School for International Studies faculty publications include:

Christopher Gibson, Movement-Driven Development: The Politics of Health and Democracy in Brazil (Stanford University Press, 2018)

In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Brazil improved the health and well-being of its populace more than any other large democracy in the world. Long infamous for its severe inequality, rampant infant mortality, and clientelist politics, the country ushered in an unprecedented twenty-five-year transformation in its public health institutions and social development outcomes, declaring a striking seventy percent reduction in infant mortality rates.

Thus far, the underlying causes for this dramatic shift have been poorly understood. In Movement-Driven Development, Christopher L. Gibson combines rigorous statistical methodology with rich case studies to argue that this transformation is the result of a subnationally-rooted process driven by civil society actors, namely the Sanitarist Movement. He argues that their ability to leverage state-level political positions to launch a gradual but persistent attack on health policy implementation enabled them to infuse their social welfare ideology into the practice of Brazil's democracy. In so doing, Gibson illustrates how local activists can advance progressive social change more than predicted, and how in large democracies like Brazil, activists can both deepen the quality of local democracy and improve human development outcomes previously thought beyond their control.

Gerardo Otero, The Neoliberal Diet: Healthy Profits, Unhealthy People (University of Texas Press, 2018)

Why are people getting fatter in the United States and beyond? Mainstream explanations argue that people simply eat too much “energy-dense” food while exercising too little. By swapping the chips and sodas for fruits and vegetables and exercising more, the problem would be solved. By contrast, The Neoliberal Diet argues that increased obesity does not result merely from individual food and lifestyle choices. Since the 1980s, the neoliberal turn in policy and practice has promoted trade liberalization and retrenchment of the welfare regime, along with continued agricultural subsidies in rich countries. Neoliberal regulation has enabled agribusiness multinationals to thrive by selling highly processed foods loaded with refined flour and sugars—a diet that originated in the United States—as well as meat. Drawing on extensive empirical data, Gerardo Otero identifies the socioeconomic and political forces that created this diet, which has been exported around the globe, often at the expense of people’s health.

Otero shows how state-level actions, particularly subsidies for big farms and agribusiness, have ensured the dominance of processed foods and made healthful fresh foods inaccessible to many. Comparing agrifood performance across several nations, including the NAFTA region, and correlating food access to class inequality, he convincingly demonstrates the structural character of food production and the effect of inequality on individual food choices. Resolving the global obesity crisis, Otero concludes, lies not in blaming individuals but in creating state-level programs to reduce inequality and make healthier food accessible to all.

Tamir Moustafa, Constituting Religion: Islam, Liberal Rights, and the Malaysian State (open access) (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Most Muslim-majority countries have legal systems that enshrine both Islam and liberal rights. While not necessarily at odds, these dual commitments nonetheless provide legal and symbolic resources for activists to advance contending visions for their states and societies. Using the case study of Malaysia, Constituting Religion examines how these legal arrangements enable litigation and feed the construction of a 'rights-versus-rites binary' in law, politics, and the popular imagination. By drawing on extensive primary source material and tracing controversial cases from the court of law to the court of public opinion, this study theorizes the 'judicialization of religion' and the radiating effects of courts on popular legal and religious consciousness. The book documents how legal institutions catalyze ideological struggles, which stand to redefine the nation and its politics. Probing the links between legal pluralism, social movements, secularism, and political Islamism, Constituting Religion sheds new light on the confluence of law, religion, politics, and society.

Cynthia Roberts, Leslie Armijo, and Saori Katada, The BRICS and Collective Financial Statecraft (Oxford University Press, 2017)

In the early 21st century, five rising powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) formed an exclusive international club, the BRICS. Although not extreme revisionists, the BRICS recognize an ongoing global power shift and contest the West's pretensions to permanent stewardship of the existing economic order. Together they exercise collective financial and monetary statecraft to achieve larger foreign policy goals. The BRICS share common resentments-of U.S. dominance of the global financial system, of playing junior roles in economic governance, and of serving as frequent targets of financial sanctions. They also share common objectives, such as obtaining greater financial autonomy and influence within the Bretton Woods institutions. Their financial statecraft ranges from pressure for the internal reform of international organizations and markets to operating outside the system through the creation of both new multilateral institutions and opportunity structures in international financial markets. To the surprise of many observers, the joint actions of the BRICS have been largely successful. The BRICS' future depends not only on their bargaining power and ability to successfully adjust to market shifts, but also on their ability to overcome domestic impediments to sustainable economic growth, which is the ultimate basis for their international influence.

Tamir Moustafa, The Struggle for Constitutional Power: The Role of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Egyptian Politics (Tadween Publishing, 2017)

Since its establishment in 1979, the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) has played a central role in Egyptian politics.  As the only court with the power of judicial review, the SCC served as a flashpoint between the government and activists of all stripes -- from liberals, leftists, and Islamists to human rights organizations, political opposition parties, and everyday citizens -- all of whom used the Court to challenge government legislation.  In the process, the SCC played a key role in adjudicating the most important political issues of the day.  This Arabic translation (with new preface) of The Struggle for Constitutional Power (first published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press) offers one of the most detailed accounts, in English or Arabic, of the role of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Egyptian politics over its first three decades of operation.

Olle Törnquist and John Harriss with Neera Chandhoke and Fredrik Engelstad, Reinventing Social Democratic Development: Insights from Indian and Scandinavian Comparisons (NAIS Press, 2016)

Uneven economic growth in the Global South, with mounting inequalities and the crisis of democratization, has generated new quests for social democracy – but are such efforts, these days, at all feasible? The point of departure in this book is that there are no easy solutions such as generalizing the Latin American Pink Tide or exporting the Nordic model. There are many unresolved problems with participatory approaches; and the current conditions in the Global South differ substantially from those that enabled social and political forces to fight for the combination of equity and growth during late industrialization in the North. Can social democratic development be reinvented? This is what we discuss in this book.

Michael C. Howard, Textiles and Clothing of Việt Nam: A History (MacFarland, 2016)

Việt Nam is home to more than 50 ethnic minorities—such as the Chăm and Thái—many of which have distinctive clothing and weaving traditions linked to antiquity. The tight-fitting tunic called áo dài, widely recognized as a national symbol, has its roots in the country’s 2,000–year history of textiles. Beginning with silk production in the Bronze Age cultures of the Red River, this book covers textiles in Việt Nam—including bark-cloth, kapok and hemp—through the centuries of Chinese rule in the north, a number of independent feudal societies and the brief period of French colonial rule.

International Criminal Justice: State of Play Conference Report 2015

The conference on International Criminal Justice: State of Play was co-convened by The Simons Foundation and the SFU School for International Studies.  Funding was provided by The Simons Foundation and the SFU Endowment for the Simons Visiting Chair in Dialogue on International Law and Human Security.

Greg Feldman, We are All Migrants (Stanford University Press, 2015)

Now more than ever, questions of citizenship, migration, and political action dominate public debate. In this powerful and polemical book, Gregory Feldman argues that We Are All Migrants. By challenging the division between those considered "citizens" and "migrants," Feldman shows that both subjects confront disempowerment, uncertainty, and atomization inseparable from the rise of mass society, the isolation of the laboring individual, and the global proliferation of rationalized practices of security and production. Yet, this very atomization—the ubiquitous condition of migrant-hood—pushes the individual to ask an existential and profoundly political question: "do I matter in this world?" Feldman argues that for particular individuals to answer this question affirmatively, they must be empowered to jointly constitute the places they inhabit with others.

Feldman ultimately argues that to overcome the condition of migrant-hood, people must be empowered to constitute their own sovereign spaces from their particular standpoints. Rather than base these spaces on categorical types of people, these spaces emerge only as particular people present themselves to each other while questioning how they should inhabit it.

Morten Jerven, Africa: Why Economists Get It Wong (Zed Books, 2015)

Not so long ago, Africa was being described as the ‘Hopeless Continent’. Recently, though, talk has turned to ‘Africa Rising’, with enthusiastic voices exclaiming the potential for economic growth across many of its countries. What, then, is the truth behind Africa’s growth, or lack of it? In this provocative book, Morten Jerven fundamentally reframes the debate, challenging mainstream accounts of African economic history. Whilst for the past two decades experts have focused on explaining why there has been a ‘chronic failure of growth’ in Africa, Jerven shows that most African economies have been growing at a rapid pace since the mid-90s. In addition, African economies grew rapidly in the 50s, the 1960s, and even into the 1970s. Thus, African states were dismissed as incapable of development based largely on observations made during the 1980s and early 1990s. The result has been misguided analysis, and few practical lessons learned. An essential account of the real impact economic growth has had on Africa, and what it means for the continent’s future.

Morten Jerven (Ed.), Measuring African Development Past and Present (Routledge, 2015)

This book was published as a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. Volume 35, Issue 1, 2014

The chief economist for the World Bank's Africa region, Shanta Devarajan, delivered a devastating assessment of the capacity of African states to measure development in his 2013 article "Africa's Statistical Tragedy". Is there a "statistical tragedy" unfolding in Africa now? This book on measuring African development draws on the historical experience of colonial French West Africa, Ghana, Sudan, Mauritania and Tanzania and the more contemporary experiences of Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The authors each reflect on the changing ways statistics represent African economies and how they are used to govern them. Click here for the Table of Contents.

Elizabeth Cooper and David Pratten (Eds.), Ethnographies of Uncertainty in Africa (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014)

This collection explores the productive potential of uncertainty for people living in Africa as well as for scholars of Africa. The relevance of the focus on uncertainty in Africa is not only that contemporary life is objectively risky and unpredictable (since it is so everywhere and in every period), but that uncertainty has become a dominant trope in the subjective experience of life in contemporary African societies. The contributors investigate how uncertainty animates people's ways of knowing and being across the continent. An introduction and eight ethnographic studies examine uncertainty as a social resource that can be used to negotiate insecurity, conduct and create relationships, and act as a source for imagining the future. These in-depth accounts demonstrate that uncertainty does not exist as an autonomous, external condition. Rather, uncertainty is entwined with social relations and shapes people's relationship between the present and the future. By foregrounding uncertainty, this volume advances our understandings of the contingency of practice, both socially and temporally.

Alexander Dawson, Latin America Since Independence (2nd ed.) (Taylor and Francis, 2014)

What is Latin America, after all? While histories of the "other" Americas often link disparate histories through revolutionary or tragic narratives, Latin America since Independence begins with the assumption that our efforts to imagine a common past for nearly thirty countries are deeply problematic. Without losing sight of chronology or regional trends, this text offers glimpses of the Latin American past through carefully selected stories. Each chapter introduces students to a specific historical issue, which in turn raises questions about the history of the Americas as a whole.  This second edition brings the story up to the present, with revised chapters, new primary documents and images, and a new ‘At A Glance’ feature that uses a selection of maps and tables to illuminate key issues like the economy, the environment, and demographics.

Jeffrey T. Checkel and Andrew Bennett (Eds.), Process Tracing: From Metaphor to Analytic Tool (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Advances in qualitative methods and recent developments in the philosophy of science have led to an emphasis on explanation via reference to causal mechanisms. This book argues that the method known as process tracing is particularly well suited to developing and assessing theories about such mechanisms. The editors begin by establishing a philosophical basis for process tracing - one that captures mainstream uses while simultaneously being open to applications by interpretive scholars. Equally important, they go on to establish best practices for individual process-tracing accounts - how micro to go, when to start (and stop), and how to deal with the problem of equifinality. The contributors then explore the application of process tracing across a range of subfields and theories in political science. This is an applied methods book which seeks to shrink the gap between the broad assertion that 'process tracing is good' and the precise claim that 'this is an instance of good process tracing'.

John Harriss and Craig Jeffrey, Keywords for Modern India (Oxford University Press, 2014)

What have English terms such as 'civil society', 'democracy', 'development' or 'nationalism' come to mean in an Indian context and how have their meanings and uses changed over time? Why are they the subjects of so much debate - in their everyday uses as well as amongst scholars? How did a concept such as 'Hinduism' come to be framed, and what does it mean now? What is 'caste'? Does it have quite the same meaning now as in the past? Why is the idea of 'faction' so significant in modern India? Why has the idea of 'empowerment' come to be used so extensively? These are the sorts of questions that are addressed in this book. 

Morten Jerven, Economic Growth and Measurement Reconsidered in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, 1965-1995 (Oxford University Press, 2014)

How do we measure African economic performance? This volume studies how growth is measured in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia and challenges commonly held beliefs of African economic performance. The volume offers a reconsideration of economic growth in Africa in three respects. First, it shows that the focus has been on average economic growth and that there has been no failure of economic growth. In particular the gains made in the 1960s and 1970s have been neglected. Second, it emphasizes that for many countries the decline in economic growth in the 1980s was overstated, as was the improvement in economic growth in the 1990s. The coverage of economic activities in GDP measures is incomplete. In the 1980s many economic activities were increasingly missed in the official records thus the decline in the 1980s was overestimated (resulting from declining coverage) and the increase in the 1990s was overestimated (resulting from increasing coverage). The third important reconsideration is that there is no clear association between economic growth and orthodox economic policies. This is counter to the mainstream interpretation, and suggests that the importance of sound economic policies has been overstated, and that the importance of the external economic conditions have been understated in the prevailing explanation of African economic performance.

Michael C. Howard and Nong Quoc Binh (Eds.), Cultural Revival and the Peoples of Ta Van Commune, Sa Pa, Northern Vietnam (White Lotus Press, 2013)

This text includes twenty chapters mainly by Vietnamese authors associated with the Vietnamese Ethnic Minorities Arts and Literature Association describing the cultural traditions of the Hmong, Dao, and Giay people of Ta Van Commune, located near the important tourist center of Sa Pa. The chapters also discuss efforts to revive and sustain these traditions. Several of the chapters describe local festivals, musical instruments, and songs as well as the history of tourism in the area and efforts to link cultural revival to economic development through tourism.

Jeffrey T. Checkel, Ed., Transnational Dynamics of Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Civil wars are the dominant form of violence in the contemporary international system, yet they are anything but local affairs. This book explores the border-crossing features of such wars by bringing together insights from international relations theory, sociology, and transnational politics with a rich comparative-quantitative literature. It highlights the causal mechanisms that link the international and transnational to the local, emphasizing the methods required to measure them. Contributors examine specific mechanisms leading to particular outcomes in civil conflicts ranging from Chechnya, to Afghanistan, to Sudan, to Turkey. The volume thus provides a significant contribution to debates motivating the broader move to mechanism-based forms of explanation, and will engage students and researchers of IR, comparative politics, and conflict processes.

Morten Jerven, Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It (Cornell University Press, 2012)

One of the most urgent challenges in African economic development is to devise a strategy for improving statistical capacity. Reliable statistics, including estimates of economic growth rates and per-capita income, are basic to the operation of governments in developing countries and vital to non-governmental organizations and other entities that provide financial aid to them. Rich countries and international financial institutions such as the World Bank allocate their development resources on the basis of such data. The paucity of accurate statistics is not merely a technical problem; it has a massive impact on the welfare of citizens in developing countries. Where do these statistics originate? How accurate are they? Poor Numbers is the first analysis of the production and use of African economic development statistics. Morten Jerven's research shows how the statistical capacities of sub-Saharan African economies have fallen into disarray.

John Harriss and Jeffrey Craig, India Today: Economy, Politics and Society (Polity, 2012)

Twenty years ago India was still generally thought of as an archetypal developing country, home to the largest number of poor people of any country in the world, and beset by problems of low economic growth, casteism and violent religious conflict. Now India is being feted as an economic power-house which might well become the second largest economy in the world before the middle of this century. Its democratic traditions, moreover, remain broadly intact.

Michael C. Howard, Transnationalism in Ancient and Medieval Societies (McFarland, 2012)

While scholars have long documented the migration of people in ancient and medieval times, they have paid less attention to those who traveled across borders with some regularity. This study of early transnational relations explores the routine interaction of people across the boundaries of empires, tribal confederacies, kingdoms, and city-states, paying particular attention to the role of long-distance trade along the Silk Road and maritime trade routes. It examines the obstacles voyagers faced, including limited travel and communication capabilitieis, relatively poor georgraphical knowledge, and the dangers of a fragmented and shifting political landscape, and offers profiles of better-known transnational elites such as the Hellenic scholar Herodotus and the Venetian merchant Marco Polo, as well lesser known servants, merchants, and sailors. By revealing the important political, economic, and cultural role cross-border trade and travel played in ancient society, this work demonstrates that transnationalism is not unique to modern times.

Michael C. Howard (editor), Textile Traditions in Contemporary Southeast Asia (White Lotus, 2012)

This text includes eight chapters that examine different aspects of the cultural role of textiles in Southeast Asia today. The topics include the relationship between textiles and art with case studies of Tai peoples and Indonesia, the revival of natural dyeing among the Palaung of northern Thailand, the influence of Christian missionaries in northern Thailand, the use of woven banners by Buddhists in northern Thailand and Laos, the secularization of lotus stem weaving in Burma, the changing nature of textile production among the Phutai of Laos, and the use of mortuary blankets among the Kalinga of the Philippines. The chapters are accompanied by over 149 color plates.

Michael C. Howard, Transnationalism and Society (McFarland, 2011)

In the past, as in the present, transnationalism has played a vital role in the development of wealth, technology and art in all societies touched by cultures other than their own. This timely book provides an introduction to the social and cultural aspects of transnationalism, particularly focusing on the modern world since 1500, with an emphasis on the past 200 years. Topics covered include the role of migration, the development of cities, the effect of transnationalism on marriage and families, the presence of transnational corporations, dress, religion and art. A key text for understanding our increasingly transnational world.

Lenard J. Cohen and John R. Lampe, Embracing Democracy in the Western Balkans (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011)

This text offers a comparative, cross-regional study of the politics and economics of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Albania from 1999 to the present. It was during this period that the first wave of post-communist regime transition ended and the region became more deeply involved in the challenges of democratic consolidation. Lenard J. Cohen and John R. Lampe explore the legacies of communist rule, the impact of incentives and impediments on reform, and the magnetic pull of European Union accession. The authors ask whether the Western Balkans are embracing democracy by creating functional, resilient institutions-governmental, administrative, journalistic, and economic-and fostering popular trust in the legitimacy of those institutions.

Human Security Report Project, Human Security Report 2009/10
(December 2, 2010)

The Human Security Report 2009/2010 analyzes the drivers of war and peace and the causes of the decline in the deadliness of armed conflict over the past six decades. Part I of the new Report examines the forces and political developments that have driven down the number of international conflicts and war deaths since the 1950s, and the number of civil wars since the early 1990s. It argues that the fact that these forces persist, or have strengthened, provides grounds for cautious optimism about the future of global security. Part II examines the paradox of mortality rates that decline during the overwhelming majority of today’s wars, as well as the challenges and controversies involved in measuring indirect war deaths—those caused by war-exacerbated disease and malnutrition. Part III, “Trends in Human Insecurity,” reviews recent trends in conflict numbers and death tolls around the world, and updates the conflict and other trend data in previous HSRP publications.

John Harriss and Paul Bowles (Eds.), Globalization and Labour in China and India (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Globalization has pushed China and India to the centre of the stage but what has been the impact on workers in these countries? This book analyzes this question and demonstrates the complexity of the processes and responses at play. Bringing together expert analyzes of both rural and urban areas, the book highlights the ways in which local and national policies as well as global actors have an impact on labour. There are signs that the state in both countries is shifting its role in a 'counter movement from above' as shown by the National Employment Guarantee Act in India and the Labour Contract Law in China. But will this be enough to quell the social unrest caused by globalization's dislocating and inequalizing effects, especially after the global financial crisis? This book shows how state responses are unlikely to be up to the task and what role labour in other countries could play.

Michael C. Howard, From Dashes to Dragons: The Ikat-Patterned Textiles of Southeast Asia (White Lotus, 2010)

This text provides a comprehensive survey of Southeast Asia’s ikat-patterned textiles. These include some of the most dramatic textiles from the region such as the famous warp ikat patterned textiles of Sumba along with many textiles that are of great importance to the cultural heritage of the region, such as the Tai tubeskirt cloths with weft ikat gray heron motifs and the double ikat cloths from Tenganan, Bali. The book includes a discussion of ikat techniques and the origin and diffusion of ikat in Southeast Asia. This is followed by surveys of the ikat-patterned textiles of peoples speaking Tai, Austronesian, Mon-Khmer, and Tibeto-Burman languages. 296 color photographs accompany the text.

Jeffrey T. Checkel and Peter J. Katzenstein (Eds.), European Identity (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Why are hopes fading for a single European identity? Economic integration has advanced faster and further than predicted, yet the European sense of 'who we are' is fragmenting. Exploiting decades of permissive consensus, Europe's elites designed and completed the single market, the euro, the Schengen passport-free zone, and, most recently, crafted an extraordinarily successful policy of enlargement. At the same time, these attempts to de-politicize politics, to create Europe by stealth, have produced a political backlash. This ambitious survey of identity in Europe captures the experiences of the winners and losers, optimists and pessimists, movers and stayers in a Europe where spatial and cultural borders are becoming ever more permeable. A full understanding of Europe's ambivalence, refracted through its multiple identities, lies at the intersection of competing European political projects and social processes.

Arctic Security in the 21st Century: Conference Report 2008

The Simons Foundation and the School for International Studies hosted a Dialogue Conference on the Problems of Arctic Security in the 21st Century in April 2008.

Tom Ginsburg and Tamir Moustafa (Eds.), Rule by Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes (Cambridge Univesity Press, 2008)

Scholars have generally assumed that courts in authoritarian states are pawns of their regimes, upholding the interests of governing elites and frustrating the efforts of their opponents. As a result, nearly all studies in comparative judicial politics have focused on democratic and democratizing countries. This volume brings together leading scholars in comparative judicial politics to consider the causes and consequences of judicial empowerment in authoritarian states. It demonstrates the wide range of governance tasks that courts perform, as well as the way in which courts can serve as critical sites of contention both among the ruling elite and between regimes and their citizens. Drawing on empirical and theoretical insights from every major region of the world, this volume advances our understanding of judicial politics in authoritarian regimes.

Tamir Moustafa, The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt(Cambridge University Press, 2007)

For nearly three decades, scholars and policymakers have placed considerable stock in judicial reform as a panacea for the political and economic turmoil plaguing developing countries. Courts are charged with spurring economic development, safeguarding human rights, and even facilitating transitions to democracy. How realistic are these expectations, and in what political contexts can judicial reforms deliver their expected benefits? This book addresses these issues through an examination of the politics of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, the most important experiment in constitutionalism in the Arab world. The Egyptian regime established a surprisingly independent constitutional court to address a series of economic and administrative pathologies that lie at the heart of authoritarian political systems. Although the Court helped the regime to institutionalize state functions and attract investment, it simultaneously opened new avenues through which rights advocates and opposition parties could challenge the regime. The book challenges conventional wisdom and provides insights into perennial questions concerning the barriers to institutional development, economic growth, and democracy in the developing world.