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Afflicting the Comfortable

Journalism and Politics in West Virginia

Thomas F. Stafford

In 1990, the New York Times wrote, "Government corruption was not invented in West Virginia. But there are people who contend that West Virginia officials have done more than their share over the years to develop state-of-the-art techniques in vote theft, contract kickbacks, influence peddling and good old-fashioned bribery, extortion, fraud, tax evasion and outright stealing." While investigating such events as the Invest Right scandal, Thomas Stafford, a former journalist for the Charleston Gazette, would find himself in a very precarious position. As a reporter he felt obligated to tell the whole truth, and he believed in the need to serve the public and those West Virginians who were being abused by a political machine. In Afflicting the Comfortable, Stafford relates such tales of the responsibility of journalism and politics in coordination with scandals that have unsettled the Mountain State over the past few decades. His probing would take him from the halls of Charleston to the center of our nation's ruling elite. Guided by his senses of duty, right, and fairness, he plunged head first into the misdeeds of West Virginia's politicians. His investigations would be the preface to the downfall of a governor and an administration that had robbed the state and the citizens of West Virginia for years.

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Affordable Excellence

The Singapore Healthcare Story

William A. Haseltine

This is the story of the Singapore healthcare system: how it works, how it is financed, its history, where it is going, and what lessons it may hold for national health systems around the world. Singapore ranks sixth in the world in healthcare outcomes, yet spends proportionally less on healthcare than any other high-income country. This is the first book to set out a comprehensive system-level description of healthcare in Singapore, with a view to understanding what can be learned from its unique system design and development path.

The lessons from Singapore will be of interest to those currently planning the future of healthcare in emerging economies, as well as those engaged in the urgent debates on healthcare in the wealthier countries faced with serious long-term challenges in healthcare financing. Policymakers, legislators, public health officials responsible for healthcare systems planning, finance and operations, as well as those working on healthcare issues in universities and think tanks should understand how the Singapore system works to achieve affordable excellence.

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Afghan Endgames

Strategy and Policy Choices for America's Longest War

Hy Rothstein

The United States and its allies have been fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan for a decade in a war that either side could still win. While a gradual drawdown has begun, significant numbers of US combat troops will remain in Afghanistan until at least 2014, perhaps longer, depending on the situation on the ground and the outcome of the US presidential election in 2012. Given the realities of the Taliban's persistence and the desire of US policymakers -- and the public -- to find a way out, what can and should be the goals of the US and its allies in Afghanistan?

Afghan Endgames brings together some of the finest minds in the fields of history, strategy, anthropology, ethics, and mass communications to provide a clear, balanced, and comprehensive assessment of the alternatives for restoring peace and stability to Afghanistan. Presenting a range of options -- from immediate withdrawal of all coalition forces to the maintenance of an open-ended, but greatly reduced military presence -- the contributors weigh the many costs, risks, and benefits of each alternative.

This important book boldly pursues several strands of thought suggesting that a strong, legitimate central government is far from likely to emerge in Kabul; that fewer coalition forces, used in creative ways, may have better effects on the ground than a larger, more conventional presence; and that, even though Pakistan should not be pushed too hard, so as to avoid sparking social chaos there, Afghanistan's other neighbors can and should be encouraged to become more actively involved. The volume's editors conclude that while there may never be complete peace in Afghanistan, a self-sustaining security system able to restore order swiftly in the wake of violence is attainable.

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Afghan Lessons

Culture, Diplomacy, and Counterinsurgency

translated by Angela Arnone. Fernando Gentilini

Fernando Gentilini served nearly two years as the civilian representative of NATO in Afghanistan, running a counterinsurgency campaign in the wartorn nation. Afghan Lessons is the fascinating story of his mission, a firsthand view of Afghanistan through a kaleidoscope. He explores Afghan history, literature, tradition, and culture to understand some of the most basic questions of Western involvement: What is the purpose? What does an international presence mean, and how can it help?

Highlights from Afghan Lessons

"This is a book about different worlds, different realities. The reality of everyday life in an unreal world. People that need to be looked after, jobs that need to be done, a country that needs to be restored, all from within the necessary confines of an armed camp. And this in the middle of another reality, which we do not understand, full of things forgotten under decades of war. The keys to this reality lie in the past, perhaps lost." —from the Foreword by Robert Cooper

"To tempt me to explore their country, the Afghans kept repeating that there were three different Afghanistans: 'The first is the one you Westerners imagine; another coincides with the city of Kabul; the third is the country of remote provinces, far away from the cities, and of the three, this is the only real Afghanistan.'"

"'There can be no development without security and no security without development.' ... Everyone said it over and over again, both the civilians and the military, but depending on whether it was said by the former or the latter, the emphasis was placed on the first or second part of the slogan. In all honesty this seemingly obvious concept concealed two contrasting ways of seeing things."

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A Cultural and Political History

Thomas Barfield

Afghanistan traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world, from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today. Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. He shows how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite, but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan's rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets. Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers, but it also undermined the Afghan government's authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed. Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan's armed factions plunged the country into a civil war, giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan's isolation from the world. He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September 11 toppled the Taliban so quickly, and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily.

Afghanistan is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the "graveyard of empires" for the British and Soviets, and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate.

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Transition under Threat

Many have questioned the wisdom of the international intervention in Afghanistan in light of the escalation of violence and instability in the country in the past few years. Particularly uncertain are Canadians, who have been inundated with media coverage of an increasingly dirty war in southern Afghanistan, one in which Canadians are at the frontline and suffering heavy casualties. However, the conflict is only one aspect of Afghanistan’s complicated, and incomplete, political, economic, and security transition.

In Afghanistan: Transition under Threat, leading Afghanistan scholars and practitioners paint a full picture of the situation in Afghanistan and the impact of international and particularly Canadian assistance. They review the achievements of the reconstruction process and outline future challenges, focusing on key issues like the narcotics trade, the Pakistan—Afghanistan bilateral relationship, the Taliban-led insurgency, and continuing endemic poverty. This collection provides new insight into the nature and state of Afghanistan’s post-conflict transition and illustrates the consequences of failure.

Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation

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Africa and France

Postcolonial Cultures, Migration, and Racism

Dominic Thomas

This stimulating and insightful book reveals how increased control over immigration has changed cultural and social production in theater, literature, and even museum construction. Dominic Thomas's analysis unravels the complex cultural and political realities of long-standing mobility between Africa and Europe. Thomas questions the attempt to place strict limits on what it means to be French or European and offers a sense of what must happen to bring about a renewed sense of integration and global Frenchness.

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Africa’s Deadliest Conflict

Media Coverage of the Humanitarian Disaster in the Congo and the United Nations Response, 1997–2008

Africa’s Deadliest Conflict deals with the complex intersection of the legacy of post-colonial history—a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions—and changing norms of international intervention associated with the idea of human security and the responsibility to protect (R2P). It attempts to explain why, despite a softening of norms related to the sanctity of state sovereignty, the international community dealt so ineffectively with a brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which between 1997 and 2011 claimed an estimated 5.5 million. In particular, the book focuses on the role of mass media in creating a will to intervene, a role considered by many to be the key to prodding a reluctant international community to action.

Included in the book are a primer on Congolese history, a review of United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Congo, and a detailed examination of both US television news and New York Times coverage of the Congo from 1997 through 2008. Separate conclusions are offered with respect to peacekeeping in the Age of R2P and on the role of mass media in both promoting and inhibiting robust international responses to large-scale humanitarian crises.

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Africa's Growing Role in World Politics

Tatiana Deych

This volume, titled "Africa's Growing Role in World Politics," includes a selection of papers dedicated to the problems of the contemporary international relations and foreign policies of the African states. Most of these papers were presented at the panels, held within the framework of the 13th International Conference of Africanists "Society and Politics in Africa: Traditional, Transitional and New" (Moscow, Russia, May 27-30, 2014). The book contains many articles devoted to the Western countries' policies in Africa. On the background of the ongoing competition between Washington and Beijing, the US Administration has recently increased the amount of attention it pays to the continent. European Union is also actively developing its strategic partnership with Africa. The authors analyze thoroughly the ongoing cooperation between African states and a great 'emerging donor' and investor - China. They particularly address the question about possible implications of China's African policy for the countries of the continent. Major attention is given to Sudan and South Sudan. One of the urgent problems addressed by this book is the situation with African IDPs and refugees, their life conditions in camps and the measures for their transition to normal life.

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Africa's Lions

Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies

Finn Tarp and Haroon Bhorat

Examining the economic forces that will shape Africa's future. Africa’s Lions examines the economic growth experiences of six fast growing and/or economically dominant African countries. Expert African researchers offer unique perspectives into the challenges and issues in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa. Despite a growing body of research on African economies, very little has focused on the relationship between economic growth and employment outcomes at the detailed country level. A lack of empirical data has deprived policymakers of a robust evidence base on which to make informed decisions. By harnessing country-level household, firm, and national accounts data together with existing analytical country research—the authors have attempted to bridge this gap. The growth of the global working-age population to 2030 will be driven primarily by Africa, which means that the relationship between growth and employment should be understood within the context of each country’s projected demographic challenge and the associated implications for employment growth. A better understanding of the structure of each country’s workforce and the resulting implications for human capital development, the vulnerably employed, and the working poor, will be critical to informing the development policy agenda. As a group, the six countries profiled in Africa’s Lions will largely shape the continent's future. Each country chapter focuses on the complex interactions between economic growth and employment outcomes, within the individual Africa’s Lions context.

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