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Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books
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Interviews with Political Scientists about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/political-science

    Alison M. Parker, "Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell" (UNC Press, 2020)

    Alison M. Parker, "Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell" (UNC Press, 2020)

    Dr. Alison M. Parker’s new book Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell (University of North Carolina Press, 2020) explores the life of civil rights activist and feminist, Mary Church Terrell. Born into slavery at the end of the Civil War, Terrell (1863-1954) became one of the most prominent activists of her time -- working at the intersection of rights for women and African Americans, anti-colonialism, criminal justice reform, and beyond. Her career stretched from the late nineteenth century to the civil rights movement of the 1950s -- and she was able to see the result of the NAACP’s efforts in Brown v. Board of Education before she died. The first president of the National Association of Colored Women and a founding member of the NAACP, Terrell collaborated closely with other leaders such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Mary McLeod Bethune -- but she also was unafraid to disagree on principle and political strategy. 
    Unceasing Militant, the first full-length academic biography of Terrell, integrates her extraordinary public activism with her romantic, reproductive, parental, economic, and mental health challenges. Understanding what she called the double handicap of sexism and racism, Terrell offered a nuanced and intersectional Black feminist political theory. Terrell insisted upon African American women’s “full humanity and equality” and -- honoring that legacy -- Alison Parker deftly weaves resources of all kinds, including privately held letters and diaries, to provide an account of a woman dedicated to changing the culture and institutions that perpetuated inequality throughout the United States -- but also a breathing, loving, nuanced woman navigating life.
    Alison M. Parker is Richards Professor of American History and Chair of the History of the Department at the University of Delaware. She researches and teaches at the intersections of gender, race, disability, citizenship and the law in U.S. history. Her earlier works include two books, Articulating Rights: Nineteenth- Century American Women on Race, Reform and the State (Cornell University Press, 2010) and Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform, and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933 (Northern Illinois University Press,1997). Her most recent public facing scholarship is the 2020 New York Times op-ed, “When White Women Wanted a Monument to Black Mammies.”
    Madeline Jones assisted with this podcast.
    Susan Liebell is an associate professor of political science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Why Diehard Originalists Aren’t Really Originalists recently appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage and “Retreat from the Rule of Law: Locke and the Perils of Stand Your Ground” was published in the Journal of Politics (July 2020). Email her comments at sliebell@sju.edu or tweet to @SusanLiebell.
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    Making Sense of the West Bengal Elections

    Making Sense of the West Bengal Elections

    In this episode Kennth Bo Nielsen of Asianettverket at the University of Oslo is joined by Niladri Chatterjee (University of Oslo), Zaad Mahmoud (Presidency University) and Arild Engelsen Ruud (University of Oslo) to analyse the results of the recently concluded West Bengal state assembly elections. The elections dealt a major blow to the expansionist ambitions of the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP, while the regional party Trinamool Congress (TMC) scored a landslide victory. How was the TMC able to stop the BJP juggernaut? And what will the results mean for national politics?
    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 (CEAS) at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University.
    About NIAS: https://www.nias.ku.dk/
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: https://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
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    Tetyana Lokot, "Beyond the Protest Square: Digital Media and Augmented Dissent" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021)

    Tetyana Lokot, "Beyond the Protest Square: Digital Media and Augmented Dissent" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021)

    Tetyana Lokot's new book Beyond the Protest Square: Digital Media and Augmented Dissent (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) examines how citizens use digital social media to engage in public discontent and offers a critical examination of the hybrid reality of protest where bodies, spaces and technologies resonate. It argues that the augmented reality of protest goes beyond the bodies, the tents, and the cobblestones in the protest square, incorporating live streams, different time zones, encrypted conversations, and simultaneous translation of protest updates into different languages. Based on more than 60 interviews with protest participants and ethnographic analysis of online content in Ukraine and Russia, it examines how citizens in countries with limited media freedom and corrupt authorities perceive the affordances of digital media for protest and how these enable or limit protest action. The book provides a nuanced contribution to debates about the role of digital media in contentious politics and protest events, both in Eastern Europe and beyond.
    Tanya (Tetyana) Lokot is Associate Professor in Digital Media and Society at the School of Communications, Dublin City University. 
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    Erik Jones, "European Studies: Past, Present, and Future" (Agenda, 2020)

    Erik Jones, "European Studies: Past, Present, and Future" (Agenda, 2020)

    “It is no secret that European studies has suffered a setback in the academy”, write William Collins Donahue and Martin Kagel in their contribution to European Studies: Past, Present and Future (Agenda Publishing, 2020).
    In the US, area studies have waned, funding streams have dried up and students are questioning what job being a “Europeanist” will get them. In the UK, as Professor Helen Drake has written, “European Studies has all but disappeared from British university curricula”.
    Why? What can be done? Does the setback in the discipline mirror the EU’s own crises over the past decade?
    For this first book in the Council for European Studies’ Understanding Europe series, Erik Jones assembled 55 Europeanists to write 45 answers to these questions and to think aloud about the future of the discipline and the continent.
    Erik Jones is the Director of European and Eurasian Studies and Professor of European Studies and International Political Economy at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University.
    *The author's own book recommendations are Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze (Allen Lane, 2018) and The Once and Future King by T. H. White (Penguin, 2016 - first published in 1958).
    Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors.
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    Ora Szekely, et al., "Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars" (Georgetown UP, 2019)

    Ora Szekely, et al., "Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars" (Georgetown UP, 2019)

    Today I talked to Ora Szekely about Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars (Georgetown UP, 2019), which she co-edited with Jessica Trisko Darden and Alexis Henshaw.
    Why do women go to war in non-state armed groups? Despite the reality that female combatants exist the world over, we still know relatively little about who these women are, what motivates them to take up arms, how they are utilized by armed groups, and what happens to them when war ends. Through a comparative analysis of women's participation in different non-state armed groups, Insurgent Women addresses women's involvement in civil war at three different points in the conflict lifecycle: recruitment, conflict participation, and conflict resolution. By examining the ongoing civil war in Ukraine, the conflicts in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, and the civil war in Colombia, the authors find that there is no single profile of a female combatant. Rather, women's roles in and motivations for joining insurgent groups vary. The practical and theoretical implications of Insurgent Women suggest that policymakers and scholars must pay more attention to the complex motivations and roles that female combatants play in waging war in order to secure peace. This is an accessible and timely work that will be a useful introduction to another side of contemporary conflict.
    Dilan Okcuoglu is post-doctoral fellow at American University.
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    Heath Brown, "Homeschooling the Right: How Conservative Education Activism Erodes the State" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Heath Brown, "Homeschooling the Right: How Conservative Education Activism Erodes the State" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Political Scientist Heath Brown’s new book, Homeschooling the Right: How Conservative Education Activism Erodes the State (Columbia UP, 2021) is an excellent overview of the homeschooling movement in the United States, but it is much more than an exploration of that movement, since it centers on the way that this movement developed into a parallel political structure within states and localities with substantial capacity to influence policy and politics. Brown notes that initially the homeschool movement was ideologically diverse, but that over the past forty years it has become much more directly connected to conservative politics and the Religious Right. As parents chose to opt out of public education and provide education for their children at home, an entire industry grew up around this undertaking, providing, in the pre-internet days, support, content, approaches, and the means to help parents negotiate this at home. Along the way, as this movement continued to grow and expand, even though it was composed of only a fraction of school-age children, it also became a politically vocal movement, with lobbyists who worked on behalf of homeschoolers to keep government intrusion and regulation at bay. 
    These threads came together and helped to mobilize the members of the homeschool movement. Brown argues that the ideology and the political dimensions of the homeschool movement ultimately migrated over to the Tea Party Movement that takes root in the first decade of the 21st century, since the homeschool ideas are pulling together conservative libertarianism in the anti-government, anti-regulatory vein, and the reintegration of Christian beliefs within academic settings. As we discussed the book, Brown noted that every Republican presidential candidate over the past two decades has paid attention to the homeschool movement, and that President George W. Bush made a point of thanking the homeschool parents and children who had worked so diligently on his campaign and with the GOP Get Out The Vote efforts, since the homeschool students were able to fold these experiences into their curriculum and assignments. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which developed to provide legal support for home school advocates across the states, had initially become a key player in conservative politics, but has now refocused much more narrowly, specifically on homeschool policy. 
    Homeschooling the Right also gets at the complicated position of the homeschool movement within a democracy, since the movement itself is a way of removing the individual or the family from the public sphere. What is ironic, and important to understand, as Brown notes, is that this political movement has a louder, heightened political voice because of the capacity to mobilize many of its adherents, thus it is both actively inside and outside the political sphere.
    This is a wonderfully written book and so accessible to readers—and it will be of interest to many across a broad spectrum of disciplines.
    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). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj.
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

an Archy ,

Fascinating but flawed

The New Books podcasts do me a huge service by keeping me up to date on my field (American elections and public opinion) while introducing me to work is never have thought to read on my own. For example, I really enjoyed the recent episode on Buddhist politics in Myanmar.

However, they also occasionally remind me how much academics struggle to explain their work. Obviously these podcasts aren't aimed at a lay audience, but the interviewees often have trouble conveying why even another academic outside their subfield might care about their subject. And the interviewers sometimes seem indifferent when not talking about their own are; sometimes it feels like they're just skimming the chapter titles to guide their questions.

On the whole, though, very edifying podcasts and I'm extremely grateful to the people who volunteer their time to make them happen.

Concerned Political Scientist ,

John Yoo?

No.

A Syrian NoOne ,

Syrian

Big thank you Political Science.
To Blumenthal’s critics:
Keep your dirty petrodollars, your crazed Takfiri radical militants from China, Chechnya, and from all over the world, keep the mountains of media campaigns of deception, cynicism, and lies. Keep those maniac sectarian psychos who deny the river of blood shed at the hands of your “Moderate Rebels.”
But give us “Management of Savagery.”

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