Diversity vs. Democracy: Who Wins?
Economics Professor Michael T. Rock has been wrestling with the question at the heart of his new book, Dictators, Democrats, and Development in Southeast Asia, for a long time.
Since 1995, he’s been wondering—and writing about—how Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand managed to succeed at both development and democracy.
At first, he turned to political science and economics for the answers, “but they were saying quite different things about these countries,” he says. Until recently, political scientists viewed their political elites as uninterested in development or democracy and more interested in personal gain. Economists tended to emphasize the degree to which governments followed the policy nostrums of the Washington consensus—to stabilize, privatize, and liberalize.
Rock now says both sides missed the real story of how political elites used selective interventions and corruption to grow their economies while enriching themselves and those in their patronage networks. (Oxford University Press, 2016.)
Lockdown by Jane McLaughlin, M.A. ’64. Meticulously observed and linguistically adept, the poems in this collection brim with fresh imagery and moments of surprise. McLaughlin sees below the surface of the quotidian to make new connections. The pressure on language and attention to detail are apparent throughout, from sustained sequences to tight lyric pieces. (Cinnamon Press, 2016)
Along Came the Rain by Alison R. Solomon, M.S.S. ’91. How did Wynn Larimer end up in jail, accused of kidnapping two teenage foster kids? For her partner, Barker, the stakes couldn’t be higher: Wynn seems to be losing her mind, and the missing girls are Barker’s social work clients. (Sapphire Books, 2016)
Branding the “Beur” Author: Minority Writing and the Media in France, 1983-2013 by Kathryn A. Kleppinger ’04, M.A. ’04. Kleppinger argues that sensationalizing journalists shape the promotion of writers of North African descent (aka beurs) authors by focusing only on those who employ a realist style and who engage on air with French identity politics, immigration, and the challenges faced by the country’s North African immigrants. But that dynamic elides the thematic and stylistic diversity of minority French authors and effectively predetermines which books will receive critical and commercial support. (Liverpool University Press, 2015)
Transmission Techniques for Digital Communications edited by Sarah Kate Wilson ’79, S.G. Wilson, and E. Biglieri. This concise reference offers a review of the principles and methods of important and emerging research topics and technologies in wireless communications and transmission techniques. The tutorial format enables readers to quickly grasp hot new research topics from leading experts worldwide.
Germany’s Energy Transition: A Comparative Perspective edited by Carol Hager and Christoph Stefes. Energiewende, Germany’s path-breaking transition from fossil and nuclear fuels to renewables, is one of the most important political, economic, and social undertakings of our time. In explaining Germany’s commitment to a renewable energy transition, from the local to the European, the authors focus on the sources of institutional change that made the transition possible and provide the international context through comparative case studies of energy transitions in the USA, China, and Japan. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
My Mother, the Bunny, and Me by Edith Kunhardt Davis ’59. This memoir chronicles the author’s life with Dorothy Kunhardt ’24, her mother and author of Pat the Bunny, on a run-down estate in New Jersey between the Depression and World War II. (Shakespeare & Co., 2016)