777 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Global Affairs about their New Books
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    • Society & Culture

Interviews with Scholars of Global Affairs about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/world-affairs

    Philip N. Howard, "Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives" (Yale UP, 2020)

    Philip N. Howard, "Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives" (Yale UP, 2020)

    Technology is breaking politics - what can be done about it? Artificially intelligent "bot" accounts attack politicians and public figures on social media. Conspiracy theorists publish junk news sites to promote their outlandish beliefs. Campaigners create fake dating profiles to attract young voters. We live in a world of technologies that misdirect our attention, poison our political conversations, and jeopardize our democracies. With massive amounts of social media and public polling data, and in-depth interviews with political consultants, bot writers, and journalists, Philip N. Howard offers ways to take these "lie machines" apart. Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives (Yale UP, 2020) is full of riveting behind the scenes stories from the world's biggest and most damagingly successful misinformation initiatives--including those used in Brexit and U.S. elections. Howard not only shows how these campaigns evolved from older propaganda operations but also exposes their new powers, gives us insight into their effectiveness, and shows us how to shut them down. 
    As dangerous as things are now, they will only get worse; the enormous flood of data coming from the so-called Internet of Things, along with the growing sophistication of artificial intelligence, will make disinformation easier to generate and disseminate and much harder to spot and remove. Howard tackles the tough task of suggesting the changes that are needed to create a radically redesigned social media ecosystem that would reinforce, rather than erode, democracy.
    Medha Prasanna is an MA candidate at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Her current research focuses on International Organizations and Human Rights Law. You can learn more about her here or email her medp16@gwu.edu
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    • 49 min
    Alison Mountz, "The Death of Asylum: Hidden Geographies of the Enforcement Archipelago" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

    Alison Mountz, "The Death of Asylum: Hidden Geographies of the Enforcement Archipelago" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

    The Death of Asylum: Hidden Geographies of the Enforcement Archipelago (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) arrives at an extraordinarily consequential moment for the future of asylum protections. Even as more and more people around the world find themselves displaced and endangered by violent conflict, climate change, and material deprivation, the small set of countries that once welcomed refugees and asylum seekers have closed themselves off. From the outside, we see Fortress Europe, kids in cages, and the criminalization of asylum seekers--but look closer, and there are far more elaborate geographical games taking place to effectively erase the possibility of asylum. In this award-winning book, Mountz traces the global chain of remote detention centers used by states of the Global North to confine migrants fleeing violence and poverty, using cruel measures that, if unchecked, will lead to the death of asylum as an ethical idea, along with the continued death of asylum seekers themselves. 
    Alongside her written work, Mountz and her colleague Kim Rygiel have started a podcast called Displacements that follows ongoing ongoing scholarship and activism in the migration space. Alongside her collaborate Lisa Molomot, she has released a documentary film called Safe Haven that follows Vietnam-war era resistors who sought protection in Canada. 
    Alison Mountz is Professor of Geography and Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, and she is Director of the International Migration Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.
    You can follow Alison on Twitter @AlisonMountz, and the host, Dino Kadich, @dinokadich. The New Books in Geography Twitter page is @NewBooksGeog.
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    • 1 hr 16 min
    Christopher R. Dietrich, "A Companion to U.S. Foreign Relations: Colonial Era to the Present" (John Wiley & Sons, 2020)

    Christopher R. Dietrich, "A Companion to U.S. Foreign Relations: Colonial Era to the Present" (John Wiley & Sons, 2020)

    The field of US foreign-relations history is not what it used to be, and that’s a good thing. Earlier historians narrowly defined the field as diplomatic history­­ and kept vast swathes of the United States’ interactions with the world from being explored. In the middle of the 1990s, for example, even the very consideration of gender in the history of US foreign policy could cause controversy (as demonstrated in the 1997 H-Diplo listserv feud about a ground-breaking article on the role of gender in US Cold War strategy). Today, however, gender is a key object of study in the history of US foreign relations, along with race, the environment, globalization, technology, and a myriad of other topics.
    Thankfully, we now have an edited volume that comprehensively catalogues the current field’s exciting diversity of approaches and subjects. Entitled A Companion to U.S. Foreign Relations: Colonial Era to the Present, it was published last year by Wiley-Blackwell and was edited by the indefatigable Christopher Dietrich. I spoke with Dietrich, as well two of the contributors, Emily Conroy-Krutz and Megan Black, about the Companion and about the study of the history of US foreign relations more broadly. Our conversation will hopefully provide some guidance through the volume’s impressive 1100-plus pages.
    Dexter Fergie is a doctoral student in US and global history at Northwestern University. His research examines the history of ideas, infrastructure, and international organizations.
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Thomas David Parker, "Avoiding the Terrorist Trap: Why Respect for Human Rights is the Key to Defeating Terrorism" (World Scientific, 2019)

    Thomas David Parker, "Avoiding the Terrorist Trap: Why Respect for Human Rights is the Key to Defeating Terrorism" (World Scientific, 2019)

    Faced with a major terrorist threat, states seem to reach instinctively for the most coercive tools in their arsenal and, in doing so, risk exacerbating the situation. This policy response seems to be driven in equal parts by a lack of understanding of the true nature of the threat, an exaggerated faith in the use of force, and a lack of faith that democratic values are sufficiently flexible to allow for an effective counter-terrorism response.
    Drawing on a wealth of data from both historical and contemporary sources, Thomas David Parker's Avoiding the Terrorist Trap: Why Respect for Human Rights is the Key to Defeating Terrorism (World Scientific, 2019) addresses common misconceptions underpinning flawed counter-terrorist policies, identifies the core strategies that guide terrorist operations, consolidates the latest research on the underlying drivers of terrorist violence, and demonstrates how a comprehensive and coherent counter-terrorism strategy grounded in respect for human rights and the rule of law is the only truly effective approach to defeating terrorism.
    World Scientific is offering NBN's listeners a discount on this book:
    -55% discount code (Hardback): P995PARKERHC
    -30% discount code (E-Book): P995PARKEREB
    Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner.
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    • 59 min
    Caroline Ritter, "Imperial Encore: The Cultural Project of the Late British Empire" (UC Press, 2021)

    Caroline Ritter, "Imperial Encore: The Cultural Project of the Late British Empire" (UC Press, 2021)

    What role did culture play in the British Empire? In Imperial Encore: The Cultural Project of the Late British Empire Caroline Ritter, an Assistant Professor of History at Texas State University, explores the importance of culture in maintaining Imperial domination, and then in supporting post-Imperial British influence. Using core case studies of key institutions- the British Council, the BBC, and Oxford University Press- the book shows the ongoing legacy of the Imperial cultural project, even if, on the surface, all three institutions have radically changed since the formal end of the British Empire. Rich in historical detail, as well as contemporary relevance, the book will be essential reading across the humanities and social sciences, as well a for anyone interested in the current, and historical, politics of culture.
    Dave O'Brien is Chancellor's Fellow, Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Edinburgh's College of Art.
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    • 44 min
    W. Quinn and J. D. Turner, "Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    W. Quinn and J. D. Turner, "Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Are we in the midst of a financial bubble? Do the current valuations of the electronic vehicle stocks or their SPACs make you raise an eyebrow? The trouble with bubbles is that they are hard to spot from within, and much easier to define and analyze after the fact.  In their new book, Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles (Cambridge University Press, 2020), William Quinn and John D. Turner analyze past instances of extreme speculation to come up with a typology of the phenomenon. Using what they call the Bubble Triangle of Marketability, Easy Money, and overt Speculation, they have created a tool for financial economists, and the rest of us, to judge what makes a bubble and what makes it pop. Given the unusual nature of the capital markets at the present time, you will want to be familiar with their analysis as you view your own investments.
    Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Hermes in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at DanielxPeris@gmail.com or via Twitter @HistoryInvestor. His History and Investing blog and Keep Calm & Carry On Investing podcast are at https://strategicdividendinvestor.com
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    • 52 min

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