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Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books
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Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books
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    Ihnji Jon, "Cities in the Anthropocene: New Ecology and Urban Politics" (Pluto Press, 2021)

    Ihnji Jon, "Cities in the Anthropocene: New Ecology and Urban Politics" (Pluto Press, 2021)

    Climate change is real, and extreme weather events are its physical manifestations. These extreme events affect how we live and work in cities, and subsequently the way we design, plan, and govern them. Taking action 'for the environment' is not only a moral imperative; instead, it is activated by our everyday experience in the city. Based on the author's site visits and interviews in Darwin (Australia), Tulsa (Oklahoma), Cleveland (Ohio), and Cape Town (South Africa), Ihnji Jon's Cities in the Anthropocene: New Ecology and Urban Politics (Pluto Press, 2021) tells the story of how cities can lead a transformative pro-environment politics. National governments often fail to make binding agreements that bring about radical actions for the environment. This book shows how cities, as local sites of mobilizing a collective, political agenda, can be frontiers for activating the kind of environmental politics that appreciates the role of 'nature' in the everyday functioning of our urban life.
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    • 45 Min.
    Jytte Klausen, "Western Jihadism: A Thirty Year History" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Jytte Klausen, "Western Jihadism: A Thirty Year History" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Western Jihadism: A Thirty Year History (Oxford University Press, 2021) tells the story of how Al Qaeda grew in the West.
    In forensic and compelling detail, Jytte Klausen traces how Islamist revolutionaries exiled in Europe and North America in the 1990s helped create and control one of the world's most impactful terrorist movements--and how, after the near-obliteration of the organization during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, they helped build it again. She shows how the diffusion of Islamist terrorism to Europe and North America has been driven, not by local grievances of Western Muslims, but by the strategic priorities of the international Salafi-jihadist revolutionary movement. That movement has adapted to Western repertoires of protest: agitating for armed insurrection and religious revivalism in the name of a warped version of Islam.
    The jihadists-Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and their many affiliates and associates--also proved to be amazingly resilient. Again and again, the movement recovered from major setbacks. Appealing to disaffected Muslims of immigrant origin and alienated converts to Islam, Jihadist groups continue to recruit new adherents in Europe and North America, street-side in neighborhoods, in jails, and online through increasingly clandestine platforms.
    Taking a comparative and historical approach, deploying cutting-edge analytical tools, and drawing on her unparalleled database of up to 6,500 Western jihadist extremists and their networks, Klausen has produced the most comprehensive account yet of the origins of Western jihadism and its role in the global movement.
    Jytte Klausen is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of International Cooperation at Brandeis University and an Affiliate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
    Kirk Meighoo is Public Relations Officer for the United National Congress, the Official Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago. His career has spanned media, academia, and politics for three decades.
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    • 1 Std. 4 Min.
    Ebenezer Obadare, "Pentecostal Republic: Religion and the Struggle for State Power in Nigeria" (Zed Books, 2018)

    Ebenezer Obadare, "Pentecostal Republic: Religion and the Struggle for State Power in Nigeria" (Zed Books, 2018)

    Throughout its history, Nigeria has been plagued by religious divisions. Tensions have only intensified since the restoration of democracy in 1999, with the divide between Christian south and Muslim north playing a central role in the country's electoral politics, as well as manifesting itself in the religious warfare waged by Boko Haram.
    Through the lens of Christian–Muslim struggles for supremacy, Ebenezer Obadare charts the turbulent course of democracy in the Nigerian Fourth Republic, exploring the key role religion has played in ordering society. In Pentecostal Republic: Religion and the Struggle for State Power in Nigeria (Zed Books, 2018), he argues the rise of Pentecostalism is a force focused on appropriating state power, transforming the dynamics of the country and acting to demobilize civil society, further providing a trigger for Muslim revivalism.
    Covering events of recent decades to the election of Buhari, Pentecostal Republic shows that religio-political contestations have become integral to Nigeria's democratic process, and are fundamental to understanding its future.
    Dr. Sara Katz is a postdoctoral associate in the history department at Duke University.
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    • 1 Std. 10 Min.
    Robinson Woodward-Burns, "Hidden Laws: How State Constitutions Stabilize American Politics" (Yale UP, 2021)

    Robinson Woodward-Burns, "Hidden Laws: How State Constitutions Stabilize American Politics" (Yale UP, 2021)

    Robinson Woodward-Burns is the author of Hidden Laws: How the State Constitutions Stabilize American Politics, published by Yale University Press in 2021. Hidden Laws explores the relationship between both state and national constitutional development, debates, and reform. A sprawling study of American constitutional history, Woodward-Burns’s book shows how the federal government often deferred to state constitutional reform as a mechanism for dealing with national constitutional controversies. From banking to slavery, women’s suffrage to welfare, Woodward-Burns explores the myriad of ways constitutional controversies were debated and resolved in the United States.
    Woodward-Burns is an Assistant Professor at Howard University.
    Derek Litvak is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland—College Park. His dissertation, "The Specter of Black Citizens: Race, Slavery, and Citizenship in the Early United States," examines how citizenship was used to both bolster the institution of slavery and exclude Black Americans from the body politic.
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    • 52 Min.
    Dafydd Fell, "Taiwan's Green Parties: Alternative Politics in Taiwan" (Routledge, 2021)

    Dafydd Fell, "Taiwan's Green Parties: Alternative Politics in Taiwan" (Routledge, 2021)

    Examining the Green Party Taiwan (GPT) since its establishment through the aftermath of the most recent national elections in January 2020, Dafydd Fell’s Taiwan’s Green Parties: Alternative Politics in Taiwan (Routledge, 2021) focuses on Taiwan’s most important movement party over the last two and a half decades. Despite its limited electoral impact, its leaders have played a critical role in a range of social movements, including anti-nuclear and LGBT rights campaigns. Plotting the party’s evolution in electoral politics as well as its engagement with the global green movement, this volume analyses key patterns of party change in electoral campaign appeals, organisation and its human face. The second half of the volume concentrates on explaining both the party’s electoral impact and why the party has adjusted ideologically and organisationally over time. Based on a wide range of material collected, including focus groups, interviews and political communication data, the research relies heavily on analysis of campaign material and the voices of party activists and also considers other Green Parties, such as the splinter Trees Party and GPT-Social Democratic Alliance. Applying a wide range of theoretical frameworks to plot and explain small party development, this book will appeal both to students and scholars of Taiwan’s politics and civil society but also to readers with an interest in small parties and particularly environmental parties and movements.
    Dafydd Fell is Reader in Comparative Politics with special reference to Taiwan at SOAS University of London. He is also the Director of the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies.
    Li-Ping Chen is Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow in the East Asian Studies at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include literary translingualism, diaspora, and nativism in inter-Asian and transpacific contexts.
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    • 1 Std. 14 Min.
    Martin Jay, “Pants on Fire: On Lying in Politics” (Open Agenda, 2021)

    Martin Jay, “Pants on Fire: On Lying in Politics” (Open Agenda, 2021)

    Pants on Fire: On Lying in Politics is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and renowned intellectual historian Martin Jay, UC Berkeley. A thought-provoking book in dialogue format examining Martin Jay’s extensive research on lying in politics from Plato and St. Augustine to Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss which culminated in his book The Virtues of Mendacity.
    Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow, Ideas on Film and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at howard@ideasroadshow.com.
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    • 1 Std. 21 Min.

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