Toward a Unified Criminology: Integrating Assumptions about Crime, People, and Society. Robert Agnew (Prof of Sociology, Emory U). NY: NYU Press, Nov 2011, 272p, $28pb. Why do people commit crimes? How do we control crime? The theories that criminologists use to answer these questions are built on a number of underlying assumptions about the nature of crime, free will, human nature, and society. They largely determine what criminologists study, the causes they examine, the control strategies they recommend, and how they test their theories and evaluate crime-control strategies. Makes the case that these assumptions are too restrictive (unduly limiting the types of “crime” that are explored, the causes that are considered, and the methods of data collection and analysis that are employed) and they undermine our ability to explain and control crime. Proposes an alternative set of assumptions with the goal of laying the foundation for a unified criminology that is better able to explain a broader range of crimes. (CRIME/JUSTICE * CRIMINOLOGY: ASSUMPTIONS QUESTIONED)
useful-enemies-cover Useful Enemies: When Waging Wars Is More Important Than Winning ThemDavid Keen (Prof of Complex Emergencies, London School of Economics).  New Haven, CT: Yale U Press, July 2012, 304p, $45 (also as e-book).  The Cold War has been succeeded by a “war on drugs” and a “war on terror,” and there are currently some 20-30 civil wars worldwide.  Investigates 1) why conflicts are so prevalent and intractable, even when one side has much greater military resources; 2) whether the “state of emergency” is more useful than peace; 3) why the efforts of aid organizations and international diplomats founder so often;  and 4) who benefits from wars.  To bring wars successfully to any end, we must understand the complex vested interests on all sides.  (WAR RECONSIDERED * SECURITY)
Perilous Glory: The Rise of Western Military Power.  John France (Prof Emeritus of History, Swansea U).  New Haven, CT: Yale U Press, Oct 2011, 448p, $35.  Surveys the history of warfare from ancient Mesopotamia to the Gulf War and explains the origins of Western warfare and its eminence today.  Despite enormous cultural differences, war was conducted in distinctly similar ways up to the Military Revolution and the pursuit of technological warfare in the 19th century.  Since then, European and American culture has shaped warfare.  However, the present dominance of US power is much more precarious and accidental than commonly believed.  Casts doubt on well-entrenched attitudes about the development of military strength and the future of Western dominance.  (SECURITY * WARFARE: HISTORICAL CHANGE * WESTERN MILITARY POWER)
The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One.  David Kilcullen (Adj Prof of Security Studies, John Hopkins U; fellow, Center for a New American Security).  NY: Oxford U Press, April 2011, 384p, $17.95pb.  On the big global war (War on Terrorism) and its relation to the associated small wars across the globe in Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, East Timor, and East Africa.  Today’s conflicts are a complex interweaving of contrasting trends, such as local insurgencies seeking autonomy caught up in a broader pan-Islamic campaign.  The US has done a poor job of applying different tactics to these very different situations, continually misidentifying insurgents with limited claims and legitimate grievances (“accidental guerrillas”) as part of a coordinated worldwide terror network.  We need to change the way we think about war.
Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World.  Edited by Karin Lofthus Carrington (cofounder, graduate program in women’s spirituality, John F. Kennedy U) and Susan Griffin (Pulitzer Prize finalist, grantee of the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts).  Berkeley CA: U of California Press, May 2011, 314p, $24.95pb.  Essays, poetry, prayers and meditation offering a new paradigm for moving the world beyond violence as the first, and often only, response to violence.  Terrorist violence--defined here as an attack on unarmed civilians--can never be stopped by a return to the thinking that created it. Contributors (Desmond Tutu, Huston Smith, Riane Eisler, Daniel Ellsberg, Amos Oz,  Fatema Mernissi, Fritjov Capra, Geroge Lakoff, etc) encompass both the Islamic and Western worlds in considering how to transform conditions that produce terrorist acts.                                                             (SECURITY * TERRORISM)
* Between Threats and War: US Discrete Military Operations in the Post-Cold War World.  Micah Zenko (Fellow for Conflict Prevention, CFR).  A Council on Foreign Relations Book.  Palo Alto CA: Stanford U Press, Aug 2010/256p/$24.95pb.  American policy makers resort to “Discrete Military Operations” (for instance, air raids in Bosnia and Somalia, and drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan) when confronted with a persistent foreign policy problem that threatens US interests, and that cannot be adequately addressed through economic or political pressure.  Examines 36 DMOs undertaken by the US over the last 20 years and discusses why they were used, whether they achieved their objectives, and what determined their success or failure.
Global Environmental Change and Human Security. Edited by Richard A. Matthew (Assoc Prof of Politics, UC-Irvine) and three others. Cambridge: MIT Press, Dec 2009/328p/$25pb. In recent years, scholars have begun to conceive of security more broadly, moving away from a state-centered concept of national security toward the concept of human security; global environmental change and new questions of human insecurity are viewed through this lens.
A Question of Command: Counterinsurgency from the Civil War to IraqMark Moyar (Woodbridge VA; Chair of Insurgency and Terrorism, US Marine Corps Univ). Yale U Press, Oct 2009/384p/$30. The conventional wisdom of counterinsurgency is that the key is winning people’s hearts and minds, and allocating much labor and treasure to economic/social/political reforms; rather, Moyar asserts that the key is selecting commanders with superior leadership abilities and concentrating resources on security, civil administration, and leadership development.
Shooting Up: Counterinsurgency and the War on DrugsVanda Felbab-Brown (Brookings Fellow in Foreign Policy). Brookings Institution Press, Nov 2009/260p/$28.95. Conventional wisdom on the drug wars is “dangerously wrongheaded”: counternarcotics campaigns focused on eradication fail to bankrupt groups that rely on the drug trade and increase legitimacy of insurgents; in contrast, a laissez-faire policy toward illicit crops combined with interdiction targeted at major traffickers improves the chance of winning the war on drugs and the war against insurgents such as the Taliban.                                               (DRUG WARS * SECURITY)
Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict. Edited by Erica Chenowith (Asst Prof of Govt, Wesleyan U) and Adria Lawrence (Asst Prof of Pol Sci, Yale U). Cambridge MA: The MIT Press, April 2010/400p/$25pb. Major wars between sovereign states have become rare, but current world politics is rife with internal conflict, ethnic cleansing, and violence against civilians. The authors ask how, when, and why states and non-state actors use violence against one another, and consider the effectiveness of various forms of political violence. Arguments focus on how changes in the balance of power between and among states and non-state actors generate uncertainty and threat, thus creating an environment conducive to violence. This new way to understand violence deemphasizes the role of ethnic cleavages and nationalism in modern conflict.
Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al QaedaJohn Mueller (Chair of Natl Security Studies & Prof of Pol Sci, Ohio State U). NY: Oxford UP, Nov 2009/320p/$27.95. Obsession with nuclear weapons is unsupported by history, fact, or logic: nukes have had little impact on history, they have inspired overwrought policies and distorted spending priorities, and have proven militarily useless. Anxieties about use by terrorists are essentially baseless.
Genocide: A Normative AccountLarry May (Prof of Philosophy, Vanderbilt U). NY: Cambridge U Press, March 2010, 300p, $28.99pb. The UN legal definition limits the recognition of crimes against all groups as genocide; moreover, post-genocide criminal trials rarely succeed in helping reconciliation efforts and establishing rule of law. This philosophical exploration of the crime of genocide in international criminal law expands its definition to include cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing.
A Skeptic’s Case for Nuclear Disarmament.  Michael E. O’Hanlon (director of research, Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution).  Washington: Brookings Institution Press, Nov 2010/160p/$26.95.  Endorses conditional nuclear disarmament, showing that even when a Global Zero accord is in place, temporary suspension of restrictions may be necessary in response to nuclear “cheating” or discovery of an advanced biological weapons program. “Even once we eliminate nuclear weapons, we will have to accept the fact that we may have not done so forever.”  The genie is out of the bottle, so taking all nuclear options off the table forever strengthens the hand of those who do not honor a nuclear agreement.  Dismantling existing bomb inventories, in recognition of their dangerous and destabilizing potential, should be our goal.                                   (SECURITY * NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT)
Project on National Security Reform: Vision Working Group Report and Scenarios.  Edited by Sheila R. Ronis (Working Group Chair; president, University Group Ind). Introduction by Leon Fuerth (GWU; director, U.S. Army War College,, July 2010/278p/free download.  PNSR submitted a two-year study of the national security system to the President and President-elect in Nov 2008, with findings tested against a diverse set of scenarios.  This volume documents the scenario-testing process, with chapters on scenario use for national security reform, nine pre- and post-reform scenarios, a defense industrial base scenario, a nuclear bomb case study, and a proposed Center for Strategic Analysis and Assessment.  PNSR seeks to develop a more effective network within government to manage national security challenges and to inspire a “whole-of-government approach.”  The Vision Working Group is devoted to the study of contingencies and presenting the case for vision and foresight.  As noted by Fuerth, “it is no longer possible to conflate national security and national defense.”  Forward Engagement seeks to promote systematic thinking about complex, interactive, and longer-range issues.
The Justice of Mercy.  Linda Ross Meyer (Prof of Law, Quinnipiac U; President, Assoc for the Study of Law, Culture, and Humanities).  Ann Arbor MI: U of Michigan Press, October 2010/280p/$65 (digital version planned).  Offers a theory of ‘punishmentwith mercy’ and illustrates the implications of that theory with legal examples drawn from criminal law doctrine, pardons, mercy in military justice, and fictional narratives of punishment and mercy.  Relevant to debates over truth and reconciliation commissions, alternative dispute resolution, and other new forms of restorative justice.                     (CRIME/JUSTICE * PUNISHMENT WITH MERCY)
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