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Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability
From Islamic Empires to the Taliban
This pioneering study of the evolution of blasphemy laws from the early Islamic empires to the present-day Taliban uncovers the history and questionable motives behind Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and calls for a return to the prophet Muhammad’s peaceful vision of social justice.
Pakistan, which since 9/11 has come to be seen as one of the world's most dangerous places and has been referred to as "the epicenter of international terrorism," faces an acute counterterrorism (CT) challenge. The book focuses on violence being perpetrated against the Pakistani state by Islamist groups and how Pakistan can address these challenges, concentrating not only on military aspects but on the often-ignored political, legal, law enforcement, financial, and technological facets of the challenge.
Edited by Moeed Yusuf of the US Institute of Peace, and featuring the contributions and insights of Pakistani policy practitioners and scholars as well as international specialists with deep expertise in the region, the volume explores the current debate surrounding Pakistan's ability -- and incentives -- to crack down on Islamist terrorism and provides an in-depth examination of the multiple facets of this existential threat confronting the Pakistani state and people.
The book pays special attention to the non-traditional functions of force that are central to Pakistan's ability to subdue militancy but which have not received the deserved attention from the Pakistani state nor from western experts. In particular, the path-breaking volume, the first to explore these various facets holistically, focuses on the weakness of political institutions, the role of policing, criminal justice systems, choking financing for militancy, and regulating the use of media and technology by militants. Military force alone, also examined in this volume, will not solve Pakistan's Islamist challenge. With original insights and attention to detail, the authors provide a roadmap for Western and Pakistani policymakers alike to address the weaknesses in Pakistan's CT strategy.
From the U.S. declaration of war against Afghanistan in 2001 to the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2014, Pakistan's military cooperation was critical to the United States. Yet, Pakistani politics remain a source of anxiety for American policymakers. Despite some progress toward democratic consolidation over the last ten years, Pakistan's military still asserts power over the country's elected government. Pakistan's western regions remain largely ungoverned and home to the last remnants of al-Qaeda's original leadership, as well as multiple militant groups that have declared war on the Pakistani state. The country's economy is in shambles, and continuing tensions with India endanger efforts to bring a durable peace to a region haunted by the distant threat of nuclear war.
Pakistan's Enduring Challenges surveys the political and economic landscape of Pakistan in the wake of U.S. military withdrawal. Experts in the domestic and international affairs of the region consider the country's prospects from a variety of angles, including security issues and nuclear posture, relations with Afghanistan, India, and the United States, Pakistan's Islamist movements, and the CIA's use of drone warfare in Pakistan's tribal areas. This timely volume offers a concise, accessible, and expert guide to the currents that will shape the country's future.
Contributors: Christopher Clary, C. Christine Fair, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Karl Kaltenthaler, Feisal Khan, William J. Miller, Aparna Pande, Paul Staniland, Stephen Tankel, Tara Vassefi, Joshua T. White, Huma Yusef.
China and the Decline of American Higher Education
In addition to possessing the world’s largest economies, China and the United States have extensive higher education systems that are comparable in size. By juxtaposing their long and distinctive educational traditions, Palace of Ashes offers compelling evidence that American colleges and universities are quickly falling behind in measures such as scholarly output and the granting of doctoral degrees in STEM fields. China, in contrast, has massed formidable economic power in support of its universities in an attempt to create the best educational system in the world. Palace of Ashes argues that the overall quality of U.S. institutions of higher learning has declined over the last three decades. Mark S. Ferrara places that decline in a broad historical context to illustrate how the forces of globalization are helping rapidly developing Asian nations—particularly China—transform their major universities into serious contenders for the world’s students, faculty, and resources. Ferrara finds that American institutions have been harmed by many factors, including chronic state and federal defunding, unsustainable tuition growth, the adoption of corporate governance models, adjunctification, and the overall decline of the humanities education relative to job-related training. Ferrara concludes with several key recommendations to help U.S. universities counter these trends and restore the palace of American higher learning.
Winner of the fifth Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, The Palace of Bones by Allison Eir Jenks is an often stark and startling vision of the way we live, the places we inhabit, and the relics we make to comfort ourselves. Haunted by a quiet, unquenchable longing, Jenks expertly and calmly guides the reader through a vivid dreamscape in this first full-length collection of poems. The Palace of Bones was selected by final judge and Pulitzer Prize-winner Carolyn Kizer. At once dark in its vision and light in its tone, this remarkable book is its authorâ€™s self-confident invitation for us to join her in a world she knows intimately and has made almost familiar if not entirely safe. The Palace of Bones is a stunning debut. from Forgive Usâ€” Leaving the crickets whistling like trains, Dragging their broken legs from under the earth. And what people had thought of you, To forget what they think, you must forget Even more. The midnight hands will come To brush the streetâ€™s old breath, the half- Written letters crumpled like white stars, Chips of stone from the deserted church, And if we are there we will watch the hands, Wishing they were large enough to carry Dead dogs from the park, the lost, the hurt, Carry them to the sea where bones still dance. What others say about this book: â€œEuropeans often accuse us of lacking a tragic sense. I commend to them, and to you, Allison Jenks, in all her subtlety and strength.â€? â€”Carolyn Kizer â€œAllison Eir Jenks is an inordinately, almost indecently gifted poet who must be read.â€? â€”Fred Dâ€™Aguiar Allison Eir Jenks is an assistant professor at North Central College in Naperville, where she teaches creative writing. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Miami, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow.
Brynn Saito's debut collection of poetry begins in a cityscape and ends "deep in the cloud-filled valley," traversing myriad terrains-both emotional and physical-as it weaves towards completion. From the bays of Denmark to the deserts of California, Saito's searching lyricism gathers stories of sudden departures, forced removals, and the journeys chosen in between.
Andrew Carnegie's Museums and Library in Pittsburgh
Andrew Carnegie is remembered as one of the world’s great philanthropists. As a boy, he witnessed the benevolence of a businessman who lent his personal book collection to laborer’s apprentices. That early experience inspired Carnegie to create the “Free to the People” Carnegie Library in 1895 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1896, he founded the Carnegie Institute, which included a music hall, art museum, and science museum. Carnegie deeply believed that education and culture could lift up the common man and should not be the sole province of the wealthy. Today, his Pittsburgh cultural institution encompasses a library, music hall, natural history museum, art museum, science center, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie International art exhibition. In Palace of Culture, Robert J. Gangewere presents the first history of a cultural conglomeration that has served millions of people since its inception and inspired the likes of August Wilson, Andy Warhol, and David McCullough. In this fascinating account, Gangewere details the political turmoil, budgetary constraints, and cultural tides that have influenced the caretakers and the collections along the way. He profiles the many benefactors, trustees, directors, and administrators who have stewarded the collections through the years. Gangewere provides individual histories of the library, music hall, museums, and science center, and describes the importance of each as an educational and research facility. Moreover, Palace of Culture documents the importance of cultural institutions to the citizens of large metropolitan areas. The Carnegie Library and Institute have inspired the creation of similar organizations in the United States and serve as models for museum systems throughout the world.
How the Ruling Party Brought Crisis to Mexico
Bringing rare interviews and meticulous research to the cloaked world of Mexican politics in the mid-twentieth century, Palace Politics provides a captivating look at the authoritarian Mexican state—one of the longest-lived regimes of its kind in recent history—as well as the origins of political instability itself, with revelations that can be applied to a variety of contemporary political situations around the globe. Culling a trove of remarkable firsthand accounts from former Mexican presidents, finance ministers, interior ministers, and other high officials from the 1950s through the 1980s, Jonathan Schlefer describes a world in which elite politics planted the seeds of a mammoth socioeconomic crisis. Palace Politics outlines the process by which political infighting among small rival factions of high officials drove Mexico to precarious situations at all levels of government. Schlefer also demonstrates how, earlier on, elite cooperation among these factions had helped sustain one of the most stable growth economies in Latin America, until all-or-nothing struggles began to tear the Mexican ruling party apart in the 1970s. A vivid, seamlessly narrated history, Palace Politics is essential reading for anyone seeking to better understand not only the nation next door but also the workings of elite politics in general.
From Peru to the Northwest Coast
Ancient American palaces still captivate those who stand before them. Even in their fallen and ruined condition, the palaces project such power that, according to the editors of this new collection, it must have been deliberately drawn into their formal designs, spatial layouts, and choice of locations. Such messages separated palaces from other elite architecture and reinforced the power and privilege of those residing in them. Indeed, as Christie and Sarro write, “the relation between political power and architecture is a pervasive and intriguing theme in the Americas.” Given the variety of cultures, time periods, and geographical locations examined within, the editors of this book have grouped the articles into four sections. The first looks at palaces in cultures where they have not previously been identified, including the Huaca of Moche Site, the Wari of Peru, and Chaco Canyon in the U.S. Southwest. The second section discusses palaces as “stage sets” that express power, such as those found among the Maya, among the Coast Salish of the Pacific Northwest, and at El Tajín on the Mexican Gulf Coast. The third part of the volume presents cases in which differences in elite residences imply differences in social status, with examples from Pasado de la Amada, the Valley of Oaxaca, Teotihuacan, and the Aztecs. The final section compares architectural strategies between cultures; the models here are Farfán, Peru, under both the Chimú and the Inka, and the separate states of the Maya and the Inka. Such scope, and the quality of the scholarship, make Palaces and Power in the Americas a must-have work on the subject.