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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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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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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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From Afghanistan to Angola, Indonesia to Iran, and Colombia to Congo, violent reactions erupt, states collapse, and militaries relentlessly pursue operations doomed to fail. And yet, no useful theory exists to explain this common tragedy. All over the world, people and states clash violently outside their established political systems, as unfulfill…
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Peasant Politics of the Twenty-First Century: Transnational Social Movements and Agrarian Change (Cornell University Press, 2024) by Dr. Marc Edelman illuminates the transnational agrarian movements that are remaking rural society and the world's food and agriculture systems. Dr. Edelman explains how peasant movements are staking their claims from …
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Before Josef Stalin's death in 1953, the USSR had, at best, an ambivalent relationship with noncommunist international organisations. Although it had helped found the United Nations, it refused to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other major agencies beyond the Security Council and General Asse…
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Why do great powers go to war? Why are non-violent, diplomatic options not prioritised? Nostalgic Virility as a Cause of War: How Leaders of Great Powers Cope with Status Decline (McGill-Queen's Press, 2024) by Dr. Matthieu Grandpierron argues that world leaders react to status decline by going to war, guided by a nostalgic, virile understanding of…
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How do top-level public officials take advantage of immunity from foreign jurisdiction afforded to them by international law? How does the immunity entitlement allow them to thwart investigations and trial proceedings in foreign courts? What responses exist to prevent and punish such conduct? In Between Immunity and Impunity: External Accountabilit…
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It’s very easy to study the history of the British Empire from the perspective of, well, the British–and to extend the early 20th century version of the empire as a world-spanning entity backwards through history. David Veevers, in his new book The Great Defiance: How the World Took on the British Empire (Ebury Press, 2023) studies the English, and…
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What is fascism? Is it an anomaly in the history of modern Europe? Or its culmination? In Anti-Colonialism and the Crises of Interwar Fascism (Bloomsbury, 2023), Dr. Michael Ortiz makes the case that fascism should be understood, in part, as an imperial phenomenon. He contends that the Age of Appeasement (1935-1939) was not a titanic clash between …
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Is contemporary international order truly a secular arrangement? Theorists of international relations typically adhere to a narrative that portrays the modern states system as the product of a gradual process of secularization that transcended the religiosity of medieval Christendom. William Bain's Political Theology of International Order (Oxford …
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Research in political science shows that collections and textbooks often mention race, gender, ethnicity, and religion – but they don’t consistently use those lenses to understand politics. In Understanding Comparative Politics: An Inclusive Approach (CQ Press, 2024), Dr. Lisa A. Baglione creates a new kind of textbook that puts issues of race, gen…
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In this episode of International Horizons, RBI director John Torpey interviews Gabriele Mazzini, a lawyer and officer of the European Commission and expert in AI regulation. Mazzini discusses the means through which European countries have found agreement on the definition of AI and how to regulate it. Moreover, Mazzini stresses that the fears of a…
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A vivid, thoughtful examination of how technological innovation—especially AI—is shaping the tensions between democracy and autocracy during the new Cold War. So much of what we hear about China and Russia today likens the relationship between these two autocracies and the West to a “rivalry” or a “great-power competition.” Some might consider it a…
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Missionary Diplomacy: Religion and Nineteenth-Century American Foreign Relations (Cornell University Press, 2024) illuminates the crucial place of religion in nineteenth-century American diplomacy. From the 1810s through the 1920s, Protestant missionaries positioned themselves as key experts in the development of American relations in Asia, Africa,…
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A new economic history which uncovers the forgotten left-wing, anti-imperial, pacifist origins of economic cosmopolitanism and free trade from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. The post-1945 international free-trade regime was established to foster a more integrated, prosperous, and peaceful world. As US Secretary of State Cordell Hu…
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In the 1990s, the promise of justice for atrocity crimes was associated with the revival of international criminal tribunals (ICTs). More recently, however, there has been a renewed emphasis on domestic accountability for international crimes across the globe. In identifying a 'complementarity turn', a paradigm shift toward domestic accountability …
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Kalika Mehta's book Strategic Litigation and Corporate Complicity in Crimes Under International Law: A TWAIL Analysis (Routledge, 2023) provides a comprehensive account of how non-state actors rely on international criminal law as a tool in the service of progressive political causes. The argument that international criminal law and its institution…
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We have a preponderance of books on leadership in business; yet, despite broad dissatisfaction with our political leaders, almost none on how to be a good statesman. John A. Burtka IV, President and CEO of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, discusses lessons on political leadership from thinkers and leaders throughout history, from Xenophon and…
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Ukraine Vis-à-Vis Russia and the EU: Misperceptions of Foreign Challenges in Times of War, 2014-2015 (Ibidem Press, 2023) investigates the making of Ukraine’s foreign policy towards the European Union and Russia between February 2014 and February 2015. To contextualize the events of the first year of the Russian-Ukrainian War, Nychyk lays out the h…
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Hemispheric foreign policy has waxed and waned since the Mexican War, and the Cold War presented both extraordinary promises and dangerous threats to U.S.-Latin American cooperation. In Hemispheric Alliances: Liberal Democrats and Cold War Latin America (UNC Press, 2022), Andrew J. Kirkendall examines the strengths and weaknesses of new models for …
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Exploring how climate change has configured the international arena since the 1950s, Climate Change and International History: Negotiating Science, Global Change, and Environmental Justice (Bloomsbury, 2024) by Dr. Ruth A. Morgan reveals the ways that climate change emerged and evolved as an international problem, and how states, scientists and non…
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