Can—or should—the United States try to promote reform in client states in the Third World? This question, which reverberates through American foreign policy, is at the heart of Adventures in Chaos. A faltering friendly state, in danger of falling to hostile forces, presents the U.S. with three options: withdraw, bolster the existing government, or try to reform it. Douglas Macdonald defines the circumstances that call these policy options into play, combining an analysis of domestic politics in the U. S., cognitive theories of decision making, and theories of power relations drawn from sociology, economics, and political science.He examines the conditions that promote the reformist option and then explores strategies for improving the success of reformist intervention in the future. In order to identify problems in this policy—and to propose solutions—Macdonald focuses on three case studies of reformist intervention in Asia: China, 1946-1948; the Philippines, 1950-1953; and Vietnam, 1961-1963. Striking similarities in these cases suggest that such policy dilemmas are a function of the global role played by the U.S., especially during the Cold War. Though this role is changing, Macdonald foresees future applications for the lessons his study offers.A challenge to the conventional wisdom on reformist intervention, Adventures in Chaos—through extensive archival research—displays a theoretical and historical depth often lacking in treatments of the subject.
Written by social scientists and historians, these essays investigate various aspects of American colonial government through comparison with and contextualization within colonial regimes elsewhere in the world—from British Malaysia and Dutch Indonesia to Japanese Taiwan and America's other major overseas colony, Puerto Rico. Contributors explore the program of political education in the Philippines; constructions of nationalism, race, and religion; the regulation of opium; connections to politics on the U.S. mainland; and anticolonial resistance. Tracking the complex connections, circuits, and contests across, within, and between empires that shaped America's colonial regime, The American Colonial State in the Philippines sheds new light on the complexities of American imperialism and turn-of-the-century colonialism.
Contributors. Patricio N. Abinales, Donna J. Amoroso, Paul Barclay, Vince Boudreau, Anne L. Foster, Julian Go, Paul A. Kramer
American Empire and the Politics of Meaning is an examination of how these efforts to provide the elite of Puerto Rico and the Philippines a practical education in self-government played out on the ground in the early years of American colonial rule, from 1898 until 1912. It is the first systematic comparative analysis of these early exercises in American imperial power. The sociologist Julian Go unravels how American authorities used “culture” as both a tool and a target of rule, and how the Puerto Rican and Philippine elite received, creatively engaged, and sometimes silently subverted the Americans’ ostensibly benign intentions. Rather than finding that the attempt to transplant American-style democracy led to incommensurable “culture clashes,” Go assesses complex processes of cultural accommodation and transformation. By combining rich historical detail with broader theories of meaning, culture, and colonialism, he provides an innovative study of the hidden intersections of political power and cultural meaning-making in America’s earliest overseas empire.
A view from the remote Philippine highlands where the author’s time in the kalinga homeland was packed with the elements of a thriller novel: mystery, danger, sex, violence, death—and research too!
Ants for Breakfast is about the adventure of modern archaeology. Seeking insight into prehistoric pottery manufacture and use, archaeologist James Skibo traveled to the remote Phillippine highlands to live with the Kalinga people, once headhunters, and one of the few groups in the world who still use ceramics for cooking.
Even as he looked for clues to the past in the practices of the present, the author’s time in the Kalinga homeland was packed with excitment: mystery, danger, sex, violence, and death. It was also an opportunity to taste a world both subtly and vastly different, while adding a new perspective to his own. In the course of his narrative, Skibo seizes every opportunity to link his experiences to the development of modern archaeology, and to such topics as human evolution, the peopling of the world, animal domestication, cultural logic, food taboos, basketball, Indiana Jones, and even Imelda Marcos.
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