Village Steppe and State
The contributors to this text on the origins of modern Jordan have based their approach on original fieldwork and archives in Jordan, rather than on foreign archives, and avoid viewing the Jordanian state in the context of British imperial policy and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
International Politics of Recognition
The origins of international conflict are often explained by security dilemmas, power-rivalries or profits for political or economic elites. Common to these approaches is the idea that human behaviour is mostly governed by material interests which principally involve the quest for power or wealth. The authors question this truncated image of human rationality. Borrowing the concept of recognition from models developed in philosophy and sociology, this book provides a unique set of applications to the problems of international conflict, and argues that human actions are often not motivated by a pursuit of utility maximisation as much as they are by a quest to gain recognition. This unique approach will be a welcome alternative to the traditional models of international conflict.
The City of the Sun
City of the Sun, written in 1602, is Tommaso Campanella's contribution to the body of literature concerned with utopia, the philosophical search for the perfect society. Campanella's utopia was based on a form of communism in which all possessions, including women and children, were shared by men. The great city was ruled by a spiritual leader named Metaphysic, whom Power, Wisdom, and Love served, overseeing all aspects of the society. Wisdom ensures that the sciences are properly taught, while Love ensures that men and women breed the most perfect children. Those with an interest in philosophy and sociology will find this book an intriguing take on the structure of an ideal society. Italian philosopher and theologian TOMMASO CAMPANELLA (1568-1639) became a monk at the age of fifteen. He was imprisoned for twenty-seven years for conspiring against the Spanish crown, and it was during this time that he wrote his most important works, including Atheismus triumphatus (1605) and Metaphysica (1609).
Method and Appraisal in Economics
The central problem of the essays in this volume is the problem of theory appraisal in economics. In the history of economic theory we find few widely recognised theoretical achievements and in the history of the methodology of economics we find little agreement concerning the standards by which we should judge a theory as an improvement on its predecessors.
Critical analysis of the historic anti-Semitism of France through the lens of Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophy.
Palestinian Civil Society
Palestinian Civil Society examines the development of civil society in the Arab Middle East and the impact of western donors, with particular reference to the Palestinian case. Looking at the evolution of Palestinian civil society organizations from sociological, historical, legal, and institutional perspectives, the book sheds light on the involvement of donors in Palestine, and the effect that aid has had on Palestinian civil society at a social, political and ideological level. Drawing on Arabic texts, political theory and a detailed survey of donors and local organizations, this book challenges culturalist views that there cannot be a ‘vibrant civil society’ in the Arab world and examines the issues of depoliticization of civil society, the rise of the Islamist sector, and the gradual defeat of the left in the Occupied Territories. The author looks at how the interaction between donors and NGOs is not only centred on a western model of civil society, but also evolves around institutional mechanisms and disciplinary discourses, affecting the ability of local NGOs to adapt to the institutional requirements set by international donors. Accessible to non-specialists, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, Middle Eastern studies and development studies.
The State and the Tributary Mode of Production
In this groundbreaking critique of both traditional and Marxist notions of feudalism and of the pre-capitalist state, John Haldon considers the configuration of state and social relations in medieval Europe and Mughal India as well as in Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. He argues that a Marxist reading of the pre-capitalist state can take account of the autonomy of power relations and avoid economic reductionism while still focusing on the forms of tribute which sustained the ruling power. Haldon explores the conflicts to which these gave rise and shows the Ottoman state elite, often held to be a clear example of independence from underlying social relations, to be deeply enmeshed in economic relationships and the extraction of tribute. Haldon argues that feudalism was the specifically European form of a much more widely diffused tributary mode, whose characteristic social relations and structural constraints can be seen at work in the Byzantine, Ottoman and Mughal empires as well. While acknowledging the range of ideological and cultural variation within and between these examples of the tributary mode, Haldon denies the thesis that such “superstructural” variations themselves yielded fundamentally contrasting social relations.
To most in the West, 'al-Qaeda' is seen as a byword for terror: a deadly, highly organised fanatical group masterminded by Osama bin Laden. But does this tell the whole truth? Prize-winning journalist Jason Burke has spent a decade reporting from the heart of the Middle East and gaining unprecedented access to the world of radical Islam. Now, drawing on his frontline experience of recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan, on secret documents and astonishing interviews with intelligence officers, militants, mujahideen commanders and bin Laden's associates, he reveals the full story of al-Qaeda - and demolishes the myths that underpin the 'war on terror'. Burke demonstrates that in fact 'al-Qaeda' is merely a convenient label applied by the West to a far broader - and thus more dangerous - phenomenon of Islamic militancy, and shows how eradicating a single figure or group will do nothing to combat terrorism. Only by understanding the true, complex nature of al-Qaeda, he argues, can we address the real issues surrounding our security today.
Do Think Tanks Matter
It is often assumed that think tanks carry enormous weight with lawmakers. In Do Think Tanks Matter? Donald Abelson argues that the basic question of how think tanks have evolved and under what conditions they can and do have an effect is consistently ignored. Think tank directors often credit their institutes with influencing major policy debates and government legislation and many journalists and scholars believe the explosion of think tanks in the latter part of the twentieth century indicates their growing importance in the policy-making process. Abelson goes beyond assumptions, identifying the influence and relevance of public policy institutes in today's political arena in the United States, where they've become an integral feature of the political landscape, and in Canada, where, despite recent growth in numbers, they enjoy less prominence than their US counterparts. By focusing on the policy cycle, issue articulation, policy formation, and implementation, Abelson argues that individual think tanks have sometimes played an important role in shaping the political dialogue and the policy preferences and choices of decision-makers but often in different ways and at different stages of the policy cycle. This revised and updated edition of the book includes up-to-date data (2000-08) on the growing visibility and policy relevance of think tanks in Canada and the United States.