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Russian Nights Autocracy And Testimony: Life in Russia during the Soviet Period as Told by Those Who Lived itISBN: 978-1-64889-673-6
$83 £67 €75
The details of the Jewish Holocaust have become part of our history through the testimony of those who survived the death camps. The details of Lenin’s and Stalin’s reigns of terror are far less known because they took place behind a wall of secrecy, and survivors have been reluctant to speak about them for fear of retribution. This is an encompassing volume presenting an intense display, as complete as can be, of testimonies, gathered between 2001 and 2005 of actors implicated in different aspects of Russian life roughly through the period 1917-1956. They were people who had lived under the Soviet regime in times of peace and in times of war, from the Red Terror through the Great Terror. One must bear in mind the political and economic conditions in which those lives developed: the one-Party rule placed above both the government and the citizens, the abashment of the division of powers, the suppression of private property and private economic initiative, the political police, and the GULAG. Russian Nights offers a wide and detailed perspective of what we call “the Russian Century”: Lenin’s takeover, the all-powerful Party, the GULAG, and the Second World War.
Voicing Memories, Unearthing Identities: Studies in the Twenty-First-Century Literatures of Eastern and East-Central Europe
Aleksandra Konarzewska, University of Tübingen, Germany
and Anna Nakai, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan
254pp. ¦ $86 £71 €81
In the region known as Eastern and East-Central Europe, the framework provided by memory studies became highly valuable for understanding the overload of interpretations of and conflicting perspectives on events during the twentieth century. The trauma of two world wars, the development of collective consciousness according to national and ethnic categories, stories of the trampled lands and lives of people, and resistance to the rule of authoritarian and totalitarian terrors—these trajectories left complex layers of identities to unfold. The following volume addresses the issue of identity as a pivot in studies of memory and literature. In this context, it addresses the question of cultural negotiation as it took shape between memory and literature, history and literature, and memory and history, with the help of contemporary authors and their works. The authors take the literature of countries such as Estonia, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia as the point of departure, and explain its significance in terms of geographical, theoretical, and thematic perspectives.
Reimagining Capitalism: Applying Negative Dialectics for a Better Future
David M. Atkinson, York St John University
Availability: In stock
455pp. ¦ $82 £65 €77
The Covid-19 pandemic reinforced the perception that capitalism is in crisis, that the future is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, and that, increasingly, our thinking about it and ability to manage and organize ourselves within it, are challenges we are ill-equipped for. Despite the efforts of many writers, and a surfeit of manuscripts concerning the need to rethink capitalism, questions concerning the struggle for social and economic justice remain unanswered. While some suggest that with corrective action, businesses can save the world, there is an acceptance that they cannot do so alone. However, while governments might strengthen their institutions, enacting more effective policies, the challenge is simply laid bare at the feet of industry and commerce. Is the challenge to confront the establishment just too big to face? Government institutions and the barons of industry and commerce are but interrelated, interconnected, interplaying components in one socio-economic system. This book offers readers a progressive, radical and academic provocation of that system; it also proposes a field of Applied Negative Dialectics. In 'Reimagining Capitalism', Atkinson confronts the need to rethink capitalism and presents an integrated range of thinking through a lens of applied negative dialectics, questioning how and why things might have occurred, and where and how we might begin to improve them.
The Dynamic Social Contract: An American Case StudyFebruary 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-599-9
Availability: In stock
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 VictoryJanuary 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.