300 episodes

Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books

New Books in Political Science New Books Network

    • Social Sciences

Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books

    William Callison and Zachary Manfredi, "Mutant Neoliberalism: Market Rule and Political Rupture" (Fordham UP, 2020)

    William Callison and Zachary Manfredi, "Mutant Neoliberalism: Market Rule and Political Rupture" (Fordham UP, 2020)

    The neoliberal consensus, once thought to be undefeatable, seems to have been broken both in the wake of the fiscal crisis of 2008, as well as a series of surprise movements and elections throughout the world in the last several years. But many scholars argue that it remains alive and well, just in a changed, mutated form. This is the theme that motivates the recent anthology Mutant Neoliberalism: Market Rule and Political Rupture (Fordham University Press, 2020). The book features ten essay by a cast of writers covering the ways in which neoliberalism is mutating to stay alive in a changing environment.
    William Callison is a visiting assistant professor of Government and Law at Lafayette College. Zachary Manfredi is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project.
    Stephen Dozeman is a freelance writer.
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    • 2 hrs 3 min
    James M. Banner, Jr., "Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today" (The New Press, 2019)

    James M. Banner, Jr., "Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today" (The New Press, 2019)

    What standard should be used to assess presidential misconduct during the Trump presidency? How should the public, press, Congress, and bureaucracy resist and punish executive misconduct? Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today (The New Press, 2019) insists we must look back to look forward. The book provides a comprehensive study of American presidents' misconduct and their response to charges against them. The book provides a unique context by which to understand and evaluate the impeachment of Donald Trump.
    The origins of the book are unique. During the 1974 Nixon impeachment hearings, committee leaders ask a group of historians to catalogue presidential misconduct – in 8 weeks. This updated edition provides case studies through the presidency of Barack Obama as well as an excellent introduction by James M. Banner, Jr. (one of the original authors of the 1974 study who also provides chapters on Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe). Jeremi Suri’s analysis of Ronald Reagan’s presidency (EPA, HUD, illegal lobbying, Pentagon bribes and kickbacks, Savings and Loan, Iran-Contra) concludes that Reagan’s personal integrity contrasts with the managerial negligence and deregulation that “encouraged corruption and law-breaking.” Although Reagan did not profit personally, his penchant for deregulation and dislike of confrontation created an environment which made possible crimes committed by others. In her chapter on Bill Clinton, Kathryn Cramer Brownell highlights how changes in television and cable (the twenty-four hour news) impacted the presidency. Through an analysis of Travelgate, Whitewater, 1996 Campaign Finance Violations, and Monica Lewinsky, Brownell concludes that the “line between public and private life, as well as the public’s distinction between the two, disappeared during the Clinton administration.” During the podcast, Brownell expands on complex issues of gender and the separation of public and private.
    The podcast concludes with thoughts on how a historical review of presidential misconduct informs our understanding of the impeachment of President Trump and the impact of public vigilance in American politics.
    Susan Liebell is associate professor of political science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She is the author of Democracy, Intelligent Design, and Evolution: Science for Citizenship (Routledge, 2013).
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    • 52 min
    Wendy Bottero, "A Sense of Inequality" (Roman and Littlefield, 2020)

    Wendy Bottero, "A Sense of Inequality" (Roman and Littlefield, 2020)

    How should we understand inequality? In A Sense of Inequality (Roman and Littlefield, 2020), Wendy Bottero, a Reader in Sociology at the University of Manchester offers a detailed and challenging new approach to how we conceive of, how we study, and how we might challenge, social inequality. The book contends we need a new approach to the everyday subjective experience of inequality, appreciating people’s constrained resistance to often highly unequal social situations. Whilst never downplaying the reality of inequality, the book challenges social theories that ignore everyday practices in explanations of the persistence of inequality. Empirically detailed, with extensive global examples, as well as theoretically rich, the book is essential reading across the social sciences.
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    • 40 min
    Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, "The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games" (NYU Press, 2019)

    Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, "The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games" (NYU Press, 2019)

    Ebony Elizabeth Thomas has written a beautiful, captivating, and thoughtful book about the idea of our imaginations, especially our cultural imaginations, and the images and concepts that we all consume, especially as young readers and audience members. The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games (NYU Press, 2019) dives into the question of, as Thomas explains, “why magical stories are written for some people and not for others.” Thomas explores the narratives of magical and fantastical stories, especially ones that currently dominate our Anglo-American cultural landscape, and discerns a kind of “imagination gap” in so many of these literary and visual artifacts. The Dark Fantastic provides a framework to consider this imagination gap, by braiding together scholarship from across a variety of disciplines to think about this space within literature and visual popular culture. Thomas theorizes a tool to examine many of these narratives, the cycle through which to contextualize the Dark Other within these fantastical narratives, noting that the Dark Other is the “engine that drives the fantastic.”
    The Dark Fantastic spends time analyzing and interrogating a variety of televisual and cinematic artifacts, noting how the Dark Other cycle operates in each of these narratives. In exploring these narratives, and considering who the protagonist is in so many cultural artifacts, the imagination gap becomes not only obvious but quite distinct. Thomas is concerned about this gap, because of the implication it has for readers and for film and television viewers—not only in regard to representation, but also in terms of learning how to imagine, how to dream, how to think conceptually, and how to center one’s self within these fictional spaces and created worlds.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).
     
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Magnus Nordenman, "The New Battle for the Atlantic: Emerging Naval Competition with Russia in the Far North" (Naval Institute Press, 2019)

    Magnus Nordenman, "The New Battle for the Atlantic: Emerging Naval Competition with Russia in the Far North" (Naval Institute Press, 2019)

    In The New Battle for the Atlantic: Emerging Naval Competition with Russia in the Far North (Naval Institute Press, 2019), Magnus Nordenman explores the emerging competition between the United States and its NATO allies and the resurgent Russian navy in the North Atlantic. This maritime region played a key role in the two world wars and the Cold War, serving as the strategic link between the United States and Europe that enabled the flow of reinforcements and supplies to the European Allies. Nordenman shows that while a conflict in Europe has never been won in the North Atlantic, it surely could have been lost there.
    With Vladimir Putin’s Russia threatening the peace in Europe following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the North Atlantic and other maritime domains around Europe are once again vitally important. But this battle will in many ways be different, Nordenman demonstrates, due to an overstretched U.S. Navy, the rise of disruptive technologies, a beleaguered NATO that woke up to the Russian challenge unprepared for high-end warfighting in the maritime domain, and a Russia commanding a smaller, but more sophisticated, navy equipped with long-range cruise missiles. Nordenman also provides a set of recommendations for what the United States and NATO must do now in order to secure the North Atlantic in this new age of great power competition.
    Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.
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    • 45 min
    Elizabeth Economy, "The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State" (Oxford UP, 2018)

    Elizabeth Economy, "The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State" (Oxford UP, 2018)

    A trade war with China has dangerous implications for the global economy. What began more than a year ago with President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs has become an unpleasant economic reality for many businesses.
    Recently, the U.S. labeled China a “currency manipulator.” But an even larger long-term threat comes from China’s aggressive espionage offensive that is playing out in behind-the-scenes as of the U.S. and China struggle for global dominance.
    Our guest is Elizabeth Economy, a senior fellow and director of Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Her most recent book, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinpeng and the New Chinese State (Oxford University Press, 2018), explains the background to recent dramatic changes inside China.
    She is among a distinguished group of China specialists who once favored engagement with Beijing, but are now calling for the United States to take a more forceful approach as China attempts to undermine democratic values. We discuss the best ways to navigate this relationship.
    "Managing this relationship is essential," says Elizabeth. "It cannot allowed to it to spiral down too far."
    Richard Davies and Jim Meigs are the host of the terrific podcast “How Do We Fix It?,” on which they talk to the world’s most creative thinkers about, well, how to fix things. Lots of things. Important ones. Highly recommended. You can find “How Do We Fix It” on Apple Podcasts.
     
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    • 30 min

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