Dryden-Peterson, Sarah. 2011. “The Politics of Higher Education for Refugees in a Global Movement for Basic Education.” Refuge 27 (2): 10-18.Abstract
In the context of Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), global movements for expanded access to education have focused on primary education. In refugee situations, where one-quarter of refugees do not have access to primary school and two-thirds do not have access to secondary school, donors and agencies resist supporting higher education with arguments that, at great cost, it stands to benefit a small and elite group. At the same time, refugees are clear that progression to higher levels of education is integrally connected with their future livelihoods and future stability for their regions of origin. This paper examines where higher education fits within a broader framework of refugee education and the politics of its provision, with attention to the policies and priorities of UN agencies, NGOs, national governments, and refugees themselves.
Cities and Sovereignty

Cities and Sovereignty

. Edited by Diane Davis and Nora Libertun de Duren. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Buy the BookAbstract
Cities have long been associated with diversity and tolerance, but from Jerusalem to Belfast to the Basque Country, many of the most intractable conflicts of the past century have played out in urban spaces. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume examine the interrelationships of ethnic, racial, religious, or other identity conflicts and larger battles over sovereignty and governance. Under what conditions do identity conflicts undermine the legitimacy and power of nation-states, empires, or urban authorities? Does the urban built environment play a role in remedying or exacerbating such conflicts? Employing comparative analysis, these case studies from the Middle East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia advance our understanding of the origins and nature of urban conflict.
Davis, Diane, and Tali Hatuka. 2011. “The Right to Vision: A New Planning Praxis for Conflict Cities.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 31 (3): 241-257. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Building on Henri Lefebvre’s work on the role of imagination in crafting socially just urban conditions and “rights to the city,” this paper asks whether new ideas and urban practices can be produced through the use of experimental visioning techniques. Using empirical evidence drawn from an ideas competition for Jerusalem, one of the world’s most intractable conflict cities, the paper considers the extent to which the global call to create alternative visions for a just, peaceful, and sustainable Jerusalem resulted in new strategies considered fundamentally different from those routinely deployed in conventional planning practice, how and why.
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Dryden-Peterson, Sarah. 2011. “Conflict, Education, and Displacement.” Conflict and Education 1 (1): 1-5. WebsiteAbstract
Children make up half of people forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict. The impacts of this conflict-included displacement on education are immense. This essay focuses on five urgent challenges for education in these settings, including barriers to access, the protracted nature of displacement, urban displacement, physical integration without social integration, and the search for quality. Three central ideas emerge from these challenges as priorities for future research: the need for comprehensive data on access to and quality of education for refugee and IDP children in order to understand the context-specific nature of general challenges; the use of “integration” as a guiding concept for education in displacement, specifically investigation of the social implications of physical integration; and the role of education as a portable durable solution for displaced children, including implications for curriculum, pedagogy, and post-primary opportunities.
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Mundy, Karen, and Sarah Dryden-Peterson. 2011. “Educating Children in Zones of Conflict: An Overview and Introduction.” In Educating Children in Conflict Zones: Research, Policy, and Practice for Systemic Change, a Tribute to Jackie Kirk, 1-12. New York: Teachers College Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Inspired by the work of the late Dr. Jacqueline Kirk, this book takes a penetrating look at the challenges of delivering quality education to the approximately 39 million out-of-school children around the world who live in situations affected by violent conflict. With chapters by leading researchers on education in war and other conflict zones, the volume provides a comprehensive and critical overview of the links between conflict and children’s access to education, as well as a review of the policies and approaches taken by those offering international assistance in this area. Empirical case studies drawn from diverse contexts - Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Uganda (among others) - offer readers a deeper understanding of the educational needs of these children and the practical challenges to meeting these needs. This inspiring collection:
  • Extends the legacy of the work that Jacqueline Kirk passionately pursued in her lifetime.
  • Includes several pieces of Jackie’s writings plus new chapters from preeminent scholars in the field of education in conflict.
  • Focuses on lessons that can be learned from the views of children and educators on the ground. Introduces cutting-edge approaches to field research, including impact evaluation and the use of photo-narrative.
  • Presents promising policy developments and pioneering programs that are making a difference in the lives of children affected by conflict.
Dryden-Peterson, Sarah. 2011. “Education as Livelihood for Refugee Children: Emergency, Protracted, and Urban Experiences.” In Educating Children in Conflict Zones: Research, Policy, and Practice for Systemic Change, a Tribute to Jackie Kirk, 85-99. New York: Teachers College Press. WebsiteAbstract
Inspired by the work of the late Dr. Jacqueline Kirk, this book takes a penetrating look at the challenges of delivering quality education to the approximately 39 million out-of-school children around the world who live in situations affected by violent conflict. With chapters by leading researchers on education in war and other conflict zones, the volume provides a comprehensive and critical overview of the links between conflict and children’s access to education, as well as a review of the policies and approaches taken by those offering international assistance in this area. Empirical case studies drawn from diverse contexts - Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Uganda (among others) - offer readers a deeper understanding of the educational needs of these children and the practical challenges to meeting these needs. This inspiring collection:
  • Extends the legacy of the work that Jacqueline Kirk passionately pursued in her lifetime.
  • Includes several pieces of Jackie’s writings plus new chapters from preeminent scholars in the field of education in conflict.
  • Focuses on lessons that can be learned from the views of children and educators on the ground.
  • Introduces cutting-edge approaches to field research, including impact evaluation and the use of photo-narrative.
  • Presents promising policy developments and pioneering programs that are making a difference in the lives of children affected by conflict.
Dryden-Peterson, Sarah. 2011. “Reconciliation Through Relationships Among Teachers and Sub-Saharan African Families in the U.s.a..” In Education and Reconciliation, 32-54. London: Continuum. Website
Balancing Acts
Warikoo, Natasha Kumar. 2011. Balancing Acts. Berkeley: University of California Press. WebsiteAbstract
In this timely examination of children of immigrants in New York and London, Natasha Kumar Warikoo asks, Is there a link between rap/hip-hop-influenced youth culture and motivation to succeed in school? Warikoo challenges teachers, administrators, and parents to look beneath the outward manifestations of youth culture -- the clothing, music, and tough talk -- to better understand the internal struggle faced by many minority students as they try to fit in with peers while working to lay the groundwork for successful lives. Using ethnographic, survey, and interview data in two racially diverse, low-achieving high schools, Warikoo analyzes seemingly oppositional styles, tastes in music, and school behaviors and finds that most teens try to find a balance between success with peers and success in school.
Hochschild, Jennifer L. 2010. “How, If at All, Is Racial and Ethnic Stratification Changing, and What Should We Do About It?.” Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
These chapters on the politics of groups push the reader to consider a difficult but essential question: How, if at all, are old forms of racial and ethnic stratification changing? A broadly persuasive answer would have powerful implications ranging from constitutional design and electoral strategies to interpersonal relationships and private emotions. However, the question is not only difficult to answer for obvious empirical reasons, but also because, for scholars just as for the general public, one’s own views inevitably shape what one considers to be legitimate evidence and appropriate evaluation of it. So the study of racial dynamics is exasperatingly circular, even with the best research and most impressive researchers. Although my concerns about circularity lead me to raise questions about all three chapters, I want to begin by pointing out their quality. Each provides the reader with a clear thesis, well defended by relevant evidence and attentive to alternative arguments or weaknesses in the preferred one. Each chapter grows out of a commitment to the best values of liberal democracy—individual freedom and dignity, along with collective control by the citizenry over their governors—but commitments do not override careful analysis. Each chapter is a pleasure to read and teaches us something new and important. My observations begin with a direct comparison of Pildes’s and Karlan’s respective evaluations of the United States’ Voting Rights Act and its appropriate reforms. I then bring in Hutchings and his colleagues’ analysis of American racial and ethnic groups’ views of each other, which provides some of the essential background for adjudicating between Pildes’s and Karlan’s positions. Underpinning my discussion, and becoming more explicit in the conclusion, is an observation that is not new to me but is nevertheless important: People who identify as progressives are often deeply suspicious of attempts to alter current policies about or understandings of racial and ethnic stratification, whereas people who identify as conservatives are often most eager to see and promote modifications in current practices. There is something deeply ironic here—both in the difficulties of many on the left to recognize what has changed and in the difficulties of many on the right to recognize what has not.
Garip, Filiz. 2010. “The Impact of Migration and Remittances on Wealth Accumulation and Distribution in Rural Thailand”.Abstract
This paper studies the impact of internal migration and remittance flows on wealth accumulation and distribution in 22 rural villages in Nang Rong, Thailand. Using data from 943 households, the study constructs indices of household productive and consumer assets with principal components analysis. The changes in these indices from 1994 to 2000 are modeled as a function of households’ prior migration and remittance behavior while correcting for potential selectivity bias with propensity score matching. The findings show that rich households face a decrease in productive assets due to migration of their members, while poor households with migrants gain productive assets and improve their relative status in their communities. These results suggest an equalizing effect of migration and remittance flows on wealth distribution in rural Thailand.
Hochschild, Jennifer L, and Vesla Weaver. 2010. ““There’S No One as Irish as Barack O’Bama”: The Policy and Politics of American Multiracialism.” Perspectives on Politics. Perspectives on Politics. Publisher's VersionAbstract
For the first time in American history, the 2000 United States census allowed individuals to choose more than one race. That new policy sets up our exploration of whether and how multiracialism is entering Americans’ understanding and practice of race. By analyzing briefly earlier cases of racial construction, we uncover three factors important to understanding if and how intensely a feedback effect for racial classification will be generated. Using this framework, we find that multiracialism has been institutionalized in the federal government, and is moving toward institutionalization in the private sector and other governmental units. In addition, the small proportion of Americans who now define themselves as multiracial is growing absolutely and relatively, and evidence suggests a continued rise. Increasing multiracial identification is made more likely by racial mixture’s growing prominence in Amer- ican society—demographically, culturally, economically, and psychologically. However, the politics side of the feedback loop is complicated by the fact that identification is not identity. Traditional racial or ethnic loyalties and understandings remain strong, including among potential multiracial identifiers. Therefore, if mixed-race identification is to evolve into a multiracial identity, it may not be at the expense of existing group consciousness. Instead, we expect mixed-race identity to be contextual, fluid, and additive, so that it can be layered onto rather than substituted for traditional monoracial commitments. If the multiracial movement successfully challenges the longstanding understanding and practice of “one drop of blood” racial groups, it has the potential to change much of the politics and policy of American race relations.
American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us
Putnam, Robert D, and David E Campbell. 2010. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. Simon & Schuster. Publisher's VersionAbstract
American Grace is a major achievement, a fascinating look at religion in today’s America. Unique among nations, America is deeply religious, religiously diverse and remarkably tolerant.  But in recent decades, the nation’s religious landscape has been reshaped. America has experienced three seismic shocks, say Robert Putnam and David Campbell. In the 1960s religious observance plummeted.  Then, in the 1970s and 1980s a conservative reaction produced the rise of evangelicalism and the Religious Right.  Since the 1990s, however, young people, turned off by that linkage between faith and conservative politics, have abandoned organized religion entirely.  The result:  growing polarization. The ranks of religious conservatives and secular liberals have swelled, leaving a dwindling group of religious moderates in between. At the same time, personal interfaith ties are strengthening. Interfaith marriage has increased, while religious identities are increasingly fluid. Putnam and Campbell show how this denser web of personal ties brings surprising interfaith tolerance, notwithstanding the so-called “culture wars.”American Grace is based on two of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on religion and public life in America. It includes a dozen in-depth profiles of diverse congregations across the country, which illuminate the trends described by Putnam and Campbell in the lives of real Americans. Nearly every chapter of American Grace contains a surprise about American religious life.
Imagination and Logos: Essays on C. P. Cavafy
Roilos, Panagiotis. 2010. Imagination and Logos: Essays on C. P. Cavafy. Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This book explores diverse but complementary interdisciplinary approaches to the poetics, intertexts, and influence of the work of C. P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Kavafis), one of the most important twentieth-century European poets. Written by leading international scholars in a number of disciplines (critical theory, gender studies, comparative literature, English studies, Greek studies, anthropology, classics), the essays of this volume situate Cavafy’s poetry within the broader contexts of modernism and aestheticism and investigate its complex and innovative responses to European literary traditions (from Greek antiquity to modernity) as well as its multifaceted impact on major figures of world literature—from North America to South Africa.
Nye, Joseph S., Jr.. 2010. “American and Chinese Power After the Financial Crisis.” The Washington Quarterly. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The United States has been widely blamed for the recent financial crisis. As the U.S. economy floundered and China continued to grow in the great recession of 2008–2009, Chinese authors launched "a flood of declinist commentary about the United States." One expert claimed that the high point of U.S. power projection was 2000. The Chinese were not alone in such statements. Goldman Sachs advanced the date at which it expects the size of the Chinese economy to surpass the U.S. economy to 2027. In a 2009 Pew Research Center poll, majorities or pluralities in 13 of 25 countries believed that China will replace the United States as the world's leading superpower. Even the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council projected in 2008 that U.S. dominance would be "much diminished" by 2025. President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia called the 2008 financial crisis a sign that the United States' global leadership is coming to an end, and even a sympathetic observer, Canadian opposition leader Michael Ignatieff, suggested that Canada should look beyond North America now that "the noon hour of the United States and its global dominance are over."One should be wary, however, of extrapolating long-term trends from cyclical events, while being aware of misleading metaphors of organic decline. Nations are not like humans with predictable life spans. For example, after the United Kingdom lost its American colonies at the end of the eighteenth century, Horace Walpole lamented its reduction to "as insignificant a country as Denmark or Sardinia." He failed to foresee that the industrial revolution would give the United Kingdom a second century of even greater ascendency. Likewise, Rome remained dominant for more than three centuries after the apogee of Roman power. Even then, Rome did not succumb to the rise of another state, but died a death of a thousand cuts inflicted by various barbarian tribes. Indeed for all the fashionable predictions of Brazil, China, or India surpassing the United States in the next decades, the greater threats may come from cuts from modern barbarians and non-state actors.
Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know
Skocpol, Theda, and Lawrence R Jacobs. 2010. Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama in March 2010 is a landmark in U.S. social legislation. The new law extends health insurance to nearly all Americans, fulfilling a century-long quest and bringing the United States to parity with other industrial nations. Affordable Care aims to control rapidly rising health care costs and promises to make the United States more equal, reversing four decades of rising disparities between the very rich and everyone else. Millions of people of modest means will gain new benefits and protections from insurance company abuses—and the tab will be paid by privileged corporations and the very rich. How did such a bold reform effort pass in a polity wracked by partisan divisions and intense lobbying by special interests? What does Affordable Care mean—and what comes next? In Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know, Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol—two of the nation's leading experts on politics and health care policy—provide a concise and accessible overview. They explain the political battles of 2009 and 2010, highlighting White House strategies, the deals Democrats cut with interest groups, and the impact of agitation by Tea Partiers and progressives. Jacobs and Skocpol spell out what the new law can do for everyday Americans, what it will cost, and who will pay. Above all, they explain what comes next, as critical yet often behind-the-scenes battles rage over implementing reform nationally and in the fifty states. Affordable Care might end up being weakened. But, like Social Security and Medicare, it could also gain strength and popularity as the majority of Americans learn what it can do for them.
Ocitti, Jim. 2010. Oteka Okello Mxoka Lengomoi: A Legend Among the Acholi of Uganda. Sahel Books Inc. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Dr. Jim Ocitti is the author of two highly acclaimed books on Uganda: Political Evolution and Democratic Practice in Uganda 1952–1996 and Press, Politics and Public Policy in Uganda: The Role of Journalism in Democratization, both published by the Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY. He has served as a Senior Communication Advisor to the United Nations and worked as a Journalist in Uganda, Germany and the Netherlands. Dr. Ocitti obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and attended Harvard University as a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He was also a Fellow in International Affairs at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. In this book, he traces the life of one of the most illustrious military and political leaders in Acholi of Northern Uganda at the intersection of history between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by illuminating the man's contribution to social change in Northern Uganda during the malleable early phase of colonial rule in the area. This book illuminates the life of Oteka Okello Mwoka Lengomoi, a legendary figure in the history of Acholi of Northern Uganda between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book traces Mwoka's life from early childhood to his elevation to the position of Oteka, or military commander, of the Chiefdom of Puranga and narrates his relationship with key socio-political figures within the region, such as the king of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, major chiefs in Lango and Acholi, and the British colonial authorities. The book shows Mwoka's various levels of contribution to social change in Acholi within the British colonial setting, as he became the single most important and dependable local leader for the British in their imperial designs in the area. It documents the circumstances under which the Oteka was assassinated and the implication of his demise on Acholi politics and society. It shows how, in the wake of his death, many of his children and grandchildren rose to various levels of influence within Acholi and Uganda. The book ends with a brief narrative of the history of the Chiefdom of Puranga from which Oteka Okello Mwoka Lengomoi originated and of which he was a principal player.
Patterson, Orlando. 2010. “Jamaica’S Bloody Democracy”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
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.
Constructing the International Economy
Abdelal, Rawi E. 2010. Constructing the International Economy. Cornell University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Focusing empirically on how political and economic forces are always mediated and interpreted by agents, both in individual countries and in the international sphere, Constructing the International Economy sets out what such constructions and what various forms of constructivism mean, both as ways of understanding the world and as sets of varying methods for achieving that understanding. It rejects the assumption that material interests either linearly or simply determine economic outcomes and demands that analysts consider, as a plausible hypothesis, that economies might vary substantially for nonmaterial reasons that affect both institutions and agents' interests.Constructing the International Economy portrays the diversity of models and approaches that exist among constructivists writing on the international political economy. The authors outline and relate several different arguments for why scholars might attend to social construction, inviting the widest possible array of scholars to engage with such approaches. They examine points of terminological or theoretical confusion that create unnecessary barriers to engagement between constructivists and nonconstructivist work and among different types of constructivism. This book provides a tool kit that both constructivists and their critics can use to debate how much and when social construction matters in this deeply important realm
The Mystery of Economic Growth
Helpman, Elhanan. 2010. The Mystery of Economic Growth. Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Far more than an intellectual puzzle for pundits, economists, and policymakers, economic growth—its makings and workings—is a subject that affects the well-being of billions of people around the globe. In The Mystery of Economic Growth, Elhanan Helpman discusses the vast research that has revolutionized understanding of this subject in recent years, and summarizes and explains its critical messages in clear, concise, and accessible terms. The tale of growth economics, as Helpman tells it, is organized around a number of themes: the importance of the accumulation of physical and human capital; the effect of technological factors on the rate of this accumulation; the process of knowledge creation and its influence on productivity; the interdependence of the growth rates of different countries; and, finally, the role of economic and political institutions in encouraging accumulation, innovation, and change. One of the leading researchers of economic growth, Helpman succinctly reviews, critiques, and integrates current research—on capital accumulation, education, productivity, trade, inequality, geography, and institutions—and clarifies its relevance for global economic inequities. In particular, he points to institutions—including property rights protection, legal systems, customs, and political systems—as the key to the mystery of economic growth. Solving this mystery could lead to policies capable of setting the poorest countries on the path toward sustained growth of per capita income and all that that implies—and Helpman's work is a welcome and necessary step in this direction.
Why the Constitution Matters (Why X Matters Series)
Tushnet, Mark. 2010. Why the Constitution Matters (Why X Matters Series). Yale University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In this surprising and highly unconventional work, Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet poses a seemingly simple question that yields a thoroughly unexpected answer. The Constitution matters, he argues, not because it structures our government but because it structures our politics. He maintains that politicians and political parties—not Supreme Court decisions—are the true engines of constitutional change in our system. This message will empower all citizens who use direct political action to define and protect our rights and liberties as Americans.Unlike legal scholars who consider the Constitution only as a blueprint for American democracy, Tushnet focuses on the ways it serves as a framework for political debate. Each branch of government draws substantive inspiration and procedural structure from the Constitution but can effect change only when there is the political will to carry it out. Tushnet’s political understanding of the Constitution therefore does not demand that citizens pore over the specifics of each Supreme Court decision in order to improve our nation. Instead, by providing key facts about Congress, the president, and the nature of the current constitutional regime, his book reveals not only why the Constitution matters to each of us but also, and perhaps more important, how it matters.