for more significant changes, but to date they remain only possibilities.

 

book cover: Contemporary World Regional Geography

Elizabeth Chacko, Associate Professor of Geography and International Affairs; Chair, Department of Geography

Contemporary World Regional Geography, 4th edition. George White, Joseph Dymond, Elizabeth Chacko, and Michael Bradshaw. (McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2012).

World Regional Geography is an exciting science that encompasses a wealth of information regarding geographical landscapes, cultural traditions, population patterns and economic resources. Contemporary World Regional Geography, 4e provides a current, balanced geographical study of world issues through analysis of ten world regions and the countries in each. The authors integrate the themes of "global connections" and "local voices" and utilize a consistent structure within each chapter. Each chapter is organized to begin with environmental issues of the region followed by historical geography, which lead into the sections on the modern global era. The latter part of each chapter continues to be devoted to subregional subdivisions.

 

book cover: Recent Developments In The Economics Of International Migration

Barry R. Chiswick, Professor of International Affairs and Economics

Recent Developments In The Economics Of International Migration, Barry R. Chiswick , Paul W. Miller, eds. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012.

 

book cover: Scandal and Silence

Robert M. Entman, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs

Scandal and Silence: Media Responses to Presidential Misconduct, Polity, 2012.

This timely and engaging book challenges the conventional wisdom on media and scandal in the United States. The common view holds that media crave and actively pursue scandals whenever they sense corruption. Scandal and Silence argues for a different perspective. Using case studies from the period 1988-2008, it shows that:

  • Media neglect most corruption, providing too little, not too much scandal coverage;
  • Scandals arise from rational, controlled processes, not emotional frenzies – and when scandals happen, it's not the media but governments and political parties that drive the process and any excesses that might occur;
  • Significant scandals are indeed difficult for news organizations to initiate and harder for them to maintain and bring to appropriate closure;
  • For these reasons cover-ups and lying often work, and truth remains essentially unrecorded, unremembered.

Sometimes, bad behavior stimulates an avalanche of media attention with demonstrable political consequences, yet other times, equally shoddy activity receives little notice. This book advances a theoretical model to explain these differences, revealing an underlying logic to what might seem arbitrary and capricious journalism. Through case studies of the draft and military scandals involving Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and John Kerry; alleged sexual misconduct of politicians including but not limited to Clinton; and questionable financial dealings of Clinton and George W Bush, the book builds a new understanding of media scandals which will be essential reading for anyone concerned with the relationship between media and democracy today.

 

book cover: Hot Spots

Amitai Etzioni, University Professor and Professor of International Affairs

Hot Spots: American Foreign Policy in a Post-Human-Rights World, Transaction Publishers, 2012.

There are important reasons for the distinct yet significant course adjustments in American and Western foreign policy, which is currently focused on the Middle Eastern and Chinese "hot spots." In early 2012, the United States "pivoted" to make the Far East its military and strategic first priority, thereby downgrading the Middle East. This change in priorities has been accompanied by a curtailed military budget and the end of the two-war doctrine.

Amitai Etzioni argues that pivoting towards the Far East is premature and flawed in principle. China can and should be treated for the near future as a potential partner in a changing global order, rather than contained and made into an enemy. At the same time, he argues, the true hot spots continue to be in the Middle East, albeit not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in Iran and Pakistan. Less urgent but of great importance are the ways the West deals with a complex and varied Muslim world, with political Islamic parties and social movements, and with future waves of Arab awaking. Here the distinction between security and nation building becomes essential for both normative and strategic reasons.

Etzioni expects that we will see few armed humanitarian interventions of the kind we witnessed in 2011 in Libya. To this end, he examines policies that threaten and favor the promotion of human rights. This timely book is written with Etzioni's customary deep appreciation for important issues.

 

book cover: The Company We Keep

David Alan Grier, Associate Professor of International Science and Technology Policy and International Affairs

The Company We Keep, IEEE Computer Society, 2012.

In his new book, David Alan Grier tells the stories that technical papers omit. Moving beyond the stereotypes of nerds and social misfits, The Company We Keep explores the community of people who build, use, and govern modern computing technology. The essays are both insightful and intimate, showing the impact of technology and the human character behind it. This book examines the development of digital technology by describing how this technology affects the communities that build, adapt, govern, and dispose of it.

Centering on Washington, DC, many of the essays use Washington not only as an example of a community but also as a metaphor for how computing technology has connected individuals more closely and more firmly to the centers of political power, economic power, social power, and cultural power. Based on the author's popular column "The Known World" in Computer magazine.

 

book cover: Intermediate Japanese

Shoko Hamano, Professor of Japanese and International Affairs

Intermediate Japanese: A Grammar Workbook. Takae Tsujioka, Shoko Hamano. Routledge, 2012.

Intermediate Japanese is designed for learners who have achieved a basic proficiency and wish to progress to more complex language. Each unit combines clear, concise grammar explanations with examples and exercises to help build confidence and fluency.

The book is divided into two parts. Part One outlines fundamental components of Japanese including particles, question words, verb types and tense while Part Two builds on this foundation by introducing grammatical patterns organised by the task they achieve.

Intermediate Japanese reviews the principal elements presented in its sister volume, Basic Japanese, and introduces more complicated structures. Suitable for both classroom use and the independent learner, the two books form a compendium of the essentials of Japanese grammar.

 

book cover: Marigold

James G. Hershberg, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs

Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam. Stanford Univ. Pr. and Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2012.

Marigold presents the first rigorously documented, in-depth story of one of the Vietnam War's last great mysteries: the secret Polish-Italian peace initiative, codenamed "Marigold," that sought to end the war, or at least to open direct talks between Washington and Hanoi, in 1966. The initiative failed, the war dragged on for another seven years, and this episode sank into history as an unresolved controversy. Antiwar critics claimed Johnson had bungled (or, worse, deliberately sabotaged) a breakthrough by bombing Hanoi on the eve of a planned historic secret US-North Vietnamese encounter in Warsaw. Conversely, LBJ and top aides angrily insisted there was no "missed opportunity," Poland never had authority to arrange direct talks, and Hanoi was not ready to negotiate. Conventional wisdom echoes the view that Washington and Hanoi were so dug in that no real opportunity existed. This book uses new evidence from long hidden communist sources to show that Warsaw was authorized by Hanoi to open direct contacts and that Hanoi had committed to entering talks with Washington. It reveals LBJ's personal role in bombing Hanoi at a pivotal moment, disregarding the pleas of both the Poles and his own senior advisors. The historical implications of missing this opportunity are immense: Washington did not enter negotiations with Hanoi until more than two years and many thousands of lives later, and then in far less auspicious circumstances.

 

book cover:World Literature and World Theatre

Alexander Huang, Associate Professor of English, International Affairs, Theatre, and East Asian Languages and Literatures

Weltliteratur und Welttheater: Ästhetischer Humanismus in der kulturellen Globalisierung [World Literature and World Theatre: Aesthetic Humanism in Cultural Globalization], Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag, 2012.

Aesthetic humanism — as a secular investment in shared cultural values — counters various practices of subjugation such as colonialism and cultural imperialism that have dominated the recent historical record of globalization. This is notable in the translation and adaptation of Shakespearean comedies and sonnets, and the satirical and humorous narratives of Lu Xun, Mo Yan (2012 Nobel laureate), Gao Xingjian (2000 Nobel laureate), and other writers. This is the case because aesthetic humanism promotes multiple perspectives on the continuously unfolding revolution of modernity.

 

Zachary D. Kaufman, Professorial Lecturer

Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities: Changing Our World, Zachary K. Kaufman, Ed. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012.

The authors in this book address the clear need for further examination of social entrepreneurship. They discuss the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities of the field and lend new insight to the concept, history, and methodologies of social entrepreneurship. The book profiles case studies based on some of the most innovative and effective social enterprises addressing atrocities, including the National Vision for Sierra Leone, Asylum Access, the Kigali Public Library, Indego Africa, Generation Rwanda, Orphans Against AIDS, Americans for Informed Democracy, and Children of Abraham. Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities will inform, instruct, and build the community of social entrepreneurs.

This unique, essential collection of first-hand accounts is an inspiring and informative addition to the evolving social entrepreneurship literature. It will be of particular interest to social entrepreneurs; students, scholars, and practitioners of business, management, public policy, social policy, and development studies; anyone with a philanthropic mindset; and all those who are invested in creating and maintaining a socially responsible, accountable world.

 

book cover: Transatlantic Relations in the 21st Century

Erwan Lagadec, Adjunct Professor of International Affairs

Transatlantic Relations in the 21st Century: Europe, America and the rise of the rest. Routledge, 2012

This book offers an overview of the interface between European integration, transatlantic relations, and the 'rise of the rest' in the early 21st century.

The collapse of the Soviet bloc opened up an era in which the drivers and perceived benefits of the US alliance among European countries have become more variegated and shifting. The proposition that the US remains at once an 'indispensable' and 'intolerable' nation in Europe is a key concept in the alliance, as the US remains inextricably tied to the continent through economic, military and cultural links.

This work examines this complex subject area from many angles, including an analysis of the historical and cultural contexts of America's relations with Europe, as well as a discussion of the politics of transatlantic affairs which utilises evidence gleaned from a series of case-studies. In the concluding chapters, the author assesses the likelihood that the West can entrench its global dominance in the realms of "soft" and "hard" power, and by effecting a "controlled reform" that will see multilateral structures open up to emerging powers.

This book will be of great interest to students of European Politics, EU integration, transatlantic relations, US foreign policy/diplomacy, International Security and IR in general.

 


book cover: The Chinese Question in Central Asia

Marlene Laruelle, Research Professor of International Affairs

Sébastien Peyrouse, Research Professsor of International Affairs

The Chinese Question in Central Asia: Domestic Order, Social Change, and The Chinese Factor, Columbia University Press, 2012.

Since the early 2000s, the People's Republic of China has become a key player in the fortunes of Central Asia, particularly by partnering with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Economically, China is one of the largest traders and investors in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, drastically reducing Russia's long-time dominance and the influence of the United States and Europe. Confronting the external conditions contributing to this rise, along with the domestic developments transforming Central Asia into such fertile territory, this volume takes a rare look at contemporary change in Central Asia and China's role in the region's current remaking. This book opens a window onto these developments and their implications in domestic and global spheres.

 


book cover: The Arab Uprising

Marc Lynch, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East. PublicAffairs, 2012.

The Middle East today is undergoing one of the most fundamental changes in its modern history: the empowerment of a new generation of Arabs who reject the world they inherited. In The Arab Uprising, the director of George Washington University's Institute for Middle East Studies maintains that the revolutions that have so far brought down the governments of Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya are only the beginning. It is far too soon to know whether these events will produce new democracies or something else entirely. Whatever happens, America must now come to grips with a region where public opinion actually matters, perhaps for the first time in the region's history.

Informed by inside access to the Obama administration's decision-making process and a wealth of knowledge about youth activists and Islamists alike, The Arab Uprising is a necessary guide to the changing lay of the land in the Middle East and North Africa.

 

book cover: Cultural Anthropology

Barbara Miller, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs

Cultural Anthropology in a Globalizing World, 3rd Edition. Pearson, 2012.

Successfully integrating attention to globalization, gender, class, race and ethnicity, and the environment,this text engages students with compelling ethnographic examples and by demonstrating the relevance of anthropology. Faculty and students praise the book's proven ability to generate class discussion, increase faculty-student engagement, and enhance student learning.

This book, based on Miller's full-length Cultural Anthropology text, will generate class discussion, increase faculty-student engagement, and enhance student learning. Material throughout the book highlights the relevance of anthropology to students and how they can apply in their careers. By entwining attention to key theories for understanding culture with an emphasis on relevance of anthropological knowledge and skills, this text is an ideal choice for introductory cultural anthropology courses.

 

book cover: Worldviews of Aspiring Powers

Henry R. Nau, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Research Professor of International Affairs

Worldviews of Aspiring Powers: Domestic Foreign Policy Debates in China, India, Iran, Japan, and Russia. Henry R. Nau and Deepa M. Ollapally, Eds. Oxford University Press, 2012.

Worldviews of Aspiring Powers provides a serious study of the domestic foreign policy debates in five world powers who have gained more influence as the U.S.'s has waned: China, Japan, India, Russia and Iran. Featuring a leading regional scholar for each essay, each essay identifies the most important domestic schools of thought — nationalists, realists, globalists, idealists/exceptionalists — and connects 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 foreign policy thought within five of the world's most important rising powers. 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.

 

book cover: Tangled Titans

David Shambaugh, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs; Director, China Policy Program

Tangled Titans: The United States and China, David Shambaugh, ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

Tangled Titans offers a current and comprehensive assessment of the most important relationship in international affairs — that between the United States and China. How the relationship evolves will have a defining impact on the future of world politics, the Asian region, and the citizens of many nations. In this definitive book, leading experts provide an in-depth exploration of the historical, domestic, bilateral, regional, global, and future contexts of this complex relationship. The contributors argue that the relationship is a unique combination of deep interdependence, limited cooperation, and increasing competition. Never in modern history have two great powers been so deeply intertwined — yet so suspicious and potentially antagonistic toward each other. Exploring this cooperative and competitive dynamic, the contributors offer a wealth of detail on contemporary Sino-American relations unavailable elsewhere. Students will find Tangled Titans essential reading to understand the current dynamics and future direction of relations between the world's two most important powers.

 

book cover: China and Africa

David Shinn, Adjunct Professor of International Affairs

China and Africa: A Century of Engagement. David H. Shinn and Joshua Eisenman. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

The People's Republic of China once limited its involvement in African affairs to building an occasional railroad or port, supporting African liberation movements, and loudly proclaiming socialist solidarity with the downtrodden of the continent. Now Chinese diplomats and Chinese companies, both state-owned and private, along with an influx of Chinese workers, have spread throughout Africa. This shift is one of the most important geopolitical phenomena of our time. China and Africa: A Century of Engagement presents a comprehensive view of the relationship between this powerful Asian nation and the countries of Africa.

This book, the first of its kind to be published since the 1970s, examines all facets of China's relationship with each of the fifty-four African nations. It reviews the history of China's relations with the continent, looking back past the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. It looks at a broad range of areas that define this relationship — politics, trade, investment, foreign aid, military, security, and culture — providing a significant historical backdrop for each. David H. Shinn and Joshua Eisenman's study combines careful observation, meticulous data analysis, and detailed understanding gained through diplomatic experience and extensive travel in China and Africa. China and Africa demonstrates that while China's connection to Africa is different from that of Western nations, it is no less complex. Africans and Chinese are still developing their perceptions of each other, and these changing views have both positive and negative dimensions.

 

book cover: Security and Development in Global Politics

Joanna Spear, Associate Professor of International Affairs; Director, Security Policy Studies Program

Paul D. Williams, Associate Professor of International Affairs; Director, Security Policy Studies Program

Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison. Joanna Spear and Paul D. Williams, eds. Georgetown University Press, 2012

Security and development matter: they often involve issues of life and death and they determine the allocation of truly staggering amounts of the world's resources. Particularly since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there has been momentum in policy circles to merge the issues of security and development to attempt to end conflicts, create durable peace, strengthen failing states, and promote the conditions necessary for people to lead healthier and more prosperous lives.

In many ways this blending of security and development agendas seems admirable and designed to produce positive outcomes all around. However, it is often the case that the two concepts in combination do not receive equal weight, with security issues getting priority over development concerns. This is not desirable and actually undermines security in the longer term. Moreover, there are major challenges in practice when security practitioners and development practitioners are asked to agree on priorities and work together.

Security and Development in Global Politics illuminates the common points of interest but also the significant differences between security and development agendas and approaches to problem solving. With insightful chapter pairings — each written by a development expert and a security analyst — the book explores seven core international issues: aid, humanitarian assistance, governance, health, poverty, trade and resources, and demography. Using this comparative structure, the book effectively assesses the extent to which there really is a nexus between security and development and, most importantly, whether the link should be encouraged or resisted.

 

book cover: Chinese Foreign Relations

Robert Sutter, Professor of Practice of International Affairs

Chinese Foreign Relations: Power and Policy since the Cold War, Third Edition. Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

China is rightly considered an emerging power in world affairs as Chinese leaders, backed by growing economic and military strength, engage in innovative diplomatic approaches that pave the way for China's international role. But this is only part of the story of China's rise. As Robert G. Sutter shows in this meticulous and balanced assessment, the record of twists and turns in Chinese foreign relations since the end of the Cold War highlights a very different perspective. Domestic problems, nationalism, and security concerns continue to preoccupy Beijing, complicating China's influence and innovations in foreign affairs. On the international front, the actions of other powerful nations and growing dependence on the world economy complicate as well as enhance China's advance to international prominence. Newly revised, this edition features more extensive treatment of China's role in the international economy and greater discussion of its relations with the developing world.

Providing a comprehensive introduction to Chinese foreign relations, Sutter shows Chinese leaders exerting growing influence in world affairs but remaining far from dominant. Facing numerous contradictions and trade-offs, they move cautiously to avoid major confrontations, costly commitments, or mistakes that could undermine their one-party rule as they deal with an international environment posing numerous challenges as well as opportunities for Chinese interests.

 

book cover: Security Studies: An Introduction

Paul D. Williams, Associate Professor of International Affairs; Director, Security Policy Studies Program

Security Studies: An Introduction. Paul D. Williams (ed.), Routledge, 2nd ed., 2012.

Security Studies is the most comprehensive textbook available on security studies.

Comprehensively revised for the new edition including new chapters on Polarity, Culture, Intelligence, and the Academic and Policy Worlds, it continues to give students a detailed overview of the major theoretical approaches, key themes and most significant issues within security studies.

Security Studies provides a valuable teaching tool for undergraduates and MA students by collecting these related strands of the field together into a single coherent textbook.

 

book cover: Toward a History Beyond Borders

Daqing Yang, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs

Toward a History Beyond Borders: Contentious Issues in Sino-Japanese Relations. Daqing Yang, Jie Liu, Hiroshi Mitani, Andrew Gordon, Eds. Harvard University Press, 2012.

This volume brings to English-language readers the results of an important long-term project of historians from China and Japan addressing contentious issues in their shared modern histories. Originally published simultaneously in Chinese and Japanese in 2006, the thirteen essays in this collection focus renewed attention on a set of political and historiographical controversies that have steered and stymied Sino-Japanese relations from the mid-nineteenth century through World War II to the present.

These in-depth contributions explore a range of themes, from prewar diplomatic relations and conflicts, to wartime collaboration and atrocity, to postwar commemorations and textbook debates — all while grappling with the core issue of how history has been researched, written, taught, and understood in both countries. In the context of a wider trend toward cross-national dialogues over historical issues, this volume can be read as both a progress report and a case study of the effort to overcome contentious problems of history in East Asia.