Sunday, December 31, 2023

"The Color of Desire"

New from Cornell University Press: The Color of Desire: The Queer Politics of Race in the Federal Republic of Germany after 1970 by Christopher Ewing.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Color of Desire tells the story of how, in the aftermath of gay liberation, race played a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of queer, German politics. Focusing on the Federal Republic of Germany, Christopher Ewing charts both the entrenchment of racisms within white, queer scenes and the formation of new, antiracist movements that contested overlapping marginalizations.

Far from being discrete political trajectories, racist and antiracist politics were closely connected, as activists worked across groups to develop their visions for queer politics. Ewing describes not only how AIDS workers, gay tourists, white lesbians, queer immigrants, and Black feminists were connected in unexpected ways but also how they developed contradictory concerns that comprised the full landscape of queer politics. Out of these connections, which often exceeded the bounds of the Federal Republic, arose new forms of queer fascism as well as their multiple, antiracist contestations. Both unsettled the appeals to national belonging, or "homonationalism," on which many white queer activists based their claims. Thus, the story of the making of homonationalism is also the story of its unmaking.

The Color of Desire explains how the importance of racism to queer politics cannot―and should not―be understood without also attending to antiracism. Actors worked across different groups, making it difficult to chart separable political trajectories. At the same time, antiracist activists also used the fractures and openings in groups that were heavily invested in the logics of whiteness to formulate new, antiracist organizations and, albeit in constrained ways, shifted queer politics more generally.
Visit Christopher Boal Ewing's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 30, 2023

"Seeking Stability Amidst Disorder"

New from Hurst: Seeking Stability Amidst Disorder: The Foreign Policies of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, 2010-20 by Tobias Borck.

About the book, from the publisher:
The 2010s were a decade of transformation and conflict in the Middle East, bookended by the Arab Uprisings and the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout this time, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar--the three Arab states with the most ambitious regional policies--declared stability to be their main objective. Yet, rather than being a common denominator, this seemingly shared goal in fact obscured differences between their often-competing agendas.

These three Gulf monarchies all agreed that the Middle East had descended into unprecedented and dangerous instability following the Arab Uprisings. But their assessments diverged on what characterized and drove the unrest. This led each country to formulate different--and at times contradictory--views of how politics should be organized in and between states in the region, and what role external powers should play to build a stable new order.

With no universally accepted definition of stability, this book develops an original analytical framework linking this concept to that of order, and provides a useful lens through which to understand foreign policy in the Gulf. While governments often frame their relations with other states by evoking a joint commitment to stability, Tobias Borck shows that this does not, in itself, imply strategic alignment.
Visit Tobias Borck's webpage at RUSI.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 29, 2023

"An Ungovernable Foe"

New from Columbia University Press: An Ungovernable Foe: Science and Policy Innovation in the U.S. National Cancer Institute by Natalie B. Aviles.

About the book, from the publisher:
In American politics, medical innovation is often considered the domain of the private sector. Yet some of the most significant scientific and health breakthroughs of the past century have emerged from government research institutes. The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) is tasked with both understanding and eradicating cancer―and its researchers have developed a surprising expertise in virus research and vaccine development.

An Ungovernable Foe examines seventy years of federally funded scientific breakthroughs in the laboratories of the NCI to shed new light on how bureaucratic organizations nurture innovation. Natalie B. Aviles analyzes research and policy efforts around the search for a viral cause of leukemia in the 1960s, the discovery of HIV and the development of AIDS drugs in the 1980s, and the invention of the HPV vaccine in the 1990s. She argues that the NCI transformed generations of researchers into innovative public servants who have learned to balance their scientific and bureaucratic missions. These “scientist-bureaucrats” are simultaneously committed to conducting cutting-edge research and stewarding the nation’s investment in cancer research, and as a result they have developed an unparalleled expertise. Aviles demonstrates how the interplay of science, politics, and administration shaped the NCI into a mission-oriented agency that enabled significant breakthroughs in cancer research―and in the process, she shows how organizational cultures indelibly stamp scientific work.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 28, 2023

"Central City's Joy and Pain"

Coming soon from the University of Georgia Press: Central City's Joy and Pain: Solidarity, Survival, and Soul in a Birmingham Housing Project by Jerome E. Morris.

About the book, from the publisher:
With Central City’s Joy and Pain, Jerome E. Morris explores complex social issues through personal narrative. He does so by blending social-science research with his own memoir of life in Birmingham, Alabama. As someone who lived in the Central City housing project for two transitional decades (1968–91) and whose family continued to reside there until 1999, when the city razed the community, the author provides us with the often unexplored bottom-up perspective on Black public-housing residents’ experiences.

As Morris’s experiential and authoritative narrative voice unfolds in the pages of Central City’s Joy and Pain, both the scholarly and lay reader are brought on a journey of what life is like for people who live and die at the intersection of race and poverty in a rapidly evolving southern urban center. The setting of a historic public-housing community provides a rich canvas on which to paint a world through the author’s personal experience of growing up there―and his later observations as a researcher and academic.

Through its syncopation of personal stories and scholarly research, Central City's Joy and Pain captures what it means to be Black, poor, and full of dreams. In this setting, dreams are realized by some and swallowed up for others in the larger historical, social, economic, and political context of African Americans' experiences during and after the civil rights movement.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

"The Light of Learning"

New from Oxford University Press: The Light of Learning: Hasidism in Poland on the Eve of the Holocaust by Glenn Dynner.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Light of Learning tells the story of an unexpected Hasidic revival in Poland on the eve of the Holocaust. In the aftermath of World War I, the Jewish mystical movement appeared to be in shambles. Hasidic leaders had dispersed, Hasidic courts lay in ruins, and the youth seemed swept up in secularist trends as a result of mandatory public schooling and new Jewish movements like Zionism and Socialism. Author Glenn Dynner shows that in response to this, Hasidic leaders reinvented themselves as educators devoted to rescuing the youth by means of thriving networks of heders (primary schools), Bais Yaakov schools for girls and women, and world-renowned yeshivas.

During the ensuing pedagogical revolution, Hasidic yeshivas soon overshadowed courts, and Hasidic leaders became known more for scholarship than miracle-working. By mobilizing Torah study, Hasidic leaders were able to subvert the "civilizing" projects of the Polish state, successfully rival Zionists and Socialists, and create clandestine yeshiva bunkers in ghettos during the Holocaust. Torah study was thus not only a spiritual-intellectual endeavor but a political practice that fueled a formidable culture of resistance. The Light of Learning belies notions of late Hasidic decadence and decline and transforms our understanding of Polish Jewry during its final hour.
Visit Glenn Dynner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

"Selling the Future"

Coming soon from Cornell University Press: Selling the Future: Community, Hope, and Crisis in the Early History of Japanese Life Insurance by Ryan Moran.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Selling the Future, Ryan Moran explains how the life insurance industry in Japan exploited its association with mutuality and community to commodify and govern lives. Covering the years from the start of the industry in 1881 through the end of World War II, Moran describes insurance companies and government officials working together to create a picture of the future as precarious and dangerous. Since it was impossible for individual consumers to deal with every contingency on their own, insurance industry administrators argued that their usage of statistical data enabled them to chart the predictable future for the aggregate. Through insurance, companies and the state thus offered consumers a means to a perfectible future in an era filled with repeated crises.

Life insurance functioned as an important modernist technology within Japan and its colonies to instantiate expectations for responsibility, to reconfigure meanings of mutuality, and to normalize new social formations (such as the nuclear family) as essential to life. Life insurance thus offers an important vehicle for examining the confluence of modes of mobilizing and organizing bodies, the expropriation of financial resources, and the action of disciplining workers into a capitalist system.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 25, 2023


Coming soon from Stanford University Press: Hereditary: The Persistence of Biological Theories of Crime by Julien Larregue.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since the 1990s, a growing number of criminal courts around the world have been using expert assessments based on behavioral genetics and neuroscience to evaluate the responsibility and dangerousness of offenders. Despite this rapid circulation, however, we still know very little about the scientific knowledge underlying these expert evaluations. Hereditary traces the historical development of biosocial criminology in the United States from the 1960s to the present, showing how the fate of this movement is intimately linked to that of the field of criminology as a whole. In claiming to identify the biological and environmental causes of so-called "antisocial" behaviors, biosocial criminologists are redefining the boundary between the normal and the pathological. Julien Larregue examines what is at stake in the development of biosocial criminology. Beyond the origins of delinquency, Larregue addresses the reconfiguration of expertise in contemporary societies, and in particular the territorial struggles between the medical and legal professions. For if the causes of crime are both biological and social, its treatment may call for medical as well as legal solutions.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 24, 2023

"The New Suburbia"

New from Oxford University Press: The New Suburbia: How Diversity Remade Suburban Life in Los Angeles after 1945 by Becky M. Nicolaides.

About the book, from the publisher:
America's suburbs have been transforming. The conventional story of suburbs as bastions of white, middle-class homeowners no longer describes the suburbs of America's cities. Today they house a more typical cross-section of the nation--rich, poor, Black American, Latino, Asian, immigrant, the unhoused, the lavishly housed, and everyone in between. Stories of everyday suburban life, in the process, have taken on new inflections.

Nowhere are these changes more vivid than in Los Angeles. In this suburban metropolis and global powerhouse, lily white suburbs have virtually disappeared, and over two-thirds of the County's suburbs have become majority minority. Examining this vanguard of change from the postwar to the present, The New Suburbia follows the Asian Americans, Black Americans, and Latinos who moved into white neighborhoods that once barred them. They bought homes, enrolled their children in schools, and began navigating suburban life. They faced a choice: would they remake the suburbs, or would the suburbs remake them? In places like Pasadena, San Marino, South Gate, and Lakewood, suburbanites faced the challenges of living together in difference. Historian Becky Nicolaides explores a range of community experiences, from internal resegregation to suburban poverty, an embrace of law-and-order culture to police brutality, friendly neighbors to social withdrawal. In some communities, diverse residents continued longstanding habits of exclusion and perpetuated metropolitan inequality. In others, they embraced more inclusive, multicultural suburban ideals. Through it all, the common denominators of suburbia remained--low-slung landscapes of single-family homes and families seeking the good life.

An authoritative work based on a half-century of quantitative data and unpublished oral histories and interviews, The New Suburbia explores vital landscapes where the American dream has endured, even as the dreamers have changed.
Visit Becky M. Nicolaides's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 23, 2023

"The Best Effect"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Best Effect: Theology and the Origins of Consequentialism by Ryan Darr.

About the book, from the publisher:
A theological history of consequentialism and a fresh agenda for teleological ethics.

Consequentialism—the notion that we can judge an action by its effects alone—has been among the most influential approaches to ethics and public policy in the Anglophone world for more than two centuries. In The Best Effect, Ryan Darr argues that consequentialist ethics is not as secular or as rational as it is often assumed to be. Instead, Darr describes the emergence of consequentialism in the seventeenth century as a theological and cosmological vision and traces its intellectual development and eventual secularization across several centuries. The Best Effect reveals how contemporary consequentialism continues to bear traces of its history and proposes in its place a more expansive vision for teleological ethics.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 22, 2023

"Not in My Backyard"

New from Yale University Press: Not in My Backyard: How Citizen Activists Nationalized Local Politics in the Fight to Save Green Springs by Brian Balogh.

About the book, from the publisher:
How a woman-led citizens’ group beat a Southern political machine by enlisting federal bureaucrats and judges to protect their neighborhood from unchecked economic development

This social history of local political activism tells the story of the decades-long fight to save Green Springs, Virginia, illuminating the economic tradeoffs of protecting the environment, the origins of NIMBYism, the changing nature of local control, and the surprising power of history to advance public policy.

Rae Ely faced long odds when she launched a campaign in 1970 to stop a prison, then a strip mine, in Green Springs. The local political machine supported both projects, promising jobs for impoverished Louisa County, Virginia. But Ely and her allies prevailed by repurposing the same tactics used by the Civil Rights movement—the appeal to federal agencies and courts to circumvent local control—and by using new historical interpretations to create the first rural National Historic Landmark District.

The Green Springs protesters fought to preserve the historic character of their neighborhood and the surrounding environment in a quest that epitomized the conflict in late twentieth-century America between unbridled economic development for all and protecting the quality of life for an economically privileged few. Ely’s tactics are now used by neighborhood groups across the nation, even if they have been applied in ways she never intended: to resist any form of development.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 21, 2023

"The City Aroused"

New from the University of Texas Press: The City Aroused: Queer Places and Urban Redevelopment in Postwar San Francisco by Damon Scott.

About the book, from the publisher:
A history of San Francisco that studies change in the postwar urban landscape in relation to the city's queer culture.

The City Aroused
is a lively history of urban development and its influence on queer political identity in postwar San Francisco. By reconstructing the planning and queer history of waterfront drinking establishments, Damon Scott shows that urban renewal was a catalyst for community organizing among racially diverse operators and patrons with far-reaching implications for the national gay rights movement.

Following the exclusion of suspected homosexuals from the maritime trades in West Coast ports in the early 1950s, seamen's hangouts in the city came to resemble gay bars. Local officials responded by containing the influx of gay men to a strip of bars on the central waterfront while also making plans to raze and rebuild the area. This practice ended when city redevelopment officials began acquiring land in the early 1960s. Aided by law enforcement, they put these queer social clubs out of business, replacing them with heteronormative, desexualized land uses that served larger postwar urban development goals. Scott argues that this shift from queer containment to displacement aroused a collective response among gay and transgender drinking publics who united in solidarity to secure a place in the rapidly changing urban landscape.
Damon Scott is an assistant professor of geography and American studies at Miami University of Ohio.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

"Love Songs in Motion"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Love Songs in Motion: Voicing Intimacy in Somaliland by Christina J. Woolner.

About the book, from the publisher:
An intimate account of everyday life in Somaliland, explored through an ever-evolving musical genre of love songs.

At first listen, both music and talk about love are conspicuously absent from Somaliland’s public soundscapes. The lingering effects of war, the contested place of music in Islam, and gendered norms of emotional expression limit opportunities for making music and sharing personal feelings. But while Christina J. Woolner was researching peacebuilding in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeysa, she kept hearing snippets of songs. Almost all of these, she learned, were about love. In these songs, poets, musicians, and singers collaborate to give voice to personal love aspirations and often painful experiences of love-suffering. Once in circulation, the intimate and heartfelt voices of love songs provide rare and deeply therapeutic opportunities for dareen-wadaag (feeling-sharing). In a region of political instability, these songs also work to powerfully unite listeners on the basis of shared vulnerability, transcending social and political divisions and opening space for a different kind of politics.

Taking us from 1950s recordings preserved on dusty cassettes to new releases on YouTube and live performances at Somaliland’s first postwar music venue—where the author herself eventually takes the stage—Woolner offers an account of love songs in motion that reveals the capacity of music to connect people and feelings across time and space, creating new possibilities for relating to oneself and others.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

"China and the Internet"

New from Rutgers University Press: China and the Internet: Using New Media for Development and Social Change by Song Shi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Two oversimplified narratives have long dominated news reports and academic studies of China’s Internet: one lauding its potentials to boost commerce, the other bemoaning state control and measures against the forces of political transformations. This bifurcation obscures the complexity of the dynamic forces operating on the Chinese Internet and the diversity of Internet-related phenomena. China and the Internet analyzes how Chinese activists, NGOs, and government offices have used the Internet to fight rural malnutrition, the digital divide, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other urgent problems affecting millions of people. It presents five theoretically informed case studies of how new media have been used in interventions for development and social change, including how activists battled against COVID-19. In addition, this book applies a Communication for Development approach to examine the use and impact of China’s Internet. Although it is widely used internationally in Internet studies, Communication for Development has not been rigorously applied in studies of China’s Internet. This approach offers a new perspective to examine the Internet and related phenomena in Chinese society.
Song Shi is a teaching assistant professor in the School of Computing and Information and the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Since 2010, he has been the associate director of the New Media Action Lab at MIT. He has been engaged in Internet research over the past fifteen years, with intimate ties to many of the activists and NGOs analyzed in this book.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 18, 2023

"Trust: A Philosophical Study"

New from Oxford University Press: Trust: A Philosophical Study by Thomas W. Simpson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Trust and trustworthiness are core social phenomena, at the heart of most everyday interactions. Yet they are also puzzling: while it matters to us that we place trust well, trusting people who will not let us down, both also seem to involve morally driven attitudes and behaviours. Confronted by whether I should trust another, this tension creates very practical dilemmas.

In Trust, Thomas Simpson addresses the foundational question, why should I trust? Philosophical treatments of trust have tended to focus on trying to identify what the attitude of trust consists in. Simpson argues that this approach is misguided, giving rise to merely linguistic debates about how the term 'trust' is used. Instead, he focuses attention on the ways that trust is valuable. The answer defended comprises two claims, which at first seem to be in tension. One is a form of evidentialism about trust: normally, your trust should be based on the evidence you have for someone's trustworthiness. But, second, someone's word is normally enough to settle for you whether you should trust them. Social norms of trustworthiness explain why both are normal.

Methodologically innovative, Trust also applies the account, addressing how cultures of trust can be sustained, and the implications of trust in God. While it is a philosophical essay, the book is written in a way that presumes no prior knowledge of philosophy, to be accessible to the scholars from the many disciplines also attracted and puzzled by trust.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 17, 2023


New from the University of Chicago Press: Countermobilization: Policy Feedback and Backlash in a Polarized Age by Eric M. Patashnik.

About the book, from the publisher:
An essential look at how and why backlash movements are inherent to US policymaking.

The most successful policies not only solve problems. They also build supportive coalitions. Yet, sometimes, policies trigger backlash and mobilize opposition. Although backlash is not a new phenomenon, today’s political landscape is distinguished by the frequency and pervasiveness of backlash in nearly every area of US policymaking, from abortion rights to the Affordable Care Act.

Eric M. Patashnik develops a policy-centered theory of backlash that illuminates how policies stimulate backlashes by imposing losses, overreaching, or challenging existing arrangements to which people are strongly attached. Drawing on case studies of issues from immigration and trade to healthcare and gun control, Countermobilization shows that backlash politics is fueled by polarization, cultural shifts, and negative feedback from the activist government itself. It also offers crucial insights to help identify and navigate backlash risks.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 16, 2023

"A Taste for Purity"

New from Columbia University Press: A Taste for Purity: An Entangled History of Vegetarianism by Julia Hauser.

About the book, from the publisher:
In nineteenth-century Europe and North America, an organized vegetarian movement began warning of the health risks and ethical problems of meat eating. Presenting a vegetarian diet as a cure for the social ills brought on by industrialization and urbanization, this movement idealized South Asia as a model. In colonial India, where diets were far more varied than Western admirers realized, new motives for avoiding meat also took hold. Hindu nationalists claimed that vegetarianism would cleanse the body for anticolonial resistance, and an increasingly militant cow protection movement mobilized against meat eaters, particularly Muslims.

Unearthing the connections among these developments and many others, Julia Hauser explores the global history of vegetarianism from the mid-nineteenth century to the early Cold War. She traces personal networks and exchanges of knowledge spanning Europe, the United States, and South Asia, highlighting mutual influence as well as the disconnects of cross-cultural encounters. Hauser argues that vegetarianism in this period was motivated by expansive visions of moral, physical, and even racial purification. Adherents were convinced that society could be changed by transforming the body of the individual. Hauser demonstrates that vegetarians in India and the West shared notions of purity, which drew some toward not only internationalism and anticolonialism but also racism, nationalism, and violence. Finding preoccupations with race and masculinity as well as links to colonialism and eugenics, she reveals the implication of vegetarian movements in exclusionary, hierarchical projects. Deeply researched and compellingly argued, A Taste for Purity rewrites the history of vegetarianism on a global scale.
Visit Julia Hauser's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 15, 2023

"Police Peacekeeping"

New from Oxford University Press: Police Peacekeeping: The UN, Haiti, and the Production of Global Social Order by Lou Pingeot.

About the book, from the publisher:
UN peace operations increasingly deploy police forces and engage in policing tasks. The turn to 'police peacekeeping' has generally been met with enthusiasm in both academic and policy circles, and is often understood to provide a more civilian instrument of intervention, better suited to mandates that increasingly emphasize protection. Rebuilding local police forces along democratic, liberal lines is seen as a prerequisite for a successful transition towards peace and stability. In this book, Lou Pingeot questions this optimistic reading of police peacekeeping, and demonstrates that the logic of policing leads to the depoliticization of conflict and the criminalization of those who are deemed to threaten not just public order but social order, authorizing violence against them in the name of law enforcement.

Police Peacekeeping proposes a new way of studying peace operations that focuses not on their success or failure, but on how they allow people and ideas to circulate transnationally. It shows that peace operations act as a point of cross-fertilization for the creation and transmission of policing discourses and practices globally. In so doing, these missions contribute to (re)producing social orders that are based on the exclusion of often racialized, socio-economically marginalized populations, both 'domestically' (in countries of intervention) and 'internationally' (in troop contributing countries). The book draws on and contributes to critical understandings of police power that show that police forces were never meant to protect all equally. It also furthers our understanding of policing at a global level.

Drawing on interpretive, feminist, and postcolonial methodologies that emphasize relations, processes, and situatedness, Lou Pingeot's in-depth study of UN intervention in Haiti shows how a single site can help illuminate global processes. Rather than starting from Haiti's supposed deviance from international expectations and norms, she posits that Haiti can reveal a great deal about how policing functions globally.
Visit Lou Pingeot's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 14, 2023

"Elastic Empire"

New from Stanford University Press: Elastic Empire: Refashioning War through Aid in Palestine by Lisa Bhungalia.

About the book, from the publisher:
The United States integrated counterterrorism mandates into its aid flows in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the early years of the global war on terror. Some two decades later, this securitized model of aid has become normalized across donor intervention in Palestine. Elastic Empire traces how foreign aid, on which much of the Palestinian population is dependent, has multiplied the sites and means through which Palestinian life is regulated, surveilled, and policed―this book tells the story of how aid has also become war.

Drawing on extensive research conducted in Palestine, Elastic Empire offers a novel accounting of the US security state. The US war chronicled here is not one of tanks, grenades, and guns, but a quieter one waged through the interlacing of aid and law. It emerges in the infrastructures of daily life―in a greenhouse and library, in the collection of personal information and mapping of land plots, in the halls of municipal councils and in local elections―and indelibly transfigures lives. Situated in a landscape where the lines between humanitarianism and the global war on terror are increasingly blurred, Elastic Empire reveals the shape-shifting nature of contemporary imperial formations, their realignments and reformulations, their haunted sites, and their obscured but intimate forms.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

"Exchange of Ideas"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Exchange of Ideas: The Economy of Higher Education in Early America by Adam R. Nelson.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first volume of an ambitious new economic history of American higher education.

Exchange of Ideas
launches a breathtakingly ambitious new economic history of American higher education. In this volume, Adam R. Nelson focuses on the early republic, explaining how knowledge itself became a commodity, as useful ideas became salable goods and American colleges were drawn into transatlantic commercial relations. American scholars might once have imagined that higher education could sit beyond the sphere of market activity—that intellectual exchange could transcend vulgar consumerism—but already by the end of the eighteenth century, they saw how ideas could be factored into the nation’s balance of trade. Moreover, they concluded that it was the function of colleges to oversee the complex process whereby knowledge could be priced and purchased. The history of capitalism and the history of higher education, Nelson reveals, are intimately intertwined—which raises a host of important and strikingly urgent questions. How do we understand knowledge and education as commercial goods? Who should pay for them? And, fundamentally, what is the optimal system of higher education in a capitalist democracy?
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

"Repression in the Digital Age"

New from Oxford University Press: Repression in the Digital Age: Surveillance, Censorship, and the Dynamics of State Violence by Anita R. Gohdes.

About the book, from the publisher:
Global adoption of the Internet has exploded, yet we are only beginning to understand the Internet's profound political consequences. Authoritarian states are digitally catching up with their democratic counterparts, and both are showing a growing interest in the use of cyber controls--online censorship and surveillance technologies--that allow governments to exercise control over the Internet. Under what conditions does a digitally connected society actually help states target their enemies? Why do repressive governments sometimes shut down the Internet when faced with uprisings? And how have cyber controls become a dependable tool in the weapons arsenal that states use in civil conflict?

In Repression in the Digital Age, Anita R. Gohdes addresses these questions, and provides an original and in-depth look into the relationship between digital technologies and state violence. Drawing on large-scale analyses of fine-grained data on the Syrian conflict, qualitative case evidence from Iran, and the first global comparative analysis on Internet outages and state repression, Gohdes makes the case that digital infrastructure supports security forces in their use of violent state repression. More specifically, she argues that mass access to the Internet presents governments who fear for their political survival with a set of response options. When faced with a political threat, they can either temporarily restrict or block online public access or they can expand mass access to online information and monitor it to their own advantage. Surveillance allows security forces to target opponents of the state more selectively, while extreme forms of censorship or shutdowns of the Internet occur in conjunction with larger and more indiscriminate repression. As digital communication has become a bedrock of modern opposition and protest movements, Repression in the Digital Age breaks new ground in examining state repression in the information age.
Visit Anita R. Gohdes's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 11, 2023

"Hidden Hate"

New from Columbia University Press: Hidden Hate: The Resilience of Xenophobia by Mathew Creighton.

About the book, from the publisher:
Opposition to immigration has fueled a spate of populist movements in the United States and Europe. The potency of xenophobic politics is often explained in terms of factors such as economic insecurity, material competition, group identity, cultural conflicts, and social changes. These explanations have proven to be inadequate, particularly in often affluent and pluralistic contexts with relatively low levels of unemployment and poverty. How can these seemingly tolerant societies harbor intense antipathy toward migrants?

Mathew Creighton develops a new model for understanding xenophobia by shining a light on the layers of intolerance concealed beneath the surface. Drawing on rich empirical evidence from innovative survey experiments conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, and the Netherlands, he argues that prejudice is often present but intentionally and strategically hidden. What can change, however, are the norms that govern the social acceptability of xenophobia. When the public expression of previously impermissible beliefs is pursued by politicians and society more broadly, the stigma of open intolerance lifts to reveal the true face of this once-masked xenophobia. Creighton challenges the assumption that overt anti-immigrant sentiment is mostly attributable to economic or social crises, showing that this narrative overlooks a substantial and largely stable reservoir of intolerance.

Deeply researched, comparative, and generative, Hidden Hate provides timely and vital insight into the persistence of xenophobia.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 10, 2023

"The Palatine Family and the Thirty Years' War"

New from Oxford University Press: The Palatine Family and the Thirty Years' War: Experiences of Exile in Early Modern Europe, 1632-1648 by Thomas Pert.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Palatine Family and the Thirty Years' War examines the experience of exiled royal and noble dynasties during the early modern period through a study of the rulers of the Electorate of the Palatinate during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). By drawing on a wide range of archival source materials, ranging from financial records, printed manifestos, and considerable quantities of diplomatic and personal correspondence, it investigates the resources available to the exiled 'Palatine Family' as well as their attempts to recover the lands and titles lost by Elector Frederick V—the son-in-law of King James VI and I of England and Scotland—in the opening stages of the Thirty Years' War.

This work focuses on the years between Frederick's death in 1632 and the partial restoration of his son Charles Louis under the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Although the 'Palatine Question' remained one of the most divisive and important issues throughout the entire Thirty Years' War, the years 1632-1648 have been greatly overlooked in previous examinations of the Palatine Family's exile. By considering the experiences of exiled elites in early modern Europe—such as the relationship between the Palatine Family and the Stuart Dynasty—this work will reveal the influence of dynastic and familial obligations on the high politics of the period, as well as the importance of conspicuous display and diplomatic recognition for exiled regimes in seventeenth-century Europe. It will demonstrate that that dispossessed rulers and houses were not automatically rendered politically insignificant after losing their lands and titles, and could actually remain an important player on the geo-political stage of early modern Europe.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 9, 2023

"Reclaiming Time"

New from State University of New York Press: Reclaiming Time: The Transformative Politics of Feminist Temporalities by Tanya Ann Kennedy.

About the book, from the publisher:
The post-2016 election era in the United States is commonly presumed to be an era of crisis. Reclaiming Time argues that the narratives used to make this crisis a meaningful national story (e.g., Hillbilly Elegy, Strangers in Their Own Land) are not only gendered and racialized but also give a thin account of time, one so superficial as to make the future unimaginable. Examining the work of feminist theorists, performance artists, writers, and activists—from Octavia Butler and Jesmyn Ward to the Combahee River Collective and Congresswoman Maxine Waters—Tanya Ann Kennedy shows how their work disturbs dominant temporal frames; rearticulates the relations between past, present, and future; and offers models for "doing" the future as reparation. Reclaiming Time thus builds on while also critiquing feminist literary critical practices of reparative reading. Kennedy further aligns the method of reparative reading with the theories and aims of reparative justice, making the case for more fully engaging with social movement activism.
Tanya Ann Kennedy is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Maine at Augusta. She is the author of Historicizing Post-Discourses: Postfeminism and Postracialism in United States Culture.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 8, 2023

"Vaccine Wars"

New from Johns Hopkins University Press: Vaccine Wars: The Two-Hundred-Year Fight for School Vaccinations by Kim Tolley.

About the book, from the publisher:
The first comprehensive history of efforts to vaccinate children from contagious disease in US schools.

As protests over vaccine mandates increase in the twenty-first century, many people have raised concerns about a growing opposition to school vaccination requirements. What triggered anti-vaccine activism in the past, and why does it continue today? Americans have struggled with questions like this since the passage of the first school vaccination laws in 1827.

In Vaccine Wars, Kim Tolley lays out the first comprehensive history of the nearly two-hundred-year struggle to protect schoolchildren from infectious diseases. Drawing from extensive archival sources—including state and federal reports, court records, congressional hearings, oral interviews, correspondence, journals, school textbooks, and newspapers—Tolley analyzes resistance to vaccines in the context of evolving views about immunization among doctors, families, anti-vaccination groups, and school authorities. The resulting story reveals the historic nature of the ongoing struggle to reach a national consensus about the importance of vaccination, from the smallpox era to the COVID-19 pandemic. This well-researched and engaging book illustrates how the history of vaccination is deeply intertwined with the history of education. As stopping the spread of communicable diseases in classrooms became key to protection, vaccination became mandatory at the time of admission to school, and the decision to vaccinate was no longer a private, personal decision without consequence to others.

Tolley's focus on schools reveals longstanding challenges and tensions in implementing vaccination policies. Vaccine Wars underscores recurring themes that have long roiled political debates over vaccination, including the proper reach of state power; the intersection of science, politics, and public policy; and the nature of individual liberty in a modern democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 7, 2023

"Partners in Gatekeeping"

New from the University of Georgia Press: Partners in Gatekeeping: How Italy Shaped U.S. Immigration Policy over Ten Pivotal Years, 1891–1901 by Lauren Braun-Strumfels.

About the book, from the publisher:
Partners in Gatekeeping illuminates a complex, distinctly transnational story that recasts the development of U.S. immigration policies and institutions. Lauren Braun-Strumfels challenges existing ideas about the origins of remote control by paying particular attention to two programs supported by the Italian government in the 1890s: a government outpost on Ellis Island called the Office of Labor Information and Protection for Italians, and rural immigrant colonization in the American South—namely a plantation in Arkansas called Sunnyside.

Through her examination of these distinct locations, Braun-Strumfels argues that we must consider Italian migration as an essential piece in the history of how the United States became a gatekeeping nation. In particular, she details how an asymmetric partnership emerged between the United States and Italy to manage that migration.

In so doing, Partners in Gatekeeping reveals that the last ten years of the nineteenth century were critical to the establishment of the modern gatekeeping system. By showing the roles of Italian programs in this migration system, Braun-Strumfels establishes antecedents for remote control beyond the well-studied Chinese and Mexican cases.
Visit Lauren Braun-Strumfels's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

"Death Dust"

New from Stanford University Press: Death Dust: The Rise, Decline, and Future of Radiological Weapons Programs by William C. Potter, Sarah Bidgood, Samuel Meyer, and Hanna Notte.

About the book, from the publisher:
The postwar period saw increased interest in the idea of relatively easy-to-manufacture but devastatingly lethal radiological munitions whose use would not discriminate between civilian and military targets. Death Dust explores the largely unknown history of the development of radiological weapons (RW)—weapons designed to disperse radioactive material without a nuclear detonation—through a series of comparative case studies across the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Iraq, and Egypt. The authors illuminate the historical drivers of and impediments to radiological weapons innovation. They also examine how new, dire geopolitical events—such as the war in Ukraine—could encourage other states to pursue RW and analyze the impact of the spread of such weapons on nuclear deterrence and the nonproliferation regime. Death Dust presents practical, necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of a resurgence of interest in and pursuit of radiological weapons by state actors.
William C. Potter is Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies and Founding Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS). Sarah Bidgood is Director of the Eurasia Nonproliferation Program at CNS. Samuel Meyer is an Analyst at the Office of Radiological Security, US Department of Energy. Hanna Notte is a Senior Research Associate with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

"Doctor, Teacher, Terrorist"

New from Oxford University Press: Doctor, Teacher, Terrorist: The Life and Legacy of Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by Sajjan M. Gohel.

About the book, from the publisher:
For over half a century, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri repeatedly emerged from the shadows as a vengeful ideologue hell-bent on changing history. Dr. Sajjan M. Gohel provides the first definitive account of one of the world's most wanted terrorists. Having grown up in an illustrious Egyptian family of physicians, lawyers, clergy, and politicians, al-Zawahiri was originally destined to become a successful doctor. However, he chose to rebel against his own society which he deemed to have deviated from its religious identity. By forming his own terrorist group, al-Zawahiri dedicated his life to sedition and violent rebellion against the international order.

Ayman al-Zawahiri led a life incomparable to anyone else. The Egyptian found himself in many of the places where history was being determined. His journey takes us across Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the United States and Russia. Through his close bond with Osama bin Laden, al-Zawahiri played a critical role in the evolution of al-Qaeda's ideology, recruitment, tactics, and strategy. With the deft touch of a teacher, al-Zawahiri delegated numerous murderous assignments globally. He engaged in the assassination of political leaders, sought to develop chemical and biological weapons, recruited double and triple agents, turned the tables on his enemies, and pioneered the use of new media technology to convey al-Qaeda's zealotry.

In 2011, al-Zawahiri succeeded bin Laden, to become the head of al-Qaeda and sought to rebuild and reform his organisation whilst being aided by murky ties in Pakistan and Iran and his Taliban allies. Against the background of the Arab Spring and the West's departure from Afghanistan, al-Zawahiri left a deadly legacy for al-Qaeda's future for years to come.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 4, 2023

"Unraveling the Gray Area Problem"

New from Cornell University Press: Unraveling the Gray Area Problem: The United States and the INF Treaty by Luke Griffith.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Unraveling the Gray Area Problem, Luke Griffith examines the US role in why the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty took almost a decade to negotiate and then failed in just thirty years. The INF Treaty enhanced Western security by prohibiting US and Russian ground-based missiles with maximum ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Significantly, it eliminated hundreds of Soviet SS-20 missiles, which could annihilate targets throughout Eurasia in minutes. Through close scrutiny of US theater nuclear policy from 1977 to 1987, Griffith describes the Carter administration's masterminding of the dual-track decision of December 1979, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) initiative that led to the INF Treaty. The Reagan administration, in turn, overcame bureaucratic infighting, Soviet intransigence, and political obstacles at home and abroad to achieve a satisfactory outcome in the INF negotiations.

Disagreements between the US and Russia undermined the INF Treaty and led to its dissolution in 2019. Meanwhile, the US is developing a new generation of ground-based, INF-type missiles that will have an operational value on the battlefield. Griffith urges policymakers to consider the utility of INF-type missiles in new arms control negotiations. Understanding the scope and consistency of US arms control policy across the Carter and Reagan administrations offers important lessons for policymakers in the twenty-first century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 3, 2023

"Facing Authority"

New from Oxford University Press: Facing Authority: A Theory of Political Legitimacy by Thomas Fossen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Political protest is often at least partially about the question of legitimacy. How can we distinguish whether a regime is legitimate, or merely purports to be so?

In Facing Authority, Thomas Fossen develops a new philosophical approach to political legitimacy, interweaving analyses of key concepts (including representation, identity, and temporality) with examples of real-life struggles for legitimacy, from the German Autumn to the Arab Spring. Instead of asking "what makes authorities legitimate?" in the abstract, Fossen investigates how the question of legitimacy manifests itself in practice.

Facing Authority proposes that judging legitimacy is not simply a matter of applying moral principles, but of engaging in various forms of political contestation: over the representation of power (what is the nature of the regime?), collective selfhood (who am I, and who are we?), and the meaning of events (what happened here--a coup, or a revolution?). Fossen argues that these questions constitute the heart of the question of legitimacy, but thus far have been neglected by theorists of legitimacy. Compelling and original, Facing Authority is a pragmatist alternative to predominant moralist and realist approaches to legitimacy in political philosophy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 2, 2023

"Our Palestine Question"

New from Yale University Press: Our Palestine Question: Israel and American Jewish Dissent, 1948-1978 by Geoffrey Levin.

About the book, from the publisher:
A new history of the American Jewish relationship with Israel focused on its most urgent and sensitive issue: the question of Palestinian rights

American Jews began debating Palestinian rights issues even before Israel’s founding in 1948. Geoffrey Levin recovers the voices of American Jews who, in the early decades of Israel’s existence, called for an honest reckoning with the moral and political plight of Palestinians. These now‑forgotten voices, which include an aid‑worker‑turned‑academic with Palestinian Sephardic roots, a former Yiddish journalist, anti‑Zionist Reform rabbis, and young left‑wing Zionist activists, felt drawn to support Palestinian rights by their understanding of Jewish history, identity, and ethics. They sometimes worked with mainstream American Jewish leaders who feared that ignoring Palestinian rights could foster antisemitism, leading them to press Israeli officials for reform. But Israeli diplomats viewed any American Jewish interest in Palestinian affairs with deep suspicion, provoking a series of quiet confrontations that ultimately kept Palestinian rights off the American Jewish agenda up to the present era.

In reconstructing this hidden history, Levin lays the groundwork for more forthright debates over Palestinian rights issues, American Jewish identity, and the U.S.‑Israel relationship more broadly.
Visit Geoffrey Levin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 1, 2023

"Ethnopolitical Entrepreneurs"

New from Cornell University Press: Ethnopolitical Entrepreneurs: Outsiders inside Armenian Los Angeles by Daniel Fittante.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ethnopolitical Entrepreneurs presents the story of the Armenians of Glendale, California. Coming from Argentina, Armenia, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Russia, Syria, and many other countries, this group is internally fragmented and often has limited experience with the American political system. Nonetheless, Glendale's Armenians have rapidly mobilized and remade an American suburban space in their own likeness.

In telling their story, Daniel Fittante expands our understanding of US political history. From the late nineteenth-century onward, Irish, Italian, Jewish, and several other immigrant populations in large American cities began changing the country's political reality. The author shows how Glendale's Armenians―as well as many other immigrants―are now changing the country's political reality within its dynamic, multiethnic suburbs. The processes look different in various suburban contexts, but the underlying narrative holds: immigrant populations converge on suburban areas and ambitious political actors develop careers by driving coethnics' political incorporation.
Daniel Fittante is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Sociology at Södertörn University. His research areas include political and urban sociology, diaspora studies, and immigration.

--Marshal Zeringue