Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Below the Radar: How Silence can Save Civil Rights

Alison L. Gash (University of Oregon). Below the Radar: How Silence can Save Civil Rights (Oxford University Press, 2015).  

"Drawing from interviews with advocates and opponents, the book introduces readers to two sets of civil rights battles in which advocates devised strategies to remain 'under the radar' and away from the prying eyes of a volatile public. In so doing they diminished both the incidence and influence of backlash. Advocates working on behalf of lesbian and gay parents relied on lower court rulings, family law, and less polarizing frames to advance custody and co-parenting requests without attracting the attention of the 'family values' groups and voters who had swiftly barred marriage equality. Those working on behalf of individuals with disabilities hoping to live in community-based group housing delayed notifying zoning boards and neighbors of their intention to reside in single-family neighborhoods until after their property was secured in order to minimize NIMBY-induced housing impediments. This study of low-visibility advocacy offers a lens on an underexplored and underestimated source of policy reform." 
Publisher's website

Monday, July 27, 2015

Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children, and the Making of American Exiles and Orphans

Luis H. Zalas (University of Texas). Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children, and the Making of American Exiles and Orphans (Oxford University Press, 2015).

 "The United States Constitution insures that all persons born in the US are citizens with equal protection under the law. But in today's America, the US-born children of undocumented immigrantsover four million of themdo not enjoy fully the benefits of citizenship or of feeling that they belong. Children in mixed-status families are forgotten in the loud and discordant immigration debate. They live under the constant threat that their parents will suddenly be deported. Their parents face impossible decisions: make their children exiles or make them orphans. 
Publisher's description

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict


David Cortright, Rachel Fairhurst, & Kristen Wall (eds.) (University of Notre Dame). Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict (University of Chicago, 2014).

"Presenting a robust conversation among leading scholars in the areas of international legal standards, counterterrorism strategy, humanitarian law, and the ethics of force, Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict takes account of current American drone campaigns and the developing legal, ethical, and strategic implications of this new way of warfare. Among the contributions to this volume are a thorough examination of the American government’s legal justifications for the targeting of enemies using drones, an analysis of American drone campaigns’ notable successes and failures, and a discussion of the linked issues of human rights, freedom of information, and government accountability." 
Publisher's description 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America's Liberties


Carol Berkin (City University of New York). The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America's Liberties (Simon & Schuster, 2015).

"In 1789, the young nation faced a great ideological divide around a question still unanswered today: should broad power and authority reside in the federal government or should it reside in state governments? The Bill of Rights, from protecting religious freedom and the people’s right to bear arms to reserving unenumerated rights to the states, was a political ploy first, and matter of principle second. How and why Madison came to devise this plan, the divisive debates it fostered in the Congress, and its ultimate success in defeating antifederalist counterplans to severely restrict the powers of the federal government is more engrossing than any of the myths that shroud our national beginnings." 
Publisher's description

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Responsibility to Protect

Alex J. Bellamy (Griffith University). Responsibility to Protect (Polity, 2009).

"At the 2005 UN World Summit, world leaders endorsed the international principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P), acknowledging that they had a responsibility to protect their citizens from genocide and mass atrocities and pledging to act in cases where governments manifestly failed in their responsibility. This marked a significant turning point in attitudes towards the protection of citizens worldwide. . . . This important new book charts the emergence of this principle, from its origins in a doctrine of sovereignty as responsibility, through debates about the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention and the findings of a prominent international commission, and finally through the long and hard negotiations that preceded the 2005 commitment."

Publisher's description