Elliott School Book Launch Series
Upcoming Book Launch Events
Managing U.S. Nuclear Operations in the 21st Century
On January 25th, 2023
How are U.S. nuclear war plans developed? Are U.S. command and control systems vulnerable to attack? The event will be held in-person and livestreamed, beginning with a panel featuring the four chapter authors, followed by comments from the three co-editors, before concluding with an audience Q&A.This event is brought to you by the Book Launch Series, the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, and the Security Policy Studies program. Light refreshments will be served.
Award-Winning Faculty Publications
Past Book Launches
Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns
Hosted on November 29, 2022
The invocation of fifth columns, or internal groups suspected of helping an external enemy, can have baleful effects on governance and trust, as they call into question the loyalty and belonging of the targeted populations. They can cause human rights abuses, political repression, and even ethnic cleansing. With Enemies Within, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Harris Mylonas offers the first book to systematically investigate the roots and implications of the politics of fifth columns.
A Continent Erupts: Decolonization, Civil War, and Massacre in Postwar Asia, 1945-1955
Hosted by the Sigur Center on December 28
In the decade after WWII, almost all of the countries of South, East, and Southeast Asia that had formerly been Japanese conquests or European colonies lost millions of lives to further armed conflicts. In A Continent Erupts, award-winning scholar of modern military history and Professor Emeritus Ronald H. Spector compiled a comprehensive history and analysis of the battles that forever changed the shape of Asia and the world as we know it today.
The Young Black Leader’s Guide to a Successful Career in International Affairs: What the Giants Want You to Know
Hosted on September 15, 2022
The Young Black Leader's guide highlights the challenges that deter young people of color from pursuing careers in international affairs. The authors Aaron S. Williams, Taylor A. Jack, and Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff provide systematic and practical advice, from getting started to learning to lead, from overcoming imposter syndrome to acing performance reviews, from dealing with racism to knowing when to say no.
The Political Science of the Middle East: Theory and Research Since the Arab Uprisings
Hosted by IMES on September 9, 2022
In this book, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Marc Lynch presents the definitive overview of the change in research after the Arab Uprisings of 2011-12. Its chapters cover authoritarianism and democracy, contentious politics, regional security, military institutions, conflict and violence, the political economy of development, Islamist movements, identity and sectarianism, public opinion, migration, and local politics.
US-China Relations: Perilous Past, Uncertain Present
Hosted on April 14, 2022
The extensively revised fourth edition of Professor of Practice Robert Sutter's major text explains in detail the critical role of American domestic politics in hardening US policy toward China over the past five years. Dr. Sutter discussed these findings, reinforced by China’s recent support for Russia in the Ukraine war, and important shortcomings in the current American strategy toward China.
Catastrophic Success: Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Goes Wrong
Hosted on January 18, 2022
In Catastrophic Success, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Alexander Downes compiles all instances of regime change around the world over the past two centuries. Drawing on this impressive data set, Dr. Downes shows that regime change increases the likelihood of civil war and violent leader removal in target states and fails to reduce the probability of conflict between intervening states and their targets.
The Challenges of Technology and Economic Catch-up in Emerging Economies
Hosted on November 30, 2021
In his latest book, Professor of Economics and International Affairs Nicholas Vonortas synthesized the existing knowledge on technology upgrading failures among emerging economies. By exploring this phenomenon at the firm, sector, and macro levels, he emphasizes the importance of understanding multi-dimensional challenges such as COVID-19, geopolitical struggles, and environmental sustainability.
Lumbering State, Restless Society
Hosted on November 18, 2021
In his latest book, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Nathan Brown analyzed crucial developments in Egyptian politics, society, and economics from the 20th century to the present day. Audience questions flew in during the hour-long virtual event on the interactions between regime, state, military, diaspora and civilians.
The Microfoundations of Diaspora Politics
Hosted on October 28, 2021
How are diasporas formed and run? And how do actors within and beyond a state shape diasporas over time? Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Harris Mylonas of the ESIA and Associate Professor of Global Studies Alexandra Délano Alonso of the New School explored the various actors within and beyond the state that participate in the creation of diaspora policies.
China's Leaders: From Mao to Now
Hosted on October 15, 2021
In China's Leaders: From Mao to Now, renowned Sinologist David Shambaugh offers a refreshing account of China’s dramatic post-revolutionary history through the prism of those who ruled it. Exploring the persona, formative socialization, psychology, and professional experiences of each leader, he shows how their differing leadership styles and ruling tactics shaped China domestically and internationally.
Hosted on October 8, 2021
Central Peripheries explores post-Soviet Central Asia through the prism of nation-building. It shows how states in the region have been navigating the construction of a nation in a post-imperial context, where Russia remains the dominant power and cultural reference. The launch was led by Marlene Laruelle, research professor of international affairs, and featured a discussion with three panelists.
The First Vietnam War
Hosted on October 6, 2021
The Book Launch Series teamed up with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies to feature Professor of History and International Affairs Shawn McHale, who laid out the complex factions, motivations and events that underpinned a civil war wrapped within Vietnam's war of independence against France.
Promoting Justice Across Borders
Hosted on September 23, 2021
In a talk co-sponsored by the Institute for International Economic Policy, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Lucia Rafanelli addressed the delicate interplay between a society's ideas about justice in another society, and the recipient society's capacity for self-determination.
The Cinema of Soviet Kazakhstan
Hosted on September 14, 2021
The Book Launch Series held a discussion on how Kazakh filmmakers struggled to develop their distinctive voices under Soviet mentorship, and how their works deserve to be rediscovered. The event featured Dr. Peter Rollberg, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professor of Slavic Languages, Film Studies and International Affairs, and was co-sponsored by the Central Asia Program.
The Party and the People
Hosted on May 6, 2021
In an event co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Professor Bruce Dickson explored how the CCP maintained control over China throughout various upheavals, by combining repressive tactics with responsiveness to the public. The subsequent Q&A with the audience was led by Alyssa Ayres, Dean of the Elliott School.
Globalizing Patient Capital
Hosted on April 30, 2021
In a talk co-sponsored by more than six campus partners and attended by Professors Jay Shambaugh, Carol Wise and Roselyn Hsueh, Professor Stephen Kaplan explored how patient capital affects national-level governance across the Americas and beyond, including how Chinese leaders might react to developing nation’s ongoing struggles with debt and dependency.
Humanitarianism and Human Rights
Hosted onn April 20, 2021
The Book Launch Series, Institute for International Economic Policy, and Humanitarian Action Inititiave teamed up to present a roundtable discussion on the fluctuating relationship between the humanitarianism and human rights. The talk was led by its editor, Michael Barnett, moderated by Maryam Deloffre, and attended by ESIA Vice Dean Ilana Feldman and Miriam Tiktin from The New School.
Understanding Peacekeeping: 3rd Edition
Hosted on April 14, 2021
Peace operations remain a principal tool for managing armed conflict and protecting civilians. The fully revised, expanded and updated third edition of Understanding Peacekeeping by Professor Paul Williams provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to the theory, history, and politics of peace operations. The talk was moderated by Shirley Graham, Director of GEIA at ESIA.
Digital Pirates: Policing Intellectual Property in Brazil
Hosted on April 2, 2021
Drawing on his fieldwork in Brazil with pirates, musicians, activists, filmmakers, police, salesmen, technicians, policymakers, politicians, and consumers, Professor Alexander Dent argues that 21st-century capitalism creates piracy and its enforcement at the same time, producing fraught consumer experiences in Latin America and beyond.
Is Russia Fascist?
Hosted on March 26, 2021
Through a detailed examination of the Russian domestic scene and the Kremlin's foreign policy rationales, Marlene Laruelle disentangles the foundation for, meaning, and validity of accusations of fascism in and around Russia. The discussion was also attended by Yoshiko Herrera, J. Paul Goode, and Anton Shekhovtsov.
Where Great Powers Meet
Hosted on March 11, 2021
Why has Southeast Asia become the new battleground between the United States and China? Is China's growing domination truly inevitable? How will the relationship between the two countries evolve? The Book Launch Series presented a lecture by Professor David Shambaugh on his latest book, in what was also the first school event attended by the new dean, Dr. Alyssa Ayres.
Shakespeare & East Asia
Hosted on February 19, 2021
How did Kurosawa influence George Lucas' Star Wars? Why do critics repeatedly use the adjective Shakespearean to describe Bong Joon-ho's Parasite (2019)? How do East Asian cinema and theatre portray vocal disability and transgender figures? Professor Alexa Alice Joubin answered these questions in a talk co-hosted by the Book Launch Series, National Resource Center, Institute for Korean Studies and Sigur Center for Asian Studies.
Hosted on February 10, 2021
For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments on anyone deemed mentally ill, confining many to asylums. In his new book, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs Roy Richard Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma—from the eighteenth century to today’s high-tech economy.
Land of Strangers
January 26, 2021
At the close of the 19th century, Confucian revivalists attempted to transform and bind Xinjiang to the dominant Chinese cultural and political realm. However, the result was a profound estrangement that endures to this day. Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs Eric Schluessel explores this encounter between Chinese power and a Muslim society through the struggles of ordinary people in the oasis of Turpan.
Human Security and Agency
Hosted on 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, Benjamin Hopkins, and co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies.
The Gender and Security Agenda
Hosted on October 9, 2020
October 31, 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UNSCR 1325, which reaffirmed role of women in conflicts resolution and peace building. The ESIA Book Launch Series, the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs and Women in International Security (WIIS) partnered to present a panel featuring seven speakers and Professor Michael Brown's new book.
Deep Time Reckoning
Hosted on 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.
Ruling the Savage Periphery
Hosted on 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.
Hosted on March 2, 2020
In What Remains, GW 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
Hosted on February 12, 2020
Edited by Professor David Shambaugh with chapters by 15 other leading experts, this volume covers China’s contemporary relations with all regions, with other major powers, and across multiple arenas of 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.
Race: The New Critical Idiom
Hosted on 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.
The United States and Asia
Hosted on December 9, 2019
From Elliott School Professor of Practice Robert Sutter comes the second edition of his book, The United States and Asia: Regional Dynamics and Twenty-First-Century Relations. Now fully revised and updated, this book describes how the United States has tried to maintain its leading position as a power in Asia despite China's rising influence. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and was followed by a Q&A moderated by NBR President Roy Kamphausen.
After the Berlin Wall
Hosted on November 5, 2019
With After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present, Elliott School Associate Professor of History and International Affairs Hope M. Harrison draws on conceptions of national identity in contemporary Germany as an approach to the history and commemoration of the Berlin Wall over the past 30 years.
African Americans & Africa: A New History
Hosted on 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.
Hosted on 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
Hosted on April 15, 2019
In an event partnered with the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES), editors Kathryn Kleppinger and Laura Reeck explored French post-migratory postcolonial minorities’ influence on French national identity and contemporary cultural production. Topics ranged from hip-hop to institutional memory, laïcité and modern literature.
Ronald Reagan and the Space Frontier
Hosted on 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. The book covered the influence of Reagan's space shuttle, international space station, and spacy policy on the world.
Foreign Relations of the PRC
Hosted on 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. The event was co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and kicked off by Sigur Center Associate Director and Elliott School Research Professor Deepa Ollapally.
In Search of Evidence-Based Science Policy
Hosted on November 5, 2018
Audience members braved the rain to uncover the evolution of US science policy research when author and Elliott School Research Professor Al Teich introduced his latest monograph. Co-sponsored by the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy (IISTP), the book launch also featured an introduction from RTI Senior Manager Jeff Alexander and a welcome from IISTP Director, Allison Macfarlane.
Live Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics
Hosted on 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. The talk was moderated by Elliott School University Professor Michael Barnett.
Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation
Hosted on November 1, 2018
Author and Elliott School Research Professor Marlene Laruelle and her co-author Jean Radvanyi launched their new book, Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation. Co-sponsored by the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES), this event was moderated by Virginia Tech Professor Gerard Toal.
Violent Places: Everyday Politics in Post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hosted on October 23, 2018
It was standing room only when Assistant Dean Tobias Greiff launched his new book: Violent Places: Everyday Politics in Post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina. Co-sponsored by the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES), this event also featured opening remarks from University of Baltimore Assistant Professor Sarah Federman and a spirited Q&A.
The Kingdom of God Has No Borders
Hosted on October 18, 2018
With a lecture on her new book, The Kingdom of God Has No Borders, Professor Melani McAlister introduced the audience to the transnational face of American evangelicals. Co-sponsored by the Institute for African Studies (IAfS), this event also featured an engaging Q&A led by IAfS Director Jennifer Cooke.
Mr. X and the Pacific
Hosted on 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.
Fighting for Peace in Somalia
Hosted on October 11, 2018
Elliott School Associate Professor Paul D. Williams offered a fascinating history and analysis of AMISOM in the introduction of his new book. Deftly moderated by Institute for African Studies (IAfS) Director Jennifer Cooke and co-sponsored by IAfS and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, the event captured an audience keen to learn more about this often overlooked mission in Somalia.
Russia's Domestic Security Wars
Hosted on September 6, 2018
Co-sponsored by the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, this launch featured a book talk from Elliott School Professor Emeritus and distinguished scholar of Soviet and post-Soviet government and politics Peter Reddaway; commentary from Russia experts Robert Orttung and Donald Jensen; and a Q&A. For more, see GWToday's GW Today: Putin Uses 'Divide and Rule' Tactics Against His Hardline Alles of the event.
Memory, Identity, and Commemorations of War War II
Hosted on 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. Co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, this event welcomed an audience eager to learn about the first large-scale analysis of how countries in the Asia Pacific and beyond commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.