Friday, April 26, 2019

Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration

Rachel Elise Barkow (New York University), Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press 2019).

America’s criminal justice system reflects irrational fears stoked by politicians seeking to win election. Pointing to specific policies that are morally problematic and have failed to end the cycle of recidivism, Rachel Barkow argues that reform guided by evidence, not politics and emotions, will reduce crime and reverse mass incarceration.
- Publisher's description         

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Water Paradox

Edward B. Barbier (Colorado State University), The Water Paradox (Yale University Press 2019).

Water is essential to life, yet humankind’s relationship with water is complex. For millennia, we have perceived it as abundant and easily accessible. But water shortages are fast becoming a persistent reality for all nations, rich and poor. With demand outstripping supply, a global water crisis is imminent. In this trenchant critique of current water policies and practices, Edward Barbier argues that our water crisis is as much a failure of water management as it is a result of scarcity. Outdated governance structures and institutions, combined with continual underpricing, have perpetuated the overuse and undervaluation of water and disincentivized much-needed technological innovation. As a result “water grabbing” is on the rise, and cooperation to resolve these disputes is increasingly fraught. Barbier draws on evidence from countries across the globe to show the scale of the problem, and outlines the policy and management solutions needed to avert this crisis.

- Publisher's Description                        

Friday, April 12, 2019

Policing Los Angeles: Race, Resistance, and the Rise of the LAPD

Max Felker-Kantor (Ball State University), Policing Los Angeles: Race, Resistance, and the Rise of the LAPD (University of North Carolina Press 2018).

When the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts erupted in violent protest in August 1965, the uprising drew strength from decades of pent-up frustration with employment discrimination, residential segregation, and poverty. But the more immediate grievance was anger at the racist and abusive practices of the Los Angeles Police Department. Yet in the decades after Watts, the LAPD resisted all but the most limited demands for reform made by activists and residents of color, instead intensifying its power.

In Policing Los Angeles, Max Felker-Kantor narrates the dynamic history of policing, anti-police abuse movements, race, and politics in Los Angeles from the 1965 Watts uprising to the 1992 Los Angeles rebellion. Using the explosions of two large-scale uprisings in Los Angeles as bookends, Felker-Kantor highlights the racism at the heart of the city's expansive police power through a range of previously unused and rare archival sources. His book is a gripping and timely account of the transformation in police power, the convergence of interests in support of law and order policies, and African American and Mexican American resistance to police violence after the Watts uprising.
-Publisher's description                    

Friday, April 5, 2019

Corporate Governance in Contention

Ciaran Driver (University of London) & Grahame Thompson (Open University, UK), Corporate Governance in Contention (Oxford University Press 2018).

Corporate governance is a complex idea that is often inappropriately simplified as a cookbook of recommended measures to improve financial performance. Meta studies of published research show that the supposed benign effects of these measures - independent directors or highly incentivised executives - are at best context-specific. There is thus a challenge to explain the meaning, purpose, and importance of corporate governance. This volume addresses these issues. The issues discussed centre on relationships within the firm e.g. between labour, managers, and investors, and relationships outside the firm that affect consumers or the environment.

The essays in this collection are the considered selection by the editors and the contributors themselves of what are seen as some of the most weighty and urgent issues that connect the corporation and society at large in developed economies with established property rights. The essays are to be read in dialogue with each other, giving a richer understanding than could be obtained by shepherding all contributions into a single mould. Nevertheless taken together they demonstrate a shared sense of deep concern that the corporate governance agenda has been and still is on the wrong track. The contributors, individually and collectively, identify in this compendium both a research programme and a platform for change.
-Publisher's description