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Subject: Political Science and International Relations

The Dynamic Social Contract: An American Case Study

Andre Smith

ISBN: 978-1-64889-599-9
Availability: Available 4 weeks
152pp. ¦ $51 £40 €47

This book continues an exploration begun by Charles Mills and Carole Pateman with their examinations of the nuisances of the Western social contract. The work examines the social contract within the variable of space or proximity and incorporates concepts first proposed by Benedict Anderson, that of concepts of shared communal belonging or imagined. The social contract is explored as a dynamic sociopolitical instrument that is influenced by the context of human interactions, specifically, space. Space or proximity exists as a variable, either increasing interactions and challenging sociopolitical norms, or decreasing interactions and reinforcing sociopolitical norms. We can trace proximity within a sociopolitical model, with connections becoming more and more abstract as proximity increases and group membership becomes more abstract — global, global region, nation, religion, ethnicity, national region, city, town/village, and kin. We accept that kinship or hereditary connections are the most atomistic. And within this tree of proximity, as proximity increases the ties of group membership become more tenuous, and the incentive of collective action decreases production is the binding glue of the world economic system, and the framework of the study, but it is within the bounds of the productive system that the challenge of proximity and membership collide. The collision occurs as the proximity of production increases, and the reaction is a dynamic response within the social contract, witnessed as a retraction.

Laurent Gbagbo‘s Trial and the Indictment of the International Criminal Court

A Pan-African Victory

Gnaka Lagoke

January 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-873-1
Availability: In stock
276pp. ¦ $65 £51 €60

The International Criminal Court (ICC), created in 2002 to combat impunity, projects a sense of unfairness and stirs an unending debate. A trial before the court epitomizes the controversy surrounding it, perceived as a neocolonialist tool in the hands of the most powerful nations. This research critically examines the trial of the former president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo. The two-decade crisis in Ivory Coast was a series of armed, diplomatic, and political conflicts in which human rights were violated by all sides. Military confrontation resumed as a result of an electoral stalemate that followed a controversial presidential election in the fall of 2010. The most atrocious human rights abuse was perpetrated at the end of March 2011 by the rebel forces backed by the French and the United Nations troops: the massacre of Duékoué. In one day, hundreds of Laurent Gbagbo’s followers were killed. However, the ICC undertook a selective prosecution against Gbagbo’s camp. After a trial of eight years, Laurent Gbagbo was finally acquitted. The news of his unanticipated acquittal shocked the world. Later, that decision was overturned and transformed into freedom with binding and coercive conditions by the Appeals Chamber, which had succumbed to political pressure. The former president of Ivory Coast spent months of confinement in Belgium until the Appeals Chamber rebutted the prosecutor’s appeal against his release and confirmed his total acquittal and that of Blé Goudé. He eventually went back to Ivory Coast on June 17, 2021. The trial of Laurent Gbagbo before the ICC, despite his acquittal (a tardy one), reflects a series of biases germane to international law and international justice, such as the victor’s justice stance, the conflict between national law and international law, the question of sovereignty, and the issue of lawfare. The trial of Laurent Gbagbo, which was the hallmark of the selective international justice system embedded in unfairness, led to a historical landmark with his shocking acquittal, which led to the indictment of the International Court, whose fate has thus been sealed before history.

La sociedad desconfiada. Debates televisivos, jóvenes y política en Ecuador

Giovanni Brancato, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

ISBN: 978-1-64889-619-4
Availability: Available 4 weeks
166pp. ¦ $42 £34 €39

Los jóvenes, la política y los medios de comunicación son los tres pilares que sostienen la investigación objeto de este volumen dedicado al estudio de los efectos producidos en las audiencias televisivas, en términos de confianza en la política y sus protagonistas, tras la exposición a contenidos mediáticos “conflictivos”. El libro intercepta un tema muy importante y de gran actualidad en tiempos en los que la sociedad se caracteriza por un sentimiento de cinismo, por una parte, y por la proliferación de fenómenos políticos populistas, por otra. Además, la elección de analizar el contexto político y mediático ecuatoriano cómo caso de estudio hace que este trabajo de investigación sea único entre las contribuciones académicas en el campo de los estudios e investigaciones al respecto en las ciencias de la comunicación y la sociología política. El volumen se divide en dos partes. La primera sección está dedicada a las relaciones entre los medios de comunicación, los ciudadanos y la política en la era de la desconfianza generalizada. En particular, se analizará la evolución de la comunicación política tras la aparición de la televisión y en los posibles efectos de los medios en los hábitos y prácticas informativas y política de los ciudadanos, centrándose en la sociedad ecuatoriana en los últimos veinte años. La segunda parte del libro presenta las fases de trabajo y los resultados de la investigación en campo llevada a cabo por el autor, caracterizada por un diseño cuasiexperimental, con el objetivo de analizar las dinámicas conflictivas típicas del debate en los talk shows y sus relaciones con los posibles efectos en las audiencias sobre el nivel de cinismo público.

Being in Conscience: A Theory of Ethics

Lambros Philippou

December 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-533-3
Availability: In stock
218pp. ¦ $74 £58 €69

This book aims to suggest a worldview departing from an articulation of a theory of conscience. It analyses the constitutive parts of conscience, a concept that has not been thoroughly examined and analysed in the discussions on ethics. Having the mechanisms of production of conscience as a point of reference, the book proceeds to discuss the concepts of subjective and collective evil. The concept of being in enhanced conscience aims to position the subjective conscience in human historicity. Based on the analysis of the roots of conscience, the subject is placed in the public sphere from the point of view of its corporeal harmony and disharmony as the conditions for its binding with the institutions and the spirit of a worldsphere. The book then expands its scope by addressing the question of what makes a worldsphere functional and dysfunctional. This analysis is useful for scholars who are interested in the deep structural conditions that produce and sustain a liberal democratic state. Through the analysis of inner-worldly and inter-worldly temporality, the mode of the creative rhythm is depicted by underlining the creative divergence that occurs not only within distinct worlds but also between worldspheres. The mediation of this analysis introduces the concept of planetary functionality whereby what is at stake is the islands of functionality that serve the survival of an interconnected world. The theory of conscience is applied also to the analysis of the state and of the economy. Conscience is also identified with the properties attributed to God, suggesting a new understanding of the meaning of religion and its role in human historicity. Finally, it argues that we should understand the future as the future of conscience that can function as the only motor of historical evolution.

Transnational Spaces: Celebrating Fifty Years of Literary and Cultural Intersections at NeMLA

Edited by Carine Mardorossian, University of Buffalo and Simona Wright, The College of New Jersey

December 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-233-2
Availability: In stock
144pp. ¦ $66 £56 €63

This volume celebrates fifty years of NeMLA’s important presence in the world of academia with a collection of essays that adopt a transnational critical lens. With the present selection, we intend to add our voices to the ongoing debate centered on the renegotiation of space, national, and cultural geographies; to foster both the re-thinking of language(s) and literature(s) not exclusively in English and the study of race, gender, sexuality, and class within and across national boundaries. Most pertinently for this collection, we hope to add meaningful material to produce new theoretical paradigms and to rethink the role and significance of the humanities in today’s world. In this light, 'Transnational Spaces: Celebrating Fifty Years of Literary, Cultural, and Language Intersections at NeMLA' offers a contribution to the study of our present, transnational condition, from the point of view of an organization, the 'Northeast Modern Language Association', that since its inception in 1969, has sought to provide a space of encounter, debate, and open intellectual exchange for all its members as well as for the academe at large. The essays contained in this volume emphasize the interdependency and interrelations engendered by the globalized world in which we live, highlighting the possibility to create new knowledge and forms of understanding across the boundaries of nationhood and region. At the same time, they remind us that the present situation calls for a radical self-examination of a history of systemic racism which continues to produce episodes of police brutality, rationalizes cultural and economic exclusion, and normalizes the incarceration of African Americans and “illegal” immigrants, including children and minorities. In this light, with this volume, we hope to have provided inclusive, egalitarian, and cosmopolitan spaces of encounter, exchange, and interrogation.

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