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Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books
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    • Science

Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books
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    Benjamin Holtzman, "The Long Crisis: New York City and the Path to Neoliberalism" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Benjamin Holtzman, "The Long Crisis: New York City and the Path to Neoliberalism" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    In the 1960s and 1970s, New York City was beset by a host of fiscal and social crises wrought by white flight, federal and state disinvestment, and a declining tax base. The city faced rising crime, dilapidated parks and transit, skyrocketing budget deficits, deteriorating public services, and a dysfunctional and eviscerated municipal bureaucracy. By the mid-1970s, the situation was so dire that financial institutions refused to underwrite municipal bonds and the city faced bankruptcy. The response was a shift towards privatization and neoliberalization – a process that scholars have traditionally associated with political and financial elites. 
    But Benjamin Holtzman’s The Long Crisis: New York City and the Path to Neoliberalism (Oxford University Press, 2021) shows that neoliberalization was also forged at the grassroots level by ordinary New Yorkers trying to remake and repair their damaged city. Holtzman traces how block associations, nonprofits, and professional organizations turned to private market-based solutions to address problems that the city government seemed unable or unwilling to solve. In a process that Holtzman calls “popular marketization,” New York residents reclaimed buildings that landlords had abandoned, formed neighborhood watch programs to deter crime in the absence of effective city policing, and created new nonprofit organizations to rejuvenate defunded parks. These initatives were not necessarily driven by ideological commitments to marketization, Holtzman argues, but were often experimental and improvisational attempts to restore services that New Yorkers had come to expect from a once robust public sector.
    Ben Zdencanovic is a postdoctoral associate at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University. He is a historian of the twentieth-century United States and the world, international politics, and political economy, and he has a particular interest in the emerging subfield of the history of social and economic human rights. Zdencanovic is currently working his first book, Island of Enterprise: The End of the New Deal and the Rise of U.S. Global Power in a World of Welfare, 1940 – 1955. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ben_zdencanovic.
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    • 58 min
    Courtney Hillebrecht, "Saving the International Justice Regime: Beyond Backlash against International Courts" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Courtney Hillebrecht, "Saving the International Justice Regime: Beyond Backlash against International Courts" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Saving the International Justice Regime: Beyond Backlash against International Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2021) is at the forefront of a new conceptualization of backlash politics. Dr. Courtney Hillebrecht brings together theories, concepts and methods from the fields of international law, international relations, human rights and political science and case studies from around the globe to pose - and answer - three questions related to backlash against international courts: What is backlash and what forms does it take? Why do states and elites engage in backlash against international human rights and criminal courts? What can stakeholders and supporters of international justice do to meet these contemporary challenges?
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 47 min
    Jason Pack, "Libya and the Global Enduring Disorder" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Jason Pack, "Libya and the Global Enduring Disorder" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Libya stands out as an example of a complex, internecine Middle Eastern and North African conflict in which regional and global powers as well as jihadists exploit tribal and sectarian rivalries. The rivalries fuel a seemingly endless wave of chaos and violence in a part of the world that is pockmarked by ungoverned spaces.
    In Libya and the Global Enduring Disorder, Libya expert Jason Pack demonstrates that this tortured and war-ravaged, oil-rich North African nation is about much more. It is about the collapse of the post-World War Two and post-Cold War international order. Furthermore. it is about the free-for-all that emerges in the vacuum as the world struggles for a new equilibrium in which one or more new powers shape a new world order with or without the United States, the dominant power for the past seven decades.
    Few people are better positioned to discuss Libya. Jason brings to the book not only the lens of a historian and a Middle East analyst but also a lobbyist for US business interests in the North African country. As a lobbyist, he learns that protection of vested company interests trumps the US-Libya Business Association’s declared goal of expanding US market share by opening the country to more US companies.
    Engagingly written, Jason’s book contributes to understanding Middle East volatility, the struggle to shape a new world order and its impact on the Middle East, and the often self-serving protection of vested interests by allegedly allied nations, rival bureaucracies within their national governments, and major corporations.
    Dr. James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist, and a Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute, and the author of the syndicated column and blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Peter Krause and Ora Szekely, "Stories from the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    Peter Krause and Ora Szekely, "Stories from the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    How do researchers navigate the complexities of the field? In Stories from the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science (Columbia UP, 2020), political scientists from a diverse range of biographical and academic backgrounds describe their research experiences in North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, ranging from archival work to interviews with combatants. In sharing their stories, the book's forty-four contributors provide accessible illustrations of methods like conducting surveys and interviews, practical questions of health and safety, and general principles such as the importance of flexibility, creativity, and interpersonal connections.
    Peter Krause is Associate Professor of Political Science at Boston College and Research Affiliate with the MIT Security Studies Program. He is the author of Rebel Power: Why National Movements Compete, Fight, and Win (Cornell University Press, 2017), co-editor with Kelly Greenhill of Coercion: The Power to Hurt in International Politics (Oxford University Press, 2018), and co-editor with Ora Szekely of Stories from the Field: An Unorthodox Guide to Fieldwork (New York: Columbia University Press, 2020). His research focuses on Middle East politics, terrorism and political violence, and nationalism and revolution. His current book project analyzes which rebel groups take power 'the day after' regime change.
    Ora Szekely is Associate Professor of Political Science at Clark University. Her research focuses on the politics, behavior, and ideologies of armed groups in the Middle East, including ideologies of gender and the relationship between propaganda and violence against civilians. In addition to co-editing Stories from the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science (2020), she is the co-author of Insurgent Women (2019), and the author of The Politics of Militant Group Survival in the Middle East (2016) and a forthcoming book about the civil war in Syria. Her research is based on fieldwork across the Middle East.
    Aditya Srinivasan assisted with this episode.
    Lamis Abdelaaty is an assistant professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is the author of Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees (Oxford University Press, 2021). Email her comments at labdelaa@syr.edu or tweet to @LAbdelaaty.
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    • 1 hr
    Richard Bellamy et al., "Flexible Europe: Differentiated Integration, Democracy, and Domination" (Bristol UP, 2022)

    Richard Bellamy et al., "Flexible Europe: Differentiated Integration, Democracy, and Domination" (Bristol UP, 2022)

    The past decade has been pivotal in the development of the European Union.
    The single currency has been tested to the limits by successive crises in the financial system, public-debt sustainability and public health. A migration crisis stress-tested the EU's free-travel area and its under-developed refugee and asylum policies. The Hungarian and Polish governments are backsliding on the union's foundational commitments to democracy and rule of law and, for the first time in the Communities' six-decade history, a full member state has left altogether.
    The weaknesses of the EU’s part-federal, part-intergovernmental design have been exposed but so has its resilience through flexibility. Flexible Europe: Differentiated Integration, Fairness, and Democracy (Bristol University Press, 2022) explores this design and its "demoicratic" (not democratic) nature. Differentiated integration, the co-writers conclude, is “not only functionally necessary but also normatively desirable given the ineliminable diversity and pluralism of any union as large as the EU”.
    Richard Bellamy is professor of political science at University College London and founder of its European Institute. Sandra Kröger is associate professor of political science at the University of Exeter and Director of its Centre for European Studies. Marta Lorimer is a fellow in European Politics at the London School of Economics’ European Institute.
    *The authors' own book recommendations are: Worldmaking after Empire by Adom Getachew (Princeton University Press, 2020), Europa by Tim Parks (Vintage, 1998), The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (Profile Books, 2019), Where You Come From by Saša Stanišić (Jonathan Cape, 2021 - translated by Damion Searls), The Struggle for EU Legitimacy by Claudia Sternberg (Palgrave Macmillan; 2013), and The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (first published in 1949 - latest English version from Penguin Modern Classics, 2021 translated by Tim Parks).
    Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors (a division of Energy Aspects).
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    • 51 min
    Kristin Waters, "Maria W. Stewart and the Roots of Black Political Thought" (U Mississippi Press, 2021)

    Kristin Waters, "Maria W. Stewart and the Roots of Black Political Thought" (U Mississippi Press, 2021)

    Kristin Waters' book Maria W. Stewart and the Roots of Black Political Thought (U Mississippi Press, 2021) tells a crucial, almost-forgotten story of African Americans of early nineteenth-century America. In 1833, Maria W. Stewart (1803–1879) told a gathering at the African Masonic Hall on Boston’s Beacon Hill: “African rights and liberty is a subject that ought to fire the breast of every free man of color in these United States.” She exhorted her audience to embrace the idea that the founding principles of the nation must extend to people of color. Otherwise, those truths are merely the hypocritical expression of an ungodly white power, a travesty of original democratic ideals. Like her mentor, David Walker, Stewart illustrated the practical inconsistencies of classical liberalism as enacted in the US and delivered a call to action for ending racism and addressing gender discrimination.
    Between 1831 and 1833, Stewart’s intellectual productions, as she called them, ranged across topics from true emancipation for African Americans, the Black convention movement, the hypocrisy of white Christianity, Black liberation theology, and gender inequity. Along with Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, her body of work constitutes a significant foundation for a moral and political theory that is finding new resonance today―insurrectionist ethics.
    Jane Scimeca is Professor of History at Brookdale Community College.
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    • 27 min

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