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The Rise of English: Global Politics and the Power of Language, which has just been reissued in paperback by Oxford University Press, with a new preface. The Rise of English charts the spread of English as the dominant lingua franca worldwide. The book explores the wide-ranging economic and political effects of English. It examines both the good an…
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Global risks present formidable challenges to international law. Although they have long been identified in many other scientific disciplines, they are currently only considered on a sectoral basis in international law in the absence of a legal definition. The aim of Sarah Cassella's book Global Risks and International Law: The Case of Climate Chan…
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Today I talked to Stuart Reid about his new book The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination (Knopf, 2023). It was supposed to be a moment of great optimism, a cause for jubilation. The Congo was at last being set free from Belgium—one of seventeen countries to gain independence in 1960 from ruling European powers. …
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In this episode of International Horizons, Professor Dana Fisher, Director of the Center for Environment, Community, & Equity (CECE) and Professor in the School of International Service at American University, discusses with RBI Director John Torpey her approach to dealing with the climate crisis. Fisher explains how the climate crisis is really a …
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Development is political but what does that mean for how we solve some of the biggest challenges facing the world today? A pathbreaking new book, The Politics of Development (Sage, 2024), sets out to answer this question and many more. Why is it so hard to reduce corruption, deliver good quality healthcare, and create more equal societies? And what…
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Throughout the nuclear age, states have taken many different paths toward or away from nuclear weapons. These paths have been difficult to predict and cannot be explained simply by a stable or changing security environment. We can make sense of these paths by examining leaders' nuclear decisions. The political decisions state leaders make to accele…
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For centuries, the vastness of the Chinese market tempted foreign companies in search of customers. But in the 1970s, when the United States and China ended two decades of Cold War isolation, China’s trade relations veered in a very different direction. In Made in China: When US-China Interests Converged to Transform Global Trade (Harvard Universit…
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The Future of War Crimes Justice (Melville House, 2024), journalist and war correspondent Chris Stephen takes a colourful look at the erratic history of war crimes justice, and the pioneers who created it. He examines its shortcomings, and options for making it more effective, including the case for prosecuting the corporations and banks who fund w…
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The United States integrated counterterrorism mandates into its aid flows in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the early years of the global war on terror. Some two decades later, this securitized model of aid has become normalized across donor intervention in Palestine. Elastic Empire: Refashioning War Through Aid in Palestine (Stanford UP, 2023…
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Russia in World History: A Transnational Approach (Bloomsbury, 2022) uses a comparative framework to understand Russian history in a global context. The book challenges the idea of Russia as an outlier of European civilization by examining select themes in modern Russian history alongside cases drawn from the British Empire. Choi Chatterjee analyze…
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Forest fires, droughts, and rising sea levels beg a nagging question: have we lost our capacity to act on the future? Dr. Liliana Doganova’s book Discounting the Future: The Ascendancy of a Political Technology (Princeton University Press, 2024) sheds new light on this anxious query. It argues that our relationship to the future has been trapped in…
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Governing After War: Rebel Victories and Post-war Statebuilding (Oxford University Press, 2024) by Dr. Shelley X. Liu explores how wartime processes affects post-war state-building efforts when rebels win a civil war and come into power. Post-war governance is a continuation of war--although violence has ceased, the victor must consolidate its cont…
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Charles Blaha, a former State Department expert on the vetting of U.S. weapons transfers to other countries, helps us understand this important moment in the Israel-Hamas conflict. After an extended period of tension between U.S President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden has decided to freeze some transfers of weapons …
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China’s rise to global prominence is a pretty good contender for the most important world development in the past 30 years. But now the question is how Beijing managed to be successful on the international stage–let alone how large that success is—with fierce debates between hawks and doves in the West and elsewhere. Jeremy Garlick tries to offer a…
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Laying the foundation for an understanding of US-Israeli relations, this lively and accessible book provides critical background on the origins and development of the 'special' relations between Israel and the United States. Questioning the usual neo-realist approach to understanding this relationship, David Tal instead suggests that the relations …
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In this provocative challenge to United States policy and strategy, former Professor of Strategy & Policy at the US Naval War College, and author or editor of eleven books, Dr. Donald Stoker argues that America endures endless wars because its leaders no longer know how to think about war in strategic terms and he reveals how ideas on limited war a…
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Nationalism has long been a normatively and empirically contested concept, associated with democratic revolutions and public goods provision, but also with xenophobia, genocide, and wars. Moving beyond facile distinctions between 'good' and 'bad' nationalisms, Varieties of Nationalism: Communities, Narratives, Identities (Cambridge University Press…
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The Sandinista Revolution and its victory against the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua gripped the United States and the world in the 1980s. But as soon as the Sandinistas were voted out of power in 1990 and the Iran Contra affair ceased to make headlines, it became, in Washington at least, a thing of the past. In The Sandinista Revolution: A Globa…
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Antarctica is, and has always been, very much “for sale.” Whales, seals, and ice have all been marketed as valuable commodities, but so have the stories of explorers. The modern media industry developed in parallel with land-based Antarctic exploration, and early expedition leaders needed publicity to generate support for their endeavours. Their le…
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This week, RBI Director John Torpey speaks with Amos Goldberg, Professor of Holocaust History at the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, about the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Among other rhetorical aspects of the conflict, Goldberg reflects on the meaning of such slogans as “From the …
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In Disruption: The Global Economic Shocks of the 1970s and the End of the Cold War (Cornell University Press, 2024), Dr. Michael De Groot argues that the global economic upheaval of the 1970s was decisive in ending the Cold War. Both the West and the Soviet bloc struggled with the slowdown of economic growth; chaos in the international monetary sys…
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In War and Conflict in the Middle Ages (Polity, 2022), Dr. Stephen Morillo offers the first global history of armed conflict between 540 and 1500 or as late as 1800 CE, an age shaped by climate change and pandemics at both ends. Examining armed conflict at all levels, and ranging across China and the central Asian steppes to southwest Asia, western…
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In The Atlantic Slave Trade in World History (Routledge, 2015), Jeremy Black presents a compact yet comprehensive survey of slavery and its impact on the world, primarily centered on the Atlantic trade. Opening with a clear discussion of the problems of defining slavery, the book goes on to investigate the Atlantic slave trade from its origins to a…
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In this deep and incisive study, General David Petraeus, who commanded the US-led coalitions in both Iraq, during the Surge, and Afghanistan and former CIA director, and the prize-winning historian Andrew Roberts, explore over 70 years of conflict, drawing significant lessons and insights from their fresh analysis of the past. Drawing on their diff…
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The Middle East remains one of the world’s most complicated, thorny—and, uncharitably, unstable—parts of the world, as countless headlines make clear. Internal strife, regional competition and external interventions have been the region’s history for the past several decades. Robert Kaplan—author, foreign policy thinker, longtime writer on internat…
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Dani Rodrik (Harvard Kennedy School Economics Professor) joins the podcast to discuss his career, the best case for industrial policy, the labor market effects of globalization, and his vision of an ideal economic policy paradigm. Rodrik is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Gover…
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