Faculty Publications


    2020

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    David Gordon, Cities on the World Stage: The Politics of Global Urban Climate Governance (Cambridge University Press)

    Publisher abstract: Cities are playing an ever more important role in the mitigation and adaption to climate change. This book examines the politics shaping whether, how and to what extent cities engage in global climate governance. By studying the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and drawing on scholarship from international relations, social movements, global governance and field theory, the book introduces a theory of global urban governance fields. Read more.
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    Eleonora Pasotti, Resisting Redevelopment: Protest in Aspiring Global Cities (Cambridge University Press)

    Publisher abstract: The politics of urban development is one of the most enduring, central themes of urban politics. In Resisting Redevelopment, Eleonora Pasotti explores the forces that enable residents of 'aspiring global cities,' or economically competitive cities, to mobilize against gentrification and other forms of displacement, as well as what makes mobilizations successful. Read more. 
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    Megan C. Thomas, The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Political Theory (Oxford)

    Publisher abstract: The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Political Theory provides an entry point into this burgeoning field by both synthesizing and challenging the terms that motivate it. The handbook demonstrates how mainstream political theory can and must be enriched through attention to genuinely global, rather than parochially Euro-American, contributions to political thinking. Entries emphasize exploration of substantive questions about political life—ranging from domination to political economy to the politics of knowledge—in a range of global contexts, with attention to whether and how those questions may be shared, contested, or reformulated across differences of time, space, and experience. Read more. 
  • Mark Fathi Massoud and Kathleen M. Moore, "Shari‘a Consciousness: Law and Lived Religion among California Muslims," Law & Social Inquiry

    Abstract: Shari‘a (commonly translated as Islamic law) is at the epicenter of anti-Muslim discourses in the United States. How do Muslims in the United States understand and experience shari‘a in the context of virulent attacks on it and on Islam and Muslims more generally? This article explores the meanings Californian Muslims give to and the intentions they derive from shari‘a when dominant discourses represent shari‘a as a cause for concern in American life. Drawing from fieldwork and interviews with Muslims across California, as well as scholarship on legal consciousness and lived religion, we document three interrelated stages of shari‘a consciousness: perceiving shari‘a and discriminatory depictions of it; educating oneself about shari‘a’s social and political relevance; and forming an intention for social action. Documenting these interrelated stages and theorizing the relationship between legal consciousness, religion, and inequality, this article reveals how religious identity formation is a significant precursor of legal mobilization and how nonstate normative orders provide interpretive frames for understanding human rights and social justice. Ultimately, legal consciousness may stem from sacred sensibilities and the desire to be a more ethical servant of God and not merely to be a more ethical subject of the state. Read more.

  • 2019

  • Yasmeen Daifallah, "The Politics of Decolonial Interpretation: Tradition and Method in Contemporary Arab Thought," American Political Science Review

    Abstract: What is the relationship between interpretive methods and decolonizing projects? Decolonial thinkers often invoke pre-colonial traditions in their efforts to fashion “national cultures” — modes of being, understanding, and self-expression specific to a de-colonizing collectivity’s experience. While the substantive contributions of precolonial traditions to decolonial thought have received well-deserved attention in postcolonial and comparative political theory, this paper focuses on the role that interpretive methods play in generating the emancipatory sensibilities envisioned by decolonial thinkers. It draws on the contemporary Moroccan philosopher Mohammed‘Abed Al-Jabri’s interpretive method to show that its decolonial potential lies in its “reader-centric” approach. This approach is concerned with transforming its postcolonial reader’s relationship to precolonial traditions, and not only with establishing the truth of historical texts or making use of their insights in the present as is more common in political-theoretical modes of interpretation. It does so through a tripartite process of disconnection, reconnection, and praxis. Read more

  • 2018

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    Sara Niedzwiecki, Uneven Social Policies: The Politics of Subnational Variation in Latin America (Cambridge University)

    Publisher abstract: Social policies can transform the lives of the poor and marginalized, yet inequitable implementation often limits their access. Uneven Social Policies shifts the focus of welfare state analysis away from policy design and toward policy implementation. By examining variation in political motivations, state capacity, and policy legacies, it explains why some policies are implemented more effectively than others, why some deliver votes to incumbent governments while others do not, and why regionally elected executives block the implementation of some but not all national policies. Read more
  • Mark Fathi Massoud, "How an Islamic State Rejected Islamic Law," The American Journal of Comparative Law

    Abstract: How do states transitioning to democracy, including newly independent states emerging from colonialism or war, decide on their legal systems? In particular, why would a fledgling Muslim-majority state choose to uphold the legal system of its European colonial master rather than publicly enact Islamic law? Drawing on archival and interview data I gathered in Sudan, this Article shows how English common law emerged from colonialism as a default option that helped local elites bridge deep social, ethnic, and political divides. Because democratic-minded intellectuals were unable to agree on a common implementation of Shari’a (roughly translated as Islamic law), English common law provided a less satisfying but (to them) more practical basis to form a new state. Choosing common law over Islamic law allowed intra-elite conflicts, particularly among political parties and ethnic groups, to lay dormant during the transition to independence. But it also marginalized progressive Islamic jurists who had sought to create a democratic state built on Islamic principles of justice and equality. By unearthing Sudan’s remarkable legal history, this study reveals the contested nature of common law and Shari’a within Muslim-majority states. This Article ultimately demonstrates how debates over the place of religion shape democratic development and how colonial politics creates legal discourses that survive into the independent state. Read more.

  • 2017

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    Kent Eaton, Territory and Ideology in Latin America: Policy Conflicts between National and Subnational Governments (Oxford)

    Publisher abstract: Around the world, familiar ideological conflicts over the market are becoming increasingly territorialized in the form of policy conflicts between national and subnational governments. Thanks to a series of trends such as globalization, democratization, and especially decentralization, subnational governments are now in a position more effectively to challenge the ideological orientation of the national government. Read more. 

  • 2016

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    Sikina Jinnah and Simon Nicholson, New Earth Politics (MIT Press)

    Publisher abstract: in this volume, prominent scholars and practitioners in the field of global environmental politics consider the ecological and political realities of life on the new earth, and probe the field’s deepest and most enduring questions at a time of increasing environmental stress. Read more.
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    Ronnie Lipschutz and Shelley Hurt, Hybrid Rule and State Formation: Public-Private Power in the 21st Century (Routledge)

    Publisher abstract: neoliberalism has been the reigning ideology of our era. For the past four decades, almost every real-world event of any consequence has been traced to the supposedly omnipresent influence of neoliberalism. Instead, this book argues that states across the world have actually grown in scope and reach. Read more.
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    Hanna Fenichel Pitkin, edited by Dean Mathiowetz: Politics, Justice, Action (Routledge)

    Publisher abstract: Hanna Fenichel Pitkin has made key contributions to the field of political philosophy, pushing forward and clarifying the ways that political theorists think about action as the exercise of political freedom. In so doing, she has offered insightful studies of the problems of modern politics that theorists are called to address, and has addressed them herself in a range of theoretical genres. Read more.
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    Michael Urban, New Orleans Rhythm and Blues After Katrina: Music, Magic and Myth (Palgrave Macmillan)

    Publisher abstract: on the basis of 56 open-ended interviews with those in the city's musical community, Michael Urban discovers that, indeed, community is what it is all about. In their own words, informants explain that commercial concerns are eclipsed by the pleasure of playing in 'one big band' that disassembles daily into smaller performing units whose rosters are fluid, such that, over time, 'everybody plays with everybody'. Read more.

  • 2015

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    Eva Bertram, The Workfare State: Public Assistance Politics from the New Deal to the New Democrats (UPenn Press)

    Publisher abstract: in The Workfare State, Eva Bertram recounts the compelling history of the evolving social contract from the New Deal to the present to show how a need-based entitlement was replaced with a work-conditioned safety net, heightening the economic vulnerability of many poor families. Read more.
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    Benjamin Read, Diana Kapiszewski, and Lauren M. MacLean, Field Research in Political Science (Cambridge University Press)

    Publisher abstract: field research - leaving one's home institution in order to acquire data, information or insights that significantly inform one's research - remains indispensable, even in a digitally networked era. This book, the first of its kind in political science, reconsiders the design and execution of field research and explores its role in producing knowledge. Read more.
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    Daniel Wirls, The Federalist Papers and Institutional Power in American Political Development (Palgrave MacMillan)

    Publisher abstract: this book reconnects The Federalist Papers to the study of American politics and political development, arguing that the papers contain previously unrecognized theory of institutional power, a theory that enlarges and refines the contribution of the papers to political theory, but also reconnects the papers to the study of American politics. Read more.

  • 2014

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    Elizabeth Beaumont, The Civic Constitution (Oxford University Press)

    Publisher abstract: the role of the Constitution in American political history is contentious not simply because of battles over meaning. Equally important is precisely who participated in contests over meaning. Was it simply judges, or did legislatures have a strong say? And what about the public's role in effecting constitutional change? Read more.
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    Sikina Jinnah, Post Treaty Politics: Secretariat Influence In Global Environmental Governance (MIT Press)

    Publisher abstract: secretariats—the administrative arms of international treaties—-would seem simply to do the bidding of member states. And yet, Sikina Jinnah argues in Post-Treaty Politics, secretariats can play an important role in world politics. Read more.
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    Roger Schoenman, Networks and Institutions in Europe's Emerging Markets (Cambridge University Press)

    Publisher abstract: do ties between political parties and businesses harm or benefit the development of market institutions? The post-communist transition offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore when and how networks linking the polity and the economy support the development of functional institutions. Read more.
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    Melanie Jean Springer, How the States Shaped the Nation: American Electoral Institutions and Voter Turnout, 1920-2000 (University of Chicago Press)

    Publisher abstract: the United States routinely has one of the lowest voter turnout rates of any developed democracy in the world. That rate is also among the most internally diverse, since the federal structure allows state-level variations in voting institutions that have had—and continue to have—sizable local effects. Read more.

    Related news:

    Melanie Jean Springer, How the States Shaped the Nation


  • 2013

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    Mark Fathi Massoud, Law's Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan (Cambridge University Press)

    Publisher abstract: how do a legal order and the rule of law develop in a war-torn state? Using his field research in Sudan, Massoud uncovers how colonial administrators, postcolonial governments and international aid agencies have used legal tools and resources to promote stability and their own visions of the rule of law amid political violence and war in Sudan. Read more.

    Related news:

    Mark Massoud's book on law in Sudan wins Law and Society Association award

    UCSC politics professor pioneers research on law in fragile states

    Professor's book on Sudan legal system wins political science book award


  • 2012

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    Benjamin L. Read, Roots of the State: Neighborhood Organization and Social Networks in Beijing and Taipei (Stanford University Press)

    Publisher abstract: most social science studies of local organizations tend to focus on "civil society" associations, voluntary associations independent from state control, whereas government-sponsored organizations tend to be theorized in totalitarian terms as "mass organizations" or manifestations of state corporatism. Read more.
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    Megan Thomas, Orientalists, Propagandists, and Ilustrados: Filipino Scholarship and the End of Spanish Colonialism (University of Minnesota Press)

    Publisher abstract: the writings of a small group of scholars known as the ilustrados are often credited for providing intellectual grounding for the Philippine Revolution of 1896. Megan C. Thomas shows that the ilustrados’ anticolonial project of defining and constructing the “Filipino” involved Orientalist and racialist discourses that are usually ascribed to colonial projects, not anticolonial ones. Read more.

  • 2011

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    Dean Mathiowetz, Appeals To Interest: Language, Contestation, and the Shaping of Political Agency (Penn State University Press)

    Publisher abstract: it has become a commonplace assumption in modern political debate that white and rural working- and middle-class citizens in the United States who have been rallied by Republicans in the “culture wars” to vote Republican have been voting “against their interests.” But what, exactly, are these “interests” that these voters are supposed to have been voting against? Read more.

  • 2010

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    Ronnie Lipschutz, Political Economy, Capitalism and Popular Culture (Rowman & Littlefield)

    Publisher abstract: what does The Dark Knight have to do with political economy or Lord of the Flies with capitalism? A great deal, argues Ronnie D. Lipschutz in this entertaining and enlightening guide to basic concepts and practices in capitalism, neoclassical economics, and political economy. As he convincingly illustrates, film and fiction occupy a dual role in today's economy. Read more.
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    Robert Meister, After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights (Columbia University Press)

    Publisher abstract: the way in which mainstream human rights discourse speaks of such evils as the Holocaust, slavery, or apartheid puts them solidly in the past. Its elaborate techniques of "transitional" justice encourage future generations to move forward by creating a false assumption of closure, enabling those who are guilty to elude responsibility. Read more.
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    Vanita Seth, Europe's Indians: Producing Racial Difference, 1500-1900 (Duke University Press)

    Publisher abstract: Europe’s Indians forces a rethinking of key assumptions regarding difference—particularly racial difference—and its centrality to contemporary social and political theory. Tracing shifts in European representations of two different colonial spaces, the New World and India, from the late fifteenth century through the late nineteenth, Vanita Seth demonstrates that the classification of humans into racial categories or binaries of self–other is a product of modernity. Read more.
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    Michael Urban, Cultures of Power in Post-Communist Russia (Cambridge University Press)

    Publisher abstract: in Russian politics reliable information is scarce, formal relations are of relatively little significance, and things are seldom what they seem. Applying an original theory of political language to narratives taken from interviews with 34 of Russia's leading political figures, Michael Urban explores the ways in which political actors construct themselves with words. Read more.
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    Daniel Wirls, Irrational Security: The Politics of Defense from Reagan to Obama (Johns Hopkins University Press)

    Publisher abstract: the end of the Cold War was supposed to bring a "peace dividend" and the opportunity to redirect military policy in the United States. Instead, according to Daniel Wirls, American politics following the Cold War produced dysfunctional defense policies that were exacerbated by the war on terror. Read more.

  • 2009

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    Ronnie Lipschutz, The Constitution of Imperium (Routledge)

    Publisher abstract: the title of this book is a play upon several important concepts and forces in the ongoing debate about American empire. Since September 11, 2001, the Bush administration and its counsels in the U.S. Department of Justice have been both constituting an empire of American hegemony and, in so doing, violating the spirit and the law of the American Constitution at home and abroad. Read more.
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    Ronnie Lipschutz and Gabriela Kütting, Environmental Governance Power and Knowledge in a Local-Global World (Routledge)

    Publisher abstract: this edited collection makes a highly significant critical contribution to the field of environmental politics. It argues that the international-level, institutionalist approach to global environmental politics has run its course, employed solely by powerful actors in order to orchestrate and manipulate local communities within a continuing hegemonic system. Read more.
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    Ronnie Lipschutz and Mary Ann Tétreault, Global Politics as if People Mattered (Rowman & Littlefield)

    Publisher abstract: what would international relations look like if our theories and analyses began with individuals, families, and communities instead of executives, nation-states, and militaries? After all, it is people who make up cities, states, and corporations, and it is their beliefs and behaviors that explain why some parts of the world seem so peaceful while others appear so violent, why some societies are so rich while others are so poor. Read more.
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    Eleonora Pasotti, Political Branding in Cities: The Decline of Machine Politics in Bogota, Naples, and Chicago (Cambridge University Press)

    Publisher abstract: branding is ubiquitous, yet its workings in politics are still untheorized. Drawing on the experiences of three cities on three continents, Eleonora Pasotti fills the gap by showing how cities suffering for decades from poor government, entrenched patronage, lack of development, and social conflict made a transition to a new form of governance: brand politics. Read more.
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    Benjamin Read and Robert Pekkanen, Local Organizations and Urban Governance in East and Southeast Asia: Straddling State and Society (Routledge)

    Publisher abstract: this edited collection brings together enterprising pieces of new research on the many forms of organization in East and Southeast Asia that are sponsored or mandated by government, but engage widespread participation at the grassroots level. Straddling the state-society divide, these organizations play important roles in society and politics, yet remain only dimly understood. Read more.