Publications

2014
Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa
Osseo-Asare, Abena Dove. 2014. Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press. Abstract
For over a century, plant specialists worldwide have sought to transform healing plants in African countries into pharmaceuticals. And for equally as long, conflicts over these medicinal plants have endured, from stolen recipes and toxic tonics to unfulfilled promises of laboratory equipment and usurped personal patents. In Bitter Roots, Abena Dove Osseo-Asare draws on publicly available records and extensive interviews with scientists and healers in Ghana, Madagascar, and South Africa to interpret how African scientists and healers, rural communities, and drug companies—including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Unilever—have sought since the 1880s to develop drugs from Africa’s medicinal plants.
           
Osseo-Asare recalls the efforts to transform six plants into pharmaceuticals: rosy periwinkle, Asiatic pennywort, grains of paradise, Strophanthus, Cryptolepis, and Hoodia. Through the stories of each plant, she shows that herbal medicine and pharmaceutical chemistry have simultaneous and overlapping histories that cross geographic boundaries. At the same time, Osseo-Asare sheds new light on how various interests have tried to manage the rights to these healing plants and probes the challenges associated with assigning ownership to plants and their biochemical components.   
           
A fascinating examination of the history of medicine in colonial and postcolonial Africa, Bitter Roots will be indispensable for scholars of Africa; historians interested in medicine, biochemistry, and society; and policy makers concerned with drug access and patent rights.
Property, Predation, and Protection: Piranha Capitalism in Russia and Ukraine
Markus, Stanislav. 2014. Property, Predation, and Protection: Piranha Capitalism in Russia and Ukraine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract
What threatens the property rights of business owners? And what makes these rights secure? This book transcends the conventional diagnosis of the issue in modern developing countries by moving beyond expropriation by the state ruler or by petty bureaucratic corruption. It identifies 'agent predation' as a novel threat type, showing it to be particularly widespread and detrimental. The book also questions the orthodox prescription: institutionalized state commitment cannot secure property rights against agent predation. Instead, this volume argues that business actors can hold the predatory state agents accountable through firm-level alliances with foreign actors, labor, and local communities. Beyond securing ownership, such alliances promote rule of law in a rent-seeking society. Taking Russia and Ukraine between 2000 and 2012 as its empirical focus, the book advances these arguments by drawing on more than 150 qualitative interviews with business owners, policy makers, and bureaucrats, as well as an original large-N survey of firms.
After the Revolution: Youth, Democracy, and the Politics of Disappointment in Serbia
Greenberg, Jessica. 2014. After the Revolution: Youth, Democracy, and the Politics of Disappointment in Serbia. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. Abstract

What happens to student activism once mass protests have disappeared from view, and youth no longer embody the political frustrations and hopes of a nation? After the Revolution chronicles the lives of student activists as they confront the possibilities and disappointments of democracy in the shadow of the recent revolution in Serbia. Greenberg's narrative highlights the stories of young student activists as they seek to define their role and articulate a new form of legitimate political activity, post-socialism.

When student activists in Serbia helped topple dictator Slobodan Milosevic on October 5, 2000, they unexpectedly found that the post-revolutionary period brought even greater problems. How do you actually live and practice democracy in the wake of war and the shadow of a recent revolution? How do young Serbians attempt to translate the energy and excitement generated by wide scale mobilization into the slow work of building democratic institutions? Greenberg navigates through the ranks of student organizations as they transition their activism from the streets back into the halls of the university. In exploring the everyday practices of student activists—their triumphs and frustrations—After the Revolution argues that disappointment is not a failure of democracy but a fundamental feature of how people live and practice it. This fascinating book develops a critical vocabulary for the social life of disappointment with the aim of helping citizens, scholars, and policymakers worldwide escape the trap of framing new democracies as doomed to failure.

2013
Women in War: The Micro-processes of Mobilization in El Salvador
Viterna, Jocelyn. 2013. Women in War: The Micro-processes of Mobilization in El Salvador. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Abstract
Over the past several decades, women have joined insurgent armies in significant and surprising numbers. Why do women become guerrilla insurgents? What experiences do they have in guerrilla armies? What are the long-term repercussions of this participation for the women themselves and the societies in which they live? Women in War answers these questions while providing a rare look at guerrilla life from the viewpoint of rank and-file participants in the FMLN rebel army. Using data from 230 in-depth interviews with men and women guerrillas, guerrilla supporters, and non-participants in rural El Salvador, this book investigates why some women were able to channel their wartime actions into post-war gains, and how those patterns differed from the benefits that accrued to men. In the process, Women in War makes theoretical contributions to studies of gender, revolution, civil war, and political violence. Most centrally, Women in War develops a new micro-level theory of mobilization that challenges several assumptions embedded within more macro- and meso-level approaches, and extends our understanding of the causes and consequences of mobilization in many social movement settings.
The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine
Allen, Lori. 2013. The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. Abstract
The Rise and Fall of Human Rights provides a groundbreaking ethnographic investigation of the Palestinian human rights world—its NGOs, activists, and "victims," as well as their politics, training, and discourse—since 1979. Though human rights activity began as a means of struggle against the Israeli occupation, in failing to end the Israeli occupation, protect basic human rights, or establish an accountable Palestinian government, the human rights industry has become the object of cynicism for many Palestinians. But far from indicating apathy, such cynicism generates a productive critique of domestic politics and Western interventionism. This book illuminates the successes and failures of Palestinians' varied engagements with human rights in their quest for independence.
Moral Nation: Modern Japan and Narcotics in Global History
Kingsberg, Miriam. 2013. Moral Nation: Modern Japan and Narcotics in Global History. Berkeley: University of California Press. Abstract

This trailblazing study examines the history of narcotics in Japan to explain the development of global criteria for political legitimacy in nations and empires in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Japan underwent three distinct crises of sovereignty in its modern history: in the 1890s, during the interwar period, and in the 1950s. Each crisis provoked successively escalating crusades against opium and other drugs, in which moral entrepreneurs--bureaucrats, cultural producers, merchants, law enforcement, scientists, and doctors, among others--focused on drug use as a means of distinguishing between populations fit and unfit for self-rule. Moral Nation traces the instrumental role of ideologies about narcotics in the country's efforts to reestablish its legitimacy as a nation and empire.

As Kingsberg demonstrates, Japan's growing status as an Asian power and a "moral nation" expanded the notion of "civilization" from an exclusively Western value to a universal one. Scholars and students of Japanese history, Asian studies, world history, and global studies will gain an in-depth understanding of how Japan's experience with narcotics influenced global standards for sovereignty and shifted the aim of nation building, making it no longer a strictly political activity but also a moral obligation to society.

2012
The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities
Mylonas, Harris. 2012. The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract
What drives a state’s choice to assimilate, accommodate, or exclude ethnic groups within its territory? In this pathbreaking work on the international politics of nation-building, Harris Mylonas argues that a state’s nation-building policies toward non-core groups - any aggregation of individuals perceived as an unassimilated ethnic group by the ruling elite of a state - are influenced by both its foreign policy goals and its relations with the external patrons of these groups. Through a detailed study of the Balkans, Mylonas shows that the way a state treats a non-core group within its own borders is determined largely by whether the state’s foreign policy is revisionist or cleaves to the international status quo, and whether it is allied or in rivalry with that group’s external patrons. Mylonas explores the effects of external involvement on the salience of cultural differences and the planning of nation-building policies. The Politics of Nation-Building injects international politics into the study of nation-building, building a bridge between international relations and the comparative politics of ethnicity and nationalism. This is the first book to explain systematically how the politics of ethnicity in the international arena determine which groups arWhat drives a state’s choice to assimilate, accommodate, or exclude ethnic groups within its territory? In this pathbreaking work on the international politics of nation-building, Harris Mylonas argues that a state’s nation-building policies toward non-core groups—any aggregation of individuals perceived as an unassimilated ethnic group by the ruling elite of a state—are influenced by both its foreign policy goals and its relations with the external patrons of these groups. Through a detailed study of the Balkans, Mylonas shows that the way a state treats a non-core group within its own borders is determined largely by whether the state’s foreign policy is revisionist or cleaves to the international status quo, and whether it is allied or in rivalry with that group’s external patrons. Mylonas explores the effects of external involvement on the salience of cultural differences and the planning of nation-building policies. The Politics of Nation-Building injects international politics into the study of nation-building, building a bridge between international relations and the comparative politics of ethnicity and nationalism. This is the first book to explain systematically how the politics of ethnicity in the international arena determine which groups are assimilated, accommodated, or annihilated by their host states.
Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876-1945
Uchida, Jun. 2012. Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876-1945. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Abstract

Between 1876 and 1945, thousands of Japanese civilians—merchants, traders, prostitutes, journalists, teachers, and adventurers—left their homeland for a new life on the Korean peninsula. Although most migrants were guided primarily by personal profit and only secondarily by national interest, their mundane lives and the state’s ambitions were inextricably entwined in the rise of imperial Japan. Despite having formed one of the largest colonial communities in the twentieth century, these settlers and their empire-building activities have all but vanished from the public memory of Japan’s presence in Korea.

Drawing on previously unused materials in multi-language archives, Jun Uchida looks behind the official organs of state and military control to focus on the obscured history of these settlers, especially the first generation of “pioneers” between the 1910s and 1930s who actively mediated the colonial management of Korea as its grassroots movers and shakers. By uncovering the downplayed but dynamic role played by settler leaders who operated among multiple parties—between the settler community and the Government-General, between Japanese colonizer and Korean colonized, between colony and metropole—this study examines how these “brokers of empire” advanced their commercial and political interests while contributing to the expansionist project of imperial Japan.

Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe
Stroschein, Sherrill. 2012. Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract
In societies divided on ethnic and religious lines, problems of democracy are magnified – particularly where groups are mobilized into parties. With the principle of majority rule, minorities should be less willing to endorse democratic institutions where their parties persistently lose elections. While such problems should also hamper transitions to democracy, several diverse Eastern European states have formed democracies even under these conditions. In this book, Sherrill Stroschein argues that sustained protest and contention by ethnic Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia brought concessions on policies that they could not achieve through the ballot box, in contrast to Transcarpathia, Ukraine. In Romania and Slovakia, contention during the 1990s made each group accustomed to each other's claims and aware of the degree to which each could push its own. Ethnic contention became a de facto deliberative process that fostered a moderation of group stances, allowing democratic consolidation to slowly and organically take root.
Alliance Formation in Civil Wars
Fotini, Christia. 2012. Alliance Formation in Civil Wars. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract
Some of the most brutal and long-lasting civil wars of our time – those in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Lebanon, and Iraq, among others – involve the rapid formation and disintegration of alliances among warring groups, as well as fractionalization within them. It would be natural to suppose that warring groups form alliances based on shared identity considerations – such as Christian groups allying with Christian groups, or Muslim groups with their fellow co-religionists – but this is not what we see. Two groups that identify themselves as bitter foes one day, on the basis of some identity narrative, might be allies the next day and vice versa. Nor is any group, however homogeneous, safe from internal fractionalization. Rather, looking closely at the civil wars in Afghanistan and Bosnia and testing against the broader universe of fifty-three cases of multiparty civil wars, Fotini Christia finds that the relative power distribution between and within various warring groups is the primary driving force behind alliance formation, alliance changes, group splits, and internal group takeovers.
2011
Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War

In this intriguing account of Soviet mass-culture after WWII, Kristin Roth-Ey delineates how it grew explosively in an attempt to make good socialism’s promise of “high-quality cultural experience on an everyday basis,” delivering more and more individualized Soviet forms of mass media uncorrupted by the degraded “masscult” of the West. Moscow Prime Time analyses the growth and maturity of this important cultural initiative - especially in film and television - that was intimately bound to the Soviet experiment, and ultimately unable to save it.

2010
Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War
Levitsky, Steven, and Lucan A. Way. 2010. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract

Based on a detailed study of 35 cases in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and post-communist Eurasia, this book explores the fate of competitive authoritarian regimes between 1990 and 2008. It finds that where social, economic, and technocratic ties to the West were extensive, as in Eastern Europe and the Americas, the external cost of abuse led incumbents to cede power rather than crack down, which led to democratization. Where ties to the West were limited, external democratizing pressure was weaker and countries rarely democratized. In these cases, regime outcomes hinged on the character of state and ruling party organizations. Where incumbents possessed developed and cohesive coercive party structures, they could thwart opposition challenges, and competitive authoritarian regimes survived; where incumbents lacked such organizational tools, regimes were unstable but rarely democratized.

Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt
Blaydes, Lisa. 2010. Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract
Despite its authoritarian political structure, Egypt's government has held competitive, multi-party parliamentary elections for more than 30 years. This book argues that, rather than undermining the durability of the Mubarak regime, competitive parliamentary elections ease important forms of distributional conflict, particularly conflict over access to spoils. In a comprehensive examination of the distributive consequences of authoritarian elections in Egypt, Lisa Blaydes examines the triadic relationship between Egypt's ruling regime, the rent-seeking elite that supports the regime, and the ordinary citizens who participate in these elections. She describes why parliamentary candidates finance campaigns to win seats in a legislature that lacks policymaking power, as well as why citizens engage in the costly act of voting in such a context.
Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe
Nalepa, Monika. 2010. Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract

After communist regimes in Eastern Europe fell after 1989, the pattern of “lustration,” of shedding light on the Communist past, took different forms in the early years of the new regimes. These arose from complex patterns of bargaining, but showed an unexpected willingness of former rulers to allow disclosure of the past. Monika Nalepa’s path-breaking book re-examines the process by which this took place through qualitative and quantitative means in nine East Central Europe countries. Skeletons in the Closet argues that secrets of past collaboration played a prominent role in stabilizing the transition to representative democracy and in the timing and content of subsequent transitional justice laws.

2009
Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action
Habyarimana, James, Macartan Humphreys, Daniel N. Posner, and Jeremy Weinstein. 2009. Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Abstract

Ethnically homogenous communities often do a better job than diverse communities of producing public goods such as satisfactory schools and health care, adequate sanitation, and low levels of crime. Coethnicity reports the results of a landmark study that aimed to find out why diversity has this cooperation-undermining effect. The study, conducted in a neighborhood of Kampala, Uganda, notable for both its high levels of diversity and low levels of public goods provision, hones in on the mechanisms that might account for the difficulties diverse societies often face in trying to act collectively.

The Mulago-Kyebando Community Study uses behavioral games to explore how the ethnicity of the person with whom one is interacting shapes social behavior. Hundreds of local participants interacted with various partners in laboratory games simulating real-life decisions involving the allocation of money and the completion of joint tasks. Many of the subsequent findings debunk long-standing explanations for diversity’s adverse effects. Contrary to the prevalent notion that shared preferences facilitate ethnic collective action, differences in goals and priorities among participants were not found to be structured along ethnic lines. Nor was there evidence that subjects favored the welfare of their coethnics over that of non-coethnics. When given the opportunity to act altruistically, individuals did not choose to benefit coethnics disproportionately when their actions were anonymous. Yet when anonymity was removed, subjects behaved very differently. With their actions publicly observed, subjects gave significantly more to coethnics, expected their partners to reciprocate, and expected that they would be sanctioned for a failure to cooperate. This effect was most pronounced among individuals who were otherwise least likely to cooperate. These results suggest that what may look like ethnic favoritism is, in fact, a set of reciprocity norms—stronger among coethnics than among non-coethnics—that make it possible for members of more homogeneous communities to take risks, invest, and cooperate without the fear of getting cheated. Such norms may be more subject to change than deeply held ethnic antipathies—a powerful finding for policymakers seeking to design social institutions in diverse societies.

Research on ethnic diversity typically draws on either experimental research or field work. Coethnicity does both. By taking the crucial step from observation to experimentation, this study marks a major breakthrough in the study of ethnic diversity.

Economic Liberalism and Its Rivals: The Formation of International Institutions Among the Post-Soviet States

Examines the critical role that the economic ideas of state leaders play in the creation and maintenance of the international economic order. Drawing on a detailed study of the fifteen post-Soviet states in their first decade of independence, interviews with key decision-makers and the use of closed ministerial archives, the book explores how the changing ideas of state officials led countries to follow one of three institutional paths: rapid entry into the World Trade Organization, participation in a regional Customs Union based on their prior Soviet ties, or autarky and economic closure. In doing so, the book traces the decisions that shaped the entry of these strategically important countries into the world economy and provides a novel theory of the role of ideas in international politics.

2008
American Empire and the Politics of Meaning: Elite Political Cultures in the Philippines and Puerto Rico during U.S. Colonialism

When the United States took control of the Philippines and Puerto Rico in the wake of the Spanish-American War, it declared that it would transform its new colonies through lessons in self-government and the ways of American-style democracy. In both territories, U.S. colonial officials built extensive public school systems, and they set up American-style elections and governmental institutions. The officials aimed their lessons in democratic government at the political elite: the relatively small class of the wealthy, educated, and politically powerful within each colony. While they retained ultimate control for themselves, the Americans let the elite vote, hold local office, and formulate legislation in national assemblies.

American Empire and the Politics of Meaning is an examination of how these efforts to provide the elite of Puerto Rico and the Philippines a practical education in self-government played out on the ground in the early years of American colonial rule, from 1898 until 1912. It is the first systematic comparative analysis of these early exercises in American imperial power. The sociologist Julian Go unravels how American authorities used “culture” as both a tool and a target of rule, and how the Puerto Rican and Philippine elite received, creatively engaged, and sometimes silently subverted the Americans’ ostensibly benign intentions. Rather than finding that the attempt to transplant American-style democracy led to incommensurable “culture clashes,” Go assesses complex processes of cultural accommodation and transformation. By combining rich historical detail with broader theories of meaning, culture, and colonialism, he provides an innovative study of the hidden intersections of political power and cultural meaning-making in America’s earliest overseas empire.

Distrusting Democrats: Outcomes of Participatory Constitution Making
Moehler, Devra C. 2008. Distrusting Democrats: Outcomes of Participatory Constitution Making. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Abstract

How does mass participation affect political culture in countries undergoing political transition? Distrusting Democrats examines the consequences of citizen involvement in Uganda, one of a growing number of countries employing the participatory model of constitutional reform. Contrary to predictions, author Devra Moehler finds that participation contributes to the creation of "distrusting democrats": citizens who are democratic in their attitudes, but suspicious of their governmental institutions in practice. Moehler argues that participation in developing democracies gives citizens new tools with which to evaluate their imperfectly-performing institutions. Participation raises democratic expectations and alerts citizens to existing democratic deficits. The general implications for constitution-building countries are clear: short-term risks of disillusionment and instability; and long-term advantages from a more sophisticated citizenry capable of monitoring leaders and promoting political development.

2007
The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought

In this rich intellectual history, Cemil Aydin challenges the notion that anti-Westernism in the Muslim world is a political and religious reaction to the liberal and democratic values of the West. Nor is anti-Westernism a natural response to Western imperialism. Instead, by focusing on the agency and achievements of non-Western intellectuals, Aydin demonstrates that modern anti-Western discourse grew out of the legitimacy crisis of a single, Eurocentric global polity in the age of high imperialism.

Aydin compares Ottoman Pan-Islamic and Japanese Pan-Asian visions of world order from the middle of the nineteenth century to the end of World War II. He looks at when the idea of a universal "West" first took root in the minds of Asian intellectuals and reformers and how it became essential in criticizing the West for violating its own "standards of civilization." Aydin also illustrates why these anti-Western visions contributed to the decolonization process and considers their influence on the international relations of both the Ottoman and Japanese Empires during WWI and WWII.

The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia offers a rare, global perspective on how religious tradition and the experience of European colonialism interacted with Muslim and non-Muslim discontent with globalization, the international order, and modernization. Aydin's approach reveals the epistemological limitations of Orientalist knowledge categories, especially the idea of Eastern and Western civilizations, and the way in which these limitations have shaped not only the contradictions and political complicities of anti-Western discourses but also contemporary interpretations of anti-Western trends. In moving beyond essentialist readings of this history, Aydin provides a fresh understanding of the history of contemporary anti-Americanism as well as the ongoing struggle to establish a legitimate and inclusive international society.

Hard Times in the Lands of Plenty: Oil Politics in Iran and Indonesia
Smith, Benjamin. 2007. Hard Times in the Lands of Plenty: Oil Politics in Iran and Indonesia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Abstract

That natural resources can be a curse as well as a blessing is almost a truism in political analysis. In many late-developing countries, the "resource curse" theory predicts, the exploitation of valuable resources will not result in stable, prosperous states but rather in their opposite. Petroleum deposits, for example, may generate so much income that rulers will have little need to establish efficient, tax-extracting bureaucracies, leading to shallow, poorly functioning administrations that remain at the mercy of the world market for oil. Alternatively, resources may be geographically concentrated, thereby intensifying regional, ethnic, or other divisive tensions.

In Hard Times in the Lands of Plenty, Benjamin Smith deciphers the paradox of the resource curse and questions its inevitability through an innovative comparison of the experiences of Iran and Indonesia. These two populous, oil-rich countries saw profoundly different changes in their fortunes in the period 1960–1980. Focusing on the roles of state actors and organized opposition in using oil revenues, Smith finds that the effects of oil wealth on politics and on regime durability vary according to the circumstances under which oil exports became a major part of a country's economy. The presence of natural resources is, he argues, a political opportunity rather than simply a structural variable.

Drawing on extensive primary research in Iran and Indonesia and quantitative research on nineteen other oil-rich developing countries, Smith challenges us to reconsider resource wealth in late-developing countries, not as a simple curse or blessing, but instead as a tremendously flexible source of both political resources and potential complications.

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