In A World of Becoming William E. Connolly outlines a political philosophy suited to a world whose powers of creative evolution include and exceed the human estate. This is a world composed of multiple interacting systems, including those of climate change, biological evolution, economic practices, and geological formations. Such open systems, set on different temporal registers of stability and instability, periodically resonate together to produce profound, unpredictable changes. To engage such a world reflectively is to feel pressure to alter established practices of politics, ethics, and spirituality. In pursuing such a course, Connolly draws inspiration from philosophers such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alfred North Whitehead, and Gilles Deleuze, as well as the complexity theorist of biology Stuart Kauffman and the theologian Catherine Keller.
Attunement to a world of becoming, Connolly argues, may help us address dangerous resonances between global finance capital, cross-regional religious resentments, neoconservative ideology, and the 24-hour mass media. Coming to terms with subliminal changes in the contemporary experience of time that challenge traditional images can help us grasp how these movements have arisen and perhaps even inspire creative counter-movements. The book closes with the chapter “The Theorist and the Seer,” in which Connolly draws insights from early Greek ideas of the Seer and a Jerry Lewis film, The Nutty Professor, to inform the theory enterprise today.
Japan is currently the only advanced industrial democracy with a fourth-generation immigrant problem. As other industrialized countries face the challenges of incorporating postwar immigrants, Japan continues to struggle with the incorporation of prewar immigrants and their descendants. Whereas others have focused on international norms, domestic institutions, and recent immigration, this book argues that contemporary immigration and citizenship politics in Japan reflect the strategic interaction between state efforts to control immigration and grassroots movements by multi-generational Korean resident activists to gain rights and recognition specifically as permanently settled foreign residents of Japan. Based on in-depth interviews and fieldwork conducted in Tokyo, Kawasaki, and Osaka, this book aims to further our understanding of democratic inclusion in Japan by analyzing how those who are formally excluded from the political process voice their interests and what factors contribute to the effective representation of those interests in public debate and policy.
Powerful but Vulnerable Jews wield a good deal of power in contemporary America but cannot assume this to be a permanent state of affairs. Despite their power, many Jews feel a growing sense of unease. A wealthy and successful American Jew recently asked me where the Jews could go if and when they had to leave the United States. Good question.
Franklin Moses Jr. is one of the great forgotten figures in American history. Scion of a distinguished Jewish family in South Carolina, he was a firebrand supporter of secession and an officer in the Confederate army. Moses then reversed course. As Reconstruction governor of South Carolina, he shocked and outraged his white constituents by championing racial equality and socializing freely with former slaves. Friends denounced him, his family disowned him, and enemies ultimately drove him from his home state.
In Moses of South Carolina, Benjamin Ginsberg rescues this protean figure and his fascinating story from obscurity. Though Moses was far from a saint—he was known as the “robber governor” for his corrupt ways—Ginsberg suggests that Moses nonetheless deserves better treatment in the historical record. Despite his moral lapses, Moses launched social programs, integrated state institutions, and made it possible for blacks to attend the state university.
As a Jew, Moses grew up on the fringe of southern plantation society. After the Civil War, Moses envisioned a culture different from the one in which he had been raised, one that included the newly freed slaves. From the margins of southern society, Franklin Moses built America’s first black-Jewish alliance, a model, argues Ginsberg, for the coalitions that would help reshape American politics in the decades to come.
Revisiting the story of the South’s “most perfect scalawag,” Ginsberg contributes to a broader understanding of the essential role southern Jews played during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
States, nationalist movements, and ethnic groups in conflict with one another often face a choice between violent and nonviolent strategies. Although major wars between sovereign states have become rare, contemporary world politics has been rife with internal conflict, ethnic cleansing, and violence against civilians. This book asks how, why, and when states and non-state actors use violence against one another, and examines the effectiveness of various forms of political violence.
In the process of addressing these issues, the essays make two conceptual moves that illustrate the need to reconsider the way violence by states and non-state actors has typically been studied and understood. The first is to think of violence not as dichotomous, as either present or absent, but to consider the wide range of nonviolent and violent options available and ask why actors come to embrace particular strategies. The second is to explore the dynamic nature of violent conflicts, developing explanations that can account for the eruption of violence at particular moments in time. The arguments focus on how changes in the balance of power between and among states and non-state actors generate uncertainty and threat, thereby creating an environment conducive to violence. This innovative way of understanding violence deemphasizes the role of ethnic cleavages and nationalism in modern conflict.
Contributors: Kristin M. Bakke, Emily Beaulieu, H. Zeynep Bulutgil, Erica Chenoweth, Kathryn McNabb Cochran, Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, Alexander B. Downes, Erin K. Jenne, Adria Lawrence, Harris Mylonas, Wendy Pearlman, Maria J. Stephan
In Vibrant Matter the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events.
This is a radical book, which brings together the fields of political theory and television studies. In one of the first books to do so, Samuel A. Chambers exposes and explores the cultural politics of television by treating television shows—including Six Feet Under, Buffy, Desperate Housewives, The L Word, and Big Love—as serious, important texts and reading them in detail through the lens of queer theory.
Samuel A. Chambers makes the case for the profound significance of “the cultural politics of television,” the way in which a television show’s text itself engages with the politics of its day. He argues for queer theory’s essential contribution to any understanding of the political, and initiates a larger project of queer television studies. This is an important and fresh contribution to queer theory and to the understanding of television as politics.
The book brings together scholarship on three different forms of state violence, examining each for what it can tell us about the conditions under which states use violence and the significance of violence to our understanding of states. The contributors to this book demonstrate that states of violence thus have a history and sociology. Yet wherever the state acts violently, the legitimacy of its acts must be engaged with the real facts of war, capital punishment, and the ugly realities of death. This book calls into question the legitimacy of state uses of violence and mounts a sustained effort at interpretation, sense making, and critique. It suggests that condemning the state’s decisions to use lethal force is not a simple matter of abolishing the death penalty or – to take another exemplary example of the killing state – demanding that the state engage only in just (publicly declared and justified) wars, pointing out that even such overt instances of lethal force are more elusive as targets of critique than one might think. Indeed, altering such decisions may do little to change the essential relationship of the state to violence. To change that relationship we must also attend to the violent state as a state of mind, a state of mind that is not just a social or psychological condition but also a moral commitment and/or a philosophical position.
Realism, the dominant theory of international relations, particularly regarding security, seems compelling in part because of its claim to embody so much of Western political thought from the ancient Greeks to the present. Its main challenger, liberalism, looks to Kant and nineteenth-century economists. Despite their many insights, neither realism nor liberalism gives us adequate tools to grapple with security globalization, the liberal ascent, and the American role in their development. In reality, both realism and liberalism and their main insights were largely invented by republicans writing about republics.
The main ideas of realism and liberalism are but fragments of republican security theory, whose primary claim is that security entails the simultaneous avoidance of the extremes of anarchy and hierarchy, and that the size of the space within which this is necessary has expanded due to technological change.
In Daniel Deudney’s reading, there is one main security tradition and its fragmentary descendants. This theory began in classical antiquity, and its pivotal early modern and Enlightenment culmination was the founding of the United States. Moving into the industrial and nuclear eras, this line of thinking becomes the basis for the claim that mutually restraining world government is now necessary for security and that political liberty cannot survive without new types of global unions.
Unique in scope, depth, and timeliness, Bounding Power offers an international political theory for our fractious and perilous global village.
This important book addresses a number of key issues regarding the relationship between the rule of law and development. It presents a deep and insightful inquiry into the current orthodoxy that the rule of law is the panacea for the world’s problems. The authors chart the precarious progress of law reforms both in overall terms and in specific policy areas such as the judiciary, the police, tax administration and access to justice, among others. They accept that the rule of law is necessarily tied to the success of development, although they propose a set of procedural values to enlighten this institutional approach. The authors also recognize that states face difficulties in implementing this institutional structures and identify the probable impediments, before proposing a rethink of law reform strategies and offering some conclusions about the role of the international community in the rule of law reform.
Reviewing the progress in the rule of law reform in developing countries, specifically four regions – Latin America, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia – this book makes a significant contribution to the literature. It will be of great interest to scholars and advanced students, as well as practitioners in the field, including international and bilateral aid agencies working on rule of law reform projects, and international and regional non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that focus on rule of law reform as a major aspect of their mandate.