New Books in Law

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Interviews with Scholars of the Law about their New Books
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1085 episodes

Christopher Witko, "Hijacking the Agenda: Economic Power and Political Influence" (Russell Sage Foundation, 2021)

How do competing interests shape public policy? Why are the economic interests and priorities of lower-, working-, and middle-class Americans often neglected while the interests and priorities of wealthier Americans are often front and center for the U.S. Congress? Previous work in political science has highlighted income disparity or the importance of agenda setting but Hijacking the Agenda: Economic Power and Political Influence (Russell Sage Foundation, 2021) unpacks HOW business interests and wealthy individuals shape public policy to their benefit by “hijacking the agenda” away from the interests of average Americans. Witko, Morgan, Kelly, and Enns focus on the speech of elected representatives as recorded in the Congressional Record. Their remarkable Congressional Rhetoric Database codes speech from 1995 to 2016. Using an integrated, multi-method research design, they conclude that the interplay between two types of power – structural and kinetic – give wealthy interests considerable influence over the issues that receive congressional attention and explaining these patterns of issue attention over time is crucial for understanding disparate policy outcomes. In addition to a sophisticated quantitative analysis, the book provides three astute case studies (financial deregulation, re-regulation, and the minimum wage) and a general theory of politics and economic power. Hijacking the Agenda details how money – especially in the form of campaign contributions – affects which economic problems Congress believes to be important – and acts upon. Hijacking the Agenda is winner of the 2022 Gladys M. Kammerer Award from the American Political Science Association. Dr. Christopher Witko is professor of public policy and associate director of the School of Public Policy at Penn State, Drs. Jana Morgan and Nathan J. Kelly are professors of political science at the University of Tennessee, and Dr. Peter K. Enns is professor of public policy and political science at Cornell University. Susan Liebell is Dirk Warren '50 Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 5m
Aug 15
Jamie Ducharme, "Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul" (Henry Holt, 2021)

It began with a smoke break. James Monsees and Adam Bowen were two ambitious graduate students at Stanford, and in between puffs after class they dreamed of a way to quit smoking. Their solution became the Juul, a sleek, modern device that could vaporize nicotine into a conveniently potent dosage. The company they built around that device, Juul Labs, would go on to become a $38 billion dollar company and draw blame for addicting a whole new generation of underage tobacco users. Time magazine reporter Jamie Ducharme follows Monsees and Bowen as they create Juul and, in the process, go from public health visionaries and Silicon Valley wunderkinds to two of the most controversial businessmen in the country. With rigorous reporting and clear-eyed prose that reads like a nonfiction thriller, Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul (Henry Holt, 2021) uses the dramatic rise of Juul to tell a larger story of big business, Big Tobacco, and the high cost of a product that was too good to be true. Jamie Ducharme is a correspondent at Time magazine, where she covers health and science. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

36m
Aug 11
Jeffrey S. Sutton, "Who Decides?: States As Laboratories of Constitutional Experimentation" (Oxford UP, 2021)

Everything in law and politics, including individual rights, comes back to divisions of power and the evergreen question: Who decides? Who wins the disputes of the day often turns on who decides them. And our acceptance of the resolution of those disputes often turns on who the decision maker is-because it reveals who governs us. In Who Decides?: States As Laboratories of Constitutional Experimentation (Oxford UP, 2021), the influential US Appellate Court Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton focuses on the constitutional structure of the American states to answer the question of who should decide the key questions of public policy today. By concentrating on the role of governmental structure in shaping power across the 50 American states, Sutton develops a powerful explanation of American constitutional law, in all of its variety, as opposed to just federal constitutional law. As in his earlier book, 51 Imperfect Solutions, which looked at how American federalism allowed the states to serve as laboratories of innovation for protecting individual liberty and property rights, Sutton compares state-level governments with the federal government and draws numerous insights from the comparisons. Instead of focusing on individual rights, however, he focuses on structure, while continuing to develop some of the core themes of his previous book. An illuminating and essential sequel to his earlier work on the nature of American federalism, Who Decides makes the case that American Constitutional Law should account for the role of the state courts and state constitutions, together with the federal courts and the federal constitution, in assessing the right balance of power among all branches of government. Taken together, both books reveal a remarkably complex, nuanced, ever-changing federalist system, one that ought to make lawyers and litigants pause before reflexively assuming that the United States Supreme Court alone has the answers to our vexing constitutional questions. William Domnarski is a longtime lawyer who before and during has been a literary guy, with a Ph.D. in English. He's written five books on judges, lawyers, and courts, two with Oxford, one with Illinois, one with Michigan, and one with the American Bar Association. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 8m
Aug 10
Ronald Meester and Klaas Slooten, "Probability and Forensic Evidence: Theory, Philosophy, and Applications" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

In Probability and Forensic Evidence: Theory, Philosophy, and Applications (Cambridge UP, 2021), Ronald Meester and Klaas Slooten address the role of statistics and probability in the evaluation of forensic evidence, including both theoretical issues and applications in legal contexts. It discusses what evidence is and how it can be quantified, how it should be understood, and how it is applied (and, sometimes misapplied). Ronald Meester is Professor in probability theory at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is co-author of the books Continuum Percolation (1996), A Natural Introduction to Probability Theory (2003), Random Networks for Communication (2008), and has written around 120 research papers on topics including percolation theory, ergodic theory, philosophy of science, and forensic probability. Klaas Slooten works as Statistician at the Netherlands Forensic Institute and at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where he is Professor by special appointment. He as published around 30 articles on forensic probability and statistics. He is interested in the mathematical, legal, and philosophical evaluation of evidence. Marc Goulet is Professor in mathematics and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 2m
Aug 09
John Callow, "The Last Witches of England: A Tragedy of Sorcery and Superstition" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

On the morning of Thursday 29 June 1682, a magpie came rasping, rapping and tapping at the window of a prosperous Devon merchant. Frightened by its appearance, his servants and members of his family had, within a matter of hours, convinced themselves that the bird was an emissary of the devil sent by witches to destroy the fabric of their lives. As the result of these allegations, three women of Bideford came to be forever defined as witches. A Secretary of State brushed aside their case and condemned them to the gallows; to hang as the last group of women to be executed in England for the crime. Yet, the hatred of their neighbours endured. For Bideford, it was said, was a place of witches. Though 'pretty much worn away' the belief in witchcraft still lingered on for more than a century after their deaths. In turn, ignored, reviled, and extinguished but never more than half-forgotten, it seems that the memory of these three women - and of their deeds and sufferings, both real and imagined – was transformed from canker to regret, and from regret into celebration in our own age. Indeed, their example was cited during the final Parliamentary debates, in 1951, that saw the last of the witchcraft acts repealed, and their names were chanted, as both inspiration and incantation, by the women beyond the wire at Greenham Common. In The Last Witches of England: A Tragedy of Sorcery and Superstition (Bloomsbury, 2021), Dr. John Callow explores this remarkable reversal of fate, and the remarkable tale of the Bideford Witches. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

56m
Aug 05
Maya Mikdashi, "Sextarianism: Sovereignty, Secularism, and the State in Lebanon" (Stanford UP, 2022)

The Lebanese state is structured through religious freedom and secular power sharing across sectarian groups. Every sect has specific laws that govern kinship matters like marriage or inheritance. Together with criminal and civil laws, these laws regulate and produce political difference. But whether women or men, Muslims or Christians, queer or straight, all people in Lebanon have one thing in common—they are biopolitical subjects forged through bureaucratic, ideological, and legal techniques of the state. With this book, Maya Mikdashi offers a new way to understand state power, theorizing how sex, sexuality, and sect shape and are shaped by law, secularism, and sovereignty. Drawing on court archives, public records, and ethnography of the Court of Cassation, the highest civil court in Lebanon, Mikdashi shows how political difference is entangled with religious, secular, and sexual difference. She presents state power as inevitably contingent, like the practices of everyday life it engenders, focusing on the regulation of religious conversion, the curation of legal archives, state and parastatal violence, and secular activism. Sextarianism: Sovereignty, Secularism, and the State in Lebanon (Stanford UP, 2022) locates state power in the experiences, transitions, uprisings, and violence that people in the Middle East continue to live. Maya Mikdashi is Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and a Lecturer in the Middle East Studies Program at Rutgers University. Alize Arıcan is an anthropologist whose research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, JOTSA, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 5m
Aug 04
Corey Robin, "The Enigma of Clarence Thomas" (Metropolitan Books, 2019)

Most people can tell you two things about Clarence Thomas: Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment, and he almost never speaks from the bench. Here are some things they don't know: Until Thomas went to law school, he was a black nationalist. In college he memorized the speeches of Malcolm X. He believes white people are incurably racist.  In The Enigma of Clarence Thomas (Metropolitan Books, 2019), Corey Robin--one of the foremost analysts of the right--delves deeply into both Thomas's biography and his jurisprudence, masterfully reading his Supreme Court opinions against the backdrop of his autobiographical and political writings and speeches. The hidden source of Thomas's conservative views, Robin argues, is a profound skepticism that racism can be overcome. Thomas is convinced that any government action on behalf of African-Americans will be tainted by this racism, and that the most African-Americans can hope for is that white people will get out of their way. There's a reason, Robin concludes, why liberals often complain that Thomas doesn't speak but seldom pay attention when he does. Were they to listen, they'd hear a racial pessimism that sounds shockingly similar to their own. Cutting across the ideological spectrum, this unacknowledged consensus about the impossibility of progress is key to understanding today's political stalemate. Corey Robin is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

58m
Aug 04
Matt Stoller, "Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy" (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

In Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy (Simon & Schuster, 2019), Matt Stoller explains how authoritarianism and populism have returned to American politics for the first time in eighty years, as the outcome of the 2016 election shook our faith in democratic institutions. It has brought to the fore dangerous forces that many modern Americans never even knew existed. Today's bitter recriminations and panic represent more than just fear of the future, they reflect a basic confusion about what is happening and the historical backstory that brought us to this moment. The true effects of populism, a shrinking middle class, and concentrated financial wealth are only just beginning to manifest themselves under the current administrations. The lessons of Stoller's study will only grow more relevant as time passes. "An engaging call to arms," (Kirkus Reviews) Stoller illustrates here in rich detail how we arrived at this tenuous moment, and the steps we must take to create a new democracy. Matt Stoller is the Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

53m
Aug 03
Lisa Ford, "The King's Peace: Law and Order in the British Empire" (Harvard UP, 2021)

Dr. Lisa Ford, Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, is the author of prize-winning monographs and a luminary in the field of global legal history. Her new book The King’s Peace: Law and Order in the British Empire (Harvard University Press, 2021) traces how a different kind of British empire emerged out of the global Age of Revolutions. The book’s case studies span the globe, illuminating how the gradual but unrelenting imposition of crown rule across the empire corroded the rights of British subjects, altered their relationship with sovereign power, and laid the foundations of the modern police state. In tracing the dramatic growth of colonial executive power and the increasing deployment of arbitrary policing and military violence, The King’s Peace offers important lessons on peacekeeping, sovereignty, and political subjectivity—lessons that can enrich contemporary debates over the imbalance between liberty and security. Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

45m
Aug 02
Paisley Currah, "Sex Is as Sex Does: Governing Transgender Identity" (NYU Press, 2022)

Every government agency in the United States, from Homeland Security to Departments of Motor Vehicles, has the authority to make its own rules for sex classification. Many transgender people find themselves in the bizarre situation of having different sex classifications on different documents. Whether you can change your legal sex to “F” or “M” (or more recently “X”) depends on what state you live in, what jurisdiction you were born in, and what government agency you’re dealing with. In Sex Is as Sex Does, noted transgender advocate and scholar Paisley Currah explores this deeply flawed system, showing why it fails transgender and non-binary people. Providing examples from different states, government agencies, and court cases, Prof. Currah explains how transgender people struggle to navigate this confusing and contradictory web of legal rules, definitions, and classifications. Unlike most gender scholars, who are concerned with what the concepts of sex and gender really mean, Prof. Currah is more interested in what the category of “sex” does for governments. What does “sex” do on our driver’s licenses, in how we play sports, in how we access health care, or in the bathroom we use? Why do prisons have very different rules than social service agencies? Why is there such resistance to people changing their sex designation? Or to dropping it from identity documents altogether? In this thought-provoking and original volume, Sex Is as Sex Does: Governing Transgender Identity (NYU Press, 2022) reveals the hidden logics that have governed sex classification policies in the United States and shows what the regulation of transgender identity can tell us about society’s approach to sex and gender writ large. Ultimately, Paisley Currah demonstrates that, because the difficulties transgender people face are not just the result of transphobia but also stem from larger injustices, an identity-based transgender rights movement will not, by itself, be up to the task of resolving them. Paisley Currah is Professor of Political Science and Women’s & Gender Studies at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

32m
Jul 29
International Association of Genocide Scholars

The International Association of Genocide Scholars is a global, interdisciplinary, non-partisan organization that seeks to further research and teaching about the nature, causes, and consequences of genocide, and advance policy studies on genocide prevention. The Association, founded in 1994, meets regularly to consider comparative research, important new work, case studies, the links between genocide and other human rights violations, and prevention and punishment of genocide. The Association holds biennial conferences and co-publishes the scholarly journal Genocide Studies and Prevention. Melanie O’Brien is Associate Professor of International Law at the UWA Law School, University of Western Australia. Dr. O'Brien's work on forced marriage has been cited by the International Criminal Court, and she has been an amicus curiae before the ICC. She has been an expert consultant for multiple UN bodies, and is widely consulted by global media for her expertise on international criminal law. She has conducted fieldwork and research across six continents. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

22m
Jul 29
Hawa Allan, "Insurrection: Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship" (Norton, 2022)

The little-known and under-studied 1807 Insurrection Act was passed to give the president the ability to deploy federal military forces to fend off lawlessness and rebellion, but it soon became much more than the sum of its parts. Its power is integrally linked to the perceived threat of black American equity in what lawyer and critic Hawa Allan demonstrates is a dangerous paradox. While the Act was initially used to repress rebellion against slavery, during Reconstruction it was invoked by President Grant to quell white-supremacist uprisings in the South. During the civil rights movement, it enabled the protection of black students who attended previously segregated educational institutions. Most recently, the Insurrection Act has been the vehicle for presidents to call upon federal troops to suppress so-called “race riots” like those in Los Angeles in 1992, and for them to threaten to do so in other cases of racial justice activism. Yet when the US Capitol was stormed in January 2021, the impulse to restore law and order and counter insurrectionary threats to the republic lay dormant. Allan’s distinctly literary voice underscores her paradigm-shifting reflections on the presence of fear and silence in history and their shadowy impact on the law. Throughout, she draws revealing insight from her own experiences as one of the only black girls in her leafy Long Island suburb, as a black lawyer at a predominantly white firm during a visit from presidential candidate Barack Obama, and as a thinker about the use and misuse of appeals to law and order. Elegant and profound, deeply researched and intensely felt, Insurrection: Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship (Norton, 2022) is necessary reading in our reckoning with structural racism, government power, and protest in the United States. Brittney Edmonds is an Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison. I specialize in 20th and 21st century African American Literature and Culture with a special interest in Black Humor Studies. Read more about my work at brittneymichelleedmonds.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 6m
Jul 29
Elisabeth R. Anker, "Ugly Freedom" (Duke UP, 2022)

Freedom is often considered the cornerstone of the American political project. The 1776 revolutionaries declared it an inalienable right that could neither be taken nor granted, a sacred concept upon which the nation was established. The concept and actualization of freedom are also to be defended by the state. However, when such a concept has been arrogated, litigated, and delegitimized by a state that ignores its very definition, the concept of freedom comes under critical examination. Political theorist Elisabeth R. Anker, Associate Professor of American Studies and Political Science at George Washington University, has a new book dissecting the core of this conception of freedom. Ugly Freedom (Duke UP, 2022) explores who defined and continues to define freedom, she also examines freedom’s rhetorical capacity, and thus its potential for weaponization. Anker illuminates how the tainted gestation of freedom birthed a status quo based on the individualistic and conditional conception of ‘freedom’ that has long been tangoing with white supremacy, colonialism, climate destruction, capitalism, and exploitation. Such a dance is by design and has been constant throughout U.S. history. Anker establishes that for democratic government to take hold in the United States, racial domination and violence transpired, limiting the freedoms of some individuals in order to establish a governmental system that is based, in theory, on protecting liberty and freedom. This is the kind of tension that Anker explains as “ugly freedom.” Thus, American freedom, our freedom, has embedded in it the role of colonialism, imperialism, enslavement, and land theft. The shocking stains of slavery produced freedom of prosperity and leisure for white people through direct dehumanization of Black and Brown people—this is what Anker is talking about within the concept of ugly freedom. This has also been manifested through more contemporary rhetoric regarding imperial wars like those in the Philippines, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, destroying infrastructure and lives in those countries for the capital prosperity of the imperial core. These ugly freedoms legitimize the economic exploitation of the masses in the name of individual success for the few. Thus, ugly freedom examines the acts of freedom that rely on violence and brutality—this challenges how we often imagine freedom to be. Ugly Freedom explores the connection between politics and aesthetics as well, taking up an array of historical events, political theories and concepts, different forms of art, televisual productions, poetry, music, and biology to illustrate the compounding violence of the few in the name of freedom. The cultural artifacts interrogated were controversial in their own right, and Anker explores them to help understand which kinds of freedom are worth fighting for and which kinds of freedom must be fought against. Through a critical lens, Anker shifts the perception of freedom to help restore justice to its foundational value—one that is less dependent on the individual or individual heroics, and more enveloping of the community and shared collaboration. Emma R. Handschke assisted in the production of this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is a professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 1m
Jul 28
Samantha Power on Hannah Arendt and Human Rights

In this episode from the Institute’s Vault, Samantha Power describes how Hannah Arendt influenced her thinking about politics and human rights. Power spoke during a two day symposium-- “Hannah Arendt Right Now”--which explored the philosopher’s impact on the 21st Century. The 2006 event was held on the hundredth anniversary of Arendt’s birth. Samantha Power was Barack Obama’s human rights adviser, and then served as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. She is the author of several books, including A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which won the 2003 Pulitzer prize. She is a professor of practice at Harvard’s Law School and Kennedy School. In the second half of the episode, Azar Nafisi responds to Power. Nafisi is best known for her 2003 book, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

48m
Jul 27
Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth, "It's Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022)

The protests of summer 2020 led to long-overdue reassessments of the legacy of racism and white supremacy in both American academe and cultural life more generally. But while universities have been willing to rename some buildings and schools or grapple with their role in the slave trade, no one has yet asked the most uncomfortable question: Does academic freedom extend to racist professors? It's Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2022) considers the ideal of academic freedom in the wake of the activism inspired by outrageous police brutality, white supremacy, and the #MeToo movement. Arguing that academic freedom must be rigorously distinguished from freedom of speech, Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth take aim at explicit defenses of colonialism and theories of white supremacy—theories that have no intellectual legitimacy whatsoever. Approaching this question from two angles—one, the question of when a professor's intramural or extramural speech calls into question his or her fitness to serve, and two, the question of how to manage the simmering tension between the academic freedom of faculty and the antidiscrimination initiatives of campus offices of diversity, equity, and inclusion—they argue that the democracy-destroying potential of social media makes it very difficult to uphold the traditional liberal view that the best remedy for hate speech is more speech. In recent years, those with traditional liberal ideals have had very limited effectiveness in responding to the resurgence of white supremacism in American life. It is time, Bérubé and Ruth write, to ask whether that resurgence requires us to rethink the parameters and practices of academic freedom. Touching as well on contingent faculty, whose speech is often inadequately protected, It's Not Free Speech insists that we reimagine shared governance to augment both academic freedom and antidiscrimination initiatives on campuses.  Michael Bérubé (interviewed here) is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature at Pennsylvania State University; Jennifer Ruth is a professor of film at Portland State University. Both have served in various roles within the American Association of University Professors, and also coauthored The Humanities, Higher Education, and Academic Freedom: Three Necessary Arguments (2015). Catriona Gold is a PhD candidate in Geography at University College London, researching security and mobility in the 20-21st century United States. Her current work concerns the US Passport Office's role in the Cold War. She can be reached by email or on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

41m
Jul 25
Exiled in America: About the Lives of Registered Sex Offenders

Before Darts and Letters there was a documentary series called Cited. This is one of those documentaries. This episode is about the lives of sex offenders in the USA. The researcher in this story, Chris Drum actually went and lived with sex offenders, so it’s a fascinating insight into life with some of the most reviled people in the country. This is the last of our “ideas in strange places” theme, next week our theme is “politics of education”, and we’ll be running episodes from our catalogue with a different theme each week until we launch the new season of Darts and Letters on September 18th. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too. ———-CREDITS———- This piece was produced by Gordon Katic and edited by Sam Fenn, as well as Alison Cooke of the CBC. Further support from Alexander B. Kim. Research advising from University of Washington Sociologist Katherine Beckett. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

34m
Jul 22
Prison Notebooks: Thinking (and Writing) about Incarceration

I can point you to mountains of research about prisons. I can also recommend at least a dozen Netflix documentaries, and highlight a handful of radical activists and scholars. There’s a lot of intellectual work done about prison. But what about intellectual work done in prison? As part of this week’s “ideas in strange places” theme, we want to play you this episode from right near when we started Darts and Letters, where we ask what kind of radical thought can come from the extreme oppression prisoners endure. We’ll be back with brand new episodes on September 18th, until then we’re replaying the best of our catalogue with a different theme each week. In Prison Notebooks… First, in the opening essay, host Gordon Katic discusses the long history of radical prison writing. From Thoreau to Gramsci, MLK, Oscar Wilde, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, and even Wittgenstein. Next (@5:36), Chandra Bozelko served 6 years, three months, and 11 days in a women’s prison in Connecticut. While inside, she started an award-winning newspaper column. She tells us what writing did for her while inside, and what everyday prison intellectualism really looks like. Then (@42:30), Justin Piché edits one of the most amazing academic journals you will ever come across. It’s called the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons. It has been around for over thirty years. In each and every edition, you will see brilliant scholarly work—it just so happens that this work is written by prisoners themselves. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too. —————————-CONTACT US————————- To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. If you’d like to write us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly. —————————-CREDITS—————————- This episode of Darts and Letters was produced by Jay Cockburn. Research and support from David Moscrop and Addye Susnick. Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, and our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 3m
Jul 21
Tara Watson and Kalee Thompson, "The Border Within: The Economics of Immigration in an Age of Fear" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

For decades, immigration has been one of the most divisive, contentious topics in American politics. And for decades, urgent calls for its policy reform have gone mostly unanswered. As the discord surrounding the modern immigration debate has intensified, border enforcement has tightened. Crossing harsher, less porous borders makes unauthorized entry to the United States a permanent, costly undertaking. And the challenges don't end on the other side. At once enlightening and devastating, The Border Within: The Economics of Immigration in an Age of Fear (U Chicago Press, 2021) examines the costs and ends of America's interior enforcement--the policies and agencies, including ICE, aimed at removing immigrants already living in the country. Economist Tara Watson and journalist Kalee Thompson pair rigorous analysis with deeply personal stories from immigrants and their families to assess immigration's effects on every aspect of American life, from the labor force to social welfare programs to tax revenue. What emerges is a critical, utterly complete examination of what non-native Americans bring to the country, including immigration's tendency to elevate the wages and skills of those who are native-born.d News coverage has prompted many to question the humanity of American immigration policies; The Border Within opens a conversation of whether it is effective. The United States spends billions each year on detention and deportation, all without economic gain and at a great human cost. With depth and discipline, the authors dissect the shock-and-awe policies that make up a broken, often cruel system, while illuminating the lives caught in the chaos. It is an essential work with far-reaching implications for immigrants and non-immigrants alike. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

32m
Jul 19
Willem Bart de Lint, "Blurring Intelligence Crime: A Critical Forensics" (Springer, 2022)

Willem Bart de Lint's Blurring Intelligence Crime: A Critical Forensics (Springer, 2022) explores the conundrum that political fortune is dependent both on social order and big, constitutive crime. An act of outrageous harm depends on rules and protocols of crime scene discovery and forensic recovery, but political authorities review events for a social agenda, so that crime is designated according to the relative absence or presence of politics. In investigating this problem, the book introduces the concepts 'intelligence crime' and 'critical forensics.' It also reviews as an exemplar of this phenomenon 'apex crime, ' a watershed event involving government in the support of a contested political and social order and its primary opponent as the obvious offender, which is then subject to a confirmation bias. Chapters feature case study analysis of a selection of familiar, high profile crimes in which the motives and actions of security or intelligence actors are considered as blurred or smeared depending on their interconnection in transactional political events, or according to friend/enemy status. Geert Slabbekoorn works as an analyst in the field of public security. In addition he has published on different aspects of dark web drug trade in Belgium. Find him on twitter, tweeting all things drug related @GeertJS. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

57m
Jul 15
Asim Qureshi, "I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting Racism in Times of National Security" (Manchester UP, 2020)

In times of heightened national security, scholars and activists from the communities under suspicion often attempt to alert the public to the more complex stories behind the headlines. But when they raise questions about the government, military and police policy, these individuals are routinely shut down and accused of being terrorist sympathizers or apologists. In such environments, there is immense pressure to condemn what society at large fears.  I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting Racism in Times of National Security (Manchester University Press, 2021) explains how the expectation to condemn has emerged, tracking it against the normalization of racism, and explores how writers manage to subvert expectations as part of their commitment to anti-racism. In my conversation with the collection’s editor, Asim Qureshi, Research Director of CAGE, an independent advocacy organization, we discuss the culture of condemnation and the presumption of guilt, its psychological and physiological impacts, issues of trauma, white supremacy and racism as a system of power, structural racism’s relationship to national security, Prevent and countering violent extremism programs, cultural representation, the role of artists and performers, the afterlife of one’s work or art, and advocacy to dismantle anti-Muslim racism. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 6m
Jul 15
Jamie Susskind, "The Digital Republic: On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century" (Pegasus Books, 2022)

From one of the leading intellectuals of the digital age, The Digital Republic: On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century (Pegasus Books, 2022) is the definitive guide to the great political question of our time: how can freedom and democracy survive in a world of powerful digital technologies? A Financial Times “Book to Read” in 2022. Not long ago, the tech industry was widely admired, and the internet was regarded as a tonic for freedom and democracy. Not anymore. Every day, the headlines blaze with reports of racist algorithms, data leaks, and social media platforms festering with falsehood and hate. In The Digital Republic, acclaimed author Jamie Susskind argues that these problems are not the fault of a few bad apples at the top of the industry. They are the result of our failure to govern technology properly. The Digital Republic charts a new course. It offers a plan for the digital age: new legal standards, new public bodies and institutions, new duties on platforms, new rights and regulators, new codes of conduct for people in the tech industry. Inspired by the great political essays of the past, and steeped in the traditions of republican thought, it offers a vision of a different type of society: a digital republic in which human and technological flourishing go hand in hand. Jamie Susskind is a barrister and the author of the award-winning bestseller Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech (Oxford University Press, 2018), which received the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize 2019, and was an Evening Standard and Prospect Book of the Year. He has fellowships at Harvard and Cambridge and currently lives in London. Austin Clyde is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago Department of Computer Science. He researches artificial intelligence and high-performance computing for developing new scientific methods. He is also a visiting research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Science, Technology, and Society program, where my research addresses the intersection of artificial intelligence, human rights, and democracy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

42m
Jul 11
Reshaping the Politics of Science: Bioscience Governance in Indonesia

The last few years have brought to the fore the brilliant work of scientists as they worked to find a vaccine for Covid-19. But have you ever stopped to think about the role of biological materials in this and other science- and health-related research? In this episode of SSEAC Stories, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Associate Professor Sonja van Wichelen to take a close look at the complex world of global health governance, with a particular focus on biotechnology and bioscience governance in Indonesia. They discuss the crucial role of biological materials exchange for scientific research, what rules govern their use, and the history of inequality that has underpinned scientific use of biological materials. Taking Indonesia’s recent efforts to gain leverage in the uneven space of the global bioeconomy, they explore how bioscience governance mechanisms can perpetuate, or sometimes help address, global power inequalities in the way biological material is used. About Sonja van Wichelen: Sonja van Wichelen is Associate Professor with the School for Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. She researches the social implications of biotechnology and law and has focused on reproductive technologies in previous projects. More recently she is examining bioscience governance in Southeast Asia. Focusing on Indonesia, she is particularly interested in the relationship between regulatory frameworks and global inequality. She is the author of Legitimating Life: Adoption in the Age of Globalization and Biotechnology (Rutgers University Press, 2019), and Religion, Gender, and Politics in Indonesia: Disputing the Muslim Body (Routledge, 2010). For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

24m
Jul 08
B. J. Crawford and E. G. Waldman, "Menstruation Matters: Challenging the Law's Silence on Periods" (NYU Press, 2022)

Approximately half the population menstruates for a large portion of their lives, but the law is mostly silent about the topic. Until recently, most people would have said that periods are private matters not to be discussed in public. But the last few years have seen a new willingness among advocates and allies of all ages to speak openly about periods. Slowly around the globe, people are recognizing the basic fundamental human right to address menstruation in a safe and affordable way, free of stigma, shame, or barriers to access. In Menstruation Matters: Challenging the Law’s Silence on Periods (NYU Press, 2022), Dr. Bridget Crawford and Dr. Emily Gold Waldman explore the role of law in this movement. They ask what the law currently says about menstruation (spoiler alert: not much) and provides a roadmap for legal reform that can move society closer to a world where no one is held back or disadvantaged by menstruation. The book examines these issues in a wide range of contexts, from schools to workplaces to prisons to tax policies and more. Ultimately, they seek to transform both law and society so that menstruation is no longer an obstacle to full participation in all aspects of public and private life. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

47m
Jul 08
Lucia M. Rafanelli, "Promoting Justice Across Borders: The Ethics of Reform Intervention" (Oxford UP, 2021)

In her new book, Promoting Justice Across Borders: The Ethics of Reform Intervention (Oxford UP, 2021) political scientist Lucia M. Rafanelli develops an ethical theory of global reform intervention, arguing that new theories are necessary as increasing global interconnection continues and expands around the world. Rafanelli classifies global reform intervention as any attempt to promote justice in a society other than one’s own. This loose definition means that there are several variations of these actions: the degree of control held by the interveners; how interveners interact with recipients; existing political institutions; the context surrounding the action, and the risks intervention poses to the recipients of that intervention. Promoting Justice Across Borders argues that there are components within these dimensions that pollute the moral permissibility of reform intervention. Once the malleability of these actions becomes evident, it also becomes clear that there are ethical ways to go about (and not go about) such an action. When studying examples of reform interventions, it is clear that there are some interveners who disrespect and essentially ignore the recipients and treat them with intolerance. But not all interveners treat recipients this way, many treat the recipients of intervention with respect for the legitimate political institutions, working to establish collective self-determination, thus providing a blueprint for moral action. It is through these particular examples that Rafanelli creates an ethical framework through which reform intervention is analyzed with the goal of global justice. Promoting Justice Across Borders combines philosophical analysis of justice and morality with a case-by-case investigation of real-life events, in an attempt to identify which kinds of reform intervention are not subject to ethical objection. The analysis redefines the ordinary boundaries of global politics with the values of toleration, legitimacy, and collective self-determination. Rafanelli explains how vital it is for interveners to avoid subjecting recipients to neocolonial power dynamics or making their institutions more responsive to the intervener’s interests at the expense of the recipient’s interests in order to maintain this framework of global collectivism. A qualification of reform intervention is not to undermine the self-determination of the recipients; in fact, it may bolster it and re-affirm the recipient’s independence in the name of justice. Promoting such justice, unfortunately, takes place in a non-ideal world, and Rafanelli discusses how these theories can be put into practice in this context. To prevent negative consequences from the most well-principled interventions, diverse global oversight of such actions is an important component of the process, as well as ensuring that interveners favor interventions where they exert less rather than more control over recipients. Priority must be given to interventions that challenge current and historical power hierarchies. Humanity’s collective purpose of pursuing justice can be reshaped and better applied according to the analysis in Promoting Justice Across Borders, but the approach and process needs to be reconfigured to avoid reinscribing past problematic applications of these reform interventions. Emma R. Handschke assisted in the production of this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is a professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

41m
Jul 07
Adam Hanna, "Poetry, Politics, and the Law in Modern Ireland" (Syracuse UP, 2022)

Dr. Adam Hanna’s Poetry, Politics, and the Law in Modern Ireland (Syracuse University Press, 2022) is a richly detailed exploration of how modern Irish poetry has been shaped by, and responded to, the laws, judgments, and constitutions of both of the island’s jurisdictions. Focusing on poets’ responses in their writing to such contentious legal issues as partition, censorship, paramilitarism, and the curtailment of women’s reproductive and other rights, this volume is the first in the growing field of law and literature to monograph exclusively on modern Ireland. Dr. Hanna unpacks the legal engagements of both major and non-canonical poets from every decade between the 1920s and the present day, including Rhoda Coghill, Austin Clarke, Paul Durcan, Elaine Feeney, Miriam Gamble, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Kinsella, Paula Meehan, Julie Morrissy, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and W. B. Yeats. Poetry from the time of independence onward has been shaped by two opposing forces. On the one hand, the Irish public has traditionally had strong expectations that poets offer a dissenting counter-discourse to official sources of law. On the other hand, poets have more recently expressed skepticism about the ethics of speaking for others and about the adequacy of art in performing a public role. Dr. Hanna’s fascinating study illuminates the poetry that arises from these antithetical modern conditions. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 5m
Jul 07
Pallavi Banerjee, "The Opportunity Trap: High-Skilled Workers, Indian Families, and the Failures of the Dependent Visa Program" (NYU Press, 2022)

The Opportunity Trap: High-Skilled Workers, Indian Families, and the Failures of the Dependent Visa Program (NYU Press, 2022) is the first book to look at the impact of the H-4 dependent visa programs on women and men visa holders in Indian families in America. Comparing two distinct groups of Indian immigrant families -families of male high-tech workers and female nurses-Pallavi Banerjee reveals how visa policies that are legally gender and race neutral in fact have gendered and racialized ramifications for visa holders and their spouses. Drawing on interviews with fifty-five Indian couples, Banerjee highlights the experiences of high-skilled immigrants as they struggle to cope with visa laws, which forbid their spouses from working paid jobs. She examines how these unfair restrictions destabilize-if not completely dismantle-families, who often break under this marital, financial, and emotional stress. Banerjee shows us, through the eyes of immigrants themselves, how the visa process strips them of their rights, forcing them to depend on their spouses and the government in fundamentally challenging ways. The Opportunity Trap provides a critical look at our visa system, underscoring how it fails immigrant families. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1h 14m
Jul 06
Leila Neti, "Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Situated at the intersection of law and literature, nineteenth-century studies and post-colonialism, Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination (Cambridge UP, 2021) draws on original archival research to shed new light on Victorian literature. Each chapter explores the relationship between the shared cultural logic of law and literature, and considers how this inflected colonial sociality. Leila Neti approaches the legal archive in a distinctly literary fashion, attending to nuances of voice, character, diction and narrative, while also tracing elements of fact and procedure, reading the case summaries as literary texts to reveal the common turns of imagination that motivated both fictional and legal narratives. What emerges is an innovative political analytic for understanding the entanglements between judicial and cultural norms in Britain and the colony, bridging the critical gap in how law and literature interact within the colonial arena. Leila Neti is an associate professor of English at Occidental College, Los Angeles.   Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

58m
Jul 06
Legal Regulation of Drugs

Carl Hart speaks with Kim about America’s punitive drug laws, and how we might change them for the better. He argues that we should legalize and regulate the sale of all drugs, in the same way we regulate the sale of alcohol, to improve the health, equity, and liberty of our society. Dr. Hart is a professor of behavioral neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. You can learn how his scientific research in Neuropsychopharmacology relates to the politics of human experience in his new book Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear (Penguin Random House 2021). Image: Creative Commons Music used for promotional material: ‘A Better Tomorrow’ by astrofreq Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

14m
Jul 05
Jason D. Spraitz and Kendra N. Bowen, "Institutional Sexual Abuse in the #metoo Era" (Southern Illinois UP, 2021)

In Institutional Sexual Abuse in the #metoo Era (Southern Illinois UP, 2021), editors Jason D. Spraitz and Kendra N. Bowen bring together the work of contributors in the fields of criminal justice and criminology, sociology, journalism, and communications. These chapters show #MeToo is not only a support network of victims’ voices and testimonies but also a revolutionary interrogation of policies, power imbalances, and ethical failures that resulted in decades-long cover-ups and institutions structured to ensure continued abuse. This book reveals #MeToo as so much more than a hashtag. Contributors discuss how #MeToo has altered the landscape of higher education; detail a political history of sexual abuse in the United States and the UK; discuss a recent grand jury report about religious institutions; and address the foster care and correctional systems. Hollywood instances are noted for their fear of retaliation among victims and continued accolades for alleged abusers. In sports, contributors examine the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the abuse by Larry Nassar. Advertising and journalism are scrutinized for covering the #MeToo disclosures while dealing with their own scandals. Finally, social media platforms are investigated for harassment and threats of violent victimization. Drawing on the general framework of the #MeToo Movement, contributors look at complex and very different institutions—athletics, academia, religion, politics, justice, childcare, social media, and entertainment. Contributors include revelatory case studies to ensure we hear the victims’ voices; bring to light the complicity and negligence of social institutions; and advocate for systemic solutions to institutional sexual abuse, violence, and harassment. Jeannette Cockroft is an associate professor of history and political science at Schreiner University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

57m
Jul 01
Anna Sergi et al., "Ports, Crime and Security: Governing and Policing Seaports in a Changing World" (Bristol UP, 2021)

The COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and the US-China trade dispute have heightened interest in the geopolitics and security of modern ports. Ports are where contemporary societal dilemmas converge: the (de)regulation of international flows; the (in)visible impact of globalization; the perennial tension between trade and security; and the thin line between legitimate, illicit and illegal. Applying a multidisciplinary lens to the political economy of port security, Ports, Crime and Security: Governing and Policing Seaports in a Changing World (Bristol UP, 2021) presents a unique outlook on the social, economic and political factors that shape organized crime and governance. Advancing the research agenda, this text bridges the divide between global and local, and theory and practice. Geert Slabbekoorn works as an analyst in the field of public security. In addition he has published on different aspects of dark web drug trade in Belgium. Find him on twitter, tweeting all things drug related @GeertJS. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

55m
Jul 01