Elliott School Book Launch Series

Upcoming Events

How insurgency begins cover



How Insurgency Begins

Friday, January 15, 2021, 10:00 am – 11:00 am EST

Published by Cambridge University Press, How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and Beyond examines how rebel groups form, and why only certain groups become powerful enough to challenge central governments. With an in-depth analysis of conflicts in Uganda and its neighboring states, Dr. Janet I. Lewis delves into the relationships between rural networks, ethnic demographies, and the influence of rumor on local perception. This book will be of interest to scholars and policymakers, those who witness the process in their community, and who try to stop it. The talk is co-sponsored by the Institute for African Studies and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

The Elliott School Book Launch Series welcomes you to our first book launch of the year. The talk will be followed by a moderated, live Q&A with the audience.

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Land of Strangers book cover



Land of Strangers

Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 10:00 am – 11:00 am EST

In Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia (Columbia University Press), Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs Eric Schluessel explores an encounter at the end of the 19th century between Chinese power and a Muslim society through the struggles of ordinary people in the oasis of Turpan. At a time when understanding the roots of the modern relationship between Uyghurs and China has taken on new urgency, Land of Strangers illuminates a crucial moment of social and cultural change in this dark period of Xinjiang’s past.

The talk will be followed by a discussion with Rian Thum, Associate Professor of History at Loyola University, and a Q&A moderated by Marlene Laruelle, Director of the Central Asia Program.

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Award-Winning Faculty Publications


What Remains


America's Middlemen


Arab Wars


Mass Religious Tolerance


Everyday Conversions


The Dictator's Dilemma




China's Future


Conservative Internationalism


Emotions of Justice


Constructive Illusions


Nation Building


Past Book Launches



Human Security & Agency

November 30, 2020

Scholar and policy practitioner Nilofar Sakhi examined in her book whether the development of productive power is an effective approach to human security implementation in Afghanistan. The talk was moderated by Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, Dr. Benjamin Hopkins, and co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies.

Ruling the Savage Periphery

October 14, 2020

The ESIA Book Launch Series and the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy teamed up for a talk featuring Associate Research Professor Vincent Ialenti, who spoke on his anthropological work in Finland among ecologists, as well as the importance of environmental governance and societal time-literacy. The event was followed by a Q&A with moderated by Professor of Literature and the Environment at Edinburgh University, Dr. David Farrier

What Remains

September 30, 2020

The ESIA Book Launch Series and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies hosted the author, Professor Benjamin Hopkins, for a book talk moderated by Professor of History Dane Kennedy. In his book, Professor Hopkins argues that in the past, empires sought to keep the “savage” just close enough to take advantage of, creating lasting ramifications for the global nation-state order.

What Remains

March 2, 2020

In What Remains, GWU Professor of Anthropology Sarah Wagner tells us the stories of America’s missing service members and the families, scientists and communities that continue to search for them. The book would go on to win 1st prize in the Victor Turner award competition for outstanding writing in anthropology. 

China and the World book cover

February 12, 2020

China & the World is the most comprehensive and up-to-date scholarly assessment of China’s relations and roles in the world. Edited by Professor David Shambaugh with chapters by fifteen other leading experts on China, this volume covers China’s contemporary relations with all regions of the world, with other major powers, and across multiple arenas of China’s international interactions. It also explores the sources of China’s grand strategy, how its history shapes present policies, and the impact of domestic factors on China’s external behavior. The event was co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies.

Joubin book cover

January 21, 2020

Our first book talk of the year featured Professor Alexa Alice Joubin's new book, Race: The New Critical Idiom.

A concise guide offering new insights, Race addresses issues as diverse as the intersections of race and gender; race and social theory; identity, ethnicity, and migration; the concept of whiteness; the legislative and judicial markings of difference; blackness in a global context; race in the history of science, and critical race theory.

African Americans and Africa: A New History

October 22, 2019

Elliott School Associate Professor of History and International Affairs Nemata Blyden discusses this relationship between African Americans and Africa by mapping overlapping diasporas from the era of slavery to the present day in her new book African Americans & Africa: A New History.

Reclaiming Patriotism

October 1, 2019

Dr. Amitai Etzioni, University Professor and Professor of International Affairs, has released his latest book: Reclaiming Patriotism. His new book offers a hopeful and pragmatic solution to our current crisis in democracy—a patriotic movement that could have a transformative, positive impact on our foreign policy, the world order and the future of capitalism.

Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France

April 15, 2019

In an event partnered with the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France explored French post-migratory postcolonial minorities’ influence on French national identity and contemporary cultural production. From hip-hop and institutional memory to laïcité and literature, editors Kathryn Kleppinger and Laura Reeck presented an enlightening portrait of the past and present state of post-migratory postcolonial culture and society in France. 

Ronald Reagan and the Space Frontier

January 31, 2019

Co-sponsored by the Elliott School's Space Policy Institute, this event celebrated Ronald Reagan and the Space Frontier, the newest publication from renowned historian, award-winning author, and Professor Emeritus John M. Logson. An impressive audience braved sub-freezing temperatures to learn about Ronald Reagan's legacy in space policy--from the space shuttle, to the international space station, and beyond.

Foreign Relations of the PRC

November 14, 2018

A packed house greeted Elliott School Professor of Practice Robert G. Sutter when he commemorated his latest book, Foreign Relations of the PRC, with an event entitled: Xi Jinping's Foreign Policy Vision—Powerful Image versus Restricted Reality. Co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and kicked off by Sigur Center Associate Director and Elliott School Research Professor Deepa Ollapally, this event offered timely analysis on critical questions concerning China's foreign policy during Xi's second term. 


Life Lived in Relief

November 1, 2018

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES), the launch of Elliott School Professor Ilana Feldman's new book, Live Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics, brought together a diverse audience eager to learn more about Palestinian refugees' engagement with humanitarian assistance. Engaging moderation by Elliott School University Professor Michael Barnett and a dynamic book talk from Professor Feldman ensured a successful discourse on the book and issues beyond.

Understanding Russia

November 1, 2018

Author and Elliott School Research Professor Marlene Laruelle and her co-author Jean Radvanyi launched their new publication, Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation, to great success with an insightful book discussion before an audience of academics, government officials, non-profit representatives, and more. Co-sponsored by the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES), this event also featured skilled moderation from Virginia Tech Professor Gerard Toal and a dynamic Q&A.

The Kingdom of God Has No Borders

October 18, 2018

With a lecture on her new book, The Kingdom of God Has No Borders, Professor Melani McAlister introduced members of the media and non-profit communities as well as students, staff, and faculty from across GW to the transnational face of American evangelicals. Co-sponsored by the Institute for African Studies (IAfS), this event also featured an engaging Q&A skillfully led by IAfS Director Jennifer Cooke.

Mr. X and the Pacific

October 17, 2018

The path breaking Mr. X and the Pacific began many decades ago when Adjunct Professor Paul Heer was a GW PhD candidate in the 1990s. Heer chose to bring the book home for its launch and colleagues, media, staff, and students turned out to both support the publication and better understand George Kennan's influence on American East Asia policy.

Memory, Identity, and Commemorations of War War II

August 31, 2018

Chapter authors Lily Gardner Feldman, Christine Kim, and Robert Sutter, as well as author-editors Daqing Yang and Mike Mochizuki reunited to discuss their edited volume: Memory, Identity, and Commemorations of World War II. Co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, this event welcomed a tremendous audience eager to learn about the first large-scale analysis of how countries in the Asia Pacific and beyond commemorated the 70th anniversaries of the end of World War II.