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Latest Books

Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia's War
The post-cold war era has seen an unmistakable trend toward the proliferation of violent non-state groups-variously labeled terrorists, rebels, paramilitaries, gangs, and criminals-near borders in unstable regions especially. In Borderland Battles, Annette Idler examines the micro-dynamics among violent non-state groups and finds striking patterns: borderland spaces consistently intensify the security impacts of how these groups compete for territorial control, cooperate in illicit cross-border activities, and replace the state in exerting governance functions. Drawing on extensive fieldwork with more than 600 interviews in and on the shared borderlands of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, where conflict is ripe and crime thriving, Idler reveals how dynamic interactions among violent non-state groups produce a complex security landscape with ramifications for order and governance, both locally and beyond. A deep examination of how violent non-state groups actually operate with and against one another on the ground, Borderland Battles will be essential reading for anyone involved in reducing organized crime and armed conflict-some of our era's most pressing and seemingly intractable problems.
China and Japan: Facing History

China and Japan have cultural and political connections that stretch back fifteen hundred years. But today their relationship is strained. China’s military buildup deeply worries Japan, while Japan’s brutal occupation of China in World War II remains an open wound. In recent years less than ten percent of each population had positive feelings toward the other, and both countries insist that the other side must deal openly with its history before relations can improve.

From the sixth century, when the Japanese adopted core elements of Chinese civilization, to the late twentieth century, when China looked to Japan for a path to capitalism, Ezra Vogel’s China and Japan examines key turning points in Sino–Japanese history. Throughout much of their past, the two countries maintained deep cultural ties, but China, with its great civilization and resources, had the upper hand. Japan’s success in modernizing in the nineteenth century and its victory in the 1895 Sino–Japanese War changed the dynamic, putting Japan in the dominant position. The bitter legacy of World War II has made cooperation difficult, despite efforts to promote trade and, more recently, tourism.

Vogel underscores the need for Japan to offer a thorough apology for the war, but he also urges China to recognize Japan as a potential vital partner in the region. He argues that for the sake of a stable world order, these two Asian giants must reset their relationship, starting with their common interests in environmental protection, disaster relief, global economic development, and scientific research.

The Routledge Companion to the Makers of Global Business
da Lopes, Teresa Silva, Christina Lubinski, and Heidi J.S. Tworek, ed. 2019. The Routledge Companion to the Makers of Global Business. Publisher's Version Abstract

The Routledge Companion to the Makers of Global Business draws together a wide array of state-of-the-art research on multinational enterprises. The volume aims to deepen our historical understanding of how firms and entrepreneurs contributed to transformative processes of globalization.

This book explores how global business facilitated the mechanisms of cross-border interactions that affected individuals, organizations, industries, national economies and international relations. The 37 chapters span the Middle Ages to the present day, analyzing the emergence of institutions and actors alongside key contextual factors for global business development. Contributors examine business as a central actor in globalization, covering myriad entrepreneurs, organizational forms and key industrial sectors. Taking a historical view, the chapters highlight the intertwined and evolving nature of economic, political, social, technological and environmental patterns and relationships. They explore dynamic change as well as lasting continuities, both of which often only become visible—and can only be fully understood—when analyzed in the long run.

With dedicated chapters on challenges such as political risk, sustainability and economic growth, this prestigious collection provides a one-stop shop for a key business discipline.

Women in Place: The Politics of Gender Segregation in Iran
While much has been written about the impact of the 1979 Islamic revolution on life in Iran, discussions about the everyday life of Iranian women have been glaringly missing. Women in Place offers a gripping inquiry into gender segregation policies and women’s rights in contemporary Iran. Author Nazanin Shahrokni takes us onto gender-segregated buses, inside a women-only park, and outside the closed doors of stadiums where women are banned from attending men’s soccer matches. The Islamic character of the state, she demonstrates, has had to coexist, fuse, and compete with technocratic imperatives, pragmatic considerations regarding the viability of the state, international influences, and global trends. Through a retelling of the past four decades of state policy regulating gender boundaries, Women in Place challenges notions of the Iranian state as overly unitary, ideological, and isolated from social forces and pushes us to contemplate the changing place of women in a social order shaped by capitalism, state-sanctioned Islamism, and debates about women’s rights. Shahrokni throws into sharp relief the ways in which the state strives to constantly regulate and contain women’s bodies and movements within the boundaries of the “proper” but simultaneously invests in and claims credit for their expanded access to public spaces.
Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front: American Airmen behind the Soviet Lines and the Collapse of the Grand Alliance

At the conference held in in Moscow in October 1943, American officials proposed to their Soviet allies a new operation in the effort to defeat Nazi Germany. The Normandy Invasion was already in the works; what American officials were suggesting until then was a second air front: the US Air Force would establish bases in Soviet-controlled territory, in order to "shuttle-bomb" the Germans from the Eastern front. For all that he had been pushing for the United States and Great Britain to do more to help the war effort—the Soviets were bearing by far the heaviest burden in terms of casualties—Stalin, recalling the presence of foreign troops during the Russian Revolution, balked at the suggestion of foreign soldiers on Soviet soil. His concern was that they would spy on his regime, and it would be difficult to get rid of them afterword. Eventually in early 1944, Stalin was persuaded to give in, and Operation Baseball and then Frantic were initiated. B-17 Flying Fortresses were flown from bases in Italy to the Poltava region in Ukraine.

As Plokhy's book shows, what happened on these airbases mirrors the nature of the Grand Alliance itself. While both sides were fighting for the same goal, Germany's unconditional surrender, differences arose that no common purpose could overcome. Soviet secret policeman watched over the operations, shadowing every move, and eventually trying to prevent fraternization between American servicemen and local women. A catastrophic air raid by the Germans revealed the limitations of Soviet air defenses. Relations soured and the operations went south. Indeed, the story of the American bases foreshadowed the eventual collapse of the Grand Alliance and the start of the Cold War. Using previously inaccessible archives, Forgotten Bastards offers a bottom-up history of the Grand Alliance, showing how it first began to fray on the airfields of World War II.

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Affiliate Spotlight

Sarah Lund

Sarah Lund

Graduate Student Affiliate. PhD Candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University.

Research interests: Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French art; French Revolution and Napoleonic era; visual culture; political, social, and cultural identities; representations of history; and print culture.

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