States, Scarcity, and Civil Strife in the Developing World

Princeton University Press
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Over the past several decades, civil and ethnic wars have undermined prospects for economic and political development, destabilized entire regions of the globe, and left millions dead. States, Scarcity, and Civil Strife in the Developing World argues that demographic and environmental stress--the interactions among rapid population growth, environmental degradation, inequality, and emerging scarcities of vital natural resources--represents one important source of turmoil in today's world.

Kahl contends that this type of stress places enormous strains on both societies and governments in poor countries, increasing their vulnerability to armed conflict. He identifies two pathways whereby this process unfolds: state failure and state exploitation. State failure conflicts occur when population growth, environmental degradation, and resource inequality weaken the capacity, legitimacy, and cohesion of governments, thereby expanding the opportunities and incentives for rebellion and intergroup violence. State exploitation conflicts, in contrast, occur when political leaders themselves capitalize on the opportunities arising from population pressures, natural resource scarcities, and related social grievances to instigate violence that serves their parochial interests.


Drawing on a wide array of social science theory, this book argues that demographically and environmentally induced conflicts are most likely to occur in countries that are deeply split along ethnic, religious, regional, or class lines, and which have highly exclusive and discriminatory political systems. The empirical portion of the book evaluates the theoretical argument through in-depth case studies of civil strife in the Philippines, Kenya, and numerous other countries. The book concludes with an analysis of the challenges demographic and environmental change will pose to international security in the decades ahead.

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About the author

Colin Kahl is assistant professor in the Securities Studies Program at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is also a consultant for the Political Instability Task Force and the Department of Defense.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jun 5, 2018
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Pages
333
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ISBN
9780691188379
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / General
Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / Political Process / General
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Comparative politics often involves testing of hypotheses using new methodological approaches without giving sufficient attention to the concepts which are fundamental to hypotheses, particularly the ability of these concepts to ‘travel’. Proper operationalising requires deep reflection on the concept, not simply establishing how it should be measured. Conceptualising Comparative Politics – the flagship book of Routledge’s series of the same name – breaks new ground by emphasising the role of thoroughly thinking through concepts and deep familiarity with the case that inform the conceptual reflection.

In this thought- provoking book, established academics as well as emerging scholars in the field collect (and invite) scholarship in the tradition of conceptual comparative politics. The book posits that concepts may be used comparatively as ‘lenses’, ‘building blocks’ and ‘scripts’, and contributors show how these conceptual tools can be employed in original comparative research. Importantly, contributors to Conceptualising Comparative Politics do not simply use concepts in one of these three ways but they apply them with careful consideration of empirical variation. The chapters included in this volume address some of the most contentious issues in comparative politics (populism, state capacity, governance, institutions, elections, secularism, among others) from various geographic regions and model how scholars doing comparative politics might approach such subjects.

Concepts make possible scholarly conversations including creative confrontations across paradigms. Conceptualising Comparative Politics will challenge you to think of how to engage in conceptual comparative inquiry and how to use various methodologically sound techniques to understand and explain comparative politics.

The real collusion in the 2016 election was not between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. It was between the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration.

The media–Democrat “collusion narrative,” which paints Donald Trump as cat’s paw of Russia, is a studiously crafted illusion.

Despite Clinton’s commanding lead in the polls, hyper-partisan intelligence officials decided they needed an “insurance policy” against a Trump presidency. Thus was born the collusion narrative, built on an anonymously sourced “dossier,” secretly underwritten by the Clinton campaign and compiled by a former British spy. Though acknowledged to be “salacious and unverified” at the FBI’s highest level, the dossier was used to build a counterintelligence investigation against Trump’s campaign.

Miraculously, Trump won anyway. But his political opponents refused to accept the voters’ decision. Their collusion narrative was now peddled relentlessly by political operatives, intelligence agents, Justice Department officials, and media ideologues—the vanguard of the “Trump Resistance.” Through secret surveillance, high-level intelligence leaking, and tireless news coverage, the public was led to believe that Trump conspired with Russia to steal the election.

Not one to sit passively through an onslaught, President Trump fought back in his tumultuous way. Matters came to a head when he fired his FBI director, who had given explosive House testimony suggesting the president was a criminal suspect, despite privately assuring Trump otherwise. The resulting firestorm of partisan protest cowed the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel, whose seemingly limitless investigation bedeviled the administration for two years.

Yet as months passed, concrete evidence of collusion failed to materialize. Was the collusion narrative an elaborate fraud? And if so, choreographed by whom? Against media–Democrat caterwauling, a doughty group of lawmakers forced a shift in the spotlight from Trump to his investigators and accusers. This has exposed the depth of politicization within American law-enforcement and intelligence agencies. It is now clear that the institutions on which our nation depends for objective policing and clear-eyed analysis injected themselves scandalously into the divisive politics of the 2016 election.

They failed to forge a new Clinton administration. Will they succeed in bringing down President Trump?
The Earth's human population is expected to pass eight billion by the year 2025, while rapid growth in the global economy will spur ever increasing demands for natural resources. The world will consequently face growing scarcities of such vital renewable resources as cropland, fresh water, and forests. Thomas Homer-Dixon argues in this sobering book that these environmental scarcities will have profound social consequences--contributing to insurrections, ethnic clashes, urban unrest, and other forms of civil violence, especially in the developing world.

Homer-Dixon synthesizes work from a wide range of international research projects to develop a detailed model of the sources of environmental scarcity. He refers to water shortages in China, population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and land distribution in Mexico, for example, to show that scarcities stem from the degradation and depletion of renewable resources, the increased demand for these resources, and/or their unequal distribution. He shows that these scarcities can lead to deepened poverty, large-scale migrations, sharpened social cleavages, and weakened institutions. And he describes the kinds of violence that can result from these social effects, arguing that conflicts in Chiapas, Mexico and ongoing turmoil in many African and Asian countries, for instance, are already partly a consequence of scarcity.


Homer-Dixon is careful to point out that the effects of environmental scarcity are indirect and act in combination with other social, political, and economic stresses. He also acknowledges that human ingenuity can reduce the likelihood of conflict, particularly in countries with efficient markets, capable states, and an educated populace. But he argues that the violent consequences of scarcity should not be underestimated--especially when about half the world's population depends directly on local renewables for their day-to-day well-being. In the next decades, he writes, growing scarcities will affect billions of people with unprecedented severity and at an unparalleled scale and pace.


Clearly written and forcefully argued, this book will become the standard work on the complex relationship between environmental scarcities and human violence.

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Abraham Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.

Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.

Everyone has an opinion about whether or not Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The number of actors involved is staggering, the events are complicated, and it’s hard to know who or what to believe. Spygate bypasses opinion and brings facts together to expose the greatest political scandal in American history.

 

Former Secret Service agent and NYPD police officer Dan Bongino joins forces with journalist D.C. McAllister to clear away fake news and show you how Trump’s political opponents, both foreign and domestic, tried to sabotage his campaign and delegitimize his presidency. By following the names and connections of significant actors, the authors reveal:

 

•      Why the Obama administration sent a spy connected to the Deep State into the Trump campaign 

•      How Russians were connected to the opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign to find dirt on Trump

•      How the FBI failed to examine DNC computers after they were hacked, relying instead on the findings of a private company connected to the DNC and the Obama administraton

•      Why British intelligence played a role in building the collusion narrative

•      What role Ukrainians played in legitimizing the perception that Trump was conspiring with the Russians

•      How foreign players in the two events that kickstarted the Trump-Russia collusion investigation were connected to the Clinton Foundation, and 

•      What motivated the major actors who sought to frame the Trump campaign and secure a win for Hillary Clinton

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