Public Policy Toward Corporate Takeovers is the result of extensive research sponsored by the Center for the Study of American Business and directed by Murray Weidenbaum; it examines key aspects of takeovers: the evolving regulatory role of the Antitrust Division, state versus federal authority over offensive and defensive takeover maneuvers, whether leveraged buyouts improve the firm's economic performance, and the validity of assertions about "entrenched" managements. The book also includes the views of the most publicized corporate raider, T. Boone Pickens. Balancing Pickens' highly favorable view of the value of hostile takeovers as a disciplining factor for subpar management performance is a chapter by David Ravenscraft of the Federal Trade Commission, who takes a long-term viewpoint and argues that the popular belief that takeovers create substantial efficiencies has not been borne out by the record. The overall findings do not fully support either side of the takeover controversy. The book presents both legal and economic perspectives, and suggests strategies for government policymakers as well as leaders of private enterprise.
The authors begin by illustrating the external factors that shape the development of the firm, including a combination of technological advances and increasingly global markets, and proceed to discuss corporate efforts to adapt to this external environment by means of changing relationships with other firms. They pay particular attention to the alliances that help American firms establish a presence in overseas markets, including the roles of mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances, and joint ventures. The book concludes with a discussion of the internal changes taking place in American firms, including shifts in organizational strategy and structure, the elimination of middle management, and the development of work teams.
Make the Right Choice - Enhance Your Ethical Decision Making Skills Today!
Ethical issues arise in all walks of life, but none have implications as far-reaching and serious as those related to public management. Most people working in the public sector want to do the "right" thing, but the issues can be highly complex or just not lend themselves to easy answers. Practical Ethics in Public Administration, Third Edition, provides the tools, techniques, and methods needed to help meet these challenges. This completely updated third edition provides public sector professionals the information they need to face the ethical issues that arise in the course of a day’s work, address those issues with greater self-assurance, perform their duties in an ethically justifiable manner, and explain their actions reasonably.
This new edition:Covers emerging ethical issues surrounding public-private partnershipsExamines the shift from compliance-based to integrity-based ethics programsExplores the context of moral competency
Contents The Real World • Ethics in the Public Sector/Ethics in the Private Sector • What Is Ethics, Anyway? • Raising the Right Questions: Ethical Approaches to Five Important Cases • The Real World Revisited • Who Am I? Who Do I Want to Be? What Do I Want? • Making Choices • Problems That Might Arise and How to Analyze Them • Developing an Ethical Style: How Would You Analyze Problems That Might Arise? • Addressing Public Ethical Conflict by Means of the Unified Ethic • Leadership Development and Moral Agency in Contemporary Governance • Perspectives on Contemporary Reform: Reinventing Government and the New Public Management • Ethics, Quality, and Performance • Ethical Dilemmas in Hybridization and Outsourcing • The Competent Moral Agent • Wrap-Up and Key Points
Authors Dall W. Forsythe and Donald J. Boyd outline the budgeting process through a series of memos from a budget director to a newly elected governor—a format that helps readers with little or no background understand complicated financial issues. They cover all of the steps of budget preparation, from strategy to execution, explaining technical vocabulary, and discussing key topics including baseline budgeting, revenue forecasting, and gap-closing options.
Forsythe and Boyd bring fresh insights into such issues as the importance of a multiyear strategic budget plan, the impact of the business cycle on state budgets, the tactical problems of getting budgets adopted by legislatures, and, of course, the relationship between governor and budget officer. Memos to the Governor is a painless, practical introduction to budget preparation for students of and practitioners in public administration and public-sector financial management.
John Donahue and Richard Zeckhauser show how the public sector can harness private expertise to bolster productivity, capture information, and augment resources. The authors explain how private engagement in public missions--rightly structured and skillfully managed--is not so much an alternative to government as the way smart government ought to operate. The key is to carefully and strategically grant discretion to private entities, whether for-profit or nonprofit, in ways that simultaneously motivate and empower them to create public value. Drawing on a host of real-world examples-including charter schools, job training, and the resurrection of New York's Central Park--they show how, when, and why collaboration works, and also under what circumstances it doesn't.
Collaborative Governance reveals how the collaborative approach can be used to tap the resourcefulness and entrepreneurship of the private sector, and improvise fresh, flexible solutions to today's most pressing public challenges.
--Provides a comprehensive view of financing methods: public, private, and a combination of both sectors.
--Includes an up-to-date evaluation of traditional and new financing techniques, and the limitations and opportunities of each.
--Addresses current economic issues, including a chapter on banking reform.
--Includes completely revised sections on private and entrepreneurial finance as well as public finance.
Challenging the public and its leaders to rethink finance and its role in society, Shiller argues that finance should be defined not merely as the manipulation of money or the management of risk but as the stewardship of society's assets. He explains how people in financial careers--from CEO, investment manager, and banker to insurer, lawyer, and regulator--can and do manage, protect, and increase these assets. He describes how finance has historically contributed to the good of society through inventions such as insurance, mortgages, savings accounts, and pensions, and argues that we need to envision new ways to rechannel financial creativity to benefit society as a whole.
Ultimately, Shiller shows how society can once again harness the power of finance for the greater good.
Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar's Poker. Out of a handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time.
Building on the work of James Mirrlees, Anthony Atkinson and Joseph Stiglitz, and subsequent researchers, and in the spirit of classics by A. C. Pigou, William Vickrey, and Richard Musgrave, this book steps back from particular lines of inquiry to consider the field as a whole, including the relationships among different fiscal instruments. Louis Kaplow puts forward a framework that makes it possible to rigorously examine both distributive and distortionary effects of particular policies despite their complex interactions with others. To do so, various reforms--ranging from commodity or estate and gift taxation to regulation and public goods provision--are combined with a distributively offsetting adjustment to the income tax. The resulting distribution-neutral reform package holds much constant while leaving in play the distinctive effects of the policy instrument under consideration. By applying this common methodology to disparate subjects, The Theory of Taxation and Public Economics produces significant cross-fertilization and yields solutions to previously intractable problems.
Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few by Robert B. Reich examines the intersection of economics and politics in order to make sense of income inequality and wealth disparity in the 21st century United States of America…PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread of Saving Capitalism:Overview of the bookImportant PeopleKey TakeawaysAnalysis of Key Takeaways
First published by the University of Chicago Press on September 18, 1944, The Road to Serfdom garnered immediate, widespread attention. The first printing of 2,000 copies was exhausted instantly, and within six months more than 30,000 books were sold. In April 1945, Reader’s Digest published a condensed version of the book, and soon thereafter the Book-of-the-Month Club distributed this edition to more than 600,000 readers. A perennial best seller, the book has sold 400,000 copies in the United States alone and has been translated into more than twenty languages, along the way becoming one of the most important and influential books of the century.
With this new edition, The Road to Serfdom takes its place in the series The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek. The volume includes a foreword by series editor and leading Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell explaining the book's origins and publishing history and assessing common misinterpretations of Hayek's thought. Caldwell has also standardized and corrected Hayek's references and added helpful new explanatory notes. Supplemented with an appendix of related materials ranging from prepublication reports on the initial manuscript to forewords to earlier editions by John Chamberlain, Milton Friedman, and Hayek himself, this new edition of The Road to Serfdom will be the definitive version of Hayek's enduring masterwork.
If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.
Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.
Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.
Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?
Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?
Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities.
The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.
Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:
- China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West?
- Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority?
- What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions?
Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world.
Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be provides an incisive examination of this country's increasing prosperity gap – the difference in value between what we do create and what we could create if we performed at our full potential. As Roger Martin and James Milway demonstrate, although we are proud of our trading prowess, we do not participate as aggressively in world markets with innovative products and services as we could. While we want to take risks to achieve success, our business strategies and economic policies need to set the bar higher to achieve the success we want for Canada.
Written in an accessible style that helps general readers understand complex economic concepts, Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be exposes the myths currently guiding our public policy, and provides ground-breaking new approaches for realizing our full prosperity potential.
Now available for the first time in paperback!
The Classic Text Annotated to Update Graham's Timeless Wisdom for Today's Market Conditions
The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham's philosophy of "value investing" -- which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies -- has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.
Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham's strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham's original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today's market, draws parallels between Graham's examples and today's financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham's principles.
Vital and indispensable, this HarperBusiness Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.
This book simultaneously introduces the financial methodology and the relevant mathematical tools in a style that is mathematically rigorous and yet accessible to practitioners and mathematicians alike. It interlaces financial concepts such as arbitrage opportunities, admissible strategies, contingent claims, option pricing and default risk with the mathematical theory of Brownian motion, diffusion processes, and Lévy processes. The authors proceed by successive generalisations with increasing complexity assuming some basic knowledge of probability theory. The first half of the book is devoted to continuous path processes whereas the second half deals with discontinuous processes.
The extensive bibliography comprises a wealth of important references and the author index enables readers quickly to locate where the reference is cited within the book, making this volume an invaluable tool both for students and for those at the forefront of research and practice.
Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.
Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he turns a merciless eye on California and Washington, DC, we see that the narrative is a trap baited with humor, and we understand the reckoning that awaits the greatest and greediest of debtor nations.
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke is financial expert Suze Orman's answer to a generation's cry for help. They're called "Generation Debt" and "Generation Broke" by the media — people in their twenties and thirties who graduate college with a mountain of student loan debt and are stuck with one of the weakest job markets in recent history. The goals of their parents' generation — buy a house, support a family, send kids to college, retire in style — seem absurdly, depressingly out of reach. They live off their credit cards, may or may not have health insurance, and come up so far short at the end of the month that the idea of saving money is a joke. This generation has it tough, without a doubt, but they're also painfully aware of the urgent need to take matters into their own hands.
The Money Book was written to address the specific financial reality that faces young people today and offers a set of real, not impossible solutions to the problems at hand and the problems ahead. Concisely, pragmatically, and without a whiff of condescension, Suze Orman tells her young, fabulous & broke readers precisely what actions to take and why. Throughout these pages, there are icons that direct readers to a special YF&B domain on Suze's website that offers more specialized information, forms, and interactive tools that further customize the information in the book. Her advice at times bucks conventional wisdom (did she just say use your credit card?) and may even seem counter-intuitive (pay into a retirement fund even though your credit card debt is killing you?), but it's her honesty, understanding, and uncanny ability to anticipate the needs of her readers that has made her the most trusted financial expert of her day.
Over the course of ten chapters that can be consulted methodically, step-by-step or on a strictly need-to-know basis, Suze takes the reader past broke to a secure place where they'll never have to worry about revisiting broke again. And she begins the journey with a bit of overwhelmingly good news (yes, there really is good news): Young people have the greatest asset of all on their side — time.
From the author of The Blind Side and Moneyball, The Big Short tells the story of four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predict the credit and housing bubble collapse before anyone else. The film adaptation by Adam McKay (Anchorman I and II, The Other Guys) features Academy Award® winners Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei; Academy Award® nominees Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling.
When the crash of the U.S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread. Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? In this fitting sequel to Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis answers that question in a narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor.
In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.
Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.
Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.
Anyone can learn to invest wisely with this bestselling investment system!
Through every type of market, William J. O’Neil’s national bestseller, How to Make Money in Stocks, has shown over 2 million investors the secrets to building wealth. O’Neil’s powerful CAN SLIM® Investing System—a proven 7-step process for minimizing risk and maximizing gains—has influenced generations of investors.
Based on a major study of market winners from 1880 to 2009, this expanded edition gives you:Proven techniques for finding winning stocks before they make big price gains Tips on picking the best stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs to maximize your gains 100 new charts to help you spot today’s most profitable trends
PLUS strategies to help you avoid the 21 most common investor mistakes!
“I dedicated the 2004 Stock Trader’s Almanac to Bill O’Neil: ‘His foresight, innovation, and disciplined approach to stock market investing will influence investors and traders for generations to come.’”
—Yale Hirsch, publisher and editor, Stock Trader’s Almanac and author of Let’s Change the World Inc.
“Investor’s Business Daily has provided a quarter-century of great financial journalism and investing strategies.”
—David Callaway, editor-in-chief, MarketWatch
“How to Make Money in Stocks is a classic. Any investor serious about making money in the market ought to read it.”
—Larry Kudlow, host, CNBC’s "The Kudlow Report"
To learn how to make index investing work for you, there’s no better mentor than legendary mutual fund industry veteran John C. Bogle. Over the course of his long career, Bogle—founder of the Vanguard Group and creator of the world’s first index mutual fund—has relied primarily on index investing to help Vanguard’s clients build substantial wealth. Now, with The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, he wants to help you do the same.
Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing will show you how to incorporate this proven investment strategy into your portfolio. It will also change the very way you think about investing. Successful investing is not easy. (It requires discipline and patience.) But it is simple. For it’s all about common sense.
With The Little Book of Common Sense Investing as your guide, you’ll discover how to make investing a winner’s game:Why business reality—dividend yields and earnings growth—is more important than market expectations How to overcome the powerful impact of investment costs, taxes, and inflation How the magic of compounding returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs What expert investors and brilliant academics—from Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham to Paul Samuelson and Burton Malkiel—have to say about index investing And much more
You’ll also find warnings about investment fads and fashions, including the recent stampede into exchange traded funds and the rise of indexing gimmickry. The real formula for investment success is to own the entire market, while significantly minimizing the costs of financial intermediation. That’s what index investing is all about. And that’s what this book is all about.
“[Taleb is] Wall Street’s principal dissident. . . . [Fooled By Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther’s ninety-nine theses were to the Catholic Church.”
–Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker
Finally in paperback, the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about the markets and the world.This book is about luck: more precisely how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences.
Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill–the world of business–Fooled by Randomness is an irreverent, iconoclastic, eye-opening, and endlessly entertaining exploration of one of the least understood forces in all of our lives.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Developing Country Debt and the World Economy contains nontechnical versions of papers prepared under the auspices of the project on developing country debt, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The project focuses on the middle-income developing countries, particularly those in Latin America and East Asia, although many lessons of the study should apply as well to other, poorer debtor countries. The contributors analyze the crisis from two perspectives, that of the international financial system as a whole and that of individual debtor countries.
Studies of eight countries—Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, and Turkey—explore the question of why some countries succumbed to serious financial crises while other did not. Each study was prepared by a team of two authors—a U.S.-based research and an economist from the country under study. An additional eight papers approach the problem of developing country debt from a global or "systemic" perspective. The topics they cover include the history of international sovereign lending and previous debt crises, the political factors that contribute to poor economic policies in many debtor nations, the role of commercial banks and the International Monetary Fund during the current crisis, the links between debt in developing countries and economic policies in the industrialized nations, and possible new approaches to the global management of the crisis.
Perhaps no one is better acquainted with the intersection of economics and politics than Robert B. Reich, and now he reveals how power and influence have created a new American oligarchy, a shrinking middle class, and the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in eighty years. He makes clear how centrally problematic our veneration of the “free market” is, and how it has masked the power of moneyed interests to tilt the market to their benefit.
Reich exposes the falsehoods that have been bolstered by the corruption of our democracy by huge corporations and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street: that all workers are paid what they’re “worth,” that a higher minimum wage equals fewer jobs, and that corporations must serve shareholders before employees. He shows that the critical choices ahead are not about the size of government but about who government is for: that we must choose not between a free market and “big” government but between a market organized for broadly based prosperity and one designed to deliver the most gains to the top. Ever the pragmatist, ever the optimist, Reich sees hope for reversing our slide toward inequality and diminished opportunity when we shore up the countervailing power of everyone else.
Passionate yet practical, sweeping yet exactingly argued, Saving Capitalism is a revelatory indictment of our economic status quo and an empowering call to civic action.
From the Hardcover edition.
This revised and updated edition adds commentary on hot topics, including the current economic crisis, globalization, the economics of information, the intersection of economics and politics, and the history—and future—of the Federal Reserve.
In 1494, award-winning author Stephen R. Bown tells the untold story of the explosive feud between monarchs, clergy, and explorers that split the globe between Spain and Portugal and made the world's oceans a battleground.
When Columbus triumphantly returned from America to Spain in 1493, his discoveries inflamed an already-smouldering conflict between Spain's renowned monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Portugal's João II. Which nation was to control the world's oceans? To quell the argument, Pope Alexander VI—the notorious Rodrigo Borgia—issued a proclamation laying the foundation for the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, an edict that created an imaginary line in the Atlantic Ocean dividing the entire known (and unknown) world between Spain and Portugal.
Just as the world's oceans were about to be opened by Columbus's epochal voyage, the treaty sought to limit the seas to these two favored Catholic nations. The edict was to have a profound influence on world history: it propelled Spain and Portugal to superpower status, steered many other European nations on a collision course, and became the central grievance in two centuries of international espionage, piracy, and warfare.
The treaty also began the fight for "the freedom of the seas"—the epic struggle to determine whether the world's oceans, and thus global commerce, would be controlled by the decree of an autocrat or be open to the ships of any nation—a distinctly modern notion, championed in the early seventeenth century by the Dutch legal theorist Hugo Grotius, whose arguments became the foundation of international law.
At the heart of one of the greatest international diplomatic and political agreements of the last five centuries were the strained relationships and passions of a handful of powerful individuals. They were linked by a shared history, mutual animosity, and personal obligations—quarrels, rivalries, and hatreds that dated back decades. Yet the struggle ultimately stemmed from a young woman's determination to defy tradition and the king, and to choose her own husband.
This book demystifies their usage.
It is a handbook of codes, standards, recommended practices and regulations in the United States involving electrical safety and design. Many engineers and electrical safety professionals may not be aware of all of those documents and their applicability. This book identifies those documents by category, allowing the ready and easy access to the relevant requirements. Because these documents may be updated on a regular basis, this book was written so that its information is not reliant on the latest edition or release of those codes, standards, recommended practices or regulations.
No single document on the market today attempts to not only list the majority of relevant electrical design and safety codes, standards, recommended practices and regulations, but also explain their use and updating cycles. This book, one-stop-information-center for electrical engineers, electrical safety professionals, and designers, does.Covers the codes, standards, recommended practices and regulations in the United States involving electrical safety and design, providing a comprehensive reference for engineers and electrical safety professionalsDocuments are identified by category, enabling easy access to the relevant requirementsNot version-specific; information is not reliant on the latest edition or release of the codes, standards, recommended practices or regulations
The first fundamental truth about the "Arab Spring" is that there never was one. The salient fact of the Middle East, the only one, is Islam. The Islam that shapes the Middle East inculcates in Muslims the self-perception that they are members of a civilization implacably hostile to the West. The United States is a competitor to be overcome, not the herald of a culture to be embraced.
Is this self-perception based on objective truth? Does it reflect an accurate construction of Islam? It is over these questions that American officials and Western intellectuals obsess. Yet the questions are irrelevant. This is not a matter of right or wrong, of some posture or policy whose subtle tweaking or outright reversal would change the facts on the ground. This is simply, starkly, the way it is.
Every human heart does not yearn for freedom. In the Islam of the Middle East, "freedom" means something very nearly the opposite of what the concept connotes to Westerners – it is the freedom that lies in total submission to Allah and His law. That law, sharia, is diametrically opposed to core components of freedom as understood in the West – beginning with the very idea that man is free to make law for himself, irrespective of what Allah has ordained. It is thus delusional to believe, as the West's Arab Spring fable insists, that the region teems with Jamal al-Madisons holding aloft the lamp of liberty. Do such revolutionary reformers exist? Of course they do . . . but in numbers barely enough to weave a fictional cover story. When push came to shove – and worse – the reformers were overwhelmed, swept away by a tide of Islamic supremacism, the dynamic, consequential mass movement that beckons endless winter.
That is the real story of the Arab Spring – that, and the Pandora's Box that opens when an American administration aligns with that movement, whose stated goal is to destroy America.
Roht-Arriaza discusses the difficulties in bringing violators of human rights to justice at home, and considers the role of transitional justice in transnational prosecutions and investigations in the national courts of countries other than those where the crimes took place. She traces the roots of the landmark Pinochet case and follows its development and those of related cases, through Spain, the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Europe, and then through Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States. She situates these transnational cases within the context of an emergent International Criminal Court, as well as the effectiveness of international law and of the lawyers, judges, and activists working together across continents to make a new legal paradigm a reality. Interviews and observations help to contextualize and dramatize these compelling cases.
These cases have tremendous ramifications for the prospect of universal jurisdiction and will continue to resonate for years to come. Roht-Arriaza's deft navigation of these complicated legal proceedings elucidates the paradigm shift underlying this prosecution as well as the traction gained by advocacy networks promoting universal jurisdiction in recent decades.
Such an approach will be sceptical rather than cynical, intending to provide the means by which the role of international law may be evaluated. This entails discussion of the legal quality of international law; of the relationship between the academic disciplines of international law and international relations; of the apparent 'Eurocentricity' of international law, and of the relationship between political power and the ability to use or abuse (or ignore) international law.
Underlying the book is the assertion that international law is political in content (in the sense of being concerned with the exercise of power) but that it draws much of its effectiveness from its self-portrayal as being apolitical, or at least politically neutral.