New Books

Slavery’s Capitalism

Edited by Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman

Book cover for Slavery's CapitalismDuring the nineteenth century, the United States entered the ranks of the world's most advanced and dynamic economies. At the same time, the nation sustained an expansive and brutal system of human bondage. This was no mere coincidence. Slavery's Capitalism argues for slavery's centrality to the emergence of American capitalism in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. According to editors Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, the issue is not whether slavery itself was or was not capitalist but, rather, the impossibility of understanding the nation's spectacular pattern of economic development without situating slavery front and center. American capitalism—renowned for its celebration of market competition, private property, and the self-made man—has its origins in an American slavery predicated on the abhorrent notion that human beings could be legally owned and compelled to work under force of violence. (Read more at University of Pennsylvania Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Sven Beckert is the Laird Bell Professor of History, Harvard University.

Rape during Civil War

By Dara Kay Cohen

Book cover for Rape during Civil WarRape is common during wartime, but even within the context of the same war, some armed groups perpetrate rape on a massive scale while others never do. In Rape during Civil War Dara Kay Cohen examines variation in the severity and perpetrators of rape using an original dataset of reported rape during all major civil wars from 1980 to 2012. Cohen also conducted extensive fieldwork, including interviews with perpetrators of wartime rape, in three postconflict counties, finding that rape was widespread in the civil wars of the Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste but was far less common during El Salvador's civil war. (Read more at Cornell University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Dara Kay Cohen is an assistant professor of public policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

China's Urban Communities: Concepts, Context, and Well-Being

By Ann Forsyth, Peter Rowe, and Har Ye Kan

Book cover for China's Urban CommunitiesCities in China are extremely dynamic and experience high pressure to grow, transform, and adapt. But in what directions, on what basis, and to which goals? The authors and their team have researched the intensive transformation processes of about twenty-five neighborhood communities that were created in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Suzhou in the last thirty years, ranging from inner-city to peripheral areas, starting from planning and leading up to user satisfaction studies. This in-depth overview on neighborhood typology and development in China follows the book Emergent Architectural Territories in East Asian Cities by Peter Rowe, who is among the world’s best scholars on urban transformation in East Asia, together with his colleagues Ann Forsyth and Har Ye Kan. (Read more at De Gruyter)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Ann Forsyth is a professor of urban planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Dictators and Their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence

By Sheena Greitens

Book cover for Dictators and Their Secret PoliceHow do dictators stay in power? When, and how, do they use repression to do so? Dictators and their Secret Police explores the role of the coercive apparatus under authoritarian rule in Asia—how these secret organizations originated, how they operated, and how their violence affected ordinary citizens. Greitens argues that autocrats face a coercive dilemma: whether to create internal security forces designed to manage popular mobilization, or defend against potential coup. Violence against civilians, she suggests, is a byproduct of their attempt to resolve this dilemma. Drawing on a wealth of new historical evidence, this book challenges conventional wisdom on dictatorship: what autocrats are threatened by, how they respond, and how this affects the lives and security of the millions under their rule. It offers an unprecedented view into the use of surveillance, coercion, and violence, and sheds new light on the institutional and social foundations of authoritarian power. (Read more at Cambridge University Press)

Weatherhead Center alum Sheena Greitens was an Academy Scholar in 2013–2014. She is currently a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Public Debt, Inequality, and Power: The Making of a Modern Debt State

By Sandy Brian Hager

Book cover for Public Debt, Inequality, and PowerWho are the dominant owners of US public debt? Is it widely held, or concentrated in the hands of a few? Does ownership of public debt give these bondholders power over our government? What do we make of the fact that foreign-owned debt has ballooned to nearly 50 percent today? Until now, we have not had any satisfactory answers to these questions. Public Debt, Inequality, and Power is the first comprehensive historical analysis of public debt ownership in the United States. It reveals that ownership of federal bonds has been increasingly concentrated in the hands of the 1 percent over the past three decades. Based on extensive and original research, Public Debt, Inequality, and Power will shock and enlighten. (Read more at University of California Press)

Weatherhead Center Postdoctoral Fellow Sandy Brian Hager is a fellow in international political economy, London School of Economics and Political Science.

The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future

By Sheila Jasanoff

Book cover for The Ethics of InventionTechnology rules us as much as laws do. It shapes the legal, social, and ethical environments in which we act. Every time we cross a street, drive a car, or go to the doctor, we submit to the silent power of technology. Yet, much of the time, the influence of technology on our lives goes unchallenged by citizens and our elected representatives. In The Ethics of Invention, renowned scholar Sheila Jasanoff dissects the ways in which we delegate power to technological systems and asks how we might regain control. (Read more at W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Sheila Jasanoff is the Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School.

Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies

By Calestous Juma

Book cover for Innovation and Its EnemiesThe rise of artificial intelligence has rekindled a long-standing debate regarding the impact of technology on employment. This is just one of many areas where exponential advances in technology signal both hope and fear, leading to public controversy. This book shows that many debates over new technologies are framed in the context of risks to moral values, human health, and environmental safety. But it argues that behind these legitimate concerns often lie deeper, but unacknowledged, socioeconomic considerations. Technological tensions are often heightened by perceptions that the benefits of new technologies will accrue only to small sections of society while the risks will be more widely distributed. Similarly, innovations that threaten to alter cultural identities tend to generate intense social concern. As such, societies that exhibit great economic and political inequities are likely to experience heightened technological controversies. (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Calestous Juma is the Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School.

Resolve in International Politics

By Joshua D. Kertzer

Book cover for Resolve in International PoliticsWhy do some leaders and segments of the public display remarkable persistence in confrontations in international politics, while others cut and run? The answer given by policy makers, pundits, and political scientists usually relates to issues of resolve. Yet, though we rely on resolve to explain almost every phenomenon in international politics—from prevailing at the bargaining table to winning on the battlefield—we don’t understand what it is, how it works, or where it comes from. Resolve in International Politics draws on a growing body of research in psychology and behavioral economics to explore the foundations of this important idea. (Read more at Princeton University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Joshua Kertzer is an assistant professor of government, Harvard University.

Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel

By Michèle Lamont, Graziella Moraes Silva, Jessica S. Welburn, Joshua Guetzkow, Nissim Mizrachi, Hanna Herzog, and Elisa Reis

Book cover for Getting RespectRacism is a common occurrence for members of marginalized groups around the world. Getting Respect illuminates their experiences by comparing three countries with enduring group boundaries: the United States, Brazil, and Israel. The authors delve into what kinds of stigmatizing or discriminatory incidents individuals encounter in each country, how they respond to these occurrences, and what they view as the best strategy—whether individually, collectively, through confrontation, or through self-improvement—for dealing with such events. (Read more at Princeton University Press)

Weatherhead Center Director and Faculty Associate Michèle Lamont is the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and professor of sociology and of African and African American studies, Harvard University.

Challenges of Party-Building in Latin America

Edited by Steven Levitsky, James Loxton, Brandon Van Dyck, and Jorge I. Domínguez

Book cover for Challenges of Party-Building in Latin AmericaNearly four decades since the onset of the third wave, political parties remain weak in Latin America: parties have collapsed in much of the region, and most new party-building efforts have failed. Why do some new parties succeed while most fail? This book challenges the widespread belief that democracy and elections naturally give rise to strong parties and argues that successful party-building is more likely to occur under conditions of intense conflict than under routine democracy. Periods of revolution, civil war, populist mobilization, or authoritarian repression crystallize partisan attachments, create incentives for organization-building, and generate a 'higher cause' that attracts committed activists. Empirically rich chapters cover diverse cases from across Latin America, including both successful and failed cases. (Read more at Cambridge University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Steven Levitsky is a professor of government, Harvard University. Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Jorge Domìnguez is the Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico, Harvard University.

Once Within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and Belonging since 1500

By Charles S. Maier

Book cover for Once Within BordersThroughout history, human societies have been organized preeminently as territories—politically bounded regions whose borders define the jurisdiction of laws and the movement of peoples. At a time when the technologies of globalization are eroding barriers to communication, transportation, and trade, Once Within Borders explores the fitful evolution of territorial organization as a worldwide practice of human societies. Master historian Charles S. Maier tracks the epochal changes that have defined territories over five centuries and draws attention to ideas and technologies that contribute to territoriality’s remarkable resilience. (Read more at Harvard University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Charles S. Maier is the Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University.

Philosophies of Multiculturalism

By Paul May

Book cover for Philosophies of MulticulturalismMulticulturalism has been a constant topic in the media, an idea that underlies much sociological analysis of phenomena, ranging from the waves of migration in Europe to educational programs in the US, to the question of Islam in Western democracies. It is central to critical concerns in today’s globalized world—immigration, social cohesion and the development of the nation-state, among others.

Even today, however, multiculturalism is poorly understood as a social theory: What are its philosophical origins and current trends? What criticism has it drawn among political philosophers?
In this work, Paul May surveys the importance of Bhikhu Parekh, Charles Taylor, Will Kymlicka and James Tully and others who have developed, criticized, and discussed the idea of multiculturalism.

Available in the original French, this work is an indispensable guide for students, researchers, and citizens alike. (Read more at Sciences Po Press)

Weatherhead Center William Lyon Mackenzie King Postdoctoral Fellow Paul May recently completed his PhD in political science from Écoles des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Checkbook Elections?

By Pippa Norris

Book cover for Checkbook Elections?Money is essential to the functioning of electoral politics, yet regulating its appropriate use raises complex and controversial challenges in countries around the world. Both long-established democracies and emerging economies have been continually plagued by problems of financial malfeasance, graft, corruption, and cronyism. To throw new light on these important challenges, this book addresses three related questions: (1) what types of public policies are commonly used in attempts to regulate the role of money in politics?, (2) what triggers landmark finance reforms? and, (3) above all, what works, what fails, and why—when countries implement reforms? Checkbook Elections? presents an original theory for understanding policies regulating political finance, reflecting the degree to which laws are laissez-faire or guided by state intervention. Each chapter is written by an area specialist and collectively cover long-established democracies as well as hybrid regimes, affluent postindustrial societies (Sweden, the United States, Britain, and Japan), major emerging economies (Russia, Brazil, and South Africa) and developing societies (India and Indonesia). (Read more at Oxford Academic Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Pippa Norris is the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics, Harvard Kennedy School and the Laureate Research Fellow and professor of government and international relations, University of Sydney.

Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course

By Fernando Reimers, Vidur Chopra, Connie K. Chung, Julia Higdon, and Eleanor B. O’Donnell

Book cover for Empowering Global CitizensHow do we help students work effectively with others from diverse cultural backgrounds? How do we help them understand the world? How do we prepare them for work and life in an era of globalization, volatility, and uncertainty? Empowering Global Citizens offers educators and parents compelling answers to those questions.

This book presents The World Course, a curriculum on global citizenship education designed to equip students with the competencies they need to thrive and contribute to sustainable development in an era of globalization. Drawing on curriculum mapping this book offers a coherent and rigorous set of instructional units to support deep learning of twenty-first-century competencies that develop agency, imagination, confidence, and the skills to navigate the complexity of our times. (Read more at Amazon, though CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Fernando Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The Curse of Cash

By Kenneth S. Rogoff

Book cover for The Curse of CashThe world is drowning in cash—and it’s making us poorer and less safe. In The Curse of Cash, Kenneth Rogoff, one of the world’s leading economists, makes a persuasive and fascinating case for an idea that until recently would have seemed outlandish: getting rid of most paper money.

Even as people in advanced economies are using less paper money, there is more cash in circulation—a record $1.4 trillion in US dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills. And the United States is hardly exceptional. So what is all that cash being used for? The answer is simple: a large part is feeding tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy. (Read more at Princeton University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Kenneth S. Rogoff is the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University.

The Diversity Bargain

By Natasha K. Warikoo

Book cover for The Diversity BargainWe’ve heard plenty from politicians and experts on affirmative action and higher education, about how universities should intervene—if at all—to ensure a diverse but deserving student population. But what about those for whom these issues matter the most? In this book, Natasha K. Warikoo deeply explores how students themselves think about merit and race at a uniquely pivotal moment: after they have just won the most competitive game of their lives and gained admittance to one of the world’s top universities. (Read more at the University of Chicago Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Natasha K. Warikoo is an associate professor of education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.