Insight and Analysis from Foreign Affairs Practitioners and Scholars

Established 1996 • Beatrice Camp, Editor

Modern Diplomacy in Practice

By Robert Hutchings and Edited by Jeremi Suri

Palgrave Macmillian, December 2019
ISBN-13: 978-3030269357
ISBN-10: 3030269353
268 pages
The first comprehensive comparative study surveys and compares the world’s ten largest diplomatic services: those of Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Chapters cover the distinctive histories and cultures of the services, their changing role in foreign policy making, and their preparations for the new challenges of the twenty-first century.
REVIEWS
“An invaluable resource that illuminates not only the state of modern diplomacy, but also the prospects for its renewal in this moment of global testing.”
— Ambassador William J. Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
“Foreign policy experts and readers broadly interested in the geopolitics of the early XXI Century will find Modern Diplomacy in Practice an informative and insightful guide to today´s multipolar international scenario.”
— Ambassador Antonio Patriota, former Foreign Minister of Brazil
“This comparative analysis of foreign services comes at the right time. For practitioners and students of diplomacy alike it is essential to know how select services have developed over time and how they react to current challenges like globalization and digitalization.”
— Ambassador Emily Haber, German Ambassador to the United States
“At a time when diplomacy is more important than ever, this helpful and important volume explores its strengths and weaknesses as deployed by major states. Sadly, many countries including the US, underfund this vital power resource.”
— Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Harvard University, and author of Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Robert Hutchings is Professor and former Dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. His combined academic and diplomatic career has included service as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Director for Europe with the National Security Council, and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State, with the rank of ambassador.
Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, where he is Professor in the Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author and editor of nine books on history, international relations, and political leadership, and hosts a weekly podcast, “This is Democracy.”

US Policy Toward Africa: Eight Decades of Realpolitik

By Herman J. Cohen

An ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Book
Lynne Rienner Publishers, January 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1626378704
ISBN-10: 1626378703
280 pages
Drawing on both the documentary record and his years of on-the-ground experience, Herman Cohen provides a uniquely comprehensive survey and interpretation of nearly eight decades of US policy toward Africa. Tracing how this policy has evolved across successive administrations since 1942 (beginning with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term in office), Cohen illuminates the debates that have taken place at the highest levels of government; shows how policy toward Africa has been affected over the years by US relations with Europe, the Soviet Union, the Middle East, and most recently China; and points to the increasing reliance of Western economic interests on Africa’s natural resources. His deeply informed narrative reveals the roles not only of circumstance and ideology, but also of personalities, in the formulation and implementation of US foreign policy.
REVIEWS
“A concise and invaluable diplomatic history of US relations with Africa…. Few individuals have Cohen’s experience and perspective.”
— Whitney Schneidman, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
“Excellent…. No one interested in US relations with Africa should fail to read this lively account.”
— David Passage, Former US Ambassador to Botswana
“Ambassador Cohen’s work fills a void … and it is hard to think of anyone as qualified as he is to undertake such a work…. Scholars and commentators on Africa will want to keep his book close at hand.”
— John Campbell, Council on Foreign Relations
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Herman J. Cohen was a member of the US Foreign Service for thirty-eight years, posted to embassies in France, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He was US ambassador to Senegal and The Gambia and served as assistant secretary of state for Africa under President George H. W. Bush. Subsequently, he was senior adviser in the Africa region at the World Bank. He is now president of Cohen and Woods, an international consulting firm.

 

The Ambassadors: American’s Diplomats on the Front Lines

By Paul Richter

Simon and Schuster, November 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1501172410
ISBN-10: 1501172417
352 pages
The State Department’s heroes are the front-line diplomats who have been unheralded, but crucial in the line of national defense for two decades of wars in the Middle East. In The Ambassadors, Paul Richter shares the true-life stories of four expeditionary diplomats who “do the hardest things in the hardest places.”
Richter describes Ryan Crocker’s effort to organize a new Afghan government after the fall of the Taliban, even threatening the life of a Pashtun warlord, a US ally, to ensure that a column of tanks could join US forces in the biggest battle of the Afghan war. Robert Ford, the sole American official for the province of Najaf in central Iraq, tries to restart the economy and deal with growing militia violence – and is taken hostage by a Shia militia. In Syria, he is chased by government thugs for defying the country’s ruler. J. Christopher Stevens is smuggled into Libya as US Envoy to the rebels during its bloody civil war, then returns as ambassador only to be killed during a terror attack in Benghazi. War-zone veteran Anne Patterson is sent to Pakistan, considered the world’s most dangerous country, to broker deals that prevent a government collapse and to help guide the secret war on jihadists.

 

An important addition to appreciating the roles of diplomats, and an in-depth look into the complexity and length of these wars and nation-building, The Ambassadors is a critical piece of modern day history.
REVIEWS
“Richter provides a gripping, wistful, and ultimately inspiring portrait of the courage, patriotism, skill, and wisdom of America’s finest diplomats at a difficult hour for our country and profession.”
— Ambassador William J. Burns (ret.), former Deputy Secretary of State and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
“The book captures an era in which Middle East policy was carried out by a robustly staffed diplomatic corps who may not have had all answers but were able to discern, better than most, ‘which of Washington’s decisions brought progress and which led to disaster.’”
The New Yorker
“Paul Richter has done Americans a great service in reminding us of the need for a skilled, non-partisan career Ambassadorial corps at a dangerous moment in our history. The Ambassadors is a clarion call for the revival of the American Foreign Service gutted by the Trump Administration.”
— Ambassador Nicholas Burns (ret.), former Undersecretary of State and Harvard University professor
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Richter has written about foreign policy and national security for three decades. As a Washington-based correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, he reported from sixty countries and appeared in US and international media. He covered the State Department for the Los Angeles Times from 2001 to 2015, and before that, the Pentagon and the White House.

Maoism: A Global History

By Julia Lovell

Knopf Doubleday, September 2019
ISBN-13: 978-0525656043
ISBN-10: 0525656049
624 pages
Winner of the 2019 Cundill History Prize
For decades, the West has dismissed Maoism as an outdated historical and political phenomenon. Since the 1980s, China seems to have abandoned the utopian turmoil of Mao’s revolution in favour of authoritarian capitalism. But Mao and his ideas remain central to the People’s Republic and the legitimacy of its Communist government. With disagreements and conflicts between China and the West on the rise, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao is urgent and growing.
In this new history, Julia Lovell re-evaluates Maoism as both a Chinese and an international force, linking its evolution in China with its global legacy. It is a story that takes us from the tea plantations of north India to the sierras of the Andes, from Paris’s fifth arrondissement to the fields of Tanzania, from the rice paddies of Cambodia to the terraces of Brixton.
Starting with the birth of Mao’s revolution in northwest China in the 1930s and concluding with its violent afterlives in South Asia and resurgence in the People’s Republic today, this is a landmark history of global Maoism.
REVIEW
“Written with wit and insight… Ms. Lovell suggests that we trivialize or ignore Maoism at our own peril if we cherish individual rights and free expression. We were proud to award her book this year’s Cundill History Prize.”
Alan Taylor, Wall Street Journal

… The book’s greatest strength is its scope. Lovell traveled widely, used archives and conducted interviews in many countries and synthesized the work of scholars in the growing field of global Cold War studies. She demonstrates how Maoism was more than an amorphous idea, but a strategy pushed by China… These are big, hefty chapters, making the book an indispensable guide… An impressive, readable and often startling account of an era that seems so far from our own.”— Ian Johnson, New York Times Book Review

“Highly readable… Impressive… Well-researched… Ms. Lovell’s account of the Maoist cult in Europe is sound, and damning… Maoism is entertainingly written and beautifully produced.”— George Walden, The Wall Street Journal

“Julia Lovell has given us a masterful corrective to the greatest misconception about today’s China. For too long, visitors who marveled at China’s new luxuries and capitalist zeal assumed that Maoism had gone the way of its creator. That was a mistake. Lovell’s account—eloquent, engrossing, intelligent—not only explains why Xi Jinping has revived some of Mao’s techniques, but also why Mao’s playbook for the ‘People’s War’ retains an intoxicating and tragic appeal to marginalized people the world over.”— Evan Osnos, National Book Award-winning author of  Age of Ambition
“Exceptional…[H]arrowing, fascinating and occasionally hilarious…Smooth and cautious, almost wily in how the awful and the unbelievable are counterpointed.”— Scotland on Sunday
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julia Lovell is Professor of Modern China at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of The Great Wall and The Opium War, which won the 2012 Jan Michalski Prize. Her many translations of modern Chinese fiction into English include The Real Story of Ah Q and Other Tales of China. She writes about China for several newspapers, including The Guardian, Financial Times, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The Journey of Liu Xiaobo: From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate

Edited by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman with Yu Zhang, Jie Li, and Tienchi Martin-Liao

Potomac Books, April 2020
ISBN-10: 0525656049
ISBN-13: 978-0525656043
464 pages
As a fearless poet and prolific essayist and critic, Liu Xiaobo became one of the most important dissident thinkers in the People’s Republic of China. His nonviolent activism steered the nation’s prodemocracy currents from Tiananmen Square to support for Tibet and beyond. Liu undertook perhaps his bravest act when he helped draft and gather support for Charter 08, a democratic vision for China that included free elections and the end of the Communist Party’s monopoly on power. While imprisoned for “inciting subversion of state power,” Liu won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. He was granted medical parole just weeks before dying of cancer in 2017.

 

The Journey of Liu Xiaobo draws together essays and reflections on the “Nelson Mandela of China.” The Dalai Lama, artist and activist Ai Weiwei, and a distinguished list of leading Chinese writers and intellectuals, including Zhang Zuhua, the main drafter of Charter 08, and Liu Xia, the wife of Liu Xiaobo, and noted China scholars, journalists, and political leaders from around the globe, including Yu Ying-shih, Perry Link, Andrew J. Nathan, Marco Rubio, and Chris Smith, illuminate Liu’s journey from his youth and student years, through his indispensable activism, and to his defiant last days. Many of the pieces were written immediately after Liu’s death, adding to the emotions stirred by his loss.
Original and powerful, The Journey of Liu Xiaobo combines memory with insightful analysis to evaluate Liu’s impact on his era, nation, and the cause of human freedom.
REVIEWS
“This invaluable book shows the range and depth of Liu Xiaobo’s interests, concerns, and thoughts. It helps us know this remarkable man intimately. As a document, this book bears another kind of witness, both personal and historical.”— Ha Jin, author of Waiting, winner of the National Book Award
“The late Nobel Peace Prize laureate comes alive in these intimate recollections and thoughtful reflections, contributed by dozens of his friends and admirers—many of them, like Liu, heroes of the long, hard Chinese struggle for democracy.”—Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University
The Journey of Liu Xiaobo provides a moving and informative account of Liu’s evolution from an iconoclastic literary critic to a noble political thinker and fearless freedom fighter.”
— Minxin Pei, Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government and George   R. Roberts Fellow, Claremont McKenna College
“With contributions from a Who’s Who of China’s democracy movement and its global supporters, the essays speak to Liu’s role in political debates during his life and carry that legacy into the future. The collection is a fitting tribute to a man who hoped he would be ‘the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisitions'”.
— Ken Roth, executive director, Human Rights Watch
The Journey of Liu Xiaobo traces the life of the talented writer, thinker, and activist whose commitment to freedom for himself and his society set him at odds with the formidable Chinese regime. Through these essays of friends and scholars, the reader learns about Liu Xiaobo from his youth, follows his actions and his thinking as it develops into a commitment to nonviolent change. Though Liu Xiaobo is no longer with us, his ideas and his vision endure and will influence generations to come.”—Jennifer Clement, president, PEN International
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman is vice president emeritus of PEN International and served as chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee while Liu was imprisoned. Leedom-Ackerman later served as the International Secretary of PEN International in the same years Liu Xiaobo was president of the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC).
Yu Zhang is a Chinese citizen based in Sweden. As a scholar, editor, and translator, he is the coordinator of the ICPC’s Writers in Prison and the Freedom to Write Committee and served as secretary-general of the ICPC during the years Liu was president of the center.
Jie Li is a Chinese American librarian, editor of the Democratic China English website, and a former volunteer for the ICPC.

 

Tienchi Martin-Liao is a Chinese German author, editor, and translator and the president of the ICPC.

 


Extreme Economies: What life at the World’s Margins Can Teach Us About Our Own Future

By Richard Davies

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, January 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1250170484
ISBN-10: 1250170486
416 pages
A New Statesman best book of the year
New York Times Editors’ Choice pick
A Financial Times best economics book of 2019
To predict our future, we must look to the extremes argues the economist Richard Davies, who takes readers to the margins of the modern economy and beyond in his globe-trotting book. . .how these extreme economies function―most often well outside any official oversight―offers a glimpse of the forces that underlie human resilience, drive societies to failure, and will come to shape our collective future.
While the people who inhabit these places have long been dismissed or ignored, Extreme Economies revives a foundational idea from medical science to turn the logic of modern economics on its head, arguing that the outlier economies are the place to learn about our own future. In adapting to circumstances that would be unimaginable to most of us, the people he encounters along the way have helped to pioneer the economic infrastructure of the future.
At once personal and keenly analytical, Extreme Economies is an epic travelogue for the age of global turbulence, shedding light on today’s most pressing economic questions.
REVIEWS
“Markets, Mr. Davies engagingly shows, can make an extreme situation less extreme . . . a compelling portrait of markets functioning―and sometimes malfunctioning―in all sorts of conditions and cultures.”― William Easterly, The Wall Street Journal
“Davies, a former economics editor of The Economist, debuts with a well-curated, globe-spanning study of nine irregular financial systems to understand where the modern world is headed . . . In each location, Davies keeps his perspective on broad, and often disturbing, historical trends while celebrating the resourcefulness of the individuals and communities he profiles. . . This ambitious and thought-provoking guide helps to make sense of the economic future.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Extreme Economies makes sense of the forces shaping the future―urbanization, aging, technological change, gains and losses of human and social capital―by describing what people do when pushed to their limits. This strategy of going to extremes pays off spectacularly . . . Taken together, the book’s nine deep dives are a much needed reminder that an economy is not what happens when equations interact with data. An economy is what is what happens when people―real people, people with names―interact with people. Anyone who wants to learn economics, is learning economics, or pretends to know some economics should read this book.” ―Paul Romer, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
“A highly original approach to understanding what really makes economies tick. Both insightful and accessible to non-economists.”― Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Davies is a British economist and journalist. He is a fellow at the London School of Economics, and has served as economic adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at HM Treasury. The author of Extreme Economies, he also served as the economics editor of The Economist.

Reclaiming Patriotism

By Amitai Etzioni

University of Virginia Press, September 2019
ISBN-13: 978-0813943244
ISBN-10: 0813943248
232 pages
Amitai Etzioni has made his reputation by transcending unwieldy, and even dangerous, binaries such as left/right or globalism/nativism. In his new book, Etzioni calls for nothing less than a social transformation―led by a new social movement―to save our world’s democracies, currently under threat in today’s volatile and profoundly divided political environments.
The United States, along with scores of other nations, has seen disturbing challenges to the norms and institutions of our democratic society, particularly in the rise of exclusive forms of nationalism and populism. Focusing on nations as the core elements of global communities, Etzioni envisions here a patriotic movement that rebuilds rather than splits communities and nations.
Beginning with moral dialogues that seek to find common ground in our values and policies, Etzioni sets out a path toward cultivating a “good” form of nationalism based on this shared understanding of the common good. Working to broaden civic awareness and participation, this approach seeks to suppress neither identity politics nor special interests in its efforts to lead us to work productively with others.
Reclaiming Patriotism offers a hopeful and pragmatic solution to our current crisis in democracy―a patriotic movement that could have a transformative, positive impact on our foreign policy, the world order, and the future of capitalism.

 

REVIEWS
“Etzioni attempts nothing less than a reconstruction of national citizenship as a bond between diverse social groups forming a country. The new patriotism is to be built on moral dialogue; it distinguishes itself from libertarianism and globalism and conceives nations as communities of communities.”
— Wolfgang Streeck, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
“Drawing on a lifetime of sociological research and decades as a global communitarian leader, Amitai Etzioni boldly takes on the most fundamental political challenge of our time. With a wealth of evidence and practical examples, he traces a principled middle way between the extremes of globalism and nationalism.” — William A. Galston, The Brookings Institution
“[W]hat Etzioni is after is a form of patriotism that respects individual rights, without those rights acting as trump cards when they come into conflict with the public interest…. The question, as always, is how to get there from here.” — New York Review of Books
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amitai Etzioni is University Professor and Professor of International Relations at The George Washington University. He is the author of Happiness Is the Wrong Metric: A Liberal Communitarian Response to Populism.

Not Even Past: How the United States Ends Wars
Edited by: David Fitzgerald, David Ryan, and John M. Thompson

Berghahn Books, March 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1789202250
ISBN-10: 1789202256
286 pages

Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan: Taken together, these conflicts are the key to understanding more than a half century of American military history. In addition, they have shaped, in profound ways, the culture and politics of the United States―as well as the nations in which they have been fought. This volume brings together international experts on American history and foreign affairs to assess the cumulative impact of the United States’ often halting and conflicted attempts to end wars. It offers essential perspectives on the Cold War and post-9/11 eras and explores the troubling implications of the American tendency to fight wars without end.

REVIEWS

“We have endless books on the origins of America’s wars, but far fewer that examine the crucial question of how the conflicts are terminated. Not Even Past is therefore hugely welcome. Featuring lucid and penetrating essays by a stellar roster of scholars, the volume provides deep insights into one of the grand puzzles of the age: why the U.S. has so often failed to exit wars on its terms.” – Fredrik Logevall, Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University

“The accessible essays in this volume comprise a timely contribution to the current scholarship. The continued presence of the United States in Afghanistan makes it all the more salient.”  – Sarah Kreps, Cornell University

Not Even Past is that rare edited collection where each successive essay holds to the standard of the rest, bringing with it insights and delights in every chapter. This book provides a very important and historically informed perspective.” – Jeffrey A. Engel, Southern Methodist University

ABOUT THE EDITORS

John M. Thompson is Senior Strategic Analyst at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. His books include Progressivism in America: Past, Present and Future (with David Woolner, Oxford University Press, 2016) and America’s Transatlantic Turn:Theodore Roosevelt and the “Discovery” of Europe (with Hans Krabbendam, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

David Ryan is Professor of Modern History at University College Cork, Ireland. He is the author of U.S. Foreign Policy and the Other, edited with Michael Cullinane (Berghahn, 2015), and Frustrated Empire: US Foreign Policy from 9/11 to Iraq (Pluto and University of Michigan, 2007).

David Fitzgerald is a Lecturer in the School of History, University College Cork, Ireland. His books include Learning to Forget: US Army Counterinsurgency Doctrine from Vietnam to Iraq (Stanford, 2013) and Obama, US Foreign Policy and the Dilemmas of Intervention (with David Ryan, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

 


Comments are closed.