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Why Does Famine Kill?April 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-309-5
Availability: In stock
432pp. ¦ $68 £49 €55
This book seeks to reclassify famine by offering an in-depth look at the phenomenon that continues to affect millions of people across the world every year. Defined as a widespread scarcity of food, Dr. Basilio Dianda argues that the causes of famine cannot be reduced exclusively to a shortfall in agricultural output or to economic dynamics. Instead, an analysis of famine must take into account political and economic factors as well as agricultural, climatologic and demographic data. ‘Political Routes to Starvation’ is the result of an all-encompassing analysis of eighty famines from across the globe. This extensive piece of research demonstrates that there are not only multiple factors at play in the genesis of a food crisis, but also in its evolution to starvation. Dianda contends that in order to fully understand the causes of famine it is necessary to reinstate a hierarchy between foundation and concomitant causes, especially when cross-comparing cases. Importantly, Dianda maintains that only a comprehensive approach to famine can appropriately answer the questions: What is famine? How does famine occur? Why does famine kill?
Availability: In stock
284pp. ¦ $63 £51 €59
The anthology explores the interrelationship between migration and a supposedly existent crisis of the modern nation state. The argument of such a crisis is mainly used by the New Right to stimulate nationalist feelings and provoke hate and aggression. We, in contrast to this perception, argue that from a historical and current perspective, migration is not endangering the nation state, but rather changing the idea of a nation itself by redefining it. In historical as well as current case studies, the authors determine the political dangers of right wing demagogues, while emphasizing the chances, immigration is offering the progress of the nation state. While it will be discussed how nationalism is impacting on the perception of migration, we also want to emphasize how it is perceived by the people in the specific regions, which are either confronted with migration or those which are not. The authors for the volume come from different fields, namely history and political sciences, and are consequently able to offer the reader a broad insight into the historical roots and the current consequences nationalism had or has on the perception and the local as well as global policies towards migration. The analysis of particular immigrant groups (e.g. North Koreans in post-war Korea, South Asians in the Emirates, Middle Eastern refugees in Europe, Hispanics in the United States) as well as a close reading of crisis related media (newspapers and other media in Europe and the US) will, all in all, establish a broad perspective, due to which the reader will be able to compare and connect the national events to a larger global picture.
In Search of TruthJanuary 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-307-1
Availability: In stock
240pp. ¦ $61 £46 €52
In the 21st century, amid converging global political, social, and economic forces we are questioning the fundamental values we hold true, driven by an antagonism between different schools of political philosophy—between left- and right-wing politics. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of western political philosophy and underlines the core principles of each argument. It then argues that neither have we solved nor do we have any pathway to eventually solve, the question of right and wrong—we are essentially moral relativists in disguise. In order to break out of this cycle of uncertainty, the book proposes a solution of knowledge-based cognition: policy based on a concrete and proven understanding of an absolute and certain body of truths. This requires an analysis and blending of non-western political philosophical traditions, such as those espoused by Islam and Confucianism. This book gives an original critique of western political philosophy and is the first book to engage in a reconstruction of Islamic political philosophy.
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $55 £40 €45
A point of departure for this book is the paradox between the seemingly limitless promise modern web technologies hold for enhanced political communication and their limited actual contribution. Empirical evidence indicates that neither citizens nor political parties are taking full advantage of online platforms to advance political participation. This is particularly evident when considering the websites of political parties, which have taken on two main functions: i) Disseminating information to citizens and journalists about the history, structure, programme and activities of the party; ii) Monitoring citizens’ opinions in regard to different political questions and policy proposals that are under discussion. Despite the integration of websites into political parties’ “permanent campaigns” (Blumenthal), television continues to be seen as the core medium in political communication and one-way and top-down communication strategies still prevail. In other words, it is still “business as usual”. This book questions whether Web 2.0 could help enhance citizens’ political participation. It offers a critical examination of the current state of the art from diverse perspectives, highlights persisting gaps in our knowledge and identifies a promising stream of further research. The ambition is to stimulate debate around the party-citizen "participation mismatch" and the role and place of modern web technologies in this setting. Each of the included chapters provide valuable explorations of the ways in which political parties motivate, make use of and are shaped by citizen participation in the Web 2.0 era. Diverse perspectives are employed, drawing examples from several European political systems and offering analytical insights at both the individual/micro level and at broader, macro or inter-societal systems level. Taken together, they offer a balanced and thought-provoking account of the political participation gap, its causes and consequences for political communication and democratic politics, as well as pointing the way to new forms of contemporary political participation.
R.U.S. Prasad, Harvard University
Availability: In stock
210pp. ¦ $50 £38 €44
The book critically examines and assesses the literary evidence available through Vedic and allied literature portraying the nature of Vedic polity, the functionalities of its various institutions, and the various social and religious practices. The book is not a narrative but critically examines the nature of changes in a host of these areas that occurred at each stage of Vedic polity from early Vedic period to post Ṛig-Vedic period. It outlines in historical perspective the various stages involved in the development of Vedic polity and Vedic canon and how the two processes have gone along together. It contains extensive discussions on political system and institutions, religious and social practices as they obtained during the Rig-Vedic and post Rig-Vedic periods. It provides a fresh approach to the cult of sacrifice and fire rituals practiced by Vedic Aryans along with an in-depth analysis of the Vedic view of Nationalism, Sovereignty and State as discernible from Vedic texts .The book also features an extensive discussion on the institution of kingship, administrative machinery, role of various entities in the polity including the Purohita, the Sabha and the Samiti, position of women, Varna system and features of tribal kingdoms, such as the Kuru-Panchalas and Kosala-Videhas. Isolating political and social aspects from the essentially religious character of Vedic literature, an attempt has been made to show with due corroboration that the tribal polity was not deficient in political content contrary to the stance of some scholars to depict Vedic Aryans as apolitical and inward looking. The present book partakes both the current and previous scholarship on the subject but breaks a new path with its exclusive focus on the Rig-Vedic and Post Rig-Vedic polity, together with a balanced and objective assessment of their features. It brings all the relevant and connected issues on to one platform, and deals with them in a holistic manner. Its unique features include: • The “Vedic Grid”: a graphical representation and tabulations of the characteristics of each of the about 50 Vedic tribes, including information on the location of their habitat, their time line, the names of their chieftains and their linkage with priestly clans. • A special focus on the Second Urbanization taking place in the Gangetic valley between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. It explains how towards the end of the later Vedic period, the polity underwent a change in political, social and economic spheres which blossomed later during the period of Mauryas. • Two appendices dealing with the theories of Aryan migration and the relationship of the Vedic Aryans with the Harappa culture and what can be ascertained by Vedic literature.