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Politics

The Empire and the Five Kings: America'S Abdication and the Fate of the World

The Empire and the Five Kings: America'S Abdication and the Fate of the World

Bernard-Henri Levy

$39.99
The United States was once the hope of the world, a beacon of freedom and the defender of liberal democracy. Nations and peoples on all continents looked to America to stand up for the values that created the Western world, and to oppose autocracy and repression. Even when America did not live up to its ideals, it still recognized their importance, at home and abroad.

But as Bernard-Henri Levy lays bare in this powerful and disturbing analysis of the world today, America is retreating from its traditional leadership role, and in its place have come five ambitious nations, former empires eager to assert power and influence. Levy shows how these five nations - Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, and the Sunni Arab world - are taking steps to undermine the liberal values that have been a hallmark of Western civilization.

The Empire and the Five Kings is a cri de coeur that draws upon lessons from history and the eternal touchstones of human culture to reveal the stakes facing the West as America retreats from its leadership role, a process that did not begin with Donald Trump's presidency and is not likely to end with him. The crisis is one whose roots can be found as far back as antiquity and whose resolution will require the West to find a new way forward if it - and its values - are to survive.

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Is Just War Possible?

Is Just War Possible?

Christopher Finlay

$20.95
The idea that war is sometimes justified is deeply embedded in public consciousness. But it is only credible so long as we believe that the ethical standards of just war are in fact realizable in practice.

In this engaging book, Christopher Finlay elucidates the assumptions underlying just war theory and defends them from a range of objections, arguing that it is a regrettable but necessary reflection of the moral realities of international politics. Using a range of historical and contemporary examples, he demonstrates the necessity of employing the theory on the basis of careful moral appraisal of real-life political landscapes and striking a balance between theoretical ideals and the practical realities of conflict.

This book will be a crucial guide to the complexities of just war theory for all students and scholars of the ethics and political theory of war.
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Targeting Top Terrorists: Understanding Leadership Removal in Counterterrorism Strategy

Targeting Top Terrorists: Understanding Leadership Removal in Counterterrorism Strategy

Bryan C. Price

$57.99
When President Barack Obama announced the assassination of Osama bin Laden, many Americans hoped the killing of al-Qaida’s leader would sound the death knell for the organization. Since 9/11, killing and capturing terrorist leaders has been a central element in U.S. counterterrorism strategy. This practice, known as leadership decapitation, is based on the logic that removing key figures will disrupt the organization and contribute to its ultimate failure. Yet many scholars have argued that targeted killings are ineffective or counterproductive, questioning whether taking out a terror network’s leaders causes more problems than it solves.

In Targeting Top Terrorists, Bryan C. Price offers a rich, data-driven examination of leadership decapitation tactics, providing theoretical and empirical explanations of the conditions under which they can be successful. Analyzing hundreds of cases of leadership turnover from over two hundred terrorist groups, Price demonstrates that although the tactic may result in short-term negative side effects, the loss of top leaders significantly reduces terror groups’ life spans. He explains vital questions such as: What factors make some terrorist groups more vulnerable than others? Is it better to kill or capture terrorist leaders? How does leadership decapitation compare to other counterterrorism options? With compelling evidence based on an original dataset along with an in-depth case study of Hamas, Targeting Top Terrorists contributes to scholarship on terrorism and organizational theory and provides insights for policy makers and practitioners on some of the most pressing debates in the field.
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The Tyranny of the Ideal: Justice in a Diverse Society

The Tyranny of the Ideal: Justice in a Diverse Society

Gerald Gaus

$58.99
In his provocative new book, The Tyranny of the Ideal, Gerald Gaus lays out a vision for how we should theorize about justice in a diverse society. Gaus shows how free and equal people, faced with intractable struggles and irreconcilable conflicts, might share a common moral life shaped by a just framework. He argues that if we are to take diversity seriously and if moral inquiry is sincere about shaping the world, then the pursuit of idealized and perfect theories of justice - essentially, the entire production of theories of justice that has dominated political philosophy for the past forty years - needs to change.

Drawing on recent work in social science and philosophy, Gaus points to an important paradox: only those in a heterogeneous society - with its various religious, moral, and political perspectives - have a reasonable hope of understanding what an ideally just society would be like. However, due to its very nature, this world could never be collectively devoted to any single ideal. Gaus defends the moral constitution of this pluralistic, open society, where the very clash and disagreement of ideals spurs all to better understand what their personal ideals of justice happen to be.

Presenting an original framework for how we should think about morality, The Tyranny of the Ideal rigorously analyzes a theory of ideal justice more suitable for contemporary times.
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The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas

The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas

Daniel W. Drezner

$30.95
The public intellectual, as a person and ideal, has a long and storied history. Writing in venues like the New Republic and Commentary, such intellectuals were always expected to opine on a broad array of topics, from foreign policy to literature to economics. Yet in recent years a new kind of thinker has supplanted that archetype: the thought leader. Equipped with one big idea, thought leaders focus their energies on TED talks rather than highbrow periodicals.

How did this shift happen? In The Ideas Industry, Daniel W. Drezner points to the roles of political polarization, heightened inequality, and eroding trust in authority as ushering in the change. In contrast to public intellectuals, thought leaders gain fame as single-idea merchants. Their ideas are often laudable and highly ambitious: ending global poverty by 2025, for example. But instead of a class composed of university professors and freelance intellectuals debating in highbrow magazines, thought leaders often work through institutions that are closed to the public. They are more immune to criticism - and in this century, the criticism of public intellectuals also counts for less.

Three equally important factors that have reshaped the world of ideas have been waning trust in expertise, increasing political polarization and plutocracy. The erosion of trust has lowered the barriers to entry in the marketplace of ideas. Thought leaders don't need doctorates or fellowships to advance their arguments. Polarization is hardly a new phenomenon in the world of ideas, but in contrast to their predecessors, today's intellectuals are more likely to enjoy the support of ideologically friendly private funders and be housed in ideologically-driven think tanks. Increasing inequality as a key driver of this shift: more than ever before, contemporary plutocrats fund intellectuals and idea factories that generate arguments that align with their own. But, while there are certainly some downsides to the contemporary ideas industry, Drezner argues that it is very good at broadcasting ideas widely and reaching large audiences of people hungry for new thinking.

Both fair-minded and trenchant, The Ideas Industry will reshape our understanding of contemporary public intellectual life in America and the West.
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