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Korbel faculty on a publishing roll

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Courtland Matthews

Communications Manager, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

book launch

Congratulations to the Korbel faculty that have released new publications! On February 7th, we hosted a reception to spotlight and honor their work.

Learn more about their work and check out the photos from the reception below!


George DeMartino

The Tragic Science: How Economists Cause Harm (Even as They Aspire to Do Good)

In The Tragic Science, George F. DeMartino says what economists have too long repressed: that economists do great harm even as they aspire to do good. Economist-induced harm, DeMartino shows, results in part from economists’ “irreparable ignorance”—from the fact that they know far less than they tend to believe they know—and from disciplinary training that treats the human tolls of economic policies and interventions as simply the costs of promoting social betterment. DeMartino details the complicated nature of economic harm, explores economists’ frequent failure to recognize it, and makes a sobering case for professional humility and for genuine respect for those who stand to be harmed by economists’ practice.

Rebecca Galemba

Laboring for Justice: The Fight Against Wage Theft in an American City

Drawing on more than seven years of research that earned special recognition for its community engagement, this book analyzes the widespread problem of wage theft and its disproportionate impact on low-wage immigrant workers. Rebecca Galemba focuses on the plight of day laborers in Denver, Colorado—a quintessential purple state that has swung between some of the harshest and more welcoming policies around immigrant and labor rights. With collaborators and community partners, Galemba reveals how labor abuses like wage theft persist, and how advocates, attorneys, and workers struggle to redress and prevent those abuses using proactive policy, legal challenges, and direct action tactics. As more and more industries move away from secure, permanent employment and towards casualized labor practices, this book shines a light on wage theft as symptomatic of larger, systemic issues throughout the U.S. economy, and illustrates how workers can deploy effective strategies to endure and improve their position in the world amidst precarity through everyday forms of convivencia and resistance.


Micheline Ishay

The Human Rights Reader: Major Political Essays, Speeches, and Documents from Ancient Times to the Present (3rd Edition)

The third edition of The Human Rights Reader presents a variety of new primary documents and readings and elaborates the exploration of rights in the areas of race, gender, refugees, climate, Artificial Intelligence, drones and cyber security, and nationalism and Internationalism. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, it addresses human rights challenges reflected in and posed by global health inequities. Each part of the reader corresponds to five historical phases in the history of human rights and explores the arguments, debates, and issues of inclusiveness central to those eras. This edition is the most comprehensive and up-to-date collection of essays, speeches, and documents from historical and contemporary sources, all of which are placed in context with Micheline Ishay’s substantial introduction to the Reader as a whole and context-setting introductions to each part and chapter.


Haider Khan

When the Earth Trembled: Towards a Theory and People's History of the Liberation Movements and Lessons for Today

In this book, Prof. Khan develops a somewhat novel theory of semiotics by going beyond Bakhtin, the Prague School and post-structuralism. He also develops a new theory of mass movements by refining Badiou's ontology of events. Prof. Khan offers a dynamic ontological theory that he has named a "Dynamic Eventualization Theory". Based on extensive historical documents and interviews, it is the most complete historical narrative and analysis of the great mass movements that led to the liberation of Bangladesh.


Aaron Schneider

China, Latin America, and the Global Economy: Economic, Historical, and National Issues

This book seeks offers accounts of the ways in which Chinese engagement with Latin America will shape the regional and global order with impacts for development, peace, and equity. It also pays close attention to the traditional role played by the USA in the region, how China differs, and the increasingly triangular relationship between the USA, China, and Latin American countries. The contributors analyze various economic dimensions, including trade, infrastructure, and finance, and the historical, sectoral, regional, and national stories seek to change the narrative on China-Latin American relations. In particular, the book argues that there are opportunities for international cooperation to secure gains in the region, but only if the US and China alter their behavior and Latin American countries work collectively and in more coordinated fashion. Together, the chapters offer coherent social science analysis, policy frameworks, and empirical detail to understand and navigate increased Chinese engagement with Latin America.


Rachel Sigman

Parties, Political Finance, and Governance in Africa: Extracting Money and Shaping States in Benin and Ghana

A major challenge for the advancement of democratic governance in Africa is the extraction of money by ruling parties from the state to fund their electoral campaigns and gain political advantage over opponents. Drawing upon in-depth case studies of Benin and Ghana, Rachel Sigman considers how, and with what consequences, party leaders control and access public funds to finance their political operations. Weaving together biographical data on government ministers, surveys of civil servants, elite interviews, and archival research, Sigman explains leaders' extraction strategies and connects these strategies to how politicians manage state personnel. In so doing, she challenges the perception of African states as uniformly weak and argues that effective government is possible even in contexts of widespread state politicization, corruption, and clientelism. Demonstrating the profound impact that extractive financing practices have on democratic institutions, Sigman illuminates and develops our understanding of “good governance” across the African continent.


Suisheng Zhao

The Dragon Roars Back: Transformational Leaders and Dynamics of Chinese Foreign Policy

What are the primary forces and how have these forces driven China's reemergence to global power? This book weaves together complex events, processes, and players to provide a historically in-depth, conceptually comprehensive, and up-to-date analysis of Chinese foreign policy transition since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), arguing that transformational leaders with new visions and political wisdom to make their visions prevail are the game changers. Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Xi Jinping are transformational leaders who have charted unique courses of Chinese foreign policy in the quest for security, prosperity, and power. With the ultimate decision-making authority on national security and strategic policies, these leaders have made political use of ideational forces, tailoring bureaucratic institutions, exploiting the international power distribution, and responding strategically to the international norms and rules to advance their foreign policy agendas in the path of China's ascendance.


Josiah Hatch

A Journey to Saint Thomas: Tales for Our Time

A 21st century re-imagining of the Canterbury Tales, set on a vacation cruise in the midst of the pandemic, a wonderful story for our time. Hoping for an adventure (at a discounted price), two dozen strangers set sail to balmy St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. As different from one another as strangers can be, they agree to pass the time by telling stories, entertaining one another. As the stories are shared, everyone learns more about their neighbors and starts to bond. Partway though the voyage, however, they are notified about a virus that has spread across the United States and their destination. Their ship is quarantined and they are destined to loll on the waves of the open sea until a port welcomes them. Stuck together in the confines of the ship, they continue regaling each other with more tales. A Journey to St. Thomas is modern re-imagining of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Josiah Hatch, who studied Anglo Saxon and Middle English languages at Oxford University, uses iambic pentameter and craftily updates Chaucer’s characters to those on the present-day cruise liner. Touching on topics including political differences and discord, elitism, economic hardship, and the perceived inability of the ordinary citizen to make a difference, this rich and innovative novel captures the humor, insight, and pathos of the original while telling a very modern story.

Korbel Faculty Book Reception

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