New Books

Coups and Revolutions: Mass Mobilization, the Egyptian Military, and the United States from Mubarak to Sisi

By Amy Austin Holmes

Book cover image for Coups and RevolutionsIn 2011, Egypt witnessed more protests than any other country in the world. Counter to the received narrative, Amy Austin Holmes argues that the ousting of Mubarak in 2011 did not represent the culmination of a revolution or the beginning of a transition period, but rather the beginning of a revolutionary process that would unfold in three waves, followed by two waves of counterrevolution. This book offers the first analysis of both the revolution and counterrevolution in Egypt from January 2011 until June 2018. (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Former Weatherhead Center Scholar Amy Austin Holmes is an associate professor of sociology at American University in Cairo.

Black Wave: How Networks and Governance Shaped Japan’s 3/11 Disasters

By Daniel P. Aldrich

Book cover image of Black WaveDespite the devastation caused by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 60-foot tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, some 96% of those living and working in the most disaster-stricken region of Tōhoku made it through. Smaller earthquakes and tsunamis have killed far more people in nearby China and India. What accounts for the exceptionally high survival rate? And why is it that some towns and cities in the Tōhoku region have built back more quickly than others? (Read more at University of Chicago Press)

Former Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Daniel P. Aldrich is a professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University. 

Austerity: When It Works and When It Doesn't

By Alberto Alesina, Carlo Favero, and Francesco Giavazzi

Book cover image of AusterityFiscal austerity is hugely controversial. Opponents argue that it can trigger downward growth spirals and become self-defeating. Supporters argue that budget deficits have to be tackled aggressively at all times and at all costs. In this masterful book, three of today’s leading policy experts cut through the political noise to demonstrate that there is not one type of austerity but many. (Read more at Princeton University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Alberto Alesina is the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. 

Unequal Europe: Regional Integration and the Rise of European Inequality

By Jason Beckfield

Book cover image of Unequal EuropeThe Euro-crisis of 2009-2012 vividly demonstrated that European Union policies matter for the distribution of resources within and between European nation-states. Throughout the crisis, distributive conflicts between the EU's winners and losers worsened, and are still reverberating in European politics today. In Unequal Europe, Jason Beckfield demonstrates that there is a direct connection between European integration and the increase in European income inequality over the past four decades. He places the recent crisis into a broader sociological, political, and economic perspective by analyzing how European integration has reshaped the distribution of income across the households of Europe. Using individual-and household-level income survey data, combined with macro-level data on social policies, and case studies of welfare reforms in EU and non-EU states, Beckfield shows how European integration has re-stratified Europe by simultaneously drawing national economies closer together and increasing inequality among households. Explaining how, where, and why income inequality has changed in the EU, Unequal Europe answers the question: who wins and who loses from European integration? (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Jason Beckfield is the chair of the Department of Sociology and professor of sociology at Harvard University.

New Urban Spaces: Urban Theory and the Scale Question

By Neil Brenner

Book cover image of New Urban SpacesThe urban condition is today being radically transformed. Urban restructuring is accelerating, new urban spaces are being consolidated, and new forms of urbanization are crystallizing. In New Urban Spaces, Neil Brenner argues that understanding these mutations of urban life requires not only concrete research, but new theories of urbanization. To this end, Brenner proposes an approach that breaks with inherited conceptions of the urban as a bounded settlement unit-the city or the metropolis-and explores the multiscalar constitution and periodic rescaling of the capitalist urban fabric. Drawing on critical geopolitical economy and spatialized approaches to state theory, Brenner offers a paradigmatic account of how rescaling processes are transforming inherited formations of urban space and their variegated consequences for emergent patterns and pathways of urbanization. The book also advances an understanding of critical urban theory as radically revisable: key urban concepts must be continually reinvented in relation to the relentlessly mutating worlds of urbanization they aspire to illuminate. (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Neil Brenner is a professor of urban theory at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Civil Action and the Dynamics of Violence

Edited by Deborah Avant, Marie Berry, Erica Chenoweth, Rachel Epstein, Cullen Hendrix, Oliver Kaplan, and Timothy Sisk

Book cover image of Civil Action and the Dynamics of ViolenceMany view civil wars as violent contests between armed combatants. But history shows that community groups, businesses, NGOs, local governments, and even armed groups can respond to war by engaging in civil action. Characterized by a reluctance to resort to violence and a willingness to show enough respect to engage with others, civil action can slow, delay, or prevent violent escalations. This volume explores how people in conflict environments engage in civil action, and the ways such action has affected violence dynamics in Syria, Peru, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Spain, and Colombia. These cases highlight the critical and often neglected role that civil action plays in conflicts around the world. (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Erica Chenoweth is the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, and the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Citizenship 2.0: Dual Nationality as a Global Asset

By Yossi Harpaz

Book cover image of Citizenship 2.0Citizenship 2.0 focuses on an important yet overlooked dimension of globalization: the steady rise in the legitimacy and prevalence of dual citizenship. Demand for dual citizenship is particularly high in Latin America and Eastern Europe, where more than three million people have obtained a second citizenship from EU countries or the United States. Most citizenship seekers acquire EU citizenship by drawing on their ancestry or ethnic origin; others secure U.S. citizenship for their children by strategically planning their place of birth. Their aim is to gain a second, compensatory citizenship that would provide superior travel freedom, broader opportunities, an insurance policy, and even a status symbol. (Read more at Princeton University Press)

Yossi Harpaz is the Raphael Morrison Dorman Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow in the Weatherhead Scholars Program. He is also an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel-Aviv University.

Getting Health Reform Right: A Guide to Improving Performance and Equity
(Anniversary Edition)

By Marc J. Roberts, William Hsiao, Peter Berman, and Michael R. Reich

Book cover image of Getting Health Reform RightThis book provides a multidisciplinary framework for developing and analyzing health sector reforms, based on the authors' extensive international experience. It offers practical guidance—useful to policymakers, consultants, academics, and students alike—and stresses the need to take account of each country's economic, administrative, and political circumstances. The authors explain how to design effective government interventions in five areas—financing, payment, organization, regulation, and behavior—to improve the performance and equity of health systems around the world. (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate William Hsiao is the K. T. Li Professor of Economics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Michael R. Reich is the Taro Takemi Research Professor of International Health Policy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Can Science Make Sense of Life?

By Sheila Jasanoff

Book cover image of Can Science Make Sense of Life?Since the discovery of the structure of DNA and the birth of the genetic age, a powerful vocabulary has emerged to express science’s growing command over the matter of life. Armed with knowledge of the code that governs all living things, biology and biotechnology are poised to edit, even rewrite, the texts of life to correct nature’s mistakes.

Yet, how far should the capacity to manipulate what life is at the molecular level authorize science to define what life is for? This book looks at flash points in law, politics, ethics, and culture to argue that science’s promises of perfectibility have gone too far. Science may have editorial control over the material elements of life, but it does not supersede the languages of sense-making that have helped define human values across millennia: the meanings of autonomy, integrity, and privacy; the bonds of kinship, family, and society; and the place of humans in nature. (Read more at Wiley)

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

Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf

By Noora Lori

Book cover image of Offshore CitizensWhen it comes to extending citizenship to certain groups, why might ruling elites say neither 'yes' nor 'no', but 'wait'? The dominant theories of citizenship tend to recognize clear distinctions between citizens and aliens; either one has citizenship or one does not. This book shows that not all populations are fully included or expelled by a state; they can be suspended in limbo - residing in a territory for protracted periods without accruing citizenship rights. This in-depth case study of the United Arab Emirates uses new archival sources and extensive interviews to show how temporary residency can be transformed into a permanent legal status, through visa renewals and the postponement of naturalization cases. In the UAE, temporary residency was also codified into a formal citizenship status through the outsourcing of passports from the Union of Comoros, allowing elites to effectively reclassify minorities into foreign residents. (Read more at Cambridge University Press)

Former Academy Scholar Noora Lori is an assistant professor of international relations at Boston University.

The Confounding Island: Jamaica and the Postcolonial Predicament

By Orlando Patterson

Book cover image of The Confounding IslandThere are few places more puzzling than Jamaica. Jamaicans claim their home has more churches per square mile than any other country, yet it is one of the most murderous nations in the world. Its reggae superstars and celebrity sprinters outshine musicians and athletes in countries hundreds of times its size. Jamaica’s economy is anemic and too many of its people impoverished, yet they are, according to international surveys, some of the happiest on earth. In The Confounding Island, Orlando Patterson returns to the place of his birth to reckon with its history and culture. (Read more at Harvard University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Orlando Patterson is the John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.

Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front: American Airmen behind the Soviet Lines and the Collapse of the Grand Alliance

By Serhii Plokhy

Book cover image of Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern FrontAt 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. (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History, and is director of Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University.

Women in Place: The Politics of Gender Segregation in Iran

By Nazanin Shahrokni

Book cover image of Women in PlaceWhile 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. (Read more at University of California Press)

Former Academy Scholar Nazanin Shahrokni is an assistant professor of gender and globalization at the London School of Economics.

The Routledge Companion to the Makers of Global Business

Edited by Teresa da Silva Lopes, Christina Lubinski, Heidi J.S. Tworek

Book cover image of The Routledge Companion to the MediaThis book explores how global business facilitated the mechanisms of cross-border interactions that affected individuals, organizations, industries, national economies and international relations. The thirty-seven 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. (Read more at Routledge)

Visiting Fellow Heidi J.S. Tworek is an assistant professor of history at the University of British Columbia.

China and Japan: Facing History

By Ezra F. Vogel

Book cover image of China and JapanChina 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. (Read more at Harvard University Press)

Founder of the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Ezra Vogel is a professor of the social sciences emeritus at Harvard University.

Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia's War

By Annette Idler

Image of Borderland Battles book coverThe 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. (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Annette Idler is a Visiting Scholar in the Weatherhead Scholars Program. She is the director of studies at the Changing Character of War Centre at Pembroke College, University of Oxford.