Lamont, Michèle, Mario Luis Small, and David J Harding. 2010. Reconsidering Culture and Poverty. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Website
Cooper, Richard N. 2010. Europe’s Emissions Trading System.Abstract
This paper describes and evaluates the system for trading CO2 emission permits introduced by the European Union to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to help abate climate change. This system represents a live example of a functioning trading system under the so-called cap-and-trade approach to limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Data are fully available for only one year (2008) of the fully functioning system, and that year was influenced by a sharp economic recession in the final months of the year, making evaluation difficult. Preliminary analysis suggests, however, that the trading system made only a limited contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
Cooper, Richard N. 2010. The Case for Charges on Greenhouse Gas Emissions.Abstract
The proposal discussed in this paper is to levy a common charge on all emissions of greenhouse gases, worldwide. All countries would be covered in principle, but the proposal could be implemented with a much smaller number of countries, provided they covered most of the emissions. While all greenhouse gases should in principle be covered, this paper will address mainly carbon dioxide, quantitatively the most important greenhouse gas; extensions to other greenhouse gases could be made with little or (in the case of methane) much difficulty. The charge would be internationally adjusted from time to time, and each country would collect and keep the revenue it generated.
Cooper, Richard N. 2010. The World Economy in 2033.Abstract
The record of long-term forecasting, particularly by economists, is not a glorious one. In a celebrated article, the great English economist John Maynard Keynes, writing in 1930 about “the economic possibilities of our grandchildren,” forecast that in a century’s time the working week would be about 15 hours long, thus creating a serious challenge of how to use our extensive leisure. We have less than a quarter century to realize that result. The trends point in the right direction, but are substantially off in magnitude.
Lamont, Michèle, and Bruno Cousin. 2010. The Multiple Crises of French Universities. WebsiteAbstract
Between February and June 2009, French universities were the theatre of an exceptional protest movement against the latest flavour of governmental reform concerning academic careers. Protest sometimes seems to be a way of life in the French academy, and in France at large, but this time the situation is serious, with potentially huge consequences for the future of the sector. Indeed, the nation that gave birth to je pense, donc je suis is in a deep crisis on the intellectual front, and nowhere is this as obvious as in academic evaluation.The protest movement did not take off in the grandes écoles (which train much of the French elite), or in professional and technical schools. Instead, it took off in the 80 comprehensive universités – the public institutions that are the backbone of the French educational system. Until two years ago, they were required to admit any high-school graduate on a first-come, first-served basis. A selection process was recently introduced, but even today most students are there because they could not gain entry elsewhere. Faculty work conditions are generally poor, as their institutions are chronically underfunded. Classes are large and programmes are understaffed. More than half of all students leave without any kind of diploma. Public universities can be very different from each other and are research-intensive in varying degrees, but they carry out the bulk of French scientific research. Research is largely conducted in centres that are located within these institutions, and which often bring together overworked university teachers and full-time researchers who are attached to national institutes such as the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). In a context where the output of these joint centres is not, or is only partially, covered by international ratings, French academics feel doubly underrated owing to the combination of low salaries and low ratings.This feeling was exacerbated on 22 January when President Nicolas Sarkozy declared that the poor performance of French universities in international rankings was, above all, the consequence of the absence of continuous evaluation, which encourages sloth. Of course, he was displeased that the extensive set of higher education reforms undertaken by his Government during the preceding two years were met with opposition by large segments of the academic community.Everyone agrees that the current system poses a great many problems, but there is no agreement on how to improve it and get beyond the current gridlock. It is la société bloquée all over again. To wit:While most academics believe that the system is far too centralised, a 2007 law establishing the progressive financial “autonomy” (and accountability) of universities has been met with criticism and resistance, because it is perceived to be part of a strategy of withdrawal on the part of the State that will result in fewer resources being available for higher education. A number of scholars also fear that the increased decision-making power conferred on university presidents is a threat to the autonomy of faculty members.While there is a need to design new, more universalistic procedures for evaluating performance and distributing resources, many academics are sceptical of the new institutions recently created to do this, namely the national agencies for the evaluation of universities and research units (Agence d’Evaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Superieur, or AERES) and research projects (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, or ANR). The former, in particular, has been criticised for its reliance on bibliometrics (publication and citation counts), even if the agency is now moving towards using less quantitative standards. Moreover, whereas the former mechanisms for distributing research funds depended on the decisions of elected peers (for instance, on the national committee of the CNRS), AERES appoints its panel members, and this is seen as a blow to researchers’ autonomy. For this and other reasons, many academics have refused to serve on its evaluation panels.- While academics often agree that the old CNRS needed further integration with the universities, many denounce its gradual downsizing and transformation from a comprehensive research institution to a simple funding and programming agency as the work of uninformed politicians and technocrats intent on dismantling what works best in French research. In 2004, a widespread national protest arose against this dismantling, with 74,000 scholars signing a petition against it. Critics also say that the ongoing reorganisation of the CNRS into disciplinary institutes will reinforce the separation between the sciences, reorient research towards more applied fields and work against the interdisciplinary collaborations that are crucial to innovation in many fields.While many agree on the need to improve teaching, moves to increase the number of teaching hours are among the most strongly contested reforms. French academics, who very rarely have sabbaticals, already perceive themselves as overworked in a system where time for research is increasingly scarce. These factors help to explain the resistance to expanded classroom hours and new administrative duties.In the longest strike ever organised by the French scientific community, tens of thousands of lecturers and researchers began in early February to hold protests over a period of several weeks, demonstrating in the streets and (with the support of some students) blocking access to some university campuses. Many also participated in a national debate via print, online and broadcast media, and in general meetings. Some faculty members held teach-ins and action-oriented “alternative courses” for students. Several universities saw their final exams and summer holidays delayed and many foreign exchange students were called back by their home institutions. Despite this frontal assault, the Government did not back down: the much disparaged decree reorganising academic careers (with regard to recruitment, teaching loads, evaluations and promotions) and giving more prerogatives and autonomy to university presidents came into effect on 23 April.This outcome will probably lead academics and their unions to rethink their strategies and repertoires of collective action. The traditional protest forms are losing legitimacy. As the dust settles, it is becoming clear that demonstrating has little traction in a context where the French public increasingly perceives academics as an elite bent on defending its privileges, even if it requires depriving students of their courses. Negotiation is also perceived as ineffectual, as many suspect that governmental consultations were conducted to buy time until the end of the academic year, when mobilisation would peter out. A third strategy—the radical option that would have prevented the scheduling of exams and the handing out of diplomas at the end of this spring – was ruled out even on the campuses most committed to the cause for fear of alienating the public even further.As yet, however, no clear alternative has surfaced. We are now witnessing a cleavage between those who voice their opposition (in the main, scholars in the humanities) and the increasing number of academics (primarily scientists) who espouse a “wait-and-see” or a collaborative position as the only realistic path to improving the situation in their own universities. If the majority of academics appear to share the same diagnosis about what needs to be changed in the French system, they disagree on the solution (and on its scale—national or local). The root of the crisis lies not only in the Government’s difficulties in generating consensus, but also in the academics’ own scepticism, cynicism or fatalism about meritocracy, the absence of the administrative resources needed to support proper evaluation, the possibility of impartial evaluation, and the system’s ability to recognise and reward merit.Deep problems remain in the institutions charged with evaluating the work of academics. The interference of political power, and the (admittedly diminishing) influence of trade unions and corporatist associations have long been viewed as obstacles to a collegial system of academic evaluation. The legitimacy of the 70 disciplinary sections of the Conseil National des Universites (CNU)—charged with certifying individuals as eligible for faculty positions, and with directly granting some promotions – is under question. Some of its committee members are appointed by the Government and as such are suspected of being second-rate, of benefiting from governmental patronage, or of defending governmental interests. Others are chosen from electoral lists that include a disproportionate number of partisan members, who are often perceived to be there because of their political involvement rather than because of their scientific status.The legitimacy of these committees is further called into question because they include only academics employed by French institutions and are often viewed as perpetuating a longstanding tradition of favouritism. To give only one particularly scandalous example: in June, panellists in the sociology section allocated to themselves half of the promotions that they were charged with assigning across the entire discipline of sociology. This led to the resignation of the rest of the commission and to multiple protests. Such an occurrence sent deep waves of distrust not only between academics, but also towards the civil servants charged with reforming a system that is increasingly viewed as flawed.Peer review is also in crisis at the local level. While selecting young doctoral recipients to be maîtres de conférences (the entry level permanent position in the French academy, similar to the British lecturer), French universities on average fill 30 per cent of available posts with their own graduates, to the point where local clientelism is often decried as symbolising the corruption of the entire system. The typical (and only) job interview for such a post lasts 20 to 30 minutes—probably the European record for brevity and surely too short to determine whether an individual deserves what is essentially a lifelong appointment. Many view the selection process as little more than a means to legitimise the appointment of pre-selected candidates—although the extent to which this is genuinely the case varies across institutions.What is to be done? Because both the CNU and the local selection committees have recently been reorganised or granted new responsibilities, it seems the right moment to think about how to improve the evaluation processes in very practical ways. As part of a new start, academics should aim to generate a system of true self-governance at each level, grounded in more explicit principles for peer review. This would put them in a position to defend academic autonomy against the much-feared and maligned governmental or managerial control. While this is certainly occurring in some disciplines and institutions, progress is far from being equally spread across the sector.Obvious and costless regulatory measures could easily be implemented—for instance, discouraging universities from hiring their own PhD graduates (as AERES recently started to), or forbidding selection committees from promoting their own members. One could also look abroad for examples of “best practice”. The UK’s Economic and Social Research Council has created colleges of trained academic evaluators who are charged with maintaining academic and ethical standards in peer review; although not all aspects of the British approach to academic reform should be emulated, this one is particularly worthy.The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) uses teams of elected experts to evaluate proposals, and academic reputation weighs heavily in determining which names will be put on electoral lists and who will serve on evaluation panels. Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council recently asked an independent panel of international experts to evaluate its peer review process in order to improve impartiality and effectiveness.In a recent book on peer review in the US, one of the present authors (Michéle Lamont) showed the ways in which American social scientists and humanists operate to maintain their faith in the idea that peer review works and that the academic system of evaluation is fair. In this case, academics exercise their right as the only legitimate evaluators of knowledge by providing detailed assessment of intellectual production in light of their extensive expertise in specialised topics. The exercise of peer evaluation sustains and expresses professional status and professional autonomy. But it requires significant time (and thus good working conditions) and moral commitment—time spent comparing dossiers, making principled decisions about when it is necessary to withdraw on the grounds of personal interest, and so forth. Of course no peer review works perfectly, but US academics, while being aware of its limitations, appear to view the system as relatively healthy and they engage in many actions that contribute to sustaining this faith.In our view, fixing the current flaws in the French system does not merely demand organisational reforms, including giving academics more time to evaluate the research of colleagues and candidates properly. It may also require French academics to think long and hard about their own cynicism and fatalism concerning their ability to make judgments about quality that would not be driven by cronyism or particularism, and that would honour their own expertise and connoisseurship.Not that proper governmental reform is not needed, but sometimes blaming the Government may be an easy way out. Above all, it is increasingly a very ineffectual way of tackling a substantial part of the problem. A little more collaborative thinking and a little less cynicism among both academics and administrators—if at all possible—may very well help French universities find a way out of the crisis. And it will help the French academic and research community to become, once again, much more than the sum of its parts.
Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War
Levitsky, Steven. 2010. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. Cambridge University Press. WebsiteAbstract
Competitive authoritarian regimes—in which autocrats submit to meaningful multiparty elections but engage in serious democratic abuse—proliferated in the post–Cold War era. Based on a detailed study of 35 cases in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and post-communist Eurasia, this book explores the fate of competitive authoritarian regimes between 1990 and 2008. It finds that where social, economic, and technocratic ties to the West were extensive, as in Eastern Europe and the Americas, the external cost of abuse led incumbents to cede power rather than crack down, which led to democratization. Where ties to the West were limited, external democratizing pressure was weaker and countries rarely democratized. In these cases, regime outcomes hinged on the character of state and ruling party organizations. Where incumbents possessed developed and cohesive coercive party structures, they could thwart opposition challenges, and competitive authoritarian regimes survived; where incumbents lacked such organizational tools, regimes were unstable but rarely democratized.
Patterson, Orlando. 2010. Jamaica’s Bloody Democracy. WebsiteAbstract
The violence tearing apart Jamaica, a democratic state, raises serious questions not only about its government’s capacity to provide basic security but, more broadly and disturbingly, the link between violence and democracy itself.The specific causes of the turmoil are well known. For decades political leaders have used armed local gangs to mobilize voters in their constituencies; the gangs are rewarded with the spoils of power, in particular housing and employment contracts they can dole out. Opposition leaders counter with their own gangs, resulting in chronic violence during election seasons.These gangs eventually moved into international drug trafficking, with their leaders, called “dons,” becoming ever more powerful. The tables turned quite some time ago, with the politicians becoming dependent on the dons for their survival. A case in point is the reliance of Prime Minister Bruce Golding on one notorious don, Christopher Coke, whose refusal to surrender for extradition to the United States to stand trial on gun and drug charges led last week to virtual warfare on the streets of the capital, Kingston, and the deaths of scores of civilians.Endemic political corruption is hardly Jamaica’s only problem. Add to it paltry rates of economic growth, widespread poverty and income inequality, vast urban slums and a police force considered brutal and despised by the poor, and it is little surprise that the island nation’s homicide rate is always among the handful of the world’s highest.Yet Jamaica, to its credit, has by global standards achieved a robust democracy. However great the violence during elections, voting is fair and governments change at the national level regularly and fairly smoothly. The judiciary, if overburdened, is nonetheless independent and relatively uncorrupt. There is a vigorous free press, and a lively civil society. Freedom House has continuously categorized the island as a “free” country.For most observers of democracy, Jamaica’s violence seems an anomaly. Democracy is held to be inherently prone to good order and peace. According to this “democratic peace” doctrine, democracies do not go to war with each other, and in domestic life they provide nonviolent means of settling differences. Violence, writes the political theorist John Keane, is anathema to democracy’s “spirit and substance.”It may or may not be true that democracies do not wage war with each other, but a growing number of analysts have concluded that, domestically, democracies are in fact more prone to violence than authoritarian states, measured by incidence of civil wars, communal conflict and homicide.There are many obvious examples of this: India has far more street crime than China; the countries of the former Soviet Union are more violent now than they were under Communism; the streets of South Africa became more dangerous after apartheid was dismantled; Brazil was safer before 1985 under its military rule.Three good explanations are offered for this connection between democracy and violent crime. First, it has been persuasively shown by social scientists like David Rapoport of the University of California at Los Angeles and Leonard Weinberg of the University of Nevada at Reno that the electoral process itself tends, on balance, to promote violence more than peace.Sometimes the ballot can substitute for the bullets of civil wars, as in Nicaragua in 1990 when the Sandinista government was voted out peacefully. However, the opposite is more often the case, as in Greece in 1967, when electoral uncertainty led to a military coup, and Algeria in 1992, when elections were canceled in the face of a certain victory by a fundamentalist Islamic party, leading to civil war.Another well-supported argument is that democracies are especially vulnerable to ethnic conflict and organized crime. In diverse democracies, the temptation of leaders to exploit ethnic identity for political ends is an all too frequent source of major conflict, sometimes culminating in oppression of minorities and even genocide. We saw this happen in Rwanda in 1994 and the former Yugoslav states in the 1990s. Dennis Austin, who has studied political strife in India and Sri Lanka, has concluded that in such societies “democracy is itself a spur to violence” adding “depth to the sense of division.” Organized crime, especially international trafficking in drugs, has become a serious threat to democracies worldwide. Felia Allun and Renate Siebert, the editors of an important scholarly collection, “Organized Crime and the Challenge to Democracy,” argue that “it is by exploiting the very freedoms which democratic systems offer that organized crime is able to thrive ... although mortifying democratic rights, these kinds of crimes need the democratic space to flourish.”A third, more nuanced argument is suggested by the work of the Norwegian political scientist Havard Hegre, who has shown that nondemocratic regimes become more prone to civil unrest, and more likely to threaten or start wars with neighboring countries, as they enter the transition period toward becoming democratic. The arc to democratic peace is therefore U-shaped. Authoritarian regimes can tyrannize their citizens into less violence. But as their states become more democratic, the mix of persisting authoritarian traditions and democratic freedoms can be lethal, sometimes resulting in complete state collapse, as in Yugoslavia.It is only when such countries get very close to democratic maturity that social violence rapidly declines. At least that is the conclusion that my Harvard colleague Ethan Fosse and I came to after examining the relationship between homicide rates and Freedom House’s democracy rankings.Yet even in these countries on the cusp of democracy there is a complicating factor — they are usually also going through the transition from a poor economy to a more developed one. The expectations of citizens in these transitional economies often outrun the capacity of society to meet them; people get frustrated and feel unfairly treated, leading to high risks of violence.The worst possible situation for a state, however, is for its economic transition to stall or fail before the transition to mature democracy is complete. And this is what Jamaica now faces. For the first dozen years after independence from Britain in 1962, progress toward democracy and self-sustained economic growth moved nicely in tandem. But then the oil crisis and recession of 1973, and the efforts by the democratic socialist government of Prime Minister Michael Manley to deal with hard times, knocked the wind from the sails of economic progress, and Jamaica has never really recovered. (Disclosure: I was an adviser to Prime Minister Manley at that time.)To see what happens when a country accomplishes both transitions, we need only look at the neighboring Afro-Caribbean island of Barbados. It has a similar colonial past, and became independent just three years after Jamaica. Yet Barbados’ per capita income is now more than twice that of Jamaica, its standard of living puts it among the developed world and Freedom House places it on a par with Western Europe in terms of the maturity of its democracy. Sure enough, Barbados also has one of the lowest homicide rates in the hemisphere.Barbados, unfortunately, is not typical. Jamaica, though an extreme case, is more in line with other democracies of the hemisphere, including Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico and even Brazil, where the treacherous joint transition to democratic maturity and economic security has been accompanied by horrendous levels of crime.As the American government decides how to respond to the crisis in Jamaica, a product of the (proper) insistence on the extradition of Christopher Coke, it would do well to view developments there in these broader terms. The problem of Jamaica might not seem so insoluble if Americans were to have a more sympathetic understanding of the transitional plight of this little country, brought on in large part by its unwavering struggle toward a more mature and equitable democracy.
Orlando Patterson is a professor of sociology at Harvard.
Mullainathan, Sendhil, and Glenn Loury. 2010. Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity. WebsiteAbstract
Glenn Loury of Brown University and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University discuss new social science thinking about poverty.Link to the New York Times Video
Cooper, Richard N. 2010. Does the SDR Have a Future?.Abstract
This article will briefly address the future prospects for the dollar as an internationally acceptable denomination for assets, and then discuss the several ways in which the SDR or some other internationally-agreed reserve asset might partially substitute for the US dollar in its international roles, and even eventually replace it. It concludes that there is no practical substitute for the dollar in the near future, meaning the next decade or two; and that while the SDR could be made a substitute for the dollar along several dimensions in the longer run, it would require a major concerted effort by the leading governments of the world to do so.
Israel and Palestine-Two States for Two Peoples: If Not Now, When?
Kelman, Herbert C, Lenore G Martin, Stephen M Walt, and Boston Study Group Middle East on Peace. 2010. Israel and Palestine-Two States for Two Peoples: If Not Now, When?. Foreign Policy Association. WebsiteAbstract
Israel and Palestine, is written by the Boston Study Group on Middle East Peace: Alan Berger, Harvey Cox, Herbert C. Kelman, Lenore G. Martin, Everett Mendelsohn, Augustus Richard Norton, Henry Steiner, and Stephen M. Walt.The Boston Study Group on Middle East Peace is comprised of professional and academic members with strong interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some have been intensely engaged with this subject for decades. Others have closely followed the conflict within the context of their professional work in conflict resolution, international law and international relations, religion, and U.S. foreign policy.The Group's principal contribution is the jointly written Policy Statement entitled "Israel and Palestine - Two States for Two Peoples: If not Now, When?" The Statement stands as a collegial, collective enterprise that represents a consensus view of the group.Prior to drafting the policy statement each member undertook to research and write a background paper on one of the topics important to the statement.
Kelman, Herbert C, Lenore G Martin, Stephen M Walt, Alan Berger, Harvey Cox, Everette Mendelsohn, Augustus Richard Norton, and Henry J Steiner. 2010. Israel and Palestine—Two States for Two Peoples: If Not Now, When?. Foreign Policy Association. WebsiteAbstract
The Boston Study Group on Middle East Peace is comprised of professional and academic members with strong interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some have been intensely engaged with this subject for decades. Others have closely followed the conflict within the context of their professional work in conflict resolution, international law and international relations, religion, and US foreign policy.The Group's principal contribution is the jointly written Policy Statement entitled Israel and Palestine—Two States for Two Peoples: If not Now, When? The Statement stands as a collegial, collective enterprise that represents a consensus view of the group.Prior to drafting the policy statement each member undertook to research and write a background paper on one of the topics important to the statement.
Allison, Graham T., Jr. 2010. A Failure to Imagine the Worst. Foreign Policy. Website
Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know
Paarlberg, Robert L. 2010. Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press. WebsiteAbstract
The politics of food is changing fast. In rich countries, obesity is now a more serious problem than hunger. Consumers once satisfied with cheap and convenient food now want food that is also safe, nutritious, fresh, and grown by local farmers using fewer chemicals. Heavily subsidized and under-regulated commercial farmers are facing stronger push-back from environmentalists and consumer activists, and food companies are under the microscope. Meanwhile in developing countries, agricultural success in Asia has spurred income growth and dietary enrichment, but agricultural failure in Africa has left one third of all citizens undernourished. The international markets that link these diverse regions together are subject to sudden disruption, as noted when an unexpected spike in international food prices in 2008 caused street riots in a dozen or more countries. In an easy-to-navigate, question-and-answer format, Food Politics carefully examines and explains the most important issues on today's global food landscape, including the food crisis of 2008, famines, the politics of chronic hunger, the Malthusian race between food production and population growth, international food aid, controversies surrounding "green revolution" farming, the politics of obesity, farm subsidies and trade, agriculture and the environment, agribusiness, supermarkets, food safety, fast food, slow food, organic food, local food, and genetically engineered food.Politics in each of these areas has become polarized over the past decade by conflicting claims and accusations from advocates on all sides. Paarlberg's book maps this contested terrain through the eyes of an independent scholar not afraid to unmask myths and name names. More than a few of today's fashionable beliefs about farming and food are brought down a notch under this critical scrutiny. For those ready to have their thinking about food politics informed and also challenged, this is the book to read.Features
  • Concise, straightforward introduction to the range of phenomena the media has dubbed nullfood politicsnull.
  • Will act as a counterpoint to the overwhelmingly alarmist literature on the food crisis.
  • Paarlberg is an expert on food policy, a viewpoint underrepresented in the current popular literature.
  • Lively writing, highly readable Q&A format; part of the popular What Everyone Needs to Know series.
Hochschild, Jennifer L. 2010. How Did the 2008 Economic Crisis Affect Social and Political Solidarity in Europe?.Abstract
One possible outcome of the economic crash of 2008 was that the majority or mainstream members of a society would direct their anger and fear against the minority or marginal members of their society. Commentators on television or the radio would claim, “it’s all the fault of the immigrants!” or “if we didn’t hand over so much of our tax dollars to the poor, the economy would not have deteriorated so much,” or “social benefits to African Americans [or German Turks] have distorted the housing market.” Citizens would come to believe these assertions, politicians would echo them—and the upshot would be not only a deteriorating national and international economy but also increased hostility and fear among racial, ethnic, or nationality groups in a country. Social solidarity would decline, perhaps irrevocably.
Hochschild, Jennifer L. 2010. Immigration Regimes and Schooling Regimes: Which Countries Promote Successful Immigrant Incorporation?.Abstract
While Canada is often described as the most and France as one of the least successful countries in the realm of immigrant incorporation, the question remains unresolved of how to evaluate a country’s policies for dealing with immigration and incorporation relative to that of others.Our strategy is to examine the relationships among 1) countries’ policies and practices with regard to admitting immigrants, 2) their educational policies for incorporating first and second generation immigrants, and 3) educational achievement of immigrants and their children.We compare eight western industrialized countries. We find that immigration regimes, educational regimes, and schooling outcomes are linked distinctively in each country.>States that are liberal, or effective, on one dimension may be relatively conservative, or ineffective, on another, and countries vary in their willingness and ability to help disadvantaged people achieve upward mobility through immigration and schooling. >We conclude that by some normative standards, France has a better immigration regime than does Canada. Overall, this study points to new ways to study immigration and new normative standards for judging states’ policies of incorporation.  
The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective
Ferguson, Niall, Erez Manela, Charles S Maier, and Daniel Sargent. 2010. The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective. Harvard University Press. WebsiteAbstract
From the vantage point of the United States or Western Europe, the 1970s was a time of troubles: economic “stagflation,” political scandal, and global turmoil. Yet from an international perspective it was a seminal decade, one that brought the reintegration of the world after the great divisions of the mid-twentieth century. It was the 1970s that introduced the world to the phenomenon of “globalization,” as networks of interdependence bound peoples and societies in new and original ways The 1970s saw the breakdown of the postwar economic order and the advent of floating currencies and free capital movements. Non-state actors rose to prominence while the authority of the superpowers diminished. Transnational issues such as environmental protection, population control, and human rights attracted unprecedented attention. The decade transformed international politics, ending the era of bipolarity and launching two great revolutions that would have repercussions in the twenty-first century: the Iranian theocratic revolution and the Chinese market revolution.The Shock of the Global examines the large-scale structural upheaval of the 1970s by transcending the standard frameworks of national borders and superpower relations. It reveals for the first time an international system in the throes of enduring transformations.
Nye, Joseph S., Jr. 2010. An Alliance Larger Than One Issue. WebsiteAbstract
Seen from Tokyo, America’s relationship with Japan faces a crisis. The immediate problem is deadlock over a plan to move an American military base on the island of Okinawa. It sounds simple, but this is an issue with a long back story that could create a serious rift with one of our most crucial allies. When I was in the Pentagon more than a decade ago, we began planning to reduce the burden that our presence places on Okinawa, which houses more than half of the 47,000 American troops in Japan. The Marine Corps Air Station Futenma was a particular problem because of its proximity to a crowded city, Ginowan. After years of negotiation, the Japanese and American governments agreed in 2006 to move the base to a less populated part of Okinawa and to move 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam by 2014.The plan was thrown into jeopardy last summer when the Japanese voted out the Liberal Democratic Party that had governed the country for nearly half a century in favor of the Democratic Party of Japan. The new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, leads a government that is inexperienced, divided and still in the thrall of campaign promises to move the base off the island or out of Japan completely. The Pentagon is properly annoyed that Mr. Hatoyama is trying to go back on an agreement that took more than a decade to work out and that has major implications for the Marine Corps’ budget and force realignment. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed displeasure during a trip to Japan in October, calling any reassessment of the plan “counterproductive.” When he visited Tokyo in November, President Obama agreed to a high-level working group to consider the Futenma question. But since then, Mr. Hatoyama has said he will delay a final decision on relocation until at least May. Not surprisingly, some in Washington want to play hardball with the new Japanese government. But that would be unwise, for Mr. Hatoyama is caught in a vise, with the Americans squeezing from one side and a small left-wing party (upon which his majority in the upper house of the legislature depends) threatening to quit the coalition if he makes any significant concessions to the Americans. Further complicating matters, the future of Futenma is deeply contentious for Okinawans. Even if Mr. Hatoyama eventually gives in on the base plan, we need a more patient and strategic approach to Japan. We are allowing a second-order issue to threaten our long-term strategy for East Asia. Futenma, it is worth noting, is not the only matter that the new government has raised. It also speaks of wanting a more equal alliance and better relations with China, and of creating an East Asian community—though it is far from clear what any of this means. When I helped to develop the Pentagon’s East Asian Strategy Report in 1995, we started with the reality that there were three major powers in the region—the United States, Japan and China—and that maintaining our alliance with Japan would shape the environment into which China was emerging. We wanted to integrate China into the international system by, say, inviting it to join the World Trade Organization, but we needed to hedge against the danger that a future and stronger China might turn aggressive. After a year and a half of extensive negotiations, the United States and Japan agreed that our alliance, rather than representing a cold war relic, was the basis for stability and prosperity in the region. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto affirmed that in their 1996 Tokyo declaration. This strategy of “integrate, but hedge” continued to guide American foreign policy through the years of the Bush administration. This year is the 50th anniversary of the United States–Japan security treaty. The two countries will miss a major opportunity if they let the base controversy lead to bitter feelings or the further reduction of American forces in Japan. The best guarantee of security in a region where China remains a long-term challenge and a nuclear North Korea poses a clear threat remains the presence of American troops, which Japan helps to maintain with generous host nation support.Sometimes Japanese officials quietly welcome “gaiatsu,” or foreign pressure, to help resolve their own bureaucratic deadlocks. But that is not the case here: if the United States undercuts the new Japanese government and creates resentment among the Japanese public, then a victory on Futenma could prove Pyrrhic.  
Joseph S. Nye Jr., a professor of government at Harvard and the author of The Powers to Lead, was an assistant secretary of defense from 1994 to 1995.
Hochschild, Jennifer L. 2010. How Did the 2008 Economic Crisis Affect Social and Political Solidarity in Europe?.Abstract
One possible outcome of the economic crash of 2008 was that the majority or mainstream members of a society would direct their anger and fear against the minority or marginal members of their society.  Commentators on television or the radio would claim, “it’s all the fault of the immigrants!” or “if we didn’t hand over so much of our tax dollars to the poor, the economy would not have deteriorated so much,” or “social benefits to African Americans [or German Turks] have distorted the housing market.”  Citizens would come to believe these assertions, politicians would echo them—and the upshot would be not only a deteriorating national and international economy but also increased hostility and fear among racial, ethnic, or nationality groups in a country.  Social solidarity would decline, perhaps irrevocably. 
Yalta: The Price of Peace
Plokhii, Serhii. 2010. Yalta: The Price of Peace. Viking Press. WebsiteAbstract
Imagine you could eavesdrop on a dinner party with three of the most fascinating historical figures of all time. In this landmark book, a gifted Harvard historian puts you in the room with Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt as they meet at a climactic turning point in the war to hash out the terms of the peace. The ink wasn't dry when the recriminations began. The conservatives who hated Roosevelt's New Deal accused him of selling out. Was he too sick? Did he give too much in exchange for Stalin's promise to join the war against Japan? Could he have done better in Eastern Europe? Both Left and Right would blame Yalta for beginning the Cold War. Plokhy's conclusions, based on unprecedented archival research, are surprising. He goes against conventional wisdom—cemented during the Cold War—and argues that an ailing Roosevelt did better than we think. Much has been made of FDR's handling of the Depression; here we see him as wartime chief. Yalta is authoritative, original, vividly–written narrative history.
Natural Experiments of History
Robinson, James A, and Jared Diamond. 2010. Natural Experiments of History. Harvard University Press. WebsiteAbstract
Some central questions in the natural and social sciences can't be answered by controlled laboratory experiments, often considered to be the hallmark of the scientific method. This impossibility holds for any science concerned with the past. In addition, many manipulative experiments, while possible, would be considered immoral or illegal. One has to devise other methods of observing, describing, and explaining the world.In the historical disciplines, a fruitful approach has been to use natural experiments or the comparative method. This book consists of eight comparative studies drawn from history, archeology, economics, economic history, geography, and political science. The studies cover a spectrum of approaches, ranging from a non-quantitative narrative style in the early chapters to quantitative statistical analyses in the later chapters. The studies range from a simple two-way comparison of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola, to comparisons of 81 Pacific islands and 233 areas of India. The societies discussed are contemporary ones, literate societies of recent centuries, and non-literate past societies. Geographically, they include the United States, Mexico, Brazil, western Europe, tropical Africa, India, Siberia, Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific islands.In an Afterword, the editors discuss how to cope with methodological problems common to these and other natural experiments of history.