Yoweri Museveni battled to power in 1986. His government has impressed many observers as Uganda’s most innovative since it gained independence from Britain in 1962. The Economist recommended it as a model for other African states struggling to develop their resources in the best interests of their peoples.
But where was change to start? At the bottom in building resistance committees, or at the top in tough negotiations with the IMF? How was it to continue? Was it in the restructuring of the national army, in increasing respect for human rights, in the reform of education, in tackling AIDS, or in getting Ugandans to speak a common language? Was it in building more viable survival strategies for the poorest Ugandans or in restructuring the national constitution? The last five years have shown a radical approach to Uganda’s dilemmas.
Holger Bernt Hansen and Michael Twaddle previously edited Uganda Now. It was brought together at a significant moment just as President Museveni was gaining power in 1985-6. It was so much in demand that it even entered the magendo market on the streets of Kampala. The book, which is still in print, was described by The Canadian Journal of African Studies as ‘virtually a mini-encyclopedia of Uganda’ and by The African Studies Review as ‘the best overview of Uganda’s trauma in the last two decades.’
The editors have assembled another team of Ugandan and international scholars to review the dilemmas of introducing revolutionary changes in an African country deeply affected by structural adjustment plans which have been imposed from outside.
Desert Mementos is a collection of loosely connected short stories set during the early stages of the Iraq War (2004 and 2005). The stories rotate from battles with insurgents and the drudgery of the war machine in Iraq to Nevada, where characters are either preparing for war, escaping it during their leave, or returning home having seen what they’ve seen.
Cage captures similarities in the respective desert landscapes of both Iraq and Nevada, but it is not just a study in contrasting landscapes. The inter-connected stories explore similarities and differences in human needs from the perspectives of vastly different cultures. Specifically, the stories deftly capture the overlap in the respective desert landscapes of each region, the contrasting cultures and worldviews, and the common need for hope. Taken together, the stories represent the arc of a year-long deployment by young soldiers. Cage’s stories are bound together by the soldier’s searing experiences in the desert, bookended by leaving and returning home to Nevada, which in many ways can be just as disorienting as patrolling the Iraq desert.
Hölger Bernt Hansen Ohio University Press, 1998 Library of Congress HC870.D48 1998 | Dewey Decimal 338.96761
Uganda's recovery since Museveni came to power in 1986 has been one of the heartening achievements in a continent where the media have given intense coverage to disasters. This book assesses the question of whether the reality lives up to the image that has so impressed the supporters of its recovery. What has actually happened? How successful have the reforms been thus far? What are the prospects for Uganda's future?
Essays by the top scholars in the Weld span the breadth of the issue, from Uganda's growth out of poverty to development at the grass roots level. Developing Uganda replaces the myth and misinformation the last decade has witnessed with a realistic scrutiny by those who have studied it with care and caution.
Evolving Iran presents an overview of how the politics and policy decisions in the Islamic Republic of Iran have developed since the 1979 revolution and how they are likely to evolve in the near future. Despite the fact that the revolution ushered in a theocracy, its political system has largely tended to prioritize self-interest and pragmatism over theology and religious values, while continuing to reinvent itself in the face of internal and international threats.
The author also examines the prospects for democratization in Iran. Since the early years of the twentieth century, Iranians have attempted to make their political system more democratic, yet various attempts to produce a system where citizens have a meaningful voice in political decisions have failed. This book argues that greater democratization is unlikely to occur in the short term, especially in light of increased threats from the international community.
This accessible overview of Iran’s political system covers a broad array of subjects, including foreign policy, human rights, women’s struggle for equality, the development and evolution of elections, and the institutions of the political system including the Revolutionary Guards and Assembly of Experts. It will appeal to undergraduates and the general public who seek to understand a country and regime that has mystified Westerners for decades.
In 1979, toward the end of the Cold War era, Nicaragua's Sandinista movement emerged on the world stage claiming to represent a new form of socialism. Gendered Scenarios of Revolution is a historical ethnography of Sandinista state formation from the perspective of El Tule-a peasant village that was itself thrust onto a national and international stage as a "model" Sandinista community. This book follows the villagers´ story as they joined the Sandinista movement, performed revolution before a world audience, and grappled with the lessons of this experience in the neoliberal aftermath.
Employing an approach that combines political economy and cultural analysis, Montoya argues that the Sandinistas collapsed gender contradictions into class ones, and that as the Contra War exacerbated political and economic crises in the country, the Sandinistas increasingly ruled by mandate as vanguard party instead of creating the participatory democracy that they professed to work toward. In El Tule this meant that even though the Sandinistas created new roles and possibilities for women and men, over time they upheld pre-revolutionary patriarchal social structures. Yet in showing how the revolution created opportunities for Tuleños to assert their agency and advance their interests, even against the Sandinistas´ own interests, this book offers a reinterpretation of the revolution´s supposed failure.
Examining this community’s experience in the Sandinista and post-Sandinista periods offers perspective on both processes of revolutionary transformation and their legacies in the neoliberal era. Gendered Scenarios of Revolution will engage graduate and undergraduate students and scholars in anthropology, sociology, history, and women’s and gender studies, and appeal to anyone interested in modern revolution and its aftermath.
"History repeats itself, but it never repeats itself exactly," observes Douglas Porpora in this powerful indictment of U.S. intervention in Central America. Comparing the general public’s reaction to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany with American public opinion of U.S. participation in the genocidal policies of Nicaraguan counter-revolutionary forces, and the governments of Guatemala and El Salvador among others, Porpora demonstrates that moral indifference to the suffering of others was the common response. With reference to Hannah Arendt’s thesis of the banality of evil, he develops the concept of a "Holocaust-like event" and examines how even a democratic society can be capable of something on the order of a Holocaust.
Unlike other accounts of the Holocaust and genocide, this book focuses on the citizenry served or ruled by genocidal governments rather than on the governments themselves. Porpora argues that moral indifference and lack of interest in critical reflection are key factors that enable Holocaust-like events to happen And he characterizes American society as being typically indifferent to the fate of other people, uninformed, and anti-intellectual.
Porpora cites numerous horrifying examples of U.S.-backed Latin American government actions against their own peasants, Indians, and dissident factions. He offers finally a theory of public moral indifference and argues that although such indifference is socially created by government, the media, churches, and other institutions, we, the public, must ultimately take responsibility for it. How Holocausts Happen is at once a scholarly examination of the nature of genocide and a stinging indictment of American society.
Abducted at the age of eleven, Evelyn Amony spent nearly eleven years inside the Lord’s Resistance Army, becoming a forced wife to Joseph Kony and mother to his children. She takes the reader into the inner circles of LRA commanders and reveals unprecedented personal and domestic details about Joseph Kony. Her account unflinchingly conveys the moral difficulties of choosing survival in a situation fraught with violence, threat, and death.
Amony was freed following her capture by the Ugandan military. Despite the trauma she endured with the LRA, Amony joined a Ugandan peace delegation to the LRA, trying to convince Kony to end the war that had lasted more than two decades. She recounts those experiences, as well as the stigma she and her children faced when she returned home as an adult.
This extraordinary testimony shatters stereotypes of war-affected women, revealing the complex ways that Amony navigated life inside the LRA and her current work as a human rights advocate to make a better life for her children and other women affected by war.
Best books for public & secondary school libraries from university presses, American Library Association
Journalist Jonathan Cook explores Israel’s key role in persuading the Bush administration to invade Iraq, as part of a plan to remake the Middle East, and their joint determination to isolate Iran and prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons that might rival Israel’s own.
This concise and clearly argued book makes the case that Israel's desire to be the sole regional power in the Middle East neatly chimed with Bush’s objectives in the “war on terror”.
Examining a host of related issues, from the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to the role of Big Oil and the demonisation of the Arab world, Cook argues that the current chaos in the Middle East is the objective of the Bush administration – a policy that is equally beneficial to Israel.
Jordan Peele’s Get Out: Political Horror is a collection of sixteen essays devoted to exploring Get Out’s roots in the horror tradition and its complex and timely commentary on twenty-first-century US race relations. The first section, “The Politics of Horror,” traces the influence of the gothic and horror tradition on Peele’s film, from Shakespeare’s Othello, through the female gothic and Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, to the modern horror film, including the zombie, rural, suburban, and body-swap subgenres of horror. The second section, “The Horror of Politics,” takes up Get Out’s varied political interventions—notably its portrayal of the continuation of slavery and the deformation of the black body and mind in white, so-called progressive America. Contributors address Peele’s film alongside African American figures such as Nat Turner, W. E. B. Du Bois, and James Baldwin. Taken together, the essays illuminate how Get Out stands as both a groundbreaking intervention in the horror tradition as well as a devastating unmasking of racism in the contemporary United States.
Media Power in Central America
Rick Rockwell and Noreene Janus University of Illinois Press, 2003 Library of Congress P95.82.C35R63 2003 | Dewey Decimal 302.2309728
Media Power in Central America explores the political and cultural interplay between the media and those in power in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Nicaragua. Highlighting the subtle strangulation of opposition media voices in the region, the authors show how the years since the guerrilla wars have not yielded the free media systems that some had expected.
Rick Rockwell and Noreene Janus examine the region country by country and deal with the specific conditions of government-sponsored media repression, economic censorship, corruption, and consumer trends that shape the political landscape. Challenging the notion of the media as a democratizing force, Media Power in Central America shows how governments use the media to block democratic reforms and outlines the difficulties of playing watchdog to rulers who use the media as a tool of power.
The Moon in Your Sky: An Immigrant’s Journey Home brings to life the remarkable story of Annah Emuge. Growing up in Uganda under the rule of Idi Amin, Annah and her peers faced hardships few of us can imagine, living with the constant threat of soldiers breaking into their homes, raiding and pillaging as they pleased.
Annah found strength in her relationship with her mother, Esther, and in her relationship with God. Esther encouraged Annah to educate herself and “go out into the world.” Annah’s faith led her to James, an evangelical preacher who became her husband. The two left Uganda for the United States when James received a scholarship to study at Ohio University, only to be stranded there with two small children when the Ugandan government collapsed. The loss of his dreams, along with the realities of American life for African immigrants, proved to be more than James could withstand, and he succumbed to alcoholism.
How Annah overcame the trials she endured in the land she had thought would hold only promise for her and her family is a riveting story of perseverance that will inspire any reader. Annah’s sorrows give depth to the great joys she experiences as she not only survives but triumphs, working to make both of her countries better places.
My Car in Managua
By Forrest D. Colburn University of Texas Press, 1991 Library of Congress F1524.3.C65 1991 | Dewey Decimal 972.85053
Histories of revolutions often focus on military, political, or economic upheavals but sometimes neglect to connect these larger events to the daily lives of "ordinary" people. Yet the peoples' perception that "things are worse than before" can topple revolutionary governments, as shown by the recent defeat of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and the governments of Eastern Europe. Providing the kind of prosaic, revealing details that more formal histories have excluded, My Car in Managua offers an objective, often humorous description of the great difficulties and occasional pleasures of life in Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution. During a year's work (1985-1986) at the Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas (INCAE), Forrest Colburn purchased a dilapidated car—and with it an introduction to everyday life in Nicaragua. His discoveries of the length of time required to register the car (approximately six weeks), the impossibility of finding spare parts (except when U.S. dollars were applied to the search), and the fact that "anyone getting into a car in Managua can be charged a small fee [for car watching] by anyone else" all suggest the difficulties most Nicaraguans faced living in a devastated economy. Drawing on experiences from visits throughout the revolutionary period (1979-1989), Colburn also sheds light on how the Revolution affected social customs and language, gender roles and family relationships, equality and authority, the availability of goods and services, the status of ethnic minorities, and governmental and other institutions. Illustrations by Nicaragua's celebrated political cartoonist Róger Sánchez Flores enliven the lucid text.
A comprehensive analysis of the U.S. Central America peace movement, Resisting Reagan explains why more than one hundred thousand U.S. citizens marched in the streets, illegally housed refugees, traveled to Central American war zones, committed civil disobedience, and hounded their political representatives to contest the Reagan administration's policy of sponsoring wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Focusing on the movement's three most important national campaigns—Witness for Peace, Sanctuary, and the Pledge of Resistance—this book demonstrates the centrality of morality as a political motivator, highlights the importance of political opportunities in movement outcomes, and examines the social structuring of insurgent consciousness. Based on extensive surveys, interviews, and research, Resisting Reagan makes significant contributions to our understanding of the formation of individual activist identities, of national movement dynamics, and of religious resources for political activism.
In the early 1970s, the Khmer Rouge had become suspicious of communist Vietnam and began to persecute Cambodian ethnic groups who had ties to the country, including the Brao Amba in the northeast. Many fled north as political refugees, and some joined the Vietnamese effort to depose the Khmer Rouge a few years later. The subsequent ten-year occupation is remembered by many Cambodians as a time of further oppression, but this volume reveals an unexpected dimension of this troubled past. Trusted by the Vietnamese, the Brao were installed in positions of great authority in the new government only to gradually lose their influence when Vietnam withdrew from Cambodia.
Based on detailed research and interviews, Ian G. Baird documents this golden age of the Brao, including the voices of those who are too frequently omitted from official records. Rise of the Brao challenges scholars to look beyond the prevailing historical narratives to consider the nuanced perspectives of peripheral or marginal regions.
Behind the bloody acts of terrorism, the mobs chanting with upraised fists, the backroom and front-page politics in the Middle East, stand powerful religious leaders cloaked in mystery and fanaticism. Spokesmen for the Despised lifts the veils, presenting eight vivid portraits of fundamentalist leaders who have turned their charismatic religious authority to powerful political ends.
The deeds of the men profiled in this book make history and headlines, whether through the anti-American rhetoric of the late Iranian revolutionary, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; the violent acts of Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shi'ite movement headed by Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah; or the group of Jewish rabbis who appear to have inspired the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. No one better exemplifies this history-making than Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, who from his Israeli jail cell continues to influence Hamas's efforts to eliminate both Israel and the PLO. Also featured are the spiritual guides of the radical Jewish settler movement Gush Emunim, the Sudanese sponsor of "the Islamic Awakening," the preacher who inflamed Upper Egypt, and the ideological leader of the Zionist International Christian Embassy.
These riveting biographies include interviews with true believers and bitter opponents, and in several cases with the subjects themselves, carefully placing the lives of these charismatic leaders in the contexts of their religious traditions and their varied social, political, and religious settings. Spokesmen for the Despised is an essential volume for anyone wishing to understand the relationship between religion and politics in the Middle East.
Contributors: Ziad Abu Amr, Gideon Aran, Yaakov Ariel, Daniel Brumberg, Patrick D. Gaffney, Samuel Heilman, Martin Kramer, and Judith Miller
Can the revolutionary government of Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement put Uganda back on the road from decay to development?
These informed assessments put the present situation in context. The contributors assembled as Museveni’s guerrillas were launching their final bid for power. They have finalized their contributions in the light of the Museveni government’s initial period of power.
Contributions by Ugandan academics and politicians interlock with those by scholars from across the world who have a concern for Uganda. Historians examine the period of colonialism. There are political studies of the quarter century since independence. There are detailed analyses of the economic realities for the Ugandan government in the period of international debt. The central role of education in national development is given due prominence.
Ali A. Mazrui ends the book by asking ‘Is Africa Decaying?’ The editors have put the consideration of the case of Uganda’s recent history within the context of Africa’s development crisis. Uganda has presented in an aggravated form the crisis common to many other African countries: infrastructural breakdown, mounting foreign debt, military regimes and waves of refugees.
Why do some countries progress while others stagnate? Why does adversity strengthen some countries and weaken others? Indeed, in this era of unprecedented movement of people, goods, and ideas, just what constitutes a nation-state? Forrest Colburn and Arturo Cruz suggest how fundamental these questions are through an exploration of the evolution of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica over the last quarter of a century, a period of intriguing, often confounding, paradoxes in Central America’s development.Offering an elegant defense of empiricism, Colburn and Cruz explore the roles of geography and political choice in constructing nations and states. Countries are shown to be unique: there are a daunting number of variables. There is causality, but not the kind that can be revealed in the laboratory or on the blackboard. Liberalism—today defined as democracy and unfettered markets—may be in vogue, but it has no inherent determinants. Democracy and market economies, when welded to the messy realities of individual countries, are compatible with many different outcomes. The world is more pluralistic in both causes and effects than either academic theories or political rhetoric suggest.
When costly efforts to cement a strategic partnership with the Soviet Union failed, the combined political pressure of economic crisis at home and imminent external threats posed by a Sino-Cambodian alliance compelled Hanoi to reverse course. Moving away from the Marxist-Leninist ideology that had prevailed during the last decade of the Cold War era, the Vietnamese government implemented broad doi moi ("renovation") reforms intended to create a peaceful regional environment for the country's integration into the global economy.
In contrast to earlier studies, Path traces the moving target of these changing policy priorities, providing a vital addition to existing scholarship on asymmetric wartime decision-making and alliance formation among small states. The result uncovers how this critical period had lasting implications for the ways Vietnam continues to conduct itself on the global stage.
During the 1990s, both the United States and Britain shifted from entitlement to work-based systems for supporting their poor citizens. Much research has examined the implications of welfare reform for the economic well-being of the poor, but the new legislation also affects our view of democracy—and how it ought to function. By eliminating entitlement and setting behavioral conditions on aid, welfare reform challenges our understanding of citizenship, political equality, and the role of the state. In Welfare Reform and Political Theory, editors Lawrence Mead and Christopher Beem have assembled an accomplished list of political theorists, social policy experts, and legal scholars to address how welfare reform has affected core concepts of political theory and our understanding of democracy itself. Welfare Reform and Political Theory is unified by a common set of questions. The contributors come from across the political spectrum, each bringing different perspectives to bear. Carole Pateman argues that welfare reform has compromised the very tenets of democracy by tying the idea of citizenship to participation in the marketplace. But William Galston writes that American citizenship has in some respects always been conditioned on good behavior; work requirements continue that tradition by promoting individual responsibility and self-reliance—values essential to a well-functioning democracy. Desmond King suggests that work requirements draw invidious distinctions among citizens and therefore destroy political equality. Amy Wax, on the other hand, contends that ending entitlement does not harm notions of equality, but promotes them, by ensuring that no one is rewarded for idleness. Christopher Beem argues that entitlement welfare served a social function—acknowledging the social value of care—that has been lost in the movement towards conditional benefits. Stuart White writes that work requirements can be accepted only subject to certain conditions, while Lawrence Mead argues that concerns about justice must be addressed only after recipients are working. Alan Deacon is well to the left of Joel Schartz, but both say government may actively promote virtue through social policy—a stance some other contributors reject. The move to work-centered welfare in the 1990s represented not just a change in government policy, but a philosophical change in the way people perceived government, its functions, and its relationship with citizens. Welfare Reform and Political Theory offers a long overdue theoretical reexamination of democracy and citizenship in a workfare society.