Sunday, July 28, 2013

Uli Linke, Danielle Taana Smith, Cultures of Fear: A Critical Reader


Uli Linke, Danielle Taana Smith, Cultures of Fear: A Critical Reader

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In Cultures of Fear, a truly world-class line up of scholars explore how governments use fear in order to control their citizens. The "social contract" gives modern states responsibility for the security of their citizens, but this collection argues that governments often nurture a culture of fear within their contries. When people are scared of "terrorist" threats, or "alarming rises" in violent crime they are more likely to accept oppressive laws from their rulers. Cultures of Fear is and interdisciplinary reader for students of anthropology and politics. Contributors include Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Zizek, Jean Baudrillard, Catharine MacKinnon, Neil Smith, Cynthia Enloe, David L. Altheide, Cynthia Cockburn and Carolyn Nordstrum.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Prof. Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Ellen Bal, Oscar Salemink, A World of Insecurity: Anthropological Perspectives of Human Security


Prof. Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Ellen Bal, Oscar Salemink, A World of Insecurity: Anthropological Perspectives of Human Security

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Human security is a key element in the measure of well-being and is a hot topic in anthropology and development studies. A World of Insecurity outlines a new approach to the subject. The contributors expose a contradiction at the heart of conventional accounts of what constitutes human security namely that without taking non-material considerations such as religion, ethnicity and gender into account, discussions of human security, academically and in practical terms, are incomplete, inconclusive and deeply flawed. A variety of compelling case studies indicate that, in fact, material security alone cannot adequately explain or fully account for human activity in a range of different settings, and exposd to a variety of different threats. This forceful intervention will expand and deepen the entire concept of human security, in the process endowing it with political relevance. It is an essential book for students of development studies and anthropology.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest Vol. 0 Issue 0


Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest Vol. 0 Issue 0

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Contention is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed and open access journal dedicated to research on and about different forms of social protest. Contention aims to go beyond the fences drawn between different Social Sciences and across Social Sciences and Humanities. Contention accepts contributions from different fields and areas.

Gideon Freudenthal, Peter McLaughlin, The Social and Economic Roots of the Scientific Revolution: Texts by Boris Hessen and Henryk Grossmann


Gideon Freudenthal, Peter McLaughlin, The Social and Economic Roots of the Scientific Revolution: Texts by Boris Hessen and Henryk Grossmann

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The volume collects classics of Marxist historiography of science, including a new translation of Boris Hessen’s “The Social and Economic Roots of Newton’s Principia” (1931), Henryk Grossmann’s “The Social Foundation of Mechanistic Philosophy and Manufacture” (1935) and his Descartes’ New Ideal of Science. Universal Science vs. Science of an Elite, published here for the first time. These three papers, along with two very short pieces, present the classical Marxist analysis of the relation of science and technology. In a detailed introductory essay the editors analyze the main arguments of these authors. They show that Hessen and Grossmann never attempted to explain the rise of modern science by the utilitarian motives of the scientists. On the contrary, they argue not that science developed in order to improve technology but rather by means of the study of technology. Marshalling a wealth of historical evidence, Hessen and Grossmann argue that technology served as the laboratory of scientific mechanics. This is the reason thatin physics mechanics developed first and that thermodynamics and electrodynamics followed later when the respective technologies (steam engines and dynamos) had made other aspects of nature experimentally manageable. Finally, the editors address Hessen’s thesis, that ideological commitments in the age of Newton prevented the formation of a consistent materialist world view on the basis of the new science.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

V. N. Volosinov, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language

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Alain Badiou, Rhapsody For The Theatre: A Short Philosophical Treatise

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From Amazon,

"For Alain Badiou, theatre—unlike cinema—is the place for the staging of a truly emancipatory collective subject. In this sense theatre is, of all the arts, the one strictly homologous to politics: both theatre and politics depend on a limited set of texts or statements, collectively enacted by a group of actors or militants, which put a limit on the excessive power of the state. This explains why the history of theatre has always been inseparable from a history of state repression and censorship.

This definitive collection includes not only Badiou’s pamphlet Rhapsody for the Theatre but also essays on Jean-Paul Sartre, on the political destiny of contemporary theatre, and on Badiou’s own work as a playwright, as author of the Ahmed Tetralogy."  

Robert Paul Resch, Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory

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From Amazon,

"The writings of the French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser and his associates have figured prominently in the development of contemporary social theory. The Althusserian school of Structural Marxism is a startlingly original synthesis of Marxism and Modernism, which has produced a large body of work that extends across the human sciences and the humanities to engage a wide variety of cultures, theoretical problems, and political issues. Despite the fact that Althusser himself is widely recognized as a major figure, the breadth, coherence, and achievements of Structural Marxism as a whole have gone largely unrecognized.
In this, the most systematic and wide-ranging assessment of Structural Marxism in any language, Resch provides a comprehensive and thematic introduction to the work of Althusser, Nicos Poulantzas, Pierre Macherey, Etienne Balibar, Emmanuel Terray, Terry Eagleton, Göran Therborn, Renée Balibar, Perry Anderson, Pierre-Philippe Rey, Michel Pêchaux, Guy Bois, and others. Resch's sympathetic and critical study demonstrates the enormous significance of Althusser's modernist renewal of Marxist social theory and its ongoing challenge to post-Marxist movements such as postmodernism and neo-liberalism." 

Norman Geras, Marx and Human Nature: Refutation of a Legend

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From Verso Books,

"“Striking elegance, economy, and argumentative power.”—Times Literary Supplement
“Marx did not reject the idea of a human nature. He was right not to do so.”
That is the conclusion of this passionate and polemical new work by Norman Geras. In it, he places the sixth of Marx’s Theses on Feuerbachunder rigorous scrutiny. He argues that this ambiguous statement—widely cited as evidence that Marx broke with all conceptions of human nature in 1845—must be read in the context of Marx’s work as a whole. His later writings are informed by an idea of a specifically human nature that fulfills both explanatory and normative functions.
The belief that Marx’s historical materialism entailed a denial of the conception of human nature is, Geras writes, “an old fixation, which the Althusserian influence in this matter has fed upon … Because this fixation still exists and is misguided, it is still necessary to challenge it.” One hundred years after Marx’s death, this timely essay—combining the strengths of analytical philosophy and classical Marxism—rediscovers a central part of his heritage." 

The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism

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From Amazon,

"Continental philosophy has entered a new period of ferment. The long deconstructionist era was followed with a period dominated by Deleuze, which has in turn evolved into a new situation still difficult to define. However, one common thread running through the new brand of continental positions is a renewed attention to materialist and realist options in philosophy. Among the leaders of the established generation, this new focus takes numerous forms. It might be hard to find many shared positions in the writings of Badiou, DeLanda, Laruelle, Latour, Stengers, and Žižek, but what is missing from their positions is an obsession with the critique of written texts. All of them elaborate a positive ontology, despite the incompatibility of their results. Meanwhile, the new generation of continental thinkers is pushing these trends still further, as seen in currents ranging from transcendental materialism to the London-based speculative realism movement to new revivals of Derrida. As indicated by the title The Speculative Turn, the new currents of continental philosophy depart from the text-centered hermeneutic models of the past and engage in daring speculations about the nature of reality itself. This anthology assembles authors, of several generations and numerous nationalities, who will be at the centre of debate in continental philosophy for decades to come."  

Quentin Meillassoux, After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency

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From Amazon:

"From the preface by Alain Badiou:

It is no exaggeration to say that Quentin Meillassoux has opened up a new path in the history of philosophy, understood here as the history of what it is to know ... This remarkable "critique of critique" is introduced here without embellishment, cutting straight to the heart of the matter in a particularly clear and logical manner. It allows the destiny of thought to be the absolute once more.

 "This work is one of the most important to appear in continental philosophy in recent years and deserves a wide readership at the earliest possible date ... Après la finitude is an important book of philosophy by an authnted emerging voices in continental thought. Quentin Meillassoux deserves our close attention in the years to come and his book deserves rapid translation and widespread discussion in the English-speaking world. There is nothing like it."

Graham Harman in Philosophy Today

 Quentin Meillassoux's remarkable debut makes a strikingly original contribution to contemporary French philosophy and is set to have a significant impact on the future of continental philosophy. Written in a style that marries great clarity of expression with argumentative rigour, After Finitude provides bold readings of the history of philosophy and sets out a devastating critique of the unavowed fideism at the heart of post-Kantian philosophy.

The exceptional lucidity and the centrality of argument in Meillassoux's writing should appeal to analytic as well as continental philosophers, while his critique of fideism will be of interest to anyone preoccupied by the relation between philosophy, theology and religion.

Meillassoux introduces a startlingly novel philosophical alternative to the forced choice between dogmatism and critique. After Finitude proposes a new alliance between philosophy and science and calls for an unequivocal halt to the creeping return of religiosity in contemporary philosophical discourse."  

Stanley Aronowitz and Jonathan Cutler, Post-Work: The Wages of Cybernation

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PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION:

In "Post-Work", Stanley Aronowitz and Jonathan Cutler have collected essays from a variety of scholars to discuss the dreary future of work. The introduction, 'The Post-Work Manifesto', provides the framework for a radical reappraisal of work and suggests an alternative organization of labor. The provocative essays that follow focus on specific issues that are key to our reconceptualization of the notion and practice of work, with coverage of the fight for shorter hours, the relationship between school and work, and the role of welfare, among others.
Armed with an interdisciplinary approach, Post-Work looks beyond the rancorous debates around welfare politics and lays out the real sources of anxiety in the modern workplace. The result is an offering of hope for the future--an alternative path for a cybernation, where the possibility of less work for a better standard of living is possible.

REVIEW:

Where labor history and critical analysis of economic trends circulate, this interdisciplinary collection of essays (some original, others first presented at a conference sponsored by the Center for Cultural Studies--which sociologist Aronowitz heads--at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York) should find interested readers. Convinced that the labor movement's abandonment of shorter working hours as a goal laid the groundwork for the travails of our current globalized, downsized, outsourced workplaces, the authors discuss poverty, welfare policy, the recurring notion of a guaranteed income, "Why There Is No Movement of the Poor," the education-to-work controversy, attacks on the university tenure system, complex effects of computers on the positions of white-collar workers, and the difficulty of incorporating cultural concerns, including leisure time and other quality-of-life issues, into the dominant, rabidly free-market discourse of political economy. A demanding book but full of useful insights (Mary Carroll, Booklist)




Alain Badiou, The Incident at Antioch/L'Incident d'Antioche: A Tragedy in Three Acts/Tragédie en trois actes (French and English)


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NOTE: The format of this e-book has been modified. The printed book presented French and English text on facing pages. In the e-book, links at the beginning of each Act and Scene connect to French and English versions.

Translated by SUSAN SPITZER

Introduction by KENNETH REINHARD

PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION:
"The Incident at Antioch" is a key play marking Alain Badiou's transition from classical Marxism to a "politics of subtraction" far removed from party and state. Written with striking eloquence and extraordinary poetic richness, and shifting from highly serious emotional and intellectual drama to surreal comic interlude, the work features statesmen, workers, and revolutionaries struggling to reconcile the nature and practice of politics. 
This bilingual edition presents "L'Incident d'Antioche" in its original French and an expertly executed English translation {the printed book version (perfect bound) is an ''en face'' bilingual edition}. 
Badiou adds a special preface, and an introduction by the scholar Kenneth Reinhard connects the play to Paul Claudel's 'The City', Saint Paul and the early history of the Church, and the innovative mathematical thinking of Paul Cohen. 
The translation includes Susan Spitzer's extensive notes clarifying allusions and quotations and hinting at Badiou's intentions. An interview with Badiou encompasses the play's settings, themes, and events, as well as his ongoing literary and conceptual experimentation on stage and off. 
KENNETH REINHARD is associate professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also wrote the "Introduction" to Badiou's "Plato's Republic: A Dialogue in 16 Chapters". Reinhard is the coauthor of "The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology" and "After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis". 
SUSAN SPITZER is a frequent translator of Badiou’s works, most recently his "Plato's Republic: A Dialogue in 16 Chapters" and "Five Lessons on Wagner".

The Italian Difference: Between Nihilism and Biopolitics


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From Amazon: 

"This volume brings together essays by different generations of Italian thinkers which address, whether in affirmative, problematizing or genealogical registers, the entanglement of philosophical speculation and political proposition within recent Italian thought. Nihilism and biopolitics, two concepts that have played a very prominent role in theoretical discussions in Italy, serve as the thematic foci around which the collection orbits, as it seeks to define the historical and geographical particularity of these notions as well their continuing impact on an international debate. The volume also covers the debate around ‘weak thought’ (pensiero debole), the feminist thinking of sexual difference, the re-emergence of political anthropology and the question of communism. The contributors provide contrasting narratives of the development of post-war Italian thought and trace paths out of the theoretical and political impasses of the present—against what Negri, in the text from which the volume takes its name, calls ‘the Italian desert’.


Contents:
Antonio Negri, 'The Italian Difference'
Pier Aldo Rovatti, 'Foucault Docet'
Gianni Vattimo, 'Nihilism as Emancipation'
Roberto Esposito, 'Community and Nihilism'
Matteo Mandarini, 'Beyond Nihilism: Notes Towards a Critique of Left-Heideggerianism in Italian Philosophy of the 1970s'
Luisa Muraro, 'The Symbolic Independence from Power'
Mario Tronti, 'Towards a Critique of Political Democracy'
Alberto Toscano, 'Chronicles of Insurrection: Tronti, Negri and the Subject of Antagonism'
Paolo Virno, 'Natural-Historical Diagrams: The ‘New Global’ Movement and the Biological Invariant'
Lorenzo Chiesa, 'Giorgio Agamben's Franciscan Ontology'" 

Susan J. Marks, Aqua Shock, Revised and Updated: Water in Crisis


Susan J. Marks, Aqua Shock, Revised and Updated: Water in Crisis

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An objective look at America's rapidly shrinking water supply once believed to be a problem limited to America's southwest, water shortages are now an issue coast to coast, from New England to California. In Aqua Shock: The Water Crisis in America, author Susan J. Marks provides a comprehensive analysis of the current conflicts being waged over dwindling water supplies. She presents the findings of university studies, think tanks, and research groups, as well as the opinions of water experts, including Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security. The book Explains where our water comes from and who controls it, as well as the cost of water on cash, commodities, and capitalism describes the risks of running out of water details how we can preserve and protect our most precious, yet most undervalued natural resource right now, battles over water supplies rage across the country. Aqua Shock is an objective look at how we arrived at this crisis point and what we can do-and should be doing-to solve the water crisis in America.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life

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Spanish

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From Amazon,

"The work of Giorgio Agamben, one of Italy's most important and original philosophers, has been based on an uncommon erudition in classical traditions of philosophy and rhetoric, the grammarians of late antiquity, Christian theology, and modern philosophy. Recently, Agamben has begun to direct his thinking to the constitution of the social and to some concrete, ethico-political conclusions concerning the state of society today, and the place of the individual within it.
In Homo Sacer, Agamben aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding. Taking his cue from Foucault's fragmentary analysis of biopolitics, Agamben probes with great breadth, intensity, and acuteness the covert or implicit presence of an idea of biopolitics in the history of traditional political theory. He argues that from the earliest treatises of political theory, notably in Aristotle's notion of man as a political animal, and throughout the history of Western thinking about sovereignty (whether of the king or the state), a notion of sovereignty as power over "life" is implicit.
The reason it remains merely implicit has to do, according to Agamben, with the way the sacred, or the idea of sacrality, becomes indissociable from the idea of sovereignty. Drawing upon Carl Schmitt's idea of the sovereign's status as the exception to the rules he safeguards, and on anthropological research that reveals the close interlinking of the sacred and the taboo, Agamben defines the sacred person as one who can be killed and yet not sacrificed—a paradox he sees as operative in the status of the modern individual living in a system that exerts control over the collective "naked life" of all individuals." 

Roy L. Prosterman, Robert Mitchell, Timothy Hanstad, One Billion Rising: Law, Land and the Alleviation of Global Poverty


Roy L. Prosterman, Robert Mitchell, Timothy Hanstad, One Billion Rising: Law, Land and the Alleviation of Global Poverty

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In an age fueled by globalization and focused on the struggling citizens of the urban metropolis, it might come as a surprise to learn that most of the world’s 1.4 billion poorest people are still rural. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these populations lack ownership of—and rights to—the land that forms their principal source of livelihood. Although land reform and related legal work have transformed the lives of millions of families by providing secure land rights, not all such efforts have succeeded. That mix of success and failure has been a big part of the reason that, in recent years, the conventional wisdom concerning law and land tenure reform—what is needed, what is possible, and how such reform contributes to pro-poor development—has changed, sometimes in striking ways. In this timely and important volume, lawyers from the Rural Development Institute and the University of Washington’s School of Law in Seattle use four decades worth of research on the results of land tenure reform efforts around the world in order to address how we might better meet the struggles to understand and change the plight of the rural poor.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution


Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution

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Brilliantly researched and wonderfully written, LOVE AND CAPITAL is a heartbreaking and dramatic saga of the family side of the man whose works would redefine the world after his death. Drawing upon years of research, acclaimed biographer Mary Gabriel brings to light the story of Karl and Jenny Marx's marriage. We follow them as they roam Europe, on the run from governments amidst an age of revolution and a secret network of would-be revolutionaries, and see Karl not only as an intellectual, but as a protective father and loving husband, a revolutionary, a jokester, a man of tremendous passions, both political and personal. In LOVE AND CAPITAL, Mary Gabriel has given us a vivid, resplendent, and truly human portrait of the Marxes-their desires, heartbreak and devotion to each others ideals.

Gilbert Achcar, Eastern Cauldron: Islam, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq in a Marxist Mirror


Gilbert Achcar, Eastern Cauldron: Islam, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq in a Marxist Mirror

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The route to any coherent understanding of our time runs through the issues addressed in this collection of essays: the political meaning of Islam, the relation of the West to the Islamic world, the new form of imperialism signaled by the Soviet and U.S. occupations of Afghanistan, the intractable conflict over Palestine. In confronting these inescapable issues, global power is being reshaped and the ends for which it will be used are being decided. This volume brings together Gilbert Achcar's major writings on these issues over the past decades. The essays collected in Eastern Cauldron describe and explain the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism, the fate of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and its aftermath, and above all the Palestinian conflict—in which the regional stakes are so dramatically embodied and contested. Achcar analyzes the social bases, strategies and tactics of PLO, Hezbollah, Israel and the United States from the establishment of the state of Israel to the second Intifada. He pinpoints the contradictions of the Israeli state—seeking at the same time to be Jewish and yet democratic—and the impact of these contradictions on all parties to the conflict. Eastern Cauldron is primarily aimed at producing a better understanding of the conflicts of the region. Achcar's work is informed by strong moral and political commitments but is never limited to polemic. His work demonstrates the immense capacities of Marxism to illuminate economic, political, and ideological developments without losing sight of their concrete singularity and their complex interconnection. His analyses are supple and inventive, and consistently informed by reflection on rival traditions of political thought and a deep knowledge of the region.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gerald Moore, Stuart Elden, Henri Lefebvre, Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life


Gerald Moore, Stuart Elden, Henri Lefebvre, Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life

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In the analysis of rhythms - both biological and social - Lefebvre shows the interrelation of space and time in the understanding of everyday life. He moves between discussions of music, the commodity, measurement, the media and the city. In doing so he shows how a non-linear conception of time and history balanced his famous rethinking of the question of space. This volume also includes his earlier essays on ''The Rhythmanalytical Project'' and ''Attempt at the Rhythmanalysis of Mediterranean Towns''.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Noel Castree, Derek Gregory, David Harvey: A Critical Reader


Noel Castree, Derek Gregory, David Harvey: A Critical Reader

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This book critically interrogates the work of David Harvey, one of the world’s most influential geographers, and one of its best known Marxists. Considers the entire range of Harvey’s oeuvre, from the nature of urbanism to environmental issues. Written by contributors from across the human sciences, operating with a range of critical theories. Focuses on key themes in Harvey’s work. Contains a consolidated bibliography of Harvey’s writings.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Borders of Justice (Politics History & Social Chan)

From Amazon,

"International in scope and featuring a diverse group of contributors, The Borders of Justice investigates the complexities of transitional justice that emerge from its "social embeddedness." This original and provocative collection of essays, which stem from a collective research program on social justice undertaken by the Calcutta Research Group, confronts the concept and practices of justice. The editors and contributors question the relationships between geography, methodology, and justiceohow and why justice is meted out differently in different places. Expanding on Michael Walzer's idea of the "spheres of justice," the contributors argue that justice is burdened with our notions of social realities and expectations, in addition to the influence of money, law, and government. Chapters provide close readings of Pascal, Plato, and Marx, theories on global justice, the relationship between liberalism and multiculturalism, struggles of social injustice, and how and where we draw the borders of justice.."


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Ranabir Samaddar, Emergence of the Political Subject

From Amazon,

"This book is on the political subject, the conditions of its emergence, and the theoretical implications of this emergence, particularly the implications for our history. It seeks to change the way in which we understand our modern political history and the way in which it inquires into life, truth, and collective existence. The book not only marks by dense contentions different and varying histories of turbulent political moments in modern Indian history, but also presents a startling picture of the emergence of the political subject, which has been repeatedly sought to be brought under submission, but has repeatedly emerged as a mark of autonomy and agency in life."


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Crisis in the Global Economy: Financial Markets, Social Struggles, and New Political Scenarios (Semiotext(e) / Active Agents)

From Amazon,

"Crisis in the Global Economy is the latest and most innovative collective reflection on the state of global capitalism, developed in the mobile "multiversity" of the UniNomade network of international researchers and activists during the months immediately following the first signals of the current financial and economic crisis. It constitutes the first organic and interdisciplinary attempt to analyze a crisis that is not merely financial in nature but implicates globalization and neoliberal capitalism.Crisis in the Global Economy begins with the recognition that the current financial crisis is a systemic crisis of the entire capitalistic system as it has been developing since the 1890s. Taking as its premise that today's financial markets are the pulsing heart of cognitive capitalism, financing the activity of accumulation, Crisis in the Global Economy shows how the flow of capital rewards production that exploits knowledge and controls spaces beyond traditional business. The ineffectiveness of the extraordinary economic measures taken by single nation-states over the past few months demonstrates that this crisis is of a completely different order. A financial crisis that affects the "real economy" shows that financialization is one of the most recent and perverse articulations of capitalism.The contributions to Crisis in the Global Economy invite us to consider exit strategies from the current crisis--strategies that may lead us toward a new horizon of constructing the common."


Formats Available

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State of Justice In India: Issues of Social Justice


From Amazon,

"This set presents a comprehensive analytical study of the state of social justice in India. The four volumes undertake theoretical and empirical inquiry into the various spheres of justice, collectively creating what can be termed a report card of the regime of social justice in the country. Authored by some of the finest ethnographers and analysts in the country, this work approaches the issue of justice in the broader context of post-colonial democracy, and look at the limits within which democracy permits justice, social justice in particular."


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The Politics Of Autonomy: Indian Experiences

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From Snapdeal.co.in,
"This volume tells us that a critical inquiry into the idea of autonomy suggests that the politics of the future will be the politics of autonomies: an engagement that combines notions like self-government, women`s autonomy, devolution of power, the rights of minorities, greater popular access to resources, and legal pluralism, and where different autonomies must learn to negotiate and co-exist. Viewing democratic theory through the lens of autonomy, the contributors:
- argue that autonomy has to be an essential ingredient in the building of post-colonial democracies, not merely a residual measure to keep some constituencies happy;
- draw attention to the contending principles of autonomy, the consequent politics of autonomies, the inescapable co-existence of autonomies, and the need for dialogue; and
- analyze the instructive Indian politico-historical experience because of its diversity and range, the extent of colonial institutionalization, multiple forms of autonomy, the complex path of constitutionalism, a wide variety of accords, and the unyielding state that is determined to keep the nation intact. 
In the process, the contributors traverse a wide range of issues relating to women`s autonomy, peace accords, the nature of federalism in the Indian Constitution, autonomy in international law, and the fiscal decentralization. These debates are then supported by case studies on the autonomy experiments in Kashmir, Darjeeling, and the entire Northeast, and on fiscal devolution."

Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, Border as Method or the Multiplication of Labor



From Amazon

"Far from creating a borderless world, contemporary globalization has generated a proliferation of borders. In Border as Method, Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson chart this proliferation, investigating its implications for migratory movements, capitalist transformations, and political life. They explore the atmospheric violence that surrounds borderlands and border struggles across various geographical scales, illustrating their theoretical arguments with illuminating case studies drawn from Europe, Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, and elsewhere. Mezzadra and Neilson approach the border not only as a research object but also as an epistemic framework. Their use of the border as method enables new perspectives on the crisis and transformations of the nation-state, as well as powerful reassessments of political concepts such as citizenship and sovereignty."

Formats Available

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Alberto Toscano, Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea

From Verso Books:

"A genealogy of fanaticism—unearthing its long history, before it became a tool in the Clash of Civilizations.

The idea of fanaticism as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs is today invoked by the West in order to demonize and psychologize any non-liberal politics. Alberto Toscano’s compelling and erudite counter-history explodes this accepted interpretation in exploring the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state. Tracing its development from the traumatic Peasants’ War of early sixteenth-century Germany to contemporary Islamism, Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of ‘reasonableness’ and fanaticism. Instead, in a radical new interpretation, he places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of his role. Showing how fanaticism results from the failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics, this illuminating history sheds new light on an idea that continues to dominate debates about faith and secularism."

Formats Available
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Scribd (Link 1)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Peter Wade, Race, Nature And Culture: An Anthropological Perspective


Peter Wade, Race, Nature And Culture: An Anthropological Perspective

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Since the controversial scientific race theories of the 1930s, anthropologists have generally avoided directly addressing the issue of race, viewing it as a social construct. Challenging this tradition, Peter Wade proposes in this volume that anthropologists can in fact play an important role in the study of race.Wade is critical of contemporary theoretical studies of race formulated within the contexts of colonial history, sociology and cultural studies. Instead he argues for a new direction; one which anthropology is well placed to explore. Taking the study of race beyond Western notions of the individual, Wade argues for new paradigms in social science, in particular in the development of connections between race, sex and gender. An understanding of these issues within an anthropological context, he contends, is vital for defining personhood and identity. Race is often defined by its reference to biology, ‘blood,’ genes, nature or essence. Yet these concepts are often left unexamined. Integrating material from the history of science, science studies, and anthropological studies of kinship and new reproductive technologies, as well as from studies of race, Peter Wade explores the meaning of such terms and interrogates the relationship between nature and culture in ideas about race.

Dustin M. Wax, Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War: The Influence of Foundations, Mccarthyism, and the CIA


Dustin M. Wax, Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War: The Influence of Foundations, Mccarthyism, and the CIA

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This book breaks new ground in the history of anthropology, opening up an explicit examination of anthropology in the Cold War era. With historical distance, Cold War anthropology has begun to emerge as a distinct field within the discipline. This book brings a number of different approaches to bear on the questions raised by anthropology's Cold War history. The contributors show how anthropologists became both tools and victims of the Cold War state during the rise of the United States in the post-War period. Examining the intersection between science and power, this book is a compelling read for anthropologists, historians, sociologists, and anyone interested in the way in which colonial and neo-colonial knowledge is produced and constructed.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Julie Flint, Alex de Waal, Darfur: A New History of a Long War


Julie Flint, Alex de Waal, Darfur: A New History of a Long War

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The humanitarian tragedy in Darfur has stirred politicians, Hollywood celebrities and students to appeal for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Beyond the horrific pictures of sprawling refugee camps and lurid accounts of rape and murder lies a complex history steeped in religion, politics, and decades of internal unrest.  Darfur traces the origins, organization and ideology of the infamous Janjawiid and other rebel groups, including the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. It also analyzes the confused responses of the Sudanese government and African Union. This thoroughly updated edition also features a powerful analysis of how the conflict has been received in the international community and the varied attempts at peacekeeping.    

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lucio Colletti, From Rousseau to Lenin: Studies in Ideology and Society

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This collection of Colletti's (1924-2001) principal Marxist essays will be welcomed by non-Italian readers. Colletti's concern as a Marxist was twofold: to interpret Marxism as profoundly and as flexibly as possible; and to investigate the relationships between Marx's thought and that of a number of other thinkers as widely separated in time as Rousseau and Marcuse. His thought ranges widely through philosophy, history, sociology, politics, and economics, without pausing at boundaries. Colletti's work from his Marxist period attempted to place the work of Marx in a line of descent that de-emphasizes Hegel, while giving a novel focus to the relationship between Marxism and Kant.

Roger Keeran and Thomas Kenny, Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union

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"A fresh multi-faceted look at the overthrow of the Soviet State, the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, and the campaign to introduce capitalism from above. Roger Keeran and Thomas Kenny have given us a clear and powerful Marxist analysis of the momentous events which most directly shaped world politics today, the destruction of the USSR, the 'Superpower' of socialism." 

-Norman Markowitz, author of The Rise and Fall of the People's Century
"I have not read anything else with such detailed and intimate knowledge of what took place. This manuscript is the most important contribution I have read."
-Phillip Bonosky, author of Afghanistan-Washington's Secret War
"A well-researched work containing a great deal of useful historical information. Everyone will benefit greatly from the mass of historical data and the thought-provoking arguments contained in the book." 
-Bahman Azad, author of Heroic Struggle Bitter Defeat: Factors Contributing to the Dismantling of the Socialist State in the USSR"  

Michael Parenti, Blackshirts and Reds

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From Michael Parenti's site:

Blackshirts & Reds explores some of the big issues of our time: fascism, capitalism, communism, revolution, democracy and ecology—terms often bandied about but seldom explored in the original and exciting way that has become Michael Parenti's trademark.
Parenti shows how fascism renders service to capitalism, how corporate power undermines democracy, and how revolutions are a mass empowerment against the forces of exploitative privilege. He also maps out the external and internal forces that destroyed communism, and the disastrous impact of the “free-market” victory on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He affirms the relevance of taboo ideologies like Marxism, demonstrating the importance of class analysis in understanding political realities and dealing with the ongoing collision between ecology and global corporatism.
Written with lucid and compelling style, this book goes beyond truncated modes of thought, inviting us to entertain iconoclastic views, and to ask why things are the way they are. It is a bold and engaging exploration of the epic struggles of yesterday and today.
Contents
  1. Rational Fascism
  2. Plutocrats Choose Autocrats
    Whom Did the Fascists Support?
    Kudos for Benito and Adolph
    The Rational Use of Irrational Ideology
    Patriarchy and Pseudo-Revolution
    Friendly to Fascism
  3. Let Us Now Praise Revolutions
  4. The Costs of Counterrevolution
    Presumptions of Power
    Whose Violence?
    Free Market for the Few
    The Freedom of Revolution
    What Measure of Pain?
  5. Left Anticommunism
    Genuflecting to Orthodoxy
    Pure Socialism vs. Siege Socialism
    Decentralization vs. Survival
  6. Communism in Wonderland
    Rewarding Inefficiency
    Nobody Minding the Store
    Wanting It All
    Reactionism to the Surface
    Romanticizing Capitalism
  7. Stalin’s Fingers
    How Many Victims?
    Where Did the Gulag Go?
    Memories of Maldevelopment
  8. The Free-Market Paradise Goes East (I)
    Suppression of the Left
    One-Way Democracy
    Must We Adore Vaclev Havel?
    Colonizing the East
  9. The Free-Market Paradise Goes East (II)
    For Vipers and Bloodsuckers
    Shock Therapy for the Many
    Crime and Corruption
    Cultural Decay
    Women and Children Last
    “We Didn’t Realize What We Had”
  10. The End Of Marxism?
    Some Durable Basics
    More Right than Wrong
    A Holistic Science
    Compartmentalized Ideology
    Learning to Ask Why
  11. Anything But Class: Voiding The C-Word
    The Class Denial of Class
    The ABC Theorists
    Everyday Class Struggle
    A Disappearing Working Class?
    Wealth and Power
    Eco-Apocalypse, a Class Act
 

Louis Althusser, Essays in Self-Criticism

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Michael Parenti, Against Empire

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Richly informed and written in an engaging style, Michael Parenti’s Against Empire exposes the ruthless agenda and hidden costs of the U.S. empire. Documenting the pretexts and the lies used to justify violent intervention and maldevelopment abroad, he demonstrates how the conversion to a global economy is a victory of finance capital over democracy.

As much of the world suffers unspeakable misery, and as the Third-Worldization of the Unites States accelerates, civil society is impoverished by policies that benefit the rich and powerful transnational corporations and the national security state. The empire feeds off the resources of the republic, and the hard-won gains made by ordinary people are swept away.
The history of imperialism is also, however, a history of resistance, struggle, and achievement;Against Empire offers compelling alternatives for progressive change.

Contents
  • Imperialism 101
    An introduction to the process by which political and economic domination is achieved.
  • Imperial Domination (Updated)Poverty and maldevelopment: the products of present day U.S. imperialism.
  • Intervention: Whose Gain? Whose Pain? 
    The winners and losers of empire building.
  • Strong Empire, Weak Republic
    Ways that Americans pay the hidden costs of empire.
  • A Dreadful Success
    How U.S. leaders adroitly prevent the public from seeing how their policies succeed in serving the favored few.
  • Drugs, Lies and Video Wars
    More contrived justifications for violent U.S. intervention abroad.
  • Worthy Causes
    A critical look at three pretexts for U.S. military intervention: launching humanitarian missions, establishing electoral democracies, and discouraging weapons proliferation.
  • Democratic Governance vs The State
    How capitialist state interests undermine and defeat genuine democracy.
  • Voodoo Economics: The Third-Worldization of America
    How the deceptions perpetuated by our leaders to advance the interests of empire abroad are duplicated at home.
  • The Empire in Academia
    A close look at the discriminatory treatment anti-capitalist scholars receive at the university.
  • Real Alternatives
    Precise, rational ways to transform public policy to build democratic institutions.

Adam Morton, Unravelling Gramsci: Hegemony and Passive Revolution in the Global Political Economy

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"‘Powerful and clarifying ... The book’s combination of careful argument and cogent illustration will make this a landmark volume in Gramscian studies.’ John Agnew, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Hegemony: The New Shape of Global Power

‘Morton draws upon an impressive knowledge of Gramsci’s writings to provide new insights into key processes in today’s world order.’ Anne Showstack Sassoon, Emeritus Professor, Kingston University and Visiting Professor, Birkbeck College, University of London

Unravelling Gramsci makes extensive use of Antonio Gramsci’s writings, including his much-overlooked pre-prison journalism, prison letters, as well as his prison notebooks, to provide a fresh approach to understanding his contemporary relevance in the current neoliberal world order. Adam Morton examines in detail the themes of hegemony, passive revolution and uneven development to provide a useful way of analysing the contemporary global political economy, the project of neoliberalism, processes of state formation, and practices of resistance. The book explores the theoretical and practical limitations of how Gramsci’s ideas can be used today, offering a broad insight into state formation and the international factors shaping hegemony within a capitalist framework."

Alain Badiou, Metapolitics


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"Badiou indicts this approach, which reduces politics to a matter of opinion, thus eliminating any of its truly radical and emancipatory possibilities. Against this intellectual tradition, Badiou proposes instead the consideration of politics in terms of the production of truth and the affirmation of equality. He demands that the question of a possible "political truth" be separated from any notion of consensus or public opinion, and that political action be rethought in terms of the complex process that binds discussion to decision. Starting from this analysis, Badiou critically examines the thought of anthropologist and political theorist Sylvain Lazarus, Jacques Ranciere's writings on workers' history and democratic dissensus, the role of the subject in Althusser, as well as the concept of democracy and the link between truth and justice." 

Terry Eagleton, The Illusions of Postmodernism


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This brilliant critique explores the origins and emergence of postmodernism, revealing its ambivalences and contradictions. His primary concern is less with the more intricate formulations of postmodern philosophy than with the culture or milieu of postmodernism as a whole. Above all he speaks to a particular kind of student, or consumer, of popular "brands" of postmodern thought. 


Although Professor Eagleton's view of the topic is, as he says, generally a negative one, he points to postmodernism's strengths as well as its failings. He sets out not just to expose the illusions of postmodernism but to show the students he has in mind that they never believed what they thought they believed in the first place. In the process his gifts for irony and satire sharpen the reader's pleasure, and his commitment to the ethical and the vision of a just society, inspire engagement and "a refusal to acquiesce in the appalling mess which is the contemporary world".

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Camilla Toulmin, Climate Change in Africa


Camilla Toulmin, Climate Change in Africa

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This book outlines current thinking and evidence on climate change and the impacts such change will have on Africa. Global warming above the level of two degrees Celsius would be enormously damaging for poorer parts of the world, leading to crises with crops, livestock, water supplies and coastal areas.  Within Africa, it's likely to be the continent's poorest people who are hit hardest.  In this accessible and authoritative introduction to an often-overlooked aspect of the environment, Camilla Toulmin uses case studies to look at issues ranging from natural disasters to biofuels, and from conflict to the oil industry.  Finally, the book addresses what future there might be for Africa in a carbon-constrained world. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Godwin R. Murunga, Shadrack W. Nasong'o, Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy


Godwin R. Murunga, Shadrack W. Nasong'o, Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy

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This uniquely comprehensive study of  Kenya's political trajectory shows how the struggle for democracy has been waged in civil society, through opposition parties, and amongst traditionally marginalised groups like women and the young.  It also considers the remaining impediments to democratisation, in the form of a powerful police force and damaging structural adjustment policies.  Thus, the authors argue, democratisation in Kenya is a laborious and non-linear process.  Kenyans' recent electoral successes, the book concludes, have empowered them and reinvigorated the prospects for democracy, heralding a more autonomous and peaceful twenty-first century. 

Koen De Feyter, Human Rights: Social Justice in the Age of the Market


Koen De Feyter, Human Rights: Social Justice in the Age of the Market 

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Koen De Feyter, who has chaired Amnesty International's Working Group on economic, social and cultural rights, shows the many ways in which rampant market economics in today's world leads to violations of human rights. He questions how far the present-day international human rights system really provides effective protection against the adverse effects of globalization. This accessible and thought-provoking book shows both human rights activists and participants in the anti-globalization movement that there is a large, but hitherto untapped, overlap in their agendas, and real potential for a strategic alliance between them in joint campaigns around issues they share.