Near the end of the Second World War, the United States made a bold strategic gambit that rewired the international system. Empires were abolished and replaced by a global arrangement enforced by the U.S. Navy. With all the world's oceans safe for the first time in history, markets and resources were made available for everyone. Enemies became partners.
We think of this system as normal-it is not. We live in an artificial world on borrowed time.
In THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate markets and capital supplies; and how, against all odds, it is the ever-ravenous American economy that-alone among the developed nations-is rapidly approaching energy independence. Combined, these factors are doing nothing less than overturning the global system and ushering in a new (dis)order.
For most, that is a disaster-in-waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep an increasingly dangerous energy market. Only the United States boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Most important, geography will matter more than ever in a de-globalizing world, and America's geography is simply sublime.
“On one level, It’s Our Turn to Eat reads like a John Le Carré novel.... On a deeper and much richer level, the book is an analysis of how and why Kenya descended into political violence.” — Washington Post
Called "urgent and important” by Harper's magazine, It’s Our Turn to Eat is a nonfiction political thriller of modern Kenya—an eye-opening account of tribal rivalries, pervasive graft, and the rising anger of a prospect-less youth that exemplifies an African dilemma.
Looking beyond popular explanations such as geography or superior technology, Hanson argues that it is in fact Western culture and values–the tradition of dissent, the value placed on inventiveness and adaptation, the concept of citizenship–which have consistently produced superior arms and soldiers. Offering riveting battle narratives and a balanced perspective that avoids simple triumphalism, Carnage and Culture demonstrates how armies cannot be separated from the cultures that produce them and explains why an army produced by a free culture will always have the advantage.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The book describes the ways in which a shared Confucian tradition and particular historical experiences of imperialism and war have affected each country's internal dynamics, responses to the outside world, and distinctive political developmental trajectory, especially since World War II.
While the book is structured to facilitate comparisons, it avoids the limitations of most comparative politics texts by focusing less on Western conceptions of state and governance and more on East Asian perspectives of the universe and how it operates. Even the considerations of contemporary policy issues in each country are cast in a wider framework that gives the discussion enduring value.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Things have been just a little awkward between Britain and France ever since the Norman invasion in 1066. Fortunately—after years of humorously chronicling the vast cultural gap between the two countries—author Stephen Clarke is perfectly positioned to investigate the historical origins of their occasionally hostile and perpetually entertaining pas de deux.
Clarke sets the record straight, documenting how French braggarts and cheats have stolen credit rightfully due their neighbors across the Channel while blaming their own numerous gaffes and failures on those same innocent Brits for the past thousand years. Deeply researched and written with the same sly wit that made A Year in the Merde a comic hit, this lighthearted trip through the past millennium debunks the notion that the Battle of Hastings was a French victory (William the Conqueror was really a Norman who hated the French) and pooh-poohs French outrage over Britain’s murder of Joan of Arc (it was the French who executed her for wearing trousers). He also takes the air out of overblown Gallic claims, challenging the provenance of everything from champagne to the guillotine to prove that the French would be nowhere without British ingenuity.
Brits and Anglophiles of every national origin will devour Clarke’s decidedly biased accounts of British triumph and French ignominy. But 1000 Years of Annoying the French will also draw chuckles from good-humored Francophiles as well as “anyone who’s ever encountered a snooty Parisian waiter or found themselves driving on the Boulevard Périphérique during August” (The Daily Mail). A bestseller in Britain, this is an entertaining look at history that fans of Sarah Vowell are sure to enjoy, from the author the San Francisco Chronicle has called “the anti-Mayle . . . acerbic, insulting, un-PC, and mostly hilarious.”
The U.S. tax code is a total write-off. Crammed with loopholes and special interest provisions, it works for no one except tax lawyers, accountants, and huge corporations. Not for the first time, we have reached a breaking point. That happened in 1922, and again in 1954, and again in 1986. In other words, every thirty-two years. Which means that the next complete overhaul is due in 2018. But what should be in this new tax code? Can we make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient? Yes, yes, and yes. Can we cut tax rates and still bring in more revenue? Yes.
Other rich countries, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes that are equitable, effective, and easy on the taxpayer. But the United States has languished. So byzantine are the current statutes that, by our government’s own estimates, Americans spend six billion hours and $10 billion every year preparing and filing their taxes. In the Netherlands that task takes a mere fifteen minutes! Successful American companies like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google effectively pay no tax at all in some instances because of loopholes that allow them to move profits offshore. Indeed, the dysfunctional tax system has become a major cause of economic inequality.
In A Fine Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe in search of the exact solutions to these urgent problems. With an uncanny knack for making a complex subject not just accessible but gripping, he investigates what makes good taxation (no, that’s not an oxymoron) and brings that knowledge home where it is needed most. Never talking down or reflexively siding with either wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for sensible root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This affects everyone. Doing our taxes will never be America's favorite pastime, but it can and should be so much easier and fairer.
Using a wide array of archival and documentary sources from three continents, Lüthi presents a richly detailed account of Sino-Soviet political relations in the 1950s and 1960s. He explores how Sino-Soviet relations were linked to Chinese domestic politics and to Mao's struggles with internal political rivals. Furthermore, Lüthi argues, the Sino-Soviet split had far-reaching consequences for the socialist camp and its connections to the nonaligned movement, the global Cold War, and the Vietnam War.
The Sino-Soviet Split provides a meticulous and cogent analysis of a major political fallout between two global powers, opening new areas of research for anyone interested in the history of international relations in the socialist world.
Intelligence Analysis proposes substantive improvements in the way the U.S. national security system interprets intelligence, drawing on the groundbreaking work of theorists ranging from Carl von Clauswitz and Sun Tzu to M. Mitchell Waldrop, General David Petraeus, Richards Heuer, Jr., Orson Scott Card, and others. The new ideas presented here will help the nation to amass a formidable, cumulative intelligence power, with distinct advantages over any and all adversaries of the future regardless of the level of war or type of operational environment.
In The Wages of Oil, Michael Herb provides a robust framework for thinking about the future of the Gulf monarchies. The Gulf has seen enormous changes in recent years, and more are to come. Herb explains the nature of the changes we are likely to see in the future. He starts by asking why Kuwait is far ahead of all other Gulf monarchies in terms of political liberalization, but behind all of them in its efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. He compares Kuwait with the United Arab Emirates, which lacks Kuwait’s parliament but has moved ambitiously to diversify.
This data-rich book reflects the importance of both politics and economic development issues for decision-makers in the Gulf. Herb develops a political economy of the Gulf that ties together a variety of issues usually treated separately: Kuwait's National Assembly, Dubai's real estate boom, the paucity of citizen labor in the private sector, class divisions among citizens, the caste divide between citizens and noncitizens, and the politics of land.
While such "liberation technology" has been instrumental in freeing Egypt and Tunisia, other cases—such as China and Iran—demonstrate that it can be deployed just as effectively by authoritarian regimes seeking to control the Internet, stifle protest, and target dissenters. This two-sided dynamic has set off an intense technological race between "netizens" demanding freedom and authoritarians determined to retain their grip on power.
Liberation Technology brings together cutting-edge scholarship from scholars and practitioners at the forefront of this burgeoning field of study. An introductory section defines the debate with a foundational piece on liberation technology and is then followed by essays discussing the popular dichotomy of "liberation" versus "control" with regard to the Internet and the sociopolitical dimensions of such controls. Additional chapters delve into the cases of individual countries: China, Egypt, Iran, and Tunisia.
This book also includes in-depth analysis of specific technologies such as Ushahidi—a platform developed to document human-rights abuses in the wake of Kenya’s 2007 elections—and alkasir—a tool that has been used widely throughout the Middle East to circumvent cyber-censorship.
Liberation Technology will prove an essential resource for all students seeking to understand the intersection of information and communications technology and the global struggle for democracy.
Contributors: Walid Al-Saqaf, Daniel Calingaert, Ronald Deibert, Larry Diamond, Elham Gheytanchi, Philip N. Howard, Muzammil M. Hussain, Rebecca MacKinnon, Patrick Meier, Evgeny Morozov, Xiao Qiang, Rafal Rohozinski, Mehdi Yahyanejad
This hidden history involves domestic spying, abuses of power, and outrageous operations. It includes a CIA that became caught in a political cross fire that it could not withstand, and what it did to respond. It includes a Defense Department that made its own foreign policy, even against the wishes of the commander in chief. It features a president who created a sphere of deniability in which his top aides were briefed on matters of the utmost sensitivity -- but the president was carefully kept in ignorance. State of War reveals this hidden history for the first time, including scandals that will redefine the Bush presidency.
James Risen has covered national security for The New York Times for years. Based on extraordinary sources from top to bottom in Washington and around the world, drawn from dozens of interviews with key figures in the national security community, this book exposes an explosive chain of events:
Contrary to law, and with little oversight, the National Security Administration has been engaged in a massive domestic spying program. On such sensitive issues as the use of torture, the administration created a zone of deniability: the president's top advisors were briefed, but the president himself was not. The United States actually gave nuclear-bomb designs to Iran. The CIA had overwhelming evidence that Iraq had no nuclear weapons programs during the run-up to the Iraq war. They kept that information to themselves and didn't tell the president. While the United States has refused to lift a finger, Afghanistan has become a narco-state, supplying 87 percent of the heroin sold on the global market.
These are just a few of the stories told in State of War. Beyond these shocking specifics, Risen describes troubling patterns: Truth-seekers within the CIA were fired or ignored. Long-standing rules were trampled. Assassination squads were trained; war crimes were proposed. Yet for all the aggressiveness of America's spies, a blind eye was turned toward crucial links between al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia, among other sensitive topics.
Not since the revelations of CIA and FBI abuses in the 1970s have so many scandals in the intelligence community come to light. More broadly, Risen's secret history shows how power really works in George W. Bush's presidency.
Students will appreciate the book’s logical presentation and excellent pedagogical features including detailed maps that show political, demographic, and cultural data.
John Owen examines more than two hundred cases of forcible regime promotion over the past five centuries, offering the first systematic study of this common state practice. He looks at conflicts between Catholicism and Protestantism between 1520 and the 1680s; republicanism and monarchy between 1770 and 1850; and communism, fascism, and liberal democracy from 1917 until the late 1980s. He shows how regime promotion can follow regime unrest in the eventual target state or a war involving a great power, and how this can provoke elites across states to polarize according to ideology. Owen traces how conflicts arise and ultimately fade as one ideology wins favor with more elites in more countries, and he demonstrates how the struggle between secularism and Islamism in Muslim countries today reflects broader transnational trends in world history.
"She doesn't have strength. She doesn't have the stamina. . . . I think she's an embarrassment."**-Donald Trump
In this presidential contest of diametric opposites, nothing is certain on the path to the polls-except that every word matters. Direct from the candidates, from point and counterpoint to wit and wisdom, an unvarnished conversation on the issues captivating the American electorate.
*Victory speech on Super Tuesday II, West Palm Beach, Florida, March 15, 2016
**Interview on CNN, New Day, March 16, 2016
LIGHTNING-FAST READS BY JAMES PATTERSON
Books you can devour in a few hoursImpossible to stop listeningAll original content by James Patterson
Western powers call it a threat to democracy. Islamist movements are winning elections on it. Terrorists use it to justify their crimes. What, then, is the shari'a? Given the severity of some of its provisions, why is it popular among Muslims? Can the Islamic state succeed--should it? Feldman reveals how the classical Islamic constitution governed through and was legitimated by law. He shows how executive power was balanced by the scholars who interpreted and administered the shari'a, and how this balance of power was finally destroyed by the tragically incomplete reforms of the modern era. The result has been the unchecked executive dominance that now distorts politics in so many Muslim states. Feldman argues that a modern Islamic state could provide political and legal justice to today's Muslims, but only if new institutions emerge that restore this constitutional balance of power.
The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State gives us the sweeping history of the traditional Islamic constitution--its noble beginnings, its downfall, and the renewed promise it could hold for Muslims and Westerners alike. In a new introduction, Feldman discusses developments in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other Muslim-majority countries since the Arab Spring and describes how Islamists must meet the challenge of balance if the new Islamic states are to succeed.
'Comparative Politics takes a fresh and original approach to the field... it examines the role of structures, rules and norms in regulating the individual and collective behaviour of political actors. Each chapter provides a critical bibliography and key questions which will be particularly useful for students approaching Comparative Politics for the first time. Altogether this is a comprehensive and useful read which I warmly recommend' - Ian Budge, Professor Emiritus Professor of Government, University of Essex
'This is a most useful book. Teachers of comparative politics often scramble around, with out-of-date textbooks and photocopies of more or less compatible articles. Here is a new book that gives an up-to-date, comprehensive and systematic introduction to the major strands of institutional thought and applies these to the major institutions, processes and policy areas. It will be a great help for many of us, academics and students alike' - Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Copenhagen
This book provides a distinctive new introduction to the study of comparative politics at undergraduate level. Rich in case study material and global in coverage, Comparative Politics sets out the basic theoretical and methodological foundations for studying different political systems as well as the key structures and actors of which they are comprised.
Part One explores the nature of comparative methodology and introduces students to the major theoretical paradigms that seek to explain the operation of institutions in democratic states and facilitate comparison across different political systems.
Part Two examines the institutional structures of the modern state, outlining the key features such as the electoral systems and territorial and functional divisions of government across a range of modern states.
Part Three analyzes the role of key actors, such as voters and parties, interest groups and social movements, the bureaucracy and the judiciary.
This book will be an essential primer for students on first-year courses in comparative government and politics as well as introductory courses in political science concepts and methods.
Judith Bara is Senior Lecturer in Politics at Queen Mary, University of London and Research Fellow in Government, University of Essex.
David S. Bell is Professor of French Government and Politics and Head of Social Studies and Law at the University of Leeds.
Jocelyn Evans is Reader in Politics at the European Studies Research Institute, University of Salford.
Catherine Needham is Lecturer in Politics at Queen Mary, University of London.
Brendan O'Duffy is Senior Lecturer in Politics at Queen Mary, University of London.
Mark Pennington is Senior Lecturer in Politics at Queen Mary, University of London.
David Robertson is Professor of Politics, University of Oxford and Vice Principal, St Hugh's College, Oxford.
In this sweeping and provocative look at the history of European aversion to America, Andrei Markovits argues that understanding the ubiquity of anti-Americanism since September 11, 2001, requires an appreciation of such sentiments among European elites going back at least to July 4, 1776.
While George W. Bush's policies have catapulted anti-Americanism into overdrive, particularly in Western Europe, Markovits argues that this loathing has long been driven not by what America does, but by what it is. Focusing on seven Western European countries big and small, he shows how antipathies toward things American embrace aspects of everyday life--such as sports, language, work, education, media, health, and law--that remain far from the purview of the Bush administration's policies. Aggravating Europeans' antipathies toward America is their alleged helplessness in the face of an Americanization that they view as inexorably befalling them.
More troubling, Markovits argues, is that this anti-Americanism has cultivated a new strain of anti-Semitism. Above all, he shows that while Europeans are far apart in terms of their everyday lives and shared experiences, their not being American provides them with a powerful common identity--one that elites have already begun to harness in their quest to construct a unified Europe to rival America.
Essays show how Georgian sparks ignited conflagrations in South Ossetia (1991-1992) and Abkhazia (1992-1993), spreading northward to conflicts in Ossetia and Ingushetia (1992) and Chechnya (1994-1996). Combined with jihadist influences that entered from the South and East by way of Dagestan, these events culminated in the second Russo-Chechen war (1999-2009).
Chechnya transformed both the Russian military and the presidency of Vladimir Putin. Beginning in 2000, Putin's Chechenization strategy had unforeseen and controversial results for the entire Russian Federation.
These ironies are elucidated in case studies of the Stavropol region, the Sochi Olympics, the Pussy Riot conviction, and Russia's efforts to reintegrate religion with politics against the backdrop of an emerging Islamic "inner abroad.†?
Neither Russia nor the Caucasus can be understood without an appreciation of their uneasy interconnection and its explosive consequences.
Berti argues that the classic theory of the democratization process, which sees violence and elections at opposite ends of the political spectrum, is too simplistic and wholly inadequate for understanding the negotiation and disarmament work that is necessary for peaceful resolution of armed conflicts and movement toward electoral options. In this comparative study, she develops an alternative cyclical model that clarifies why armed groups create a political wing and compete in elections, and how this organizational choice impacts subsequent decisions to relinquish armed struggle.
In her conclusion, Berti draws out what the implications are for a government’s ability to engage armed political groups to improve the chances of political integration. Berti’s innovative framework and careful choice of case studies, presented in a jargon-free, accessible style, will make this book attractive to not only scholars and students of democratization processes but also policymakers interested in conflict resolution and peacekeeping efforts.-- Daniel L. Byman, Georgetown University
In a tongue-in-cheek style peppered with the world's best one-liners from the last century, The Offensive Art recounts the acrimonious and often perilous cat-and-mouse games between political satirists and their censors and inhibitors through the last century in America (especially FDR, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II and in wartime), Britain (especially Churchill, Thatcher, Blair and the Royals), Germany (Hitler to the present), Russia (Stalin to the present), China (Mao to the present), India (from the Raj on), and the Middle East (from 1920s Egypt to today). Freedman focuses on the role and transformation of satire during shifts from authoritarian to democratic systems in such places as South Africa, Argentina, and Eastern Europe. He surveys the state of satire throughout the world today, identifying the most dangerous countries for practitioners of the offensive art, and presents his findings as to the political efficacy of satire in provoking change.
While Fogarty postulates that it would take a confluence of events and circumstances to propel Americans into the arms of fascism, he concludes that it is not entirely unlikely. Today, less than a decade after his original warning, some of those events are beginning to unfold. As Americans become more divided, as formerly nonpartisan institutions are politicized, and as Congress becomes increasingly paralyzed, we are forced to ask: how do we respond to a political outsider’s rally cries to “make America great again”?
In examining the similarities and differences between Nazi Germany and America today, Fogarty finds many reasons for hope that Americans will not fall victim to such chauvinistic appeal, but he also finds plenty to worry about. He points out that contemporary Americans and Germans of the 1920s and 1930s share many similar values, ideals, fears, and beliefs. Fogarty’s strong words of caution will resonate with anyone concerned about America’s political future and the freedoms we too often take for granted.
After a brief historical introduction, Simon examines the legal statutes pertaining to abortion in the selected countries and then reviews public attitudes toward abortion based on responses to national public opinion polls. She concludes by discussing the relationships between the laws and statutes pertaining to abortion and the nations' policies vis-^D`a-vis population growth and control. Abortion is the first volume in a series that will examine major public policy issues using an explicitly comparative approach. Each will serve as a handbook for students, researchers, and scholars, containing basic empirical data and comprehensive references on the social issue or practice under examination.
All too frequently, leadership is reduced to a simple dichotomy: the strong versus the weak. Yet, there are myriad ways to exercise effective political leadership--as well as different ways to fail. We blame our leaders for economic downfalls and praise them for vital social reforms, but rarely do we question what makes some leaders successful while others falter. In this magisterial and wide-ranging survey of political leadership over the past hundred years, renowned Oxford politics professor Archie Brown challenges the widespread belief that strong leaders--meaning those who dominate their colleagues and the policy-making process--are the most successful and admirable.
In reality, only a minority of political leaders will truly make a lasting difference. Though we tend to dismiss more collegial styles of leadership as weak, it is often the most cooperative leaders who have the greatest impact. Drawing on extensive research and decades of political analysis and experience, Brown illuminates the achievements, failures and foibles of a broad array of twentieth century politicians. Whether speaking of redefining leaders like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Margaret Thatcher, who expanded the limits of what was politically possible during their time in power, or the even rarer transformational leaders who played a decisive role in bringing about systemic change--Charles de Gaulle, Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela, among them--Brown challenges our commonly held beliefs about political efficacy and strength.
Overturning many of our assumptions about the twentieth century's most important figures, Brown's conclusions are both original and enlightening. The Myth of the Strong Leader compels us to reassess the leaders who have shaped our world - and to reconsider how we should choose and evaluate those who will lead us into the future.