"Hot Off the Presses"
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter, International Security
Editor: Susan M. Lynch, Program Assistant, International Security Program; Web Manager, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program
Contending with Terrorism: Roots, Strategies, and Responses
Edited by Michael E. Brown, Owen R. Coté, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, and Steven E. Miller; An International Security Reader The MIT Press (July 2010)
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy analysts in national security have turned their attention to terrorism, considering not only how to prevent future attacks but also the roots of the problem. This book offers some of the latest research in terrorism studies. The contributors examine the sources of contemporary terrorism, discussing the impact of globalization, the influence of religious beliefs, and the increasing dissatisfaction felt by the world's powerless.
"This collection of compelling analyses of the causes of extremist violence, terrorist strategies, and concepts for countering terrorism will be of great value to both nonspecialists and students seeking incisive introductions to these vexing issues and to officials looking for creative policy options. -Stephen J. Flanagan, Henry A. Kissinger Chair in International Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Co-editor of Strategic Challenges: America's Global Security Agenda
The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West
By Lorenzo Vidino; Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare, Columbia University Press (September 2010)
In Europe and North America, networks tracing their origins back to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements have rapidly evolved into multifunctional and richly funded organizations competing to become the major representatives of Western Muslim communities and government interlocutors. Some analysts and policymakers see these organizations as positive forces encouraging integration. Others cast them as modern-day Trojan horses, feigning moderation while radicalizing Western Muslims.
Lorenzo Vidino brokers a third, more informed view. Drawing on more than a decade of research on political Islam in the West, he keenly analyzes a controversial movement that still remains relatively unknown. Conducting in-depth interviews on four continents and sourcing documents in ten languages, Vidino shares the history, methods, attitudes, and goals of the Western Brothers, as well as their phenomenal growth. He then flips the perspective, examining the response to these groups by Western governments, specifically those of Great Britain, Germany, and the United States. Highly informed and thoughtfully presented, Vidino's research sheds light on a critical juncture in Muslim-Western relations.
Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict
Edited by Erica Chenoweth and Adria Lawrence; Belfer Center Studies in International Security, The MIT Press (August 2010)
States, nationalist movements, and ethnic groups in conflict with one another often face a choice between violent and nonviolent strategies. Although major wars between sovereign states have become rare, contemporary world politics has been rife with internal conflict, ethnic cleansing, and violence against civilians. This book asks how, why, and when states and nonstate actors use violence against one another and examines the effectiveness of various forms of political violence.
The essays make two conceptual moves that illustrate the need to reconsider the way violence by states and nonstate actors has typically been studied and understood. The first is to think of violence not as dichotomous but to consider the wide range of nonviolent and violent options available and ask why actors come to embrace particular strategies. The second is to explore the dynamic nature of violent conflicts. This innovative way of understanding violence deemphasizes the role of ethnic cleavages and nationalism in modern conflict.
"Taken as a whole, this collection highlights the promise of a bold research agenda that argues for understanding political violence as a dynamic process whose nature and timing are shaped by balance of power considerations rather than ancient hatreds or modern ideologies." - Jason Lyall, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Yale University
Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists: Lessons from the War on Terrorism
By Gabriella Blum and Philip B. Heymann; Belfer Center Studies in International Security, The MIT Press (September 2010)
Winner of the 2010 Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize)
Gabriella Blum and Philip Heymann reject the argument that traditional American values embodied in domestic and international law can be ignored in any sustainable effort to keep the United States safe from terrorism. In Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists, they demonstrate that the costs are great and the benefits slight from separating security and the rule of law.
"Blum and Heymann weave together the incisive legal reasoning and strategic thinking essential to protecting both liberty and security. At a time when heated political rhetoric risks drowning out constructive dialogue, they offer the serious thinking needed for just and effective counterterrorism law." -Matthew C. Waxman, Associate Professor, Columbia Law School, Principal Deputy Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State, 2005-2007
Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies
Edited by Bernadette J. Brooten with the editorial assistance of Jacqueline L. Hazelton; Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice Series, Palgrave Macmillan (October 2010)
In a United States that continues to be driven by racial and cultural divisions, from the disproportionately high number of incarcerated African Americans to heartfelt disagreements over the true nature of marriage and the proper role of faith in public policy, Brandeis University's Feminist Sexual Ethics Project (from which this book originated) has identified a crucial nexus underlying these fiercest of arguments: The conjunction of religion, slavery, and sexuality.
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