New Books

The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibilities

By Kathryn Sikkink

Image of book cover for The Hidden Face of RightsWhen we debate questions in international law, politics, and justice, we often use the language of rights—and far less often the language of responsibilities. Human rights scholars and activists talk about state responsibility for rights, but they do not articulate clear norms about other actors’ obligations. In this book, Kathryn Sikkink argues that we cannot truly implement human rights unless we also recognize and practice the corresponding human responsibilities. (Read more at Yale University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Kathryn Sikkink is the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Making It Count: Statistics and Statecraft in the Early People's Republic of China

By Arunabh Ghosh

Image of book cover for Making It CountIn 1949, at the end of a long period of wars, one of the biggest challenges facing leaders of the new People’s Republic of China was how much they did not know. The government of one of the world’s largest nations was committed to fundamentally reengineering its society and economy via socialist planning while having almost no reliable statistical data about their own country. Making It Count is the history of efforts to resolve this “crisis in counting.” Drawing on a wealth of sources culled from China, India, and the United States, Arunabh Ghosh explores the choices made by political leaders, statisticians, academics, statistical workers, and even literary figures in attempts to know the nation through numbers. (Read more at Princeton University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Arunabh Ghosh is an assistant professor of history at Harvard University.

Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought

By Durba Mitra

Image of book cover for Indian Sex LifeDuring the colonial period in India, European scholars, British officials, and elite Indian intellectuals—philologists, administrators, doctors, ethnologists, sociologists, and social critics—deployed ideas about sexuality to understand modern Indian society. In Indian Sex Life, Durba Mitra shows how deviant female sexuality, particularly the concept of the prostitute, became foundational to this knowledge project and became the primary way to think and write about Indian society. (Read more at Princeton University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Durba Mitra is an assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Assistant Professor at Harvard University.

Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump

By Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Image of book cover for Do Morals Matter?In Do Morals Matter?, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., one of the world's leading scholars of international relations, provides a concise yet penetrating analysis of the role of ethics in US foreign policy during the American era after 1945. Nye works through each presidency from FDR to Trump and scores their foreign policy on three ethical dimensions of their intentions, the means they used, and the consequences of their decisions. Alongside this, he also evaluates their leadership qualities, elaborating on which approaches work and which ones do not. Regardless of a president's policy preference, Nye shows that each one was not fully constrained by the structure of the system and actually had choices. He further notes the important ethical consequences of non-actions, such as Truman's willingness to accept stalemate in Korea rather than use nuclear weapons. (Read more at Oxford University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate (emeritus) Joseph Nye is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard Kennedy School.

Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader

By Derek Penslar

Image of book cover for Theodor HerzlThe life of Theodor Herzl (1860–1904) was as puzzling as it was brief. How did this cosmopolitan and assimilated European Jew become the leader of the Zionist movement? How could he be both an artist and a statesman, a rationalist and an aesthete, a stern moralist yet possessed of deep, and at times dark, passions? And why did scores of thousands of Jews, many of them from traditional, observant backgrounds, embrace Herzl as their leader? (Read more at Yale University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Derek Penslar is the William Lee Frost Professor of Modern Jewish History at Harvard University.

Cartographic Humanism: The Making of Early Modern Europe

By Katharina N. Piechocki 

Image of book cover for Cartographic HumanismWhat is “Europe,” and when did it come to be? In the Renaissance, the term “Europe” circulated widely. But as Katharina N. Piechocki argues in this compelling book, the continent itself was only in the making in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Cartographic Humanism sheds new light on how humanists negotiated and defined Europe’s boundaries at a momentous shift in the continent’s formation: when a new imagining of Europe was driven by the rise of cartography. As Piechocki shows, this tool of geography, philosophy, and philology was used not only to represent but, more importantly, also to shape and promote an image of Europe quite unparalleled in previous centuries. Engaging with poets, historians, and mapmakers, Piechocki resists an easy categorization of the continent, scrutinizing Europe as an unexamined category that demands a much more careful and nuanced investigation than scholars of early modernity have hitherto undertaken. Unprecedented in its geographic scope, Cartographic Humanism is the first book to chart new itineraries across Europe as it brings France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Portugal into a lively, interdisciplinary dialogue. (Read more at University of Chicago Press Books)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Katharina N. Piechocki is an associate professor of comparative literature at Harvard University.

Digital Work and the Platform Economy: Understanding Tasks, Skills and Capabilities in the New Era (1st Edition)

Edited by Seppo Poutanen, Anne Kovalainen, and Petri Rouvinen

Image of book cover for Digital Work and the Platform Economy"Uberization," "digitalization," "platform economy," "gig economy," and "sharing economy" are some of the buzzwords that characterize the current intense discussions about the development of the economy and work around the world, among both experts and laypersons. Immense changes in the ways goods are manufactured, business is done, work tasks are performed, education is accomplished, and so on, are clearly underway. This also means that demand for careful, first-rate social scientific analyses of the phenomena in question is rapidly growing. (Read more at CRC Press)

Former Weatherhead Center Visiting Scholar with the SCANCOR-Weatherhead Partnership, Seppo Poutanen is a senior research fellow at the Turku School of Economics, University of Turku.

Former Weatherhead Center Visiting Scholar with the SCANCOR-Weatherhead Partnership, Anne Kovalainen is a professor in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Turku.

Educating Students to Improve the World

By Fernando M. Reimers

Image of book cover for Educating Students to Improve the WorldThis open access book addresses how to help students find purpose in a rapidly changing world. In a probing and visionary analysis of the field of global education Fernando Reimers explains how to lead the transformation of schools and school systems in order to more effectively prepare students to address today’s most urgent challenges and to invent a better future. Offering a comprehensive and multidimensional framework for designing and implementing a global education program that combines cultural, psychological, professional, institutional and political perspectives the book integrates an extensive body of empirical literature on the practice of global education. It discusses several global citizenship curricula that have been adopted by schools and school networks, and ties them into an approach to lead school change into the uncharted territory of the future. Given its scope, the book will help teachers, school and district leaders tackle the change management needed in order to introduce global education, and more generally increase the relevancy of education. In addition, the book offers a “bridge” for more productive collaboration and communication between those who lead the process of educational change, and those who study and theorize this important work. (Read more at Springer)

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

The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India

By Ajantha Subramanian

Image of book cover for The Caste of MeritJust as Americans least disadvantaged by racism are most likely to endorse their country as post‐racial, Indians who have benefited from their upper-caste affiliation rush to declare their country post‐caste. In The Caste of Merit, Ajantha Subramanian challenges this comfortable assumption by illuminating the controversial relationships among technical education, caste formation, and economic stratification in modern India. Through in-depth study of the elite Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)—widely seen as symbols of national promise—she reveals the continued workings of upper-caste privilege within the most modern institutions. (Read more at Harvard University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate and Harvard Academy Senior Scholar Ajantha Subramanian is a professor of anthropology and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University.

When States Take Rights Back: Citizenship Revocation and Its Discontents (1st Edition)

Edited by Émilien Fargues, Elke Winter, Matthew J Gibney

Image of book cover for When States Take Rights BackWhen States Take Rights Back draws on contributions by international experts in history, law, political science, and sociology, offering a rare interdisciplinary and comparative examination of citizenship revocation in five countries, revealing hidden government rationales and unintended consequences.

Once considered outdated, citizenship revocation—also called deprivation or denationalization—has come back to the political center in many Western liberal states. Contributors scrutinize the positions of stakeholders (e.g. civil servants, representatives of civil society, judges, supranational institutions) and their diverse rationales for citizenship revocation (e.g. allegations of terrorism, treason, espionage, criminal behaviour, and fraud in the naturalisation process). The volume also uncovers the variety of tools that national governments have at their disposition to change existing citizenship revocation laws and policies, and the constraints that they are faced with to actually implement citizenship revocation in daily operations. Finally, contributors underscore the extraordinary severity of sanctions implied by citizenship revocation and offer a nuanced picture of the material and symbolic forms of exclusion not only for those whose citizenship is withdrawn but also for minority groups (wrongly) associated with the aforementioned allegations. Indeed, revocation policies target not merely individuals but specific collective categories, which tend to be ethno-racially constructed and attributed specific location within the international status hierarchy of nation-states. (Read more at CRC Press)

Elke Winter is the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies in the Canada Program at the Weatherhead Center. She is also a professor of sociology at the University of Ottawa.

Shareholder Cities: Land Transformations Along Urban Corridors in India

By Sai Balakrishnan

Image of book cover for Shareholder CitiesEconomic corridors—ambitious infrastructural development projects that newly liberalizing countries in Asia and Africa are undertaking—are dramatically redefining the shape of urbanization. Spanning multiple cities and croplands, these corridors connect metropolises via high-speed superhighways in an effort to make certain strategic regions attractive destinations for private investment. As policy makers search for decentralized and market-oriented means for the transfer of land from agrarian constituencies to infrastructural promoters and urban developers, the reallocation of property control is erupting into volatile land-based social conflicts. (Read more at University of Pennsylvania Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Sai Balakrishnan is an assistant professor of urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Audacious Education Purposes: How Governments Transform the Goals of Education Systems

Edited by Fernando M. Reimers

Image of book cover for Audacious Education PurposesThis open access book offers a comparative study of eight ambitious national reforms that sought to create opportunities for students to gain the necessary breath of skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world. It examines how national governments transform education systems to provide students opportunities to develop such skills. It analyses comprehensive education reforms in Brazil, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal and Russia and yields original and important insights on the process of educational change. The analysis of these 21st century skills reforms shows that reformers followed approaches which are based on the five perspectives: cultural, psychological, professional, institutional and political. Most reforms relied on institutional and political perspectives. They highlight the systemic nature of the process of educational change, and the need for alignment and coherence among the various elements of the system in order. They underscore the importance of addressing the interests of various stakeholders of the education system in obtaining the necessary impetus to initiate and sustain change. In contrast, as the book shows, the use of a cultural and psychological frame proved rarer, missing important opportunities to draw on systematic analysis of emerging demands for schools and on cognitive science to inform the changes in the organization of instruction. Drawing on a rich array of sources and evidence the book provides a careful account of how education reform works in practice. (Read more at Springer)

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

The Arab Winter: A Tragedy

By Noah Feldman

Image of book cover for The Arab WinterThe Arab Spring promised to end dictatorship and bring self-government to people across the Middle East. Yet everywhere except Tunisia it led to either renewed dictatorship, civil war, extremist terror, or all three. In The Arab Winter, Noah Feldman argues that the Arab Spring was nevertheless not an unmitigated failure, much less an inevitable one. Rather, it was a noble, tragic series of events in which, for the first time in recent Middle Eastern history, Arabic-speaking peoples took free, collective political action as they sought to achieve self-determination. (Read more at Princeton University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Noah Feldman is the Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School.

Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

By Vincent Brown

Image of book cover for Tacky's RevoltIn the second half of the eighteenth century, as European imperial conflicts extended the domain of capitalist agriculture, warring African factions fed their captives to the transatlantic slave trade while masters struggled continuously to keep their restive slaves under the yoke. In this contentious atmosphere, a movement of enslaved West Africans in Jamaica (then called Coromantees) organized to throw off that yoke by violence. Their uprising—which became known as Tacky’s Revolt—featured a style of fighting increasingly familiar today: scattered militias opposing great powers, with fighters hard to distinguish from noncombatants. It was also part of a more extended borderless conflict that spread from Africa to the Americas and across the island. Even after it was put down, the insurgency rumbled throughout the British Empire at a time when slavery seemed the dependable bedrock of its dominion. That certitude would never be the same, nor would the views of black lives, which came to inspire both more fear and more sympathy than before. (Read more at Harvard University Press)

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Vincent Brown is the Charles Warren Professor of American History and professor of African and African American studies at Harvard University.