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New Books in National Security

Author: Marshall Poe

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Interviews with Scholars of National Security about their New Books
181 Episodes
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If today’s geopolitical fragmentation and the complexities of a ‘multipolar’ world order have led some to reminisce about the apparent stability of the Cold War era’s two ‘camps’, it should be remembered that things were of course never so straightforward. As Jeremy Friedman shows in Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World, the 1960s-1980s Sino-Soviet Split(UNC Press, 2018) generated a much more fractious and divided global situation than today’s nostalgia would imply.Taking ideology seriously as a component of socialist foreign policy, Friedman’s new and compelling analysis shows how deep Moscow and Beijing’s disagreements ran, and argues that the division was based at heart on two quite different revolutionary agendas. Drawing on archives all over the world in multiple languages, Shadow Cold War traces the origins of these agendas in revolutionary experience in each of Russia and China, and reveals how these continued to manifest themselves as Soviet and Chinese interests competed in the developing world in the latter half of the twentieth century. With China in particular now a major player in many of the locations discussed here, this book should be indispensable reading for anyone seeking clarity about how we got to where we are today.Ed Pulford is a postdoctoral researcher at the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and northeast Asian indigenous groups.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The practice of Partition understood as the physical division of territory along ethno-religious lines into separate nation-states is often regarded as a successful political "solution" to ethnic conflict. In their edited volume Partitions: A Transnational History of Twentieth-Century Territorial Separatism (Stanford University Press, 2019), Laura Robson and Arie Dubnov uncover the collective history of the concept of partition and locate its genealogy in the politics of twentieth-century empire and decolonization. Moving beyond the nationalist frameworks that served in the first instance to promote partition as a natural phenomenon, the volume discusses creation of new political entities in the world of the British empire, from the Irish Free State, to the Dominions (later Republics) of India and Pakistan, and Palestine.Yorgos Giannakopoulos is a currently a Junior Research Fellow in Durham University, UK. He is a historian of Modern Britain and Europe. His published research recovers the regional impact of British Intellectuals in Eastern Europe in the age of nationalism and internationalism.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 and war in general have evolved against the backdrop of American conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. These ideas, he shows, were and are flawed and have undermined America's ability to understand, wage, and win its wars, and to secure peace afterwards. America's leaders he argues have too often taken the nation to war without understanding what they want or valuing victory, leading to the “forever wars” of today in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why America Loses Wars: Limited War and US Strategy from the Korean War to the Present(Cambridge University Press, 2019) dismantles seventy years of misguided thinking and lays the foundations for a new approach to the wars of tomorrow. Why American Loses War is a must read for policy practitioners, serving soldiers and the lay educated public.Charles Coutinho has a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for the Journal of Intelligence History and Chatham House’s International Affairs. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to Charlescoutinho@aol.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With the US in the midst of on-going negotiations with Iran, North Korea, and China, how is Congress playing a part? How is the new generation of Congress advocating for and against US action? Jeffrey Lantis’ new book answers these questions. He is the author of Foreign Policy Advocacy and Entrepreneurship: How a New Generation in Congress Is Shaping U.S. Engagement with the World(University of Michigan Press, 2019). Lantis is professor of political science at the College of Wooster.Through several case studies, Lantis shows how some of the freshest faces on Capitol Hill are advocating for change. From Elizabeth Warren to Tom Cotton, Michelle Bachman to Carlos Curbelo, members of Congress are staking out bold foreign policy stances on everything from trade to climate change. Lantis’ book weaves these cases together into a meaningful account of the contemporary Congress.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America (Basic Books, 2019) places religion and oil at the center of American history. As prize-winning historian Darren Dochuk reveals, from the earliest discovery of oil in America during the Civil War, citizens saw oil as the nation's special blessing and its peculiar burden, the source of its prophetic mission in the world. Over the century that followed and down to the present day, the oil industry's leaders and its ordinary workers together fundamentally transformed American religion, business, and politics -- boosting America's ascent as the preeminent global power, giving shape to modern evangelical Christianity, fueling the rise of the Republican Right, and setting the terms for today's political and environmental debates.Ranging from the Civil War to the present, from West Texas to Saudi Arabia to the Alberta Tar Sands, and from oil-patch boomtowns to the White House, this is a sweeping, magisterial book that transforms how we understand our nation's history.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In his new book, The Deepest Border: The Strait of Gibraltar and the Making of the Hispano-African Border(Stanford, 2019), Sasha D. Pack considers the Strait of Gibraltar as an untamed in-between space—from “shatter zone” to borderland. Far from the centers of authority of contending empires, the North African and Southern Iberian coast was a place where imperial, colonial, private, and piratical agents competed for local advantage. Sometimes they outmaneuvered each other; sometimes they cooperated.Gibraltar entered European politics in the Middle Ages, and became a symbol of the Atlantic Empire in the Early Modern period (the Pillars of Hercules of Emperor Charles V are featured on the Spanish flag to this day), but Pack’s study focuses on the nineteenth century. Europe’s new imperialism, Britannic naval supremacy, the age of steam, the ever-present danger of cholera, all mark the change of a Spanish-Moorish border into a multilateral one. So too does the multicultural mix of Europeans and North Africans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, and Protestants who brought a spirit of convivencia (mutual toleration) into the region, unlike the nineteenth- and twentieth- century homogenizing nationalism that was at play elsewhere.In the middle of this theater, Dr. Pack follows the careers of adventuresome entrepreneurs, who manipulated the weak enforcement of conflicting laws in overlapping jurisdictions for their own gain. He calls these characters “slipstream potentates” because they maneuvered creatively in the wakes of great ships of state on their courses in the seas of international politics. (Other historians have called them “the last Barbary pirates.”) They bring color and detail to this already gripping narrative of international politics in Spain and North Africa in the century between Napoleon and Franco.Sasha D. Pack is Associate Professor of History at the University of Buffalo. He studies Modern Europe, Spain and Portugal, and the Mediterranean, focusing on transnational and political history.Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of the Early Modern Spanish Empire specializing in culture, diplomacy, and travel. He completed his PhD in 2017 at UC Berkeley where he is now a Visiting Scholar and a Fellow in the Berkeley Connect in History program.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Why do international peacebuilding organizations sometimes succeed and sometimes fail, even within the same country? Bridging the gaps between the peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and global governance scholarship, this book argues that international peacebuilding organizations repeatedly fail because they are accountable to global actors, not to local institutions or people. International peacebuilding organizations can succeed only when country-based staff bypass existing accountability structures and empower local stakeholders to hold their global organizations accountable for achieving local-level peacebuilding outcomes. In other words, the innovative, if seemingly wayward, actions of individual country-office staff are necessary to improve peacebuilding performance. Using in-depth studies of organizations operating in Burundi over a fifteen-year period, combined with fieldwork in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nepal, South Sudan, and Sudan, Susanna P. Campbell new book Global Governance and Local Peace: Accountability and Performance in International Peacebuilding (Cambridge University Press, 2018) will be of interest to scholars and students of international relations, African studies, and peace and conflict studies, as well as policymakers. You can follow Susanna Campbell on Twitter.Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Someday we may say that we never saw it coming. After seventy-five years of peace in the Pacific, a new challenger to American power has emerged, on a scale not seen since the Soviet Union at its height. With a deep if partially contrived sense of national destiny, the Chinese Communist Party is guiding a country of 1.4 billion people towards what it calls "the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," and, with it, the end of an American-led world. The order which since 1945, has insured the greatest period of peace and prosperity in world history. Will this generation of Americans witness the final act for America as a hegemonic superpower? Can American ingenuity, confidence, and will power outcompete the long-term strategic thinking and planning of China's Communist Party? These are the challenges that will shape the next decade and more. Dr. Jonathan D. T. Ward’s China's Vision of Victory (Atlas Publishing, 2019) brings the reader to a new understanding of China's planning, strategy, and ambitions. A China specialist, with a doctorate from Oxford, where we studied with well-known China scholar, Rana Mitter, Dr. Ward’s provides what the Financial Times calls a ‘stimulating’ and “powerful” narrative which explores with unusual depth and insight the dangers to world peace of a Peoples Republic which is becoming completely unmoored to the peaceful regulation of international relations. “From seabed to space, from Africa to the Arctic, from subsurface warfare to the rise of China's global corporations", this book will illuminate for the reader the new great game of our lifetimes, and how our adversary sees it all.Charles Coutinho has a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for the Journal of Intelligence History and Chatham House’s International Affairs. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to Charlescoutinho@aol.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Appeasement: Chamberlain, Hitler, Churchill and the Road to War(Tim Duggan Books, 2019) is a groundbreaking history of the disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that help to make Hitler’s domination of Europe possible. Drawing on the available archival research, Oxford graduate, professional writer and one-time Channel 4 news journalist, Tim Bouverie has created a highly interesting portrait of the ministers, aristocrats, and amateur diplomats who, through their actions and inaction, shaped their country’s policy and determined the fate of Europe. Among other historical figures who appear in this tale are Hitler, Churchill, Chamberlain, Eden and Baldwin.Beginning with the advent of Hitler in 1933, we embark on a fascinating journey from the early days of the Third Reich to the beaches of Dunkirk and the downfall of Chamberlain’s premiership. Bouverie takes us not only into the backrooms of Parliament and 10 Downing Street but also into the drawing rooms and dining clubs of imperial Britain, where Hitler enjoyed support among the ruling class and even some members of the royal family. Both sweeping and detail laden, Tim Bouverie provides both the first-time reader of this historical tale and the more experienced one, with a highly interesting and involved narrative of one of the most important periods in world history.Charles Coutinho has a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for the Journal of Intelligence History and Chatham House’s International Affairs. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to Charlescoutinho@aol.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In recent years, Confucius Institutes—cultural and language programs funded by the Chinese government—have garnered attention in the United States due to a debate over whether they threaten free speech and academic freedom. In addition to this, much of the scholarly work on Confucius Institutes analyzes policy documents. Anthropologist Jennifer Hubbert seeks to ask more complex questions and in-depth research in her new book China in the World: An Anthropology of Confucius Institutes, Soft Power, and Globalization (University of Hawaii Press, 2019). She considers what China’s soft power efforts look like in implementation, in addition to policy, and what this can tell us about China’s changing place in the world. Over the course of five years (2011-2016), Hubbert conducted transnational, multiscalar, multisited ethnographic and archival research in Confucius Institutes in the United States and on Confucius Institute-sponsored travel-study trips to China. She observed and interviewed students, parents, teachers, and administrators about their perceptions of Confucius Institutes and the Chinese state. Ultimately, she concludes that the soft power of the Confucius Institutes is intended to present China as a modern, globalized country not only for Americans and other international audiences but also to a domestic audience in China.Laurie Dickmeyer is an Assistant Professor of History at Angelo State University, where she teaches courses in Asian and US history. Her research concerns nineteenth century US-China relations. She can be reached at laurie.dickmeyer@angelo.edu and on Twitter (@LDickmeyer).Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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