Research Library

2018
The Hell of Good Intentions: America's Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy

From the New York Times–bestselling author Stephen M. Walt, The Hell of Good Intentions dissects the faults and foibles of recent American foreign policy—explaining why it has been plagued by disasters like the “forever wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan and outlining what can be done to fix it.

In 1992, the United States stood at the pinnacle of world power and Americans were confident that a new era of peace and prosperity was at hand. Twenty-five years later, those hopes have been dashed. Relations with Russia and China have soured, the European Union is wobbling, nationalism and populism are on the rise, and the United States is stuck in costly and pointless wars that have squandered trillions of dollars and undermined its influence around the world.

The root of this dismal record, Walt argues, is the American foreign policy establishment’s stubborn commitment to a strategy of “liberal hegemony.” Since the end of the Cold War, Republicans and Democrats alike have tried to use U.S. power to spread democracy, open markets, and other liberal values into every nook and cranny of the planet. This strategy was doomed to fail, but its proponents in the foreign policy elite were never held accountable and kept repeating the same mistakes.

Donald Trump won the presidency promising to end the misguided policies of the foreign policy “Blob” and to pursue a wiser approach. But his erratic and impulsive style of governing, combined with a deeply flawed understanding of world politics, are making a bad situation worse. The best alternative, Walt argues, is a return to the realist strategy of “offshore balancing,” which eschews regime change, nation-building, and other forms of global social engineering. The American people would surely welcome a more restrained foreign policy, one that allowed greater attention to problems here at home. This long-overdue shift will require abandoning the futile quest for liberal hegemony and building a foreign policy establishment with a more realistic view of American power.

Clear-eyed, candid, and elegantly written, Stephen M. Walt’s The Hell of Good Intentions offers both a compelling diagnosis of America’s recent foreign policy follies and a proven formula for renewed success.

Dynasties and Democracy: The Inherited Incumbency Advantage in Japan

Although democracy is, in principle, the antithesis of dynastic rule, families with multiple members in elective office continue to be common around the world. In most democracies, the proportion of such "democratic dynasties" declines over time, and rarely exceeds ten percent of all legislators. Japan is a startling exception, with over a quarter of all legislators in recent years being dynastic. In Dynasties and Democracy, Daniel M. Smith sets out to explain when and why dynasties persist in democracies, and why their numbers are only now beginning to wane in Japan—questions that have long perplexed regional experts.

Smith introduces a compelling comparative theory to explain variation in the presence of dynasties across democracies and political parties. Drawing on extensive legislator-level data from twelve democracies and detailed candidate-level data from Japan, he examines the inherited advantage that members of dynasties reap throughout their political careers—from candidate selection, to election, to promotion into cabinet. Smith shows how the nature and extent of this advantage, as well as its consequences for representation, vary significantly with the institutional context of electoral rules and features of party organization. His findings extend far beyond Japan, shedding light on the causes and consequences of dynastic politics for democracies around the world.

Piety and Patienthood in Medieval Islam
Ragab, Ahmed. 2018. Piety and Patienthood in Medieval Islam. New York: Routledge. Publisher's Version Abstract

How did pious medieval Muslims experience health and disease? Rooted in the prophet’s experiences with medicine and healing, Muslim pietistic literature developed cosmologies in which physical suffering and medical interventions interacted with religious obligations and spiritual health. This book traces the development of prophetic medical literature and religious writings around health and disease to give a new perspective on how patienthood was conditioned by the intersection of medicine and Islam.

The author investigates the early and foundational writings on prophetic medicine and related pietistic writings on health and disease produced during the Islamic Classical Age. Looking at attitudes from and towards clerics, physicians and patients, sickness and health are gradually revealed as a social, gendered, religious, and cultural experience. Patients are shown to experience certain sensoria that are conditioned not only by medical knowledge, but also by religious and pietistic attitudes.

This is a fascinating insight into the development of Muslim pieties and the traditions of medical practice. It will be of great interest to scholars interested in Islamic Studies, history of religion, history of medicine, science and religion and the history of embodied religious practice, particularly in matters of health and medicine.

The Development Century: A Global History
Macekura, Stephen J., and Erez Manela, ed. 2018. The Development Century: A Global History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract
This anthology offers a cutting-edge perspective on how development has shaped the history of the modern world. Stephen J. Macekura and Erez Manela have gathered together leading historians to examine development on the international, regional, and national levels, as well as local manifestations of development initiatives and transnational organizing on behalf of alternative approaches. Themes include the relationship between empire and development, the role of international institutions, the influence of the Cold War, decolonization and post-colonial development strategies, reform and resistance to development, development and global health, and the ecological effects of development. The Development Century examines how ideas and discourses about development have shaped its practices on the ground; explores the ways in which policymakers and experts attempted to implement development through specific institutions and policies; and analyzes development initiatives and their effect of local environments and people.
Where the Party Rules: The Rank and File of China's Communist State
In most non-democratic countries, today governing forty-four percent of the world population, the power of the regime rests upon a ruling party. Contrasting with conventional notions that authoritarian regime parties serve to contain elite conflict and manipulate electoral-legislative processes, this book presents the case of China and shows that rank and-file members of the Communist Party allow the state to penetrate local communities. Subnational comparative analysis demonstrates that in 'red areas' with high party saturation, the state is most effectively enforcing policy and collecting taxes. Because party membership patterns are extremely enduring, they must be explained by events prior to the Communist takeover in 1949. Frontlines during the anti-colonial Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) continue to shape China's political map even today. Newly available evidence from the Great Leap Forward (1958–1961) and the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) shows how a strong local party basis sustained the regime in times of existential crisis.
Trust: Creating the Foundation for Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

Entrepreneurial ventures often fail in the developing world because of the lack of something taken for granted in the developed world: trust. Over centuries, the developed world has built customs and institutions such as enforceable contracts, an impartial legal system, and credible regulatory bodies—and even unofficial but respected sources of information such as Yelp and Consumer Reports—that have created a high level of what scholar and entrepreneur Tarun Khanna calls "ambient trust." 

This is not the case in the developing world. But Khanna shows that rather than become casualties of mistrust, smart entrepreneurs can adopt the mindset that, like it or not, it's up to them to weave their own independent web of trust—with their employees, their partners, their clients, their customers, and society as a whole. This can be challenging, and it requires innovative approaches in places where the level of societal mistrust is so high that an official certification of quality simply arouses suspicion—and lowers sales! Using vivid examples from Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and elsewhere, Khanna's stories show how entrepreneurs can build on existing customs and practices instead of trying to push against them. He highlights the role new technologies can play (but cautions that these are not panaceas) and explains how entrepreneurs can find dependable partners in national and local governments to create impact at scale.

As far back as the eighteenth century, Adam Smith recognized trust as what Khanna calls "the hidden engine of economic progress." "Frankness and openness conciliate confidence," Smith wrote. "We trust the man who seems willing to trust us." That kind of confidence is critical to entrepreneurial success, but in the developing world entrepreneurs have to establish it through their own efforts. As Khanna puts it, "The entrepreneur must not just create, she must create the conditions to create."

Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border
Jusionyte, Ieva. 2018. Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border. Oakland: University of California Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

Emergency responders on the US-Mexico border operate at the edges of two states. They rush patients to hospitals across country lines, tend to the broken bones of migrants who jump over the wall, and put out fires that know no national boundaries. Paramedics and firefighters on both sides of the border are tasked with saving lives and preventing disasters in the harsh terrain at the center of divisive national debates.

Ieva Jusionyte’s firsthand experience as an emergency responder provides the background for her gripping examination of the politics of injury and rescue in the militarized region surrounding the US-Mexico border. Operating in this area, firefighters and paramedics are torn between their mandate as frontline state actors and their responsibility as professional rescuers, between the limits of law and pull of ethics. From this vantage they witness what unfolds when territorial sovereignty, tactical infrastructure, and the natural environment collide. Jusionyte reveals the binational brotherhood that forms in this crucible to stand in the way of catastrophe. Through beautiful ethnography and a uniquely personal perspective, Threshold provides a new way to understand politicized issues ranging from border security and undocumented migration to public access to healthcare today.

Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People
This landmark book from an expert in dignity studies explores the essential but under-recognized role of dignity as part of good leadership. Extending the reach of her award-winning book Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, Donna Hicks now contributes a specific, practical guide to achieving a culture of dignity.
 
Most people know very little about dignity, the author has found, and when leaders fail to respect the dignity of others, conflict and distrust ensue. She highlights three components of leading with dignity: what one must know in order to honor dignity and avoid violating it; what one must do to lead with dignity; and how one can create a culture of dignity in any organization, whether corporate, religious, governmental, healthcare, or beyond. Brimming with key research findings, real-life case studies, and workable recommendations, this book fills an important gap in our understanding of how best to be together in a conflict-ridden world.
Baku: Oil and Urbanism
Blau, Eve. 2018. Baku: Oil and Urbanism. Zurich: Park Books. Publisher's Version Abstract

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and formerly part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, is the original oil city, with oil and urbanism thoroughly intertwined—economically, politically, and physical—in the city’s fabric. Baku saw its first oil boom in the late nineteenth century, driven by the Russian branch of the Nobel family modernizing the oil fields around Baku as local oil barons poured their new wealth into building a cosmopolitan city center. During the Soviet period, Baku became the site of an urban experiment: the shaping of an oil city of socialist man. That project included Neft Dashlari, a city built on trestles in the Caspian Sea and designed to house thousands of workers, schools, shops, gardens, clinics, and cinemas as well as 2,000 oil rigs, pipelines, and collecting stations. Today, as it heads into an uncertain post-oil future, Baku’s planners and business elites regard the legacy of its past as a resource that sustains new aspirations and identities.

Richly illustrated with historical images and archival material, this book tells the story of the city, paying particular attention to how the disparate spatial logics, knowledge bases, and practices of oil production and urban production intersected, affected, and transformed one another creating an urban cultural environment unique among extraction sites. The book also features a new photo essay by celebrated photographer Iwan Baan.

Can We Solve the Migration Crisis?
Bhabha, Jacqueline. 2018. Can We Solve the Migration Crisis?. New York: Wiley. Publisher's Version Abstract

Every minute twenty-four people are forced to leave their homes and over sixty-five million are currently displaced world-wide. Small wonder that tackling the refugee and migration crisis has become a global political priority. 

But can this crisis be resolved and if so, how? In this compelling essay, renowned human rights lawyer and scholar Jacqueline Bhabha explains why forced migration demands compassion, generosity and a more vigorous acknowledgement of our shared dependence on human mobility as a key element of global collaboration. Unless we develop humane 'win-win' strategies for tackling the inequalities and conflicts driving migration and for addressing the fears fuelling xenophobia, she argues, both innocent lives and cardinal human rights principles will be squandered in the service of futile nationalism and oppressive border control.

Political Sociology and the People's Health
Beckfield, Jason. 2018. Political Sociology and the People's Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

A social epidemiologist looks at health inequalities in terms of the upstream factors that produced them. A political sociologist sees these same inequalities as products of institutions that unequally allocate power and social goods. Neither is wrong—but can the two talk to one another? 

In a stirring new synthesis, Political Sociology and the People's Health advances the debate over social inequalities in health by offering a new set of provocative hypotheses around how health is distributed in and across populations. It joins political sociology's macroscopic insights into social policy, labor markets, and the racialized and gendered state with social epidemiology's conceptualizations and measurements of populations, etiologic periods, and distributions. 

The result is a major leap forward in how we understand the relationships between institutions and inequalities—and essential reading for those in public health, sociology, and beyond.

Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World
Moyn, Samuel. 2018. Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World. Harvard University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

The age of human rights has been kindest to the rich. Even as state violations of political rights garnered unprecedented attention due to human rights campaigns, a commitment to material equality disappeared. In its place, market fundamentalism has emerged as the dominant force in national and global economies. In this provocative book, Samuel Moyn analyzes how and why we chose to make human rights our highest ideals while simultaneously neglecting the demands of a broader social and economic justice.

In a pioneering history of rights stretching back to the Bible, Not Enough charts how twentieth-century welfare states, concerned about both abject poverty and soaring wealth, resolved to fulfill their citizens’ most basic needs without forgetting to contain how much the rich could tower over the rest. In the wake of two world wars and the collapse of empires, new states tried to take welfare beyond its original European and American homelands and went so far as to challenge inequality on a global scale. But their plans were foiled as a neoliberal faith in markets triumphed instead. 

International Organizations and the Media in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Exorbitant Expectations

International Organizations and the Media in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries is the first volume to explore the historical relationship between international organizations and the media. Beginning in the early nineteenth century and coming up to the 1990s, the volume shows how people around the globe largely learned about international organizations and their activities through the media and images created by journalists, publicists, and filmmakers in texts, sound bites, and pictures.

The book examines how interactions with the media are a formative component of international organizations. At the same time, it questions some of the basic assumptions about how media promoted or enabled international governance. Written by leading scholars in the field from Europe, North America, and Australasia, and including case studies from all regions of the world, it covers a wide range of issues from humanitarianism and environmentalism to Hollywood and debates about international information orders.

Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level
Sebenius, James K., R. Nicholas Burns, and Robert H. Mnookin. 2018. Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level. HarperCollins Publishers. Publisher's Version Abstract

Politicians, world leaders, and business executives around the world—including every President from John F. Kennedy to Donald J. Trump—have sought the counsel of Henry Kissinger, a brilliant diplomat and historian whose unprecedented achievements as a negotiator have been universally acknowledged. Now, for the first time, Kissinger the Negotiator provides a clear analysis of Kissinger’s overall approach to making deals and resolving conflicts—expertise that holds powerful and enduring lessons.

James K. Sebenius (Harvard Business School), R. Nicholas Burns (Harvard Kennedy School of Government), and Robert H. Mnookin (Harvard Law School) crystallize the key elements of Kissinger’s approach, based on in-depth interviews with the former secretary of state himself about some of his most difficult negotiations, an extensive study of his record, and many independent sources. Taut and instructive, Kissinger the Negotiator mines the long and fruitful career of this elder statesman and shows how his strategies apply not only to contemporary diplomatic challenges but also to other realms of negotiation, including business, public policy, and law.

Bernardo de Gálvez: Spanish Hero of the American Revolution
Saravia, Gonzalo M. Quintero. 2018. Bernardo de Gálvez: Spanish Hero of the American Revolution. The University of North Carolina Press. Publisher's Version Abstract
Although Spain was never a formal ally of the United States during the American Revolution, its entry into the war definitively tipped the balance against Britain. Led by Bernardo de Gálvez, supreme commander of the Spanish forces in North America, their military campaigns against British settlements on the Mississippi River—and later against Mobile and Pensacola—were crucial in preventing Britain from concentrating all its North American military and naval forces on the fight against George Washington’s Continental army. In this first comprehensive biography of Gálvez (1746@–86), Gonzalo M. Quintero Saravia assesses the commander’s considerable historical impact and expands our understanding of Spain’s contribution to the war.

 

A man of both empire and the Enlightenment, as viceroy of New Spain (1785@–86), Gálvez was also pivotal in the design and implementation of Spanish colonial reforms, which included the reorganization of Spain’s Northern Frontier that brought peace to the region for the duration of the Spanish presence in North America. Extensively researched through Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. archives, Quintero Saravia’s portrait of Gálvez reveals him as central to the histories of the Revolution and late eighteenth-century America and offers a reinterpretation of the international factors involved in the American War for Independence.

The Greco-German Affair in the Euro Crisis: Mutual Recognition Lost?
Sternberg, Claudia, Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni, and Kalypso Nicolaidis. 2018. The Greco-German Affair in the Euro Crisis: Mutual Recognition Lost?. Palgrave Macmillan UK. Publisher's Version Abstract
This book focuses on one of the most highly charged relationships of the Euro crisis, that between Greece and Germany, from 2009 to 2015. It explores the many ways in which Greeks and Germans represented and often insulted one another in the media, how their self-understanding shifted in the process, and how this in turn affected their respective appraisal of the EU and that which divides us or keeps us together as Europeans. These stories illustrate the book’s broader argument about mutual recognition, an idea and norm at the very heart of the European project. The book is constructed around a normative pivot. On one hand, the authors suggest that the tumultuous affair between the two peoples can be read as “mutual recognition lost” through a thousand cuts. On the other, they argue that the relationship has only bent rather than broken down, opening the potential for a renewed promise of mutual recognition and an ethos of “fair play” that may even re-source the EU as a whole. The book’s engaging story and original argument may appeal not only to experts of European politics and democracy, but also to interested or emotionally invested citizens, of whatever nationality.
Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse
Based on contributions from leading scholars, this study generates a wealth of new empirical information about Latin American party systems. It also contributes richly to major theoretical and comparative debates about the effects of party systems on democratic politics, and about why some party systems are much more stable and predictable than others. Party Systems in Latin America builds on, challenges, and updates Mainwaring and Timothy Scully's seminal Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America (1995), which re-oriented the study of democratic party systems in the developing world. It is essential reading for scholars and students of comparative party systems, democracy, and Latin American politics. It shows that a stable and predictable party system facilitates important democratic processes and outcomes, but that building and maintaining such a party system has been the exception rather than the norm in contemporary Latin America.
American Capitalism
Beckert, Sven, and Christine Desan, ed. 2018. American Capitalism. Columbia University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

The United States has long epitomized capitalism. From its enterprising shopkeepers, wildcat banks, violent slave plantations, huge industrial working class, and raucous commodities trade to its world-spanning multinationals, its massive factories, and the centripetal power of New York in the world of finance, America has come to symbolize capitalism for two centuries and more. But an understanding of the history of American capitalism is as elusive as it is urgent. What does it mean to make capitalism a subject of historical inquiry? What is its potential across multiple disciplines, alongside different methodologies, and in a range of geographic and chronological settings? And how does a focus on capitalism change our understanding of American history?

American Capitalism presents a sampling of cutting-edge research from prominent scholars. These broad-minded and rigorous essays venture new angles on finance, debt, and credit; women’s rights; slavery and political economy; the racialization of capitalism; labor beyond industrial wage workers; and the production of knowledge, including the idea of the economy, among other topics. Together, the essays suggest emerging themes in the field: a fascination with capitalism as it is made by political authority, how it is claimed and contested by participants, how it spreads across the globe, and how it can be reconceptualized without being universalized. A major statement for a wide-open field, this book demonstrates the breadth and scope of the work that the history of capitalism can provoke.

Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism

Neoliberals hate the state. Or do they? In the first intellectual history of neoliberal globalism, Quinn Slobodian follows a group of thinkers from the ashes of the Habsburg Empire to the creation of the World Trade Organization to show that neoliberalism emerged less to shrink government and abolish regulations than to redeploy them at a global level.

Slobodian begins in Austria in the 1920s. Empires were dissolving and nationalism, socialism, and democratic self-determination threatened the stability of the global capitalist system. In response, Austrian intellectuals called for a new way of organizing the world. But they and their successors in academia and government, from such famous economists as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises to influential but lesser-known figures such as Wilhelm Röpke and Michael Heilperin, did not propose a regime of laissez-faire. Rather they used states and global institutions—the League of Nations, the European Court of Justice, the World Trade Organization, and international investment law—to insulate the markets against sovereign states, political change, and turbulent democratic demands for greater equality and social justice.

Far from discarding the regulatory state, neoliberals wanted to harness it to their grand project of protecting capitalism on a global scale. It was a project, Slobodian shows, that changed the world, but that was also undermined time and again by the inequality, relentless change, and social injustice that accompanied it.

The Cuban Economy in a New Era: An Agenda for Change toward Durable Development
Domínguez, Jorge I., Omar Everleny, Pérez Villanueva, and Lorena Barberia, ed. 2018. The Cuban Economy in a New Era: An Agenda for Change toward Durable Development. Harvard University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

Cuba’s economy has grown hardly at all during Raúl Castro’s presidency (beginning in 2006), hit by the economic collapse of its Venezuelan partner and burdened by a legacy of decayed infrastructure, a bankrupt sugar industry, and stagnant agriculture.

The Cuban Economy in ​a New Era diagnoses the ills that afflict Cuba’s economy and examines possible economic policy changes in seven areas: macroeconomic policy, central planning, small and medium private enterprises, nonagricultural cooperatives, financing options for the new private sector, state enterprise management, and relations with international financial institutions. Cuban economists have contributed these seven chapters, and the combined import is further considered in introductory and concluding chapters. The book is the culmination of over a decade of scholarly collaboration with Harvard scholars, anchored in a series of workshops held over several years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Havana.

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