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.

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.

Entrepreneurial States: Reforming Corporate Governance in France, Japan, and Korea
Tiberghien, Yves. 2007. Entrepreneurial States: Reforming Corporate Governance in France, Japan, and Korea. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Abstract

In Entrepreneurial States, an innovative examination of the comparative politics of reform in stakeholder systems, Yves Tiberghien analyzes the modern partnership between the state and global capital in attaining structural domestic change. The emergence of a powerful global equity market has altered incentives for the state and presented political leaders with a "golden bargain"—the infusion of abundant and cheap capital into domestic stock markets in exchange for reform of corporate governance and other regulatory changes.

Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews with policy and corporate elites in Europe and East Asia, Tiberghien asks why states such as Korea and France have embraced this opportunity and engaged in far-reaching reforms to make their companies more attractive to foreign capital, whereas Japan and Germany have moved forward much more grudgingly. Interest groups and electoral institutions have their impacts, but by tracing the unfolding dynamic of reform under different constraints, Tiberghien shows that the role of political entrepreneurs is critical. Such policy elites act as mediators between global forces and national constraints. As risk takers and bargain builders, Tiberghien finds, they use corporate reform to reshape their political parties and to stake out new policy ground. The degree of political autonomy available to them and the domestic organization of bureaucratic responsibility determine their ability to succeed.

Accountability without Democracy: Solidarity Groups and Public Goods Provision in Rural China

Observers of modern China have noted the stark differences in the kinds of public expenditure undertaken by villages in rural China, villages often located right next to each other. The differences in social services and public amenities between villages in rural China cannot be accounted for by just the exercise of democratic activity, nor by direction from the central government. Instead, these differences are produced by the informal means of exercising accountability and control over officials by village and temple organizations, and family lineages. Lily Tsai's book is an exploration of the unseen mechanisms of public life in rural China - a study of how governance in rural China at the local level cannot be understood through democratic institutional forms alone.

Accountability Without Democracy has been selected as the winner of the 2007/2008 Dogan Award from the Society for Comparative Research.

Politics and Volunteering in Japan: A Global Perspective
Haddad, Mary Alice. 2007. Politics and Volunteering in Japan: A Global Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract

Mary Alice Haddad's book is a comparative examination of the sometimes crucial phenomenon in democratic societies: volunteering. Yet patterns of volunteering vary across cultures. These differences are measured in this important study as a combination of citizen's attitudes toward their government, their own society's patterns of expectations and practices, and the sense of responsible individualism found in each society. Politics and Volunteering in Japan develops a predictive model for understanding volunteering across cultures from a comparison of three Japanese cites, and tests it against patterns of volunteering in Finland, Japan, Turkey and the United States.

Globalization and Business Politics in Arab North Africa: A Comparative Perspective
Cammett, Melani Claire. 2007. Globalization and Business Politics in Arab North Africa: A Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract

The adjustments to a global economy have produced varied industry/ state relations throughout the world, but perhaps nowhere as crucially as in the developing industrial countries. Melani Cammett's Globalization and Business Politics finds that these forms of cooperation rely on past relations of the state and industry. Her subtle comparative analysis of the textile and clothing industries in Morocco and Tunisia encompasses the social, political, economic, and historical forces that shaped - and continue to shape- these contrasting examples. Success in this new environment depends crucially, Globalization and Business Politics suggests, on new and productive ways that state, society, and industries can develop means of persistent, ongoing, and adaptive mutual support.

Crucibles of Political Loyalty: Church Institutions and Electoral Continuity in Hungary
Wittenberg, Jason. 2006. Crucibles of Political Loyalty: Church Institutions and Electoral Continuity in Hungary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract
This book investigates one of the oldest paradoxes in political science: why do mass political loyalties persist even amid prolonged social upheaval and disruptive economic development. Drawing on extensive archival research and an original database of election results, this book explores the paradox of political persistence by examining Hungary's often tortuous path from pre- to post-communism. Wittenberg reframes the theoretical debate, and then demonstrates how despite the many depredations of communism, the Roman Catholic and Calvinist Churches transmitted loyalties to parties of the Right. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Church resistance occurred not from above, but from below. Hemmed in and harassed by communist party cadres, parish priests and pastors employed a variety of ingenious tactics to ensure the continued survival of local church institutions. These institutions insulated their adherents from pressures to assimilate into the surrounding socialist milieu. Ultimately this led to political continuity between pre- and post-communism.
Japan’s Dual Civil Society: Members without Advocates
Pekkanen, Robert. 2006. Japan’s Dual Civil Society: Members without Advocates. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. Abstract

This book provides an overview of the state of Japan's civil society and a new theory, based on political institutions, to explain why Japan differs so much from other industrialized democracies. It offers a new interpretation of why Japan's civil society has developed as it has, with many small, local groups but few large, professionally managed national organizations. The book further asks what the consequences of that pattern of development are for Japan's policy and politics. The author persuasively demonstrates that political institutions—the regulatory framework, financial flows, and the political opportunity structure—are responsible for this pattern, with the result that civil groups have little chance of influencing national policy debates. The phenomenon of “members without advocates” thus has enormous implications for democratic participation in Japan.

Runaway State-Building: Patronage Politics and Democratic Development
O'Dwyer, Conor. 2006. Runaway State-Building: Patronage Politics and Democratic Development. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Abstract

Here, Conor O'Dwyer introduces the phenomenon of runaway state-building as a consequence of patronage politics in underdeveloped, noncompetitive party systems. Analyzing the cases of three newly democratized nations in Eastern Europe—Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia—O’Dwyer argues that competition among political parties constrains patronage-led state expansion.

O’Dwyer uses democratization as a starting point, examining its effects on other aspects of political development. Focusing on the link between electoral competition and state-building, he is able to draw parallels between the problems faced by these three nations and broader historical and contemporary problems of patronage politics—such as urban machines in nineteenth-century America and the Philippines after Marcos.

This timely study provides political scientists and political reformers with insights into points in the democratization process where appropriate intervention can minimize runaway state-building and cultivate efficient bureaucracy within a robust and competitive democratic system.

The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean
Ho, Engseng. 2006. The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean. Berkeley: University of California Press. Abstract

The Graves of Tarim narrates the movement of an old diaspora across the Indian Ocean over the past five hundred years. Ranging from Arabia to India and Southeast Asia, Engseng Ho explores the transcultural exchanges—in kinship and writing—that enabled Hadrami Yemeni descendants of the Muslim prophet Muhammad to become locals in each of the three regions yet remain cosmopolitans with vital connections across the ocean. At home throughout the Indian Ocean, diasporic Hadramis engaged European empires in surprising ways across its breadth, beyond the usual territorial confines of colonizer and colonized. A work of both anthropology and history, this book brilliantly demonstrates how the emerging fields of world history and transcultural studies are coming together to provide groundbreaking ways of studying religion, diaspora, and empire.

Ho interprets biographies, family histories, chronicles, pilgrimage manuals and religious law as the unified literary output of a diaspora that hybridizes both texts and persons within a genealogy of Prophetic descent. By using anthropological concepts to read Islamic texts in Arabic and Malay, he demonstrates the existence of a hitherto unidentified canon of diasporic literature. His supple conceptual framework and innovative use of documentary and field evidence are elegantly combined to present a vision of this vital world region beyond the histories of trade and European empire.

An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi'i Lebanon
Deeb, Lara. 2006. An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi'i Lebanon. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Abstract

Lara Deeb's An Enchanted Modern concerns the many ways religious piety has been reborn and reshaped in the Shi'i neighborhood of Al-Dahiyya in Beirut. She presents an engrossing anthropological account of a community fashioning a creative and rich religious modernity. Deeb encounters a vibrant, redirected, Islamic life, reshaped by the politics of the recent past, creatively re-imagined and lived in the present, with no sign of losing its centrality to individuals, communities and states in the future. Most notably, it is an Islamic life that is expressed in especially creative ways in the public and private lives of women. The modern pious includes women involved, educated, outspoken and part of a community, at odds at points with Western notions of modernity, and equally powerful and attractive.

Courts under Constraints: Judges, Generals, and Presidents in Argentina
Helmke, Gretchen. 2005. Courts under Constraints: Judges, Generals, and Presidents in Argentina. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract

This study offers a theoretical framework for understanding how institutional instability affects judicial behavior under dictatorship and democracy. In stark contrast to conventional wisdom, the central findings of the book contradict some assumptions that only independent judges rule against the government of the day. Set in the context of Argentina, the study uses the tools of positive political theory to explore the conditions under which courts rule against the government. In addition to shedding light on the dynamics of court-executive relations in Argentina, the study provides general lessons about institutions, instability, and the rule of law. In the process, the study builds a set of connections among diverse bodies of scholarship, including US judicial politics, comparative institutional analysis, positive political theory, and Latin American politics.

Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject
Mahmood, Saba. 2004. Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Abstract

Politics of Piety is a groundbreaking analysis of Islamist cultural politics through the ethnography of a thriving, grassroots women's piety movement in the mosques of Cairo, Egypt. Unlike those organized Islamist activities that seek to seize or transform the state, this is a moral reform movement whose orthodox practices are commonly viewed as inconsequential to Egypt's political landscape. Saba Mahmood's compelling exposition of these practices challenges this assumption by showing how the ethical and the political are indelibly linked within the context of such movements.

Not only is this book a sensitive ethnography of a critical but largely ignored dimension of the Islamic revival, it is also an unflinching critique of the secular-liberal assumptions by which some people hold such movements to account. The book addresses three central questions: How do movements of moral reform help us rethink the normative liberal account of politics? How does the adherence of women to the patriarchal norms at the core of such movements parochialize key assumptions within feminist theory about freedom, agency, authority, and the human subject? How does a consideration of debates about embodied religious rituals among Islamists and their secular critics help us understand the conceptual relationship between bodily form and political imaginaries? Politics of Piety is essential reading for anyone interested in issues at the nexus of ethics and politics, embodiment and gender, and liberalism and postcolonialism.

Why Ethnic Parties Succeed: Patronage and Ethnic Head Counts in India
Chandra, Kanchan. 2004. Why Ethnic Parties Succeed: Patronage and Ethnic Head Counts in India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract

Why do some ethnic parties succeed in attracting the support of their target ethnic group while others fail? In a world in which ethnic parties flourish in both established and emerging democracies alike, understanding the conditions under which such parties rise and fall is of critical importance to both political scientists and policy makers. Drawing on a study of variation in the performance of ethnic parties in India, this book builds a theory of ethnic party performance in 'patronage democracies'. Chandra shows why individual voters and political entrepreneurs in such democracies condition their strategies not on party ideologies or policy platforms, but on a headcount of co-ethnics and others across party personnel and among the electorate.

Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History

This book explores the history of the Dominican Republic as it evolved from the first European colony in the Americas into a modern nation under the rule of Rafael Trujillo. Turits reveals how the seemingly unilateral imposition of power by Trujillo in fact depended on the regime's mediation of profound social and economic transformations, especially through agrarian policies that assisted the nation's large independent peasantry. Most of the existing literature casts the Trujillo dictatorship as the paradigm of despotic rule through coercion and terror alone. This book elucidates instead the hidden foundations of the regime, portraying everyday life and economy in the Dominican countryside and the exchanges between state and society under Trujillo. Winner of the American Historical Association's John Edwin Fagg Prize for the best publication in Latin American history.

Lineages of State Fragility: Rural Civil Society in Guinea-Bissau
Forrest, Joshua B. 2003. Lineages of State Fragility: Rural Civil Society in Guinea-Bissau. Athens: Ohio University Press. Abstract

In Guinea-Bissau, as elsewhere in Africa, there is a disjuncture between the central state and rural civil society. It is this significant and overlooked aspect of Guinea-Bissau's political evolution—the continuing ability of civil society to evade and thwart state power—that is at the heart of Joshua B. Forrest's Lineages of State Fragility.

Professor Forrest argues that despite European influences, the contemporary fragility of African states can be fully appreciated only by examining the indigenous social context in which these states evolved. Focusing on Guinea-Bissau, Forrest exposes the emergence of a strong and adaptable “rural civil society” that can be traced back to precolonial times.

Lineages of State Fragility analyzes the social, political, and military experiences of this rural civil society to account for the origins of Guinea-Bissau's soft state. For example, Forrest identifies interethnic social and military practices that became entrenched in rural social structures and continued to evolve through the colonial period, enabling Guinea-Bissauans to resist state predation.

Lineages of State Fragility offers an unorthodox explanation of African politics by tracing the direct social links among the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial periods and affirms the role of rural actors in determining present-day political outcomes.

Based on remarkably extensive research conducted in archives in Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Portugal, Lineages of State Fragility represents both a new approach to the region's past and present and an important synthesis of the political analysis that has come before.

Picking Winners? From Technology Catch-up to the Space Race in Japan
Pekkanen, Saadia M. 2003. Picking Winners? From Technology Catch-up to the Space Race in Japan. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. Abstract

How do governments choose which industries to favor? If governments are largely motivated by the national economic interest, then industrial selection would be biased in favor of picking winners. If, on the other hand, governments are motivated by an electoral and political logic, as is usually assumed in mainstream political economy approaches, then industrial choices would be skewed in favor of politically influential industries—even if they are uncompetitive or declining.

At the core of this book is a methodology that pits these competing explanations against each other, draws out their testable propositions, and then uses three different approaches—econometrics, structured data analysis, and case studies—to ascertain whether one or the other explanation prevails in the celebrated case of postwar Japan. The evidence, which ranges from Japan's earliest efforts at technology catch-up to present-day policies of indigenizing space rockets, shows that economic logic did in fact prevail across industries and over time, despite ever-present political pressures. The most important point this study uncovers is that it is not just selection but deselection that has been the hallmark of Japan's trade and industrial policies over the postwar period.

The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Belarus, 1569-1999

Moving from the sixteenth century to the present, and using a wide array of multi-lingual sources, The Reconstruction of Nations shows how multiple versions of national identity evolved and competed with each other in what are now Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine. Snyder contends that the triumph of modern ethnic nationalism in this part of Eastern Europe is very recent. Federalism and communal toleration were considered viable national ideas from the 16th through 20th centuries - only the atrocities of the Second World War buried such traditional alternatives. Snyder's original explanations for these atrocities include the first scholarly account of the Ukrainian-Polish ethnic cleansings of the 1940s. Snyder concludes with an analysis of the peaceful resolution of national tensions in the region since 1989.

The Reconstruction of Nations is a winner of the American Historical Association's George Louis Beer Prize for the best publication in European international history since 1895.

Political Topographies of the African State
Boone, Catherine. 2003. Political Topographies of the African State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Abstract

Political Topographies shows that central rulers' powers, ambitions, and strategies of control vary across subregions of the national space, even in countries reputed to be highly centralized. Boone argues that this unevenness reflects a state-building logic that is shaped by differences in the political economy of regions - that is, by relations of property, production, and authority that determine the political clout and economic needs of regional-level elites. Center-provincial bargaining, rather than the unilateral choices of the center, is what drives the politics of national integration and determines how institutions distribute power. Boone's innovative analysis speaks to scholars and policy makers who want to understand geographic unevenness in the centralization and decentralization of power, in the nature of citizenship and representation, and in patterns of core-periphery integration and breakdown in many of the world's multiethnic or regionally divided states.