476 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of National Security about their New Books
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New Books in National Security Marshall Poe

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 16 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of National Security about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/national-security

    Sophie Haspeslagh, "Proscribing Peace: How Listing Armed Groups as Terrorists Hurts Negotiations" (Manchester UP, 2021)

    Sophie Haspeslagh, "Proscribing Peace: How Listing Armed Groups as Terrorists Hurts Negotiations" (Manchester UP, 2021)

    In Proscribing Peace: How Listing Armed Groups as Terrorists Hurts Negotiations (Manchester UP, 2021), Dr. Sophie Haspeslagh offers a systematic examination of the impact of proscription on peace negotiations. With rare access to actors during the Colombian negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People's Army (FARC), Dr. Haspeslagh shows how proscription makes negotiations harder and more prolonged.
    By introducing the concept of 'linguistic ceasefire', Dr. Haspeslagh adds to our understanding of the timing and sequencing of peace processes in the context of proscription. Linguistic ceasefire has three main components: first, recognise the conflict; second, discard the 'terrorist' label, and third, uncouple the act and the actor. These measures remove the symbolic impact of proscription, even where de-listing is not possible ahead of negotiations. With relevance for more than half of the conflicts around the world in which an armed group is listed as a terrorist organisation, 'linguistic ceasefire' helps to explain why certain conflicts remain stuck in the 'terrorist' framing, while others emerge from it.
    International proscription regimes criminalise both the actor and the act of terrorism. The book calls for an end to the amalgamation between acts and actors. By focussing on the acts instead, Dr. Haspeslagh argues, international policy would be better able to consider the violent actions both of armed groups and those of the state. By separating the act and the actor, change - and thus peace - become possible.
    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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    • 58 min
    Christopher Blattman, "Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace" (Viking, 2022)

    Christopher Blattman, "Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace" (Viking, 2022)

    In Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace (Viking, 2022), Chris Blattman explains the five reasons why conflict (rarely) blooms into war, and how to interrupt that deadly process. It's easy to overlook the underlying strategic forces of war, to see it solely as a series of errors, accidents, and emotions gone awry. It's also easy to forget that war shouldn't happen-and most of the time it doesn't. Around the world, there are millions of hostile rivalries, yet only a tiny fraction erupt into violence. Too many accounts of conflict forget this. With a counterintuitive approach, Blattman reminds us that most rivals loathe one another in peace. That's because war is too costly to fight. Enemies almost always find it better to split the pie than spoil it or struggle over thin slices. So, in those rare instances when fighting ensues, we should ask: what kept rivals from compromising? 
    Why We Fight draws on decades of economics, political science, psychology, and real-world interventions to lay out the root causes and remedies for war, showing that violence is not the norm; that there are only five reasons why conflict wins over compromise; and how peacemakers turn the tides through tinkering, not transformation. From warring states to street gangs, ethnic groups and religious sects to political factions, there are common dynamics to heed and lessons to learn. Along the way, we meet vainglorious European monarchs, African dictators, Indian mobs, Nazi pilots, British football hooligans, ancient Greeks, and fanatical Americans. Realistic and optimistic, this is a book that lends new meaning to the old adage, "Give peace a chance."
    Javier Mejia is an economist teaching at Stanford University, whose work focuses on the intersection between social networks and economic history. His interests extend to topics on entrepreneurship and political economy with a geographical specialty in Latin America and the Middle East. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Los Andes University. He has been a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at New York University--Abu Dhabi and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Bordeaux. He is a regular contributor to different news outlets. Currently, he is Forbes Magazine op-ed columnist.
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    • 49 min
    Jennifer D. Sciubba, "8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World" (W. W. Norton, 2022)

    Jennifer D. Sciubba, "8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World" (W. W. Norton, 2022)

    As the world nears 8 billion people, the countries that have led the global order since World War II are becoming the most aged societies in human history. At the same time, the world's poorest and least powerful countries are suffocating under an imbalance of population and resources. In 8 Billion and Counting, political demographer Jennifer D. Sciubba argues that the story of the twenty-first century is less a story about exponential population growth, as the previous century was, than it is a story about differential growth--marked by a stark divide between the world's richest and poorest countries.
    Drawing from decades of research, policy experience, and teaching, Sciubba employs stories and statistics to explain how demographic trends, like age structure and ethnic composition, are crucial signposts for future violence and peace, repression and democracy, poverty and prosperity. Although we have a diverse global population, demographic trends often follow predictable patterns that can help professionals across the corporate, nonprofit, government, and military sectors understand the global strategic environment.
    Through the lenses of national security, global health, and economics, Sciubba demonstrates the pitfalls of taking population numbers at face value and extrapolating from there. Instead, she argues, we must look at the forces in a society that amplify demographic trends and the forces that dilute them, particularly political institutions, or the rules of the game. She shows that the most important skills in demographic analysis are naming and being aware of your preferences, rethinking assumptions, and asking the right questions.
    Provocative and engrossing, 8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World (W. W. Norton, 2022) is required reading for business leaders, policy makers, and anyone eager to anticipate political, economic, and social risks and opportunities. A deeper understanding of fertility, mortality, and migration promises to point toward the investments we need to make today to shape the future we want tomorrow.
    Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.
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    • 57 min
    Andrew Monaghan, "Russian Grand Strategy in the Era of Global Power Competition" (Manchester UP, 2022)

    Andrew Monaghan, "Russian Grand Strategy in the Era of Global Power Competition" (Manchester UP, 2022)

    The status of Russia as a world power has been fiercely debated since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although often ignored, Russia came back into the international limelight in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea and recently in 2022 with the war in Ukraine. However, what are the underlining precepts behind Russian behavior on the international stage, and how do Russian leaders perceive their country’s place in the world? To answer these questions is Russian Grand Strategy in the Era of Global Power Competition (Manchester University Press, 2022) edited by Andrew Monaghan.
    Dr. Andrew Monaghan is a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. This spring he was a George F Kennan Fellow at the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute. He is the author of a number of books on Russia, including Dealing with the Russians.
    Stephen Satkiewicz is independent scholar whose research areas are related to Civilizational Analysis, Big History, Historical Sociology, War studies, as well as Russian and East European history.
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Artificial Intelligence with Chinese Characteristics

    Artificial Intelligence with Chinese Characteristics

    What is artificial intelligence (AI) with Chinese characteristics? Why is the Chinese Government labelling AI as a matter of security? How has AI been empowering China’s authoritarian governance? Jinghan Zeng, Professor of China and International Studies at Lancaster University, talks about his latest book Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Chinese Characteristics: National Strategy, Security and Authoritarian Governance (Palgrave, 2022) at the Nordic Asia Podcast.
    In his conversation with Joanne Kuai, PhD candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden and affiliated PhD at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Jinghan Zeng introduces his book which argues that China’s AI approach is sophisticated and multifaceted, and it has brought about both considerable benefits and challenges to China. The book suggests that a more accurate understanding of AI with Chinese characteristics is essential in order to inform the debate regarding what lessons can be learnt from China’s AI approach and how to respond to China’s rise as the AI leader, if not a superpower.
    Jinghan Zeng is Professor of China and International Studies at Lancaster University. He is also Academic Director of China Engagement and Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute. He plays a key role in supporting the development and implementation of the University’s China strategy. He is the author of Slogan Politics: Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy Concepts (2020) and The Chinese Communist Party's Capacity to Rule: Ideology, Legitimacy and Party Cohesion (2015). He is also the co-editor of One Belt, One Road, One Story?: Towards an EU-China Strategic Narrative (2021).
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
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    • 24 min
    Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman, "Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman, "Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Hitler, Stalin, and Mao ruled through violence, fear, and ideology. But in recent decades a new breed of media-savvy strongmen has been redesigning authoritarian rule for a more sophisticated, globally connected world. In place of overt, mass repression, rulers such as Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Viktor Orbán control their citizens by distorting information and simulating democratic procedures. Like spin doctors in democracies, they spin the news to engineer support. Uncovering this new brand of authoritarianism, Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman explain the rise of such “spin dictators,” describing how they emerge and operate, the new threats they pose, and how democracies should respond.
    Spin Dictators traces how leaders such as Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew and Peru’s Alberto Fujimori pioneered less violent, more covert, and more effective methods of monopolizing power. They cultivated an image of competence, concealed censorship, and used democratic institutions to undermine democracy, all while increasing international engagement for financial and reputational benefits. The book reveals why most of today’s authoritarians are spin dictators—and how they differ from the remaining “fear dictators” such as Kim Jong-un and Bashar al-Assad.
    Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century (Princeton UP, 2022) is aimed at a general audience, synthesizing a vast amount of qualitative and quantitative research by the authors and many other scholars. The book is highly readable, with a great mix of anecdotes and examples along with plain-English explanations of academic research findings. However, it also provides an excellent overview of contemporary global authoritarianism for academics. Almost every claim in the book has an endnote reference to the original research for those who want to follow up. The endnotes mean that despite its moderately intimidating 340-page heft, the main text is a very approachable 219 pages.
    Daniel Treisman is a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on Russian politics and economics as well as comparative political economy, including in particular the analysis of democratization, the politics of authoritarian states, political decentralization, and corruption.
    In 2021-22, he was a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and he was recently named a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. A graduate of Oxford University (B.A. Hons.) and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1995), he has published five books and numerous articles in leading political science and economics journals including The American Political Science Review and The American Economic Review, as well as in public affairs journals such as Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. He has also served as a consultant for the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and USAID. In Russia, he has been a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Higher School of Economics and a member of the Jury of the National Prize in Applied Economics
    Peter Lorentzen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new Master's program in Applied Economics focused on the digital economy. His research focuses on the political economy and governance of China.
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    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Dan7013 ,

National Security - the Traditional and the Holistic

A previous reviewer criticized the “left-leaning” direction of some of the authors’ texts. Some of them are very left-leaning and do not at first come under the “traditional" topic of “National Security” - strategy, geopolitics, military history, arms and arms control, nuclear weapons, etc. written by practitioners in the discipline.

The left leaning works are more “holistic” in nature and do not usually fit within the previously defined constructs of National Security. They are usually authored by academics and address topics such as trans-border issues, sociological conditions, and related issues that impact a Nation and a State in a “holistic” manner. Example - the issue of Chinese-Americans and how they view and relate to the Chinese Communist Party / the Chinese State is an issue that concerns intelligence/counterintelligence, inter-state rivalry, geo-economics, etc.

Both “schools" are relevant, but may not be what is expected in the author’s presentations.

nbamendola ,

Good podcast

This is a informative and fascinating podcast. I highly recommend it.

Daniel Berlin Brigade ,

fake name, hard left political hatchet job.

I listened to five podcasts all were mislabeled. Three were actually introduced as "Latino Studies" , another dealt with a High Scholl course in NY which tought police work to kids ( veridct was of course "bad" ). What all podcats had in common was a regressive left narrative and how the hard left deals with and aproaches police related matter. If you are a National Security professional, you will not recognize yourself as this is never talked about. Looks like Marxist academics took over the podcast and are controlling the "narrative" a la Gramsci. This is what 8 years of progressive politics leads to. To hell in a hand basket. God help the West as SJW take over the academic "narrative".

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