New Books from SGS Faculty

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Check out the latest publications from SGS-affiliated faculty in 2015:

Afghan Modern: The History of a Global Nation

Harvard University Press, September 2015

By Robert Crews, Director of the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Director of the Mediterranean Studies Forum, and an Associate Professor of History.

Rugged, remote, riven by tribal rivalries and religious violence, Afghanistan seems to many a country frozen in time and forsaken by the world. Afghan Modern presents a bold challenge to these misperceptions, revealing how Afghans, over the course of their history, have engaged and connected with a wider world and come to share in our modern globalized age.


Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran: Challenging the Status Quo

Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., March 2015

By Abbas Milani and Larry Diamond.

Abbas Milani is the Hamid & Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies. 

Larry Diamond is a faculty affiliate in the Center for East Asian Studies, the Center for African Studies, and the International Policy Studies Program. Diamond is a Professor of Political Science and Sociology, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Despite the relative calm apparent in Iran today, there is unmistakable evidence of political, social, and cultural ferment stirring beneath the surface. Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran explores that unrest and its challenge to the legitimacy and stability of the present authoritarian regime. Ranging from political theory to music, from human rights law to social media, their contributions reveal the tenacious and continually evolving forces that are at work resisting the status quo.


Radical Equality: Ambedkar, Gandhi, and the Risk of Democracy

Stanford University Press, June 2015

By Aishwary Kumar,  a faculty affiliate of the Center for South Asia and an Assistant Professor of History.

B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of India's constitution, and M.K. Gandhi, the Indian nationalist, two figures whose thought and legacies have most strongly shaped the contours of Indian democracy, are typically considered antagonists who held irreconcilable views on empire, politics, and society. As such, they are rarely studied together. This book reassesses their complex relationship, focusing on their shared commitment to equality and justice, which for them was inseparable from anticolonial struggles for sovereignty.


Training the PartyParty Adaptation and Elite Training in Reform-era China

Cambridge University Press, July 2015

By Charlotte P. Lee, a faculty affiliate of the Center for East Asian Studies and Associate Director of the China Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. 

Charlotte P. Lee considers organizational changes taking place within the contemporary Chinese Communist Party (CCP), examining the party's renewed emphasis on an understudied but core set of organizations: party-managed training academies or 'party schools'. This national network of organizations enables party authorities to exert political control over the knowledge, skills, and careers of officials. Drawing on in-depth field research and novel datasets, Lee finds that the party school system has not been immune to broader market-based reforms but instead has incorporated many of the same strategies as actors in China's hybrid, state-led private sector. In the search for revenue and status, schools have updated training content and become more entrepreneurial as they compete and collaborate with domestic and international actors. This book draws attention to surprising dynamism located within the party, in political organizations thought immune to change, and the transformative effect of the market on China's political system.


Anti-Americanism in Democratizing South Korea

Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, July 2015

By David Straub, a faculty affiliate of the Center for East Asian Studies and the International Policy Studies Program. Straub is also the Associate Director of the Korea Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. 

David Straub tells the story of an explosion of anti-Americanism in South Korea from 1999 to 2002. Straub, a Korean- speaking senior American diplomat in Seoul at the time, reviews the complicated history of the United States' relationship with Korea and offers case studies of Korean anti-American incidents during the period that make clear why the outburst occurred, how close it came to undermining the United States' alliance with Korea, and whether it could happen again.


The Global Coal Market: Supplying the Major Fuel for Emerging Economies

Cambridge University Press, July 2015

By Mark C. Thurber and Richard K. Morse

Mark Thurber is a faculty affiliate of the Center for East Asian Studies and Associate Director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD).

Coal has been the world's fastest-growing energy source in absolute terms for over a decade. Coal also emits more CO2 than any other fossil fuel and contributes to serious air pollution problems in many regions of the world. If we hope to satisfy the demand for affordable energy in emerging economies while protecting the environment, we need to develop a keen understanding of the market that supplies coal. This book offers an in-depth analysis of the key producers and consumers that will most influence coal production, transport, and use in the future. By exploring how countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Australia, and South Africa have developed their respective coal industries—and how these industries link together through the international coal trade—experts shed light on how the global coal market may evolve, and the economic and environmental implications.


China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed

Harvard University Press, April 2015

By Andrew G. Walder, a faculty affiliate of the Center for East Asian Studies and the International Policy Studies Program. He is also the Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and a Senior Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. 

China’s Communist Party seized power in 1949 after a long guerilla insurgency followed by full-scale war, but the revolution was just beginning. China Under Mao narrates the rise and fall of the Maoist state from 1949 to 1976—an epoch of startling accomplishments and disastrous failures, steered by many forces but dominated above all by Mao Zedong.


Global Talent: Skilled Labor as Social Capital in Korea

Stanford University Press, March 2015

By Joon Nak Choi and Gi-Wook Shin

Gi-Wook Shin is a faculty affiliate of the Center for East Asian Studies and a Professor of Sociology. He is also the Director of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the Korea Program at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Global Talent seeks to examine the utility of skilled foreigners beyond their human capital value by focusing on their social capital potential, especially their role as transnational bridges between host and home countries. Gi-Wook Shin and Joon Nak Choi build on an emerging stream of research that conceptualizes global labor mobility as a positive-sum game in which countries and businesses benefit from building ties across geographic space, rather than the zero-sum game implied by the "global war for talent" and "brain drain" metaphors.


Fateful Ties: A History of America's Preoccupation with China

Harvard University Press, April 2015

By Gordon H. Chang, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies. 

Americans look to China with fascination and fear, unsure whether the rising Asian power is friend or foe but certain it will play a crucial role in America’s future. This is nothing new, Gordon Chang says. For centuries, Americans have been convinced of China’s importance to their own national destiny. Fateful Ties draws on literature, art, biography, popular culture, and politics to trace America’s long and varied preoccupation with China.


Beyond Bolaño The Global Latin American Novel

Columbia University Press, January 2015

By Héctor Hoyos, a faculty affiliate of the Center for Latin American Studies, and Assistant Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures.

Through a comparative analysis of the novels of Roberto Bolaño and the fictional work of César Aira, Mario Bellatin, Diamela Eltit, Chico Buarque, Alberto Fuguet, and Fernando Vallejo, among other leading authors, Héctor Hoyos defines and explores new trends in how we read and write in a globalized era. Calling attention to fresh innovations in form, voice, perspective, and representation, he also affirms the lead role of Latin American authors in reshaping world literature.


Writing America: Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee

Rutgers University Press, November 2015

By Shelley Fisher Fishkin, a faculty affiliate of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, a Professor of English, Director of American Studies, and the Joseph S. Atha Professor in the Humanities.

American novelist E.L. Doctorow once observed that literature “endows places with meaning.” Yet, as this wide-ranging new book vividly illustrates, understanding the places that shaped American writers’ lives and their art can provide deep insight into what makes their literature truly meaningful. Published on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Historic Preservation Act, Writing America is a unique, passionate, and eclectic series of meditations on literature and history, covering over 150 important National Register historic sites, all pivotal to the stories that make up America, from chapels to battlefields; from plantations to immigration stations; and from theaters to internment camps.


The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism

Wiley-Blackwell, June 2015

By Michael Stausberg, Anna Tessmann, and Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina

Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina is a faculty affiliate of the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies and a Lecturer on Zoroastrianism and Ancient and Late Antique Iran in the Department of Religious Studies. 

This is the first-ever comprehensive English-language survey of Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest living religions. The book reflects the global nature of Zoroastrian studies with contributions from 34 international authorities from 10 countries. The book presents Zoroastrianism as a cluster of dynamic historical and contextualized phenomena, reflecting the current trend to move away from textual essentialism in the study of religion.


Sounding the Modern Woman: The Songstress in Chinese Cinema

Duke University Press, June 2015

By Jean Ma, an affiliate of the Center for East Asian Studies and an Associate Professor of Art and Art History.

From the beginning of the sound cinema era, singing actresses captivated Chinese audiences. Jean Ma shows how their rise to stardom attests to the changing roles of women in urban modernity and the complex symbiosis between the film and music industries. The songstress—whether appearing as an opera actress, showgirl, revolutionary, or country lass—belongs to the lineage of the Chinese modern woman, and her forty-year prevalence points to a distinctive gendering of lyrical expression in Chinese film. Ma guides readers through film history by way of the on and off-screen careers of many of the most compelling performers in Chinese film history, revealing the ways that national crises and Cold War conflict shaped their celebrity. 


Polyandry and Wife-Selling in Qing Dynasty China: Survival Strategies and Judicial Interventions

University of California Press, August 2015

By Matthew Sommer, an affiliate of the Center for East Asian Studies and Professor of Chinese History.

This book is a study of polyandry, wife-selling, and a variety of related practices in China during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912). By analyzing over 1200 legal cases from local and central court archives, Matthew Sommer explores the functions played by marriage, sex, and reproduction in the survival strategies of the rural poor under conditions of overpopulation, worsening sex ratios, and shrinking farm sizes. 


Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve

Princeton University Press, March 2015

By Ian Morris, a faculty affiliate of the Europe Center and the Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics.

Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth inequality are bad. But most people who lived during the 10,000 years before the nineteenth century thought just the opposite. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, biology, and history, Ian Morris explains why. The result is a compelling new argument about the evolution of human values, one that has far-reaching implications for how we understand the past--and for what might happen next.


Global Heritage: A Reader

Wiley Blackwell, June 2015

By Lynn Meskell, an affiliate of the Center for African Studies, the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, and the Mediterranean Studies Forum. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology.

Examines the social, cultural and ethical dimensions of heritage research and practice, and the underlying international politics of protecting cultural and natural resources around the globe.


A Well-Reasoned Opinion? Critical Analysis of the First Case Against the Alleged Senior Leaders of the Khmer Rouge

East-West Center and WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice, November 2015

By David CohenMelanie HydePenelope Van Tuyl of the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

On 7 August 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) reached an important institutional milestone when the Court published its long-awaited Trial Judgment in the first case against two of the surviving alleged senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge—Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan ("Case 002/01"). The Court found both men guilty of crimes against humanity, and sentenced them each to life imprisonment, while awarding "moral and collective reparations" to the 3,869 Civil Parties participating in the trial. Despite hopes that the five-year process of judicial investigation, trial, deliberation, and Judgment-drafting would produce a rigorous and insightful final product, in reality, as this report argues, the Case 002/01 Judgment fails to deliver the most fundamental output one expects from a criminal trial—systematic application of the elements of crimes to a well-documented body of factual findings. Based, in part, on insight gained from the continuous presence of a team of trial monitors throughout trial, this report provides commentary on how a contentious and confusing trial process in Case 002/01 ultimately produced a similarly problematic final Judgment.


Now in Paperback: Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition, October 2015

By Francis Fukuyama, an affiliate of the International Policy Studies Program and a Professor of Political Science. Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and the Director of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

In The New York Times Book Review, Michael Lind described the book as "a major achievement by one of the leading public intellectuals of our time."

Volume two is finally here, completing the most important work of political thought in at least a generation. Taking up the essential question of how societies develop strong, impersonal, and accountable political institutions, Fukuyama follows the story from the French Revolution to the so-called Arab Spring and the deep dysfunctions of contemporary American politics. He examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.


Now in Paperback: Prose of the World

Columbia UP & Orient Blackswan May 2015

By Saikat Majumdar, a faculty affiliate of the Center for South Asia and Assistant Professor of English.

Everyday life in the far outposts of empire can be static, empty of the excitement of progress. A pervading sense of banality and boredom are, therefore, common elements of the daily experience for people living on the colonial periphery. Saikat Majumdar suggests that this impoverished affective experience of colonial modernity significantly shapes the innovative aesthetics of modernist fiction.