Bookbeat

Bookbeat: March 2011

The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050: The Early Middle Ages

The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050: The Early Middle Ages

by Florin Curta
History
(Edinburgh University Press, 2011)
Available through Amazon

Florin Curta writes an absorbing account of the social, economic, and political factors of Greek life between the years of 500 and 1050 B.C.E. His interdisciplinary approach relies on archaeological evidence and information gleaned from coins and seals, fiscal documents, medieval chronicles, and hagiographic literature. Several themes connect these chapters: the Balkan context, the social role of the army, and the onset of economic growth. Special attention is paid to the size of the economy in early medieval Greece, and both social and economic aspects are presented as fundamentally overlapping spheres of activity.

Realist Constructivism: Rethinking International Relations TheoryRealist Constructivism: Rethinking International Relations Theory

by J. Samuel Barkin
Political Science
(Cambridge University Press, 2010)
Available via Amazon

Realism and constructivism, two key contemporary theoretical approaches to the study of international relations, are commonly taught as mutually exclusive ways of understanding the subject. Realist Constructivism explores the common ground between the two, and demonstrates that, rather than being in simple opposition, they have areas of both tension and overlap. There is indeed space to engage in a realist constructivism. But at the same time, there are important distinctions between them, and there remains a need for a constructivism that is not realist, and a realism that is not constructivist. Samuel Barkin argues more broadly for a different way of thinking about theories of international relations, that focuses on the corresponding elements within various approaches rather than on a small set of mutually exclusive paradigms. Realist Constructivism provides an interesting new way for scholars and students to think about international relations theory.

- Publisher

Orange Revolution and Aftermath: Mobilization, Apathy, and the State in UkraineOrange Revolution and Aftermath: Mobilization, Apathy, and the State in Ukraine

edited by Paul D'Anieri
Political Science and Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
(Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2010)
Available via Amazon

In 2004, hundreds of thousands of Ukranian protestors mobilized in the streets of Kyiv against authoritarian rulers who had clearly falsified the Fall elections. The size and efficacy of the Orange Revolution, as the protest became known, surprised political observers—and even the participants themselves. In the aftermath, many observers concluded that civil society, long thought dead in Ukraine, was alive and well.

After the success of the Orange Revolution, it was widely expected that civil society groups would take an increasingly prominent role in Ukrainian politics, reinvigorating democracy. Yet that influence diminished rapidly, and when the new government also became tainted with corruption, there was no protest or counterattack. This book explores why the influence of civil society groups waned so quickly.

The contributors to this volume probe civil society in Ukraine from a variety of disciplinary perspectives to understand the contest for social mobilization in Ukraine. The essays provide a wealth of new data based on surveys, interviews, documentary analysis, and ethnography.

- Publisher

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