In the United States and in Europe, politicians, activists, and even some scholars argue that Islam is incompatible with Western values and that we put ourselves at risk if we believe that Muslim immigrants can integrate into our society. Norway’s Anders Behring Breivik took this argument to its extreme and murderous conclusion in July 2011. Meanwhile in the United States, state legislatures’ efforts to ban the practice of Islamic law, or sharia, are gathering steam--despite a notable lack of evidence that sharia poses any real threat.
How do radical religious sects run such deadly terrorist organizations? Hezbollah, Hamas, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban all began as religious groups dedicated to piety and charity. Yet once they turned to violence, they became horribly potent, executing campaigns of terrorism deadlier than those of their secular rivals. In Radical, Religious, and Violent, Eli Berman approaches the question using the economics of organizations.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many observers feared that terrorists and rogue states would obtain weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or knowledge about how to build them from the vast Soviet nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons complex. The United States launched a major effort to prevent former Soviet WMD experts, suddenly without salaries, from peddling their secrets. In Our Own Worst Enemy, Sharon Weiner chronicles the design, implementation, and evolution of four U.S. programs that were central to this nonproliferation policy and assesses their successes and failures.
In recent years, a new wave of scholarship has argued that democracies have unique advantages that enable them to compete vigorously in international politics. Challenging long-held beliefs--some of which go back to Thucydides’ account of the clash between democratic Athens and authoritarian Sparta--that democracy is a liability in the harsh world of international affairs, many scholars now claim that democracies win most of their wars.
Common wisdom holds that the earth’s dwindling natural resources and increasing environmental degradation will inevitably lead to inter-state conflict, and possibly even set off “resource wars.” Many scholars and policymakers have considered the environmental roots of violent conflict and instability, but little attention has been paid to the idea that scarcity and degradation may actually play a role in fostering inter-state cooperation. Beyond Resource Wars fills this gap, offering a different perspective on the links between environmental problems and inter-state conflict.
States, nationalist movements, and ethnic groups in conflict with one another often face a choice between violent and nonviolent strategies. Although major wars between sovereign states have become rare, contemporary world politics has been rife with internal conflict, ethnic cleansing, and violence against civilians. This book asks how, why, and when states and non-state actors use violence against one another, and examines the effectiveness of various forms of political violence.
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy analysts in national security have turned their attention to terrorism, considering not only how to prevent future attacks but also the roots of the problem. This book offers some of the latest research in terrorism studies. The contributors examine the sources of contemporary terrorism, discussing the impact of globalization, the influence of religious beliefs, and the increasing dissatisfaction felt by the world’s powerless.
The challenges posed by managing hazardous chemicals cross boundaries, jurisdictions, and constituencies. Since the 1960s, a chemicals regime—a multitude of formally independent but functionally related treaties and programs—has been in continuous development, as states and organizations collaborate at different governance levels to mitigate the health and environmental problems caused by hazardous chemicals.
The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa.
In recent years, scholars in international relations and other fields have begun to conceive of security more broadly, moving away from a state-centered concept of national security toward the idea of human security, which emphasizes the individual and human well-being. Viewing global environmental change through the lens of human security connects such problems as melting ice caps and carbon emissions to poverty, vulnerability, equity, and conflict. This book examines the complex social, health, and economic consequences of environmental change across the globe.