David Scheffer, author of the recently published ‘All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals’ will be touring Europe from 12 – 24 March, speaking in London, The Hague, Berlin, Cologne, Vienna, Budapest, Sarajevo and Brussels. While in London he will be talking at the Society for Oriental and African Studies on 12th March and at Chatham House on 13 March. Both these events are free and open to the public so please follow the links if you would like to sign up. For more detailed information on any of the other events in Europe please contact Caroline Priday email@example.com or @crpriday
David Scheffer, the first US ambassador for war crimes, has recently published All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals with Princeton University Press. In the book, he discusses bringing some of the most notorious war criminals to justice. David was interviewed on BBC Radio 3 NightWaves on 25th January and the interview is now available to listen again here.
In Europe, the increasing presence of Islam has often provoked concerns about a threat to security and liberal democracy. Jonathan Laurence’s The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims challenges these ideas and shows how the transformation of a new generation into European Muslims has consisted of a complex mix of achievements and tensions. The book recently received a terrific review in The Economist. Jonathan was kind enough to answer a few questions about his unique look at European Islam, the debates surrounding it, and the connection to the Arab awakening:
Q: Anders Breivik was recently declared insane by the court. His act of violence is widely condemned, but aren’t his anti-multiculturalist views fairly widespread?
For Breivik, the year is 1683 and an Islamic empire is storming the Gates of Vienna. Some of the views in his Internet-age manifesto are popular, although what he did in Oslo and Utoya is of course condemned. An Italian politician from a party in government spoke approvingly of the Norwegian’s belief that Europe had “given up on its cultural identity without a fight.” In December, a poll showed 76% of the French public thinks Islam is “progressing too much.” So the vocal concern over Islam’s growth and Muslims’ integration is no longer the exclusive domain of the far right. It has become ritual for heads of government to declare the failure of multiculturalism, a catchall description increasingly taken to mean the arrival of Muslims in Europe. Breivik may be legally insane, but he is not alone in thinking that Europe is at a turning point vis-à-vis its growing Islamic minorities.
Q: What does this mean for integration policy in European countries, and how have Muslim groups reacted? Is this what the Minaret and Burka bans were about?
On the one hand, the focus on religious fundamentalism led to several well known bans on Islamic symbols in public spaces, from headwear to architectural design. It also provoked acrimonious debate about whether Islam “belongs” and if its associated practices –in all their diversity—can be reconciled with national identity. On the other hand, history tells us this is fairly standard treatment for a new minority entering the crucible of the nation state and joining the general citizenry. Increasingly, however, Muslim communities perceive the sum total of public debate as something akin to religious persecution or a kulturkampf against Islam. It’s not just the religious conservatives or the pious, but Muslims as a “group” who increasingly feel stigmatized. Last month, community eminences in France, Germany (and the US) independently cited the Nazi era and the gradual marginalization of German Jews to describe the political environment. It is not the most encouraging sign, obviously, if the main icebreaker between Muslims and non-Muslims is whether it’s 1683 or the mid-1930s outside.
Q: How did it come to this point, and is this a dead end? Or are there trends in other directions?
The competing narratives of victimization –and self-affirmation—are not new. But Muslims and non-Muslims do seem to be talking past one another at a moment when they need to be in constructive conversation. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize the degree of cooperation that already exists between community leaders and European governments. A recent stunt to name Europe’s “tallest minaret” (35 meters) after Nicolas Sarkozy is not as ironic as it first appears. In many ways, European Islam has flourished in the past decade. When Sarkozy was interior minister in 2002–4, he helped forge the still-running French Council for the Muslim Religion and started a trend among his European colleagues to guarantee equal religious rights to Muslims. “State-mosque” relations have advanced by leaps and bounds. A thousand Islamic prayer spaces have opened in France in the last ten years. One hundred and thirty schools in Germany’s most populous state (North Rhine Westphalia) now offer Islamic instruction alongside existing religious classes, and the first class of German Muslim theologians began their doctoral program this fall. The list goes on. European governments and Muslim organizations have gotten to know one another better, and community leaders have been brought into a context that encourages their continued adaptation to life as a minority in Europe.
Q: You argue in the book that it’s not 1683 or 1938, but that European countries are at a crucial “nation-building” moment in between. What does your book have to say about the Arab awakening?
The book shows how Europeans responded to the same questions now confronting North African governments: how to balance religious freedom and the democratic rule of law? Can Islamist movements behave “moderately and democratically”? The first generation of European Islamists fled political persecution at home, and some of the religious tension in European countries is rooted in their old political battles. Perhaps the “settling” of Islam’s status in their countries of origin will engender a new dynamic and allow integration to proceed in Europe. On the other hand, European Muslims have made their home in Europe and are not as personally involved in 2011’s events as could be assumed. Nonetheless, the image of Muslim masses protesting peacefully and organizing themselves democratically could contribute in the long run to a continuing “normalization” of how Islamic populations and societies are perceived in Western democracies.
Jonathan Laurence is associate professor of political science at Boston College.
The ideas in David Marquand’s book ‘The End of the West: The
Once and Future Europe’ were the subject of a panel event at the British Academy on 29 November.
In front of a capacity audience David and his fellow panellists Rt Hon
Professor Shirley Williams and Professors Paulo Pombeni and Christopher Hill
addressed a range of issues, from how Europe should respond to the
changing global balance of power, to the growing demands for recognition by the
ethnic communities within its borders and the legitimacy deficit of its
politicians. There were also a variety of suggestions as to how the
current crisis in the Eurozone might be resolved. To hear this event in
full follow the link below.
Congratulations to authors Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and
Meera Balarajan whose book ‘Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped our World
and will Define our Future’ was listed in the Economist’s Best Books of 2011.
Congratulations to Edwidge Danticat, author of Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, who has been honored with the 2011 Langston Hughes Medal from City College of New York. The award recognizes the body of Danticat’s work.
“The Langston Hughes Medal is awarded to highly distinguished writers from throughout the African American diaspora for their distinguished contributions to the arts and letters. Among past recipients of this award are James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Cade Bambara, Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, Ralph W. Ellison, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, August Wilson, Chinua Achebe, Derek Walcott, and Octavia Butler, to name a few.”
Here is a video of a Q&A with the author at the 2011 Langston Hughes Festival:
This is the argument of Maurizio Viroli’s The Liberty of Servants, a new book that is featured in this terrific article by Rachel Donadio in today’s NY Times. Donadio writes:
To a growing number of critics, the lurid party details, as well as a semi-conspiratorial attitude in which criticism is seen as disloyalty, are the latest evidence that the Berlusconi government, although democratically elected, has devolved into something from a different age: a royal court, in which everyone, from his coalition partners to his attractive young guests, serves at the pleasure of the prince.
And while this court system may have functioned fairly well in earlier centuries, it fails miserably when confronted by the multitude of economic challenges faced by Italy (whose credit rating, much like the US, was recently downgraded by the S&P and whose borrowing rates are rising). So, how is the royal court system preventing change and allowing Berlusconi to stay in power?
As Donadio explains, “the government’s success is tied less to external economic reality than to internal political calculation.” A point that Maurizio elaborates by saying, “Usually a court systems falls when the ‘signore’ is no longer able to offer protection, benefits, money.”
This explains why Berlusconi endures in spite of a falling approval rating in Italy, according to Donadio who writes, “his loyalists are standing by him — at least for now — because none of them has enough power to replace him. All are tied to Mr. Berlusconi, sometimes through complex personal arrangements that transcend institutional roles, as some of the wiretaps indicate.”
Read Donadio’s complete article (which includes excerpts from wire tap transcripts) here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/world/europe/despite-wiretaps-and-economic-woe-berlusconi-endures.html
To read a chapter from Maurizio’s incredibly timely book, please visit this site: Chapter 1 (PDF)
We invite you to check out new and forthcoming books in our political science & law catalog at:
Race and politics, immigration, public opinion, Tea Party, global rulers, ethics and zombies – just a few of the hot topics you will find in the catalog.
If you’re at the APSA meeting in Seattle, stop by our booth no. 508 to say hello and browse new books. We hope to see you there.
|We have double the reasons to celebrate this year. Not only is This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff the Gold Medal Winner of the 2011 Arthur Ross Book Award given annually by the Council on Foreign Relations, but How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace by Charles Kupchan also receives an Honorable Mention.
According to their web site: “The annual Arthur Ross Book Award recognizes books that make an outstanding contribution to the understanding of foreign policy or international relations. It was endowed by Arthur Ross in 2001 to honor nonfiction works, in English or translation, that merit special attention for bringing forth new information that changes our understanding of events or problems, developing analytical approaches that allow new and different insights into critical issues, or providing new ideas that help resolve foreign policy problems. The 2011 award consists of a $15,000 first prize, a $7,500 second prize, and a $2,500 honorable mention.”
The winners will be honored at a ceremony at the Council on Foreign Relations headquarters in New York on September 8th.
Last week European Advisory Board member David Goodhart, the founding editor of Prospect Magazine, acted as a judge for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize, the most prestigious award in the UK for non-fiction. The award ceremony was filmed as a special edition of the Culture Show on the BBC and can be seen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b012fvh3/The_Culture_Show_BBC_Samuel_Johnson_Prize_for_NonFiction_2011_A_Culture_Show_Special/
An ever increasing number of our rights deals are for translations into Chinese, and this week saw the sale of the Chinese (complex) rights for Daniel Bell and Avner de Shalit’s THE SPIRIT OF CITIES.
It was a terrific week for coverage of PUP books in the European media, with a two-page review of Emma Rothschild’s THE INNER LIFE OF EMPIRES appearing in the Times Higher Education, and John Ikenberry’s LIBERAL LEVIATHAN and Diane Coyle’s THE ECONOMICS OF ENOUGH listed as summer “must reads” in the Financial Times. Timothy Garton Ash praised Yan Xuetong’s ANCIENT CHINESE THOUGHT, MODERN CHINESE POWER in the Guardian , while Ian Goldin’s EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE was noticed in Le Monde and the Polish daily Gazeta Prawna.
In a statement provided to the New York Times earlier this week, the “family of Sheikh Osama bin Laden” writes:
If OBL has been killed in that operation as President of United States has claimed then we are just in questioning as per media reports that why an unarmed man was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world. If he has been summarily executed then, we question the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated but USA has set a very different example whereby right to have a fair trial, and presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a court of law has been sacrificed on which western society is built and is standing when a trial of OBL was possible for any wrongdoing as that of Iraqi President Sadam Hussein and Serbian President Slobodan Miloševic’. We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems and crime’s adjudication as Justice must be seen to be done.
Over at CNN.com David Scheffer, former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues and forthcoming Princeton University Press author, provides insight on the validity of these accusations. His response is too involved for me to easily summarize or even excerpt here, but it is well worth a read.
David Scheffer’s forthcoming book is All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals in which he gives an insider’s account of the the historic mission to create war crimes tribunals and a permanent International Criminal Court in the 1990s.
Theories of International Politics and Zombies
Daniel W. Drezner
The New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy
Tim Büthe & Walter Mattli
Worse Than a Monolith: Alliance Politics and Problems of Coercive Diplomacy in Asia
Thomas J. Christensen
We look forward to seeing you there. Have a great meeting!
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