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  • Author: Blake Atwood
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: It is nearly impossible to separate contemporary Iranian cinema from the Islamic revolution that transformed film production in the country in the late 1970s. As the aims of the revolution shifted and hardened once Khomeini took power and as an eight-year war with Iraq dragged on, Iranian filmmakers confronted new restrictions. In the 1990s, however, the Reformist Movement, led by Mohammad Khatami, and the film industry, developed an unlikely partnership that moved audiences away from revolutionary ideas and toward a discourse of reform. In Reform Cinema in Iran, Blake Atwood examines how new industrial and aesthetic practices created a distinct cultural and political style in Iranian film between 1989 and 2007. Atwood analyzes a range of popular, art, and documentary films. He provides new readings of internationally recognized films such as Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry (1997) and Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Time for Love (1990), as well as those by Rakhshan Bani, Masud Kiami, and other key Iranian directors. At the same time, he also considers how filmmakers and the film industry were affected by larger political and religious trends that took shape during Mohammad Khatami's presidency (1997-2005). Atwood analyzes political speeches, religious sermons, and newspaper editorials and pays close attention to technological developments, particularly the rise of video, to determine their role in democratizing filmmaking and realizing the goals of political reform. He concludes with a look at the legacy of reform cinema, including films produced under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose neoconservative discourse rejected the policies of reform that preceded him.
  • Topic: Film
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543149
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Nadya Hajj
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: The right to own property is something we generally take for granted. For refugees living in camps, in some cases for as long as generations, the link between citizenship and property ownership becomes strained. How do refugees protect these assets and preserve communal ties? How do they maintain a sense of identity and belonging within chaotic settings? Protection Amid Chaos follows people as they develop binding claims on assets and resources in challenging political and economic spaces. Focusing on Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, it shows how the first to arrive developed flexible though legitimate property rights claims based on legal knowledge retained from their homeland, subsequently adapted to the restrictions of refugee life. As camps increased in complexity, refugees merged their informal institutions with the formal rules of political outsiders, devising a broader, stronger system for protecting their assets and culture from predation and state incorporation. For this book, Nadya Hajj conducted interviews with two hundred refugees. She consults memoirs, legal documents, and findings in the United Nations Relief Works Agency archives. Her work reveals the strategies Palestinian refugees have used to navigate their precarious conditions while under continuous assault and situates their struggle within the larger context of communities living in transitional spaces.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231542920
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Henry Sokolski (ed)
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In 1966, Leonard Beaton, a journalist and strategic scholar, published a short book that asked must the bomb spread.1 Mr. Beaton’s query reflected the profound alarm with which proliferation was viewed shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today that alarm is all but absent: Now, not only is proliferation increasingly viewed as a given (more of a fact than a problem), but some security experts actually see advantages in nuclear weapons spreading or, at least, little harm. Cultivation of this latter view took time—nearly a half century— and considerable scholarship. In 1981, Kenneth Waltz popularized French and American finite deterrence thinking of the late 1950s by asking whether or not nuclear weapons in more hands might be better. His answer was yes. As nuclear weapons spread, he argued, adversaries would view war as being self-defeating and peace would become more certain.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paola Subacchi
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Many of the world's major economies boast dominant international currencies. Not so for China. Its renminbi has lagged far behind the pound, the euro, and the dollar in global circulation—and for good reason. China has long privileged economic policies that have fueled development at the expense of the renminbi's growth, and it has become clear that the underpowered currency is threatening China's future. The nation's leaders now face the daunting task of strengthening the currency without losing control of the nation's economy or risking total collapse. How are they approaching this challenge? In The People's Money, Paola Subacchi introduces readers to China's monetary system, mapping its evolution over the past century and, particularly, its transformation since Deng Xiaoping took power in 1978. Subacchi revisits the policies that fostered the country's economic rise while at the same time purposefully creating a currency of little use beyond China's borders. She shows the key to understanding China's economic predicament lies in past and future strategies for the renminbi. The financial turbulence following the global crisis of 2008, coupled with China's ambitions as a global creditor and chief economic power, has forced the nation to reckon with the limited international circulation of the renminbi. Increasing the currency's reach will play a major role in securing China's future.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus, Global Markets
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543262
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Ching-Chang Chen, Denny Roy, Utpal Vyas
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The Kim Jong Un (KJU) regime, since its inception, has ratcheted up tension on the Korean Peninsula. His decision to dishonor what he had agreed to—a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches as well as the return of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors to Yongbyon—at several rounds of bilateral talks with the United States in February 2012 confirmed the belief that North Korea is a historically unpredictable and unreliable actor. Because the new North Korean leadership needed to fulfill its promise that North Korea would enter an “era of being a strong and prosperous nation ( gangseongdaeguk ),” pursuing economic recovery by easing tension through reconciliation with the international community, including the United States, was of significance. North Korea could have obtained nutritional assistance including corn, soy beans, vegetable oils, and ready-to-eat therapeutic food, but instead it initiated a string of provocations and hostile threats, which brought China's patience to the limits, strengthened UN sanctions, and consolidated the US position not to engage with North Korea before Pyongyang shows concrete steps for denuclearization. Hence, for the international observers, North Korea's gamble seemed to be a grave mistake.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, North Korea
  • Author: Brad Glosserman, Scott A. Snyder
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Japan and South Korea are Western-style democracies with open-market economies committed to the rule of law. They are also U.S. allies. Yet despite their shared interests, shared values, and geographic proximity, divergent national identities have driven a wedge between them. Drawing on decades of expertise, Brad Glosserman and Scott Snyder investigate the roots of this split and its ongoing threat to the region and the world. Glosserman and Snyder isolate competing notions of national identity as the main obstacle to a productive partnership between Japan and South Korea. Through public opinion data, interviews, and years of observation, they show how fundamentally incompatible, rapidly changing conceptions of national identity in Japan and South Korea--and not struggles over power or structural issues--have complicated territorial claims and international policy. Despite changes in the governments of both countries and concerted efforts by leading political figures to encourage US-ROK-Japan security cooperation, the Japan-Korea relationship continues to be hobbled by history and its deep imprint on ideas of national identity. This book recommends bold, policy-oriented prescriptions for overcoming problems in Japan-Korea relations and facilitating trilateral cooperation among these three Northeast Asian allies, recognizing the power of the public on issues of foreign policy, international relations, and the prospects for peace in Asia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia, South Korea
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231539289
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: In the poorest countries, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Mali, the United States has struggled to work with governments whose corruption and lack of capacity are increasingly seen to be the cause of instability and poverty. The development and security communities call for "good governance" to improve the rule of law, democratic accountability, and the delivery of public goods and services. The United States and other rich liberal democracies insist that this is the only legitimate model of governance. Yet poor governments cannot afford to govern according to these ideals and instead are compelled to rely more heavily on older, cheaper strategies of holding power, such as patronage and repression. The unwillingness to admit that poor governments do and must govern differently has cost the United States and others inestimable blood and coin. Informed by years of fieldwork and drawing on practitioner work and academic scholarship in politics, economics, law, and history, this book explains the origins of poor governments in the formation of the modern state system and describes the way they govern. It argues that, surprisingly, the effort to stigmatize and criminalize the governance of the poor is both fruitless and destabilizing. The United States must pursue a more effective foreign policy to engage poor governments and acknowledge how they govern.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Corruption, Development, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Haiti, Mali
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231171205
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Jennifer L. Erickson
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: The United Nations's groundbreaking Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which went into effect in 2014, sets legally binding standards to regulate global arms exports and reflects the growing concerns toward the significant role that small and major conventional arms play in perpetuating human rights violations, conflict, and societal instability worldwide. Many countries that once staunchly opposed shared export controls and their perceived threat to political and economic autonomy are now beginning to embrace numerous agreements, such as the ATT and the EU Code of Conduct. Jennifer L. Erickson explores the reasons top arms-exporting democracies have put aside past sovereignty, security, and economic worries in favor of humanitarian arms transfer controls, and she follows the early effects of this about-face on export practice. She begins with a brief history of failed arms export control initiatives and then tracks arms transfer trends over time. Pinpointing the normative shifts in the 1990s that put humanitarian arms control on the table, she reveals that these states committed to these policies out of concern for their international reputations. She also highlights how arms trade scandals threaten domestic reputations and thus help improve compliance. Using statistical data and interviews conducted in France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Erickson challenges existing IR theories of state behavior while providing insight into the role of reputation as a social mechanism and the importance of government transparency and accountability in generating compliance with new norms and rules.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231170963
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Asaad Al-Saleh
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Narrated by dozens of activists and everyday individuals, this book documents the unprecedented events that led to the collapse of dictatorial regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. Beginning in 2011, these stories offer unique access to the message that inspired citizens to act, their experiences during revolt, and the lessons they learned from some of the most dramatic changes and appalling events to occur in the history of the Arab world. The riveting, revealing, and sometimes heartbreaking stories in this volume also include voices from Syria. Featuring participants from a variety of social and educational backgrounds and political commitments, these personal stories of action represent the Arab Spring's united and broad social movements, collective identities, and youthful character. For years, the volume's participants lived under regimes that brutally suppressed free expression and protest. Their testimony speaks to the multifaceted emotional, psychological, and cultural factors that motivated citizens to join together to struggle against their oppressors.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Insurgency, Authoritarianism, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231163194
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Seyom Brown
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Seyom Brown's authoritative account of U.S. foreign policy from the end of the Second World War to the present challenges common assumptions about American presidents and their struggle with power and purpose. Brown shows Truman to be more anguished than he publicly revealed about the use of the atomic bomb; Eisenhower and George W. Bush to be more immersed in the details of policy formulation and implementation than generally believed; Reagan to be more invested in changing his worldview while in office than any previous president; and Obama to have modeled his military exit from Iraq and Afghanistan more closely to Nixon and Kissinger's exit strategy from Vietnam than he would like to admit. Brown's analyses of Obama's policies for countering terrorist threats at home and abroad, dealing with unprecedented upheavals in the Middle East, preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and containing new territorial expansion by China and Russia reinforce the book's "constancy and change" theme, which shows that serving the interests of the most powerful country in the world transforms the Oval Office's occupant more than its occupant can transform the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Terrorism, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231133296
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN