Slovak nationalist sentiment has been a constant presence in the history of Czechoslovakia, coming to head in the torrent of nationalism that resulted in the dissolution of the Republic on January 1, 1993. James Felak examines a parallel episode in the 1930s with Slovak nationalists achieved autonomy for Slovakia-but “at the price” of the loss of East Central Europe's only parliamentary democracy and the strengthening of Nazi power.
The tensions between Czechs and Slovaks date back to the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. Slovaks, who differed sharply in political tradition, social and economic development, and culture, and resented being governed by a centralized administration run from the Czech capital of Prague, formed the Slovak People's Party, led by Roman Catholic priest Ankrej Hlinka. Drawing heavily on Czech and Slovak archives, Felak provides a balanced history of the party, offering unprecedented insight into intraparty factionalism and behind-the-scenes maneuvering surrounding SSP's policy decisions.
If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right?
Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it.
Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls. Half the students in the study left college without a degree, while less than 20 percent finished within five years. The cause of their problems, time and again, was lack of money. Unable to afford tuition, books, and living expenses, they worked too many hours at outside jobs, dropped classes, took time off to save money, and even went without adequate food or housing. In many heartbreaking cases, they simply left school—not with a degree, but with crippling debt. Goldrick-Rab combines that shocking data with devastating stories of six individual students, whose struggles make clear the horrifying human and financial costs of our convoluted financial aid policies.
America can fix this problem. In the final section of the book, Goldrick-Rab offers a range of possible solutions, from technical improvements to the financial aid application process, to a bold, public sector–focused “first degree free” program. What’s not an option, this powerful book shows, is doing nothing, and continuing to crush the college dreams of a generation of young people.
On November 16, 1989, on the campus of El Salvador's University of Central America, six Jesuits and two women were murdered by members of the Salvadoran army, an army funded and trained by the United States. One of the murdered Jesuits was Ignacio Ellacuría, the university's Rector and a key, although controversial, figure in Salvadoran public life. From an opening account of this terrible crime, Paying the Price asks, Why were they killed and what have their deaths meant? Answers come through Teresa Whitfield's detailed examination of Ellacuría's life and work. His story is told in juxtaposition with the crucial role played by the unraveling investigation of the Jesuits' murders within El Salvador's peace process.
A complex and nuanced book, Paying the Price offers a history of the Church in El Salvador in recent decades, an analysis of Ellacuría's philosophy and theology, an introduction to liberation theology, and an account of the critical importance of the University of Central America. In the end, Whitfield's comprehensive picture of conditions in El Salvador suggest that the Jesuits' murders were almost inevitable. A crime that proved a turning point in El Salvador's civil war, the murders expressed the deep tragedy of the Salvadoran people beyond suffering the heartless cruelty, violence, and deceitfulness of a corrupt military and their patrons in the U.S. government.
Whitfield draws on her extensive research of Jesuit archives and private papers, Ellacuría's diaries, documents declassified by the U.S. government, and 200 interviews conducted with sources ranging from Jesuits to Salvadoran military officers, U.S. officials and congressmen to human rights campaigners.
Debates over foreign aid can seem strangely innocent of history. Economists argue about effectiveness and measurement—how to make aid work. Meanwhile, critics in donor countries bemoan what they see as money wasted on corrupt tycoons or unworthy recipients. What most ignore is the essentially political character of foreign aid. Looking back to the origins and evolution of foreign aid during the Cold War, David C. Engerman invites us to recognize the strategic thinking at the heart of development assistance—as well as the political costs.
In The Price of Aid, Engerman argues that superpowers turned to foreign aid as a tool of the Cold War. India, the largest of the ex-colonies, stood at the center of American and Soviet aid competition. Officials of both superpowers saw development aid as an instrument for pursuing geopolitics through economic means. But Indian officials had different ideas, seeking superpower aid to advance their own economic visions, thus bringing external resources into domestic debates about India’s economic future. Drawing on an expansive set of documents, many recently declassified, from seven countries, Engerman reconstructs a story of Indian leaders using Cold War competition to win battles at home, but in the process eroding the Indian state.
The Indian case provides an instructive model today. As China spends freely in Africa, the political stakes of foreign aid are rising once again.
Why and how systems of political financing and representation in Europe and North America give outsized influence to the wealthy and undermine democracy, and what we can do about it.
One person, one vote. In theory, everyone in a democracy has equal power to decide elections. But it’s hardly news that, in reality, political outcomes are heavily determined by the logic of one dollar, one vote. We take the political power of money for granted. But does it have to be this way? In The Price of Democracy, Julia Cagé combines economic and historical analysis with political theory to show how profoundly our systems in North America and Europe, from think tanks and the media to election campaigns, are shaped by money. She proposes fundamental reforms to bring democracy back into line with its egalitarian promise.
Cagé shows how different countries have tried to develop legislation to curb the power of private money and to develop public systems to fund campaigns and parties. But these attempts have been incoherent and unsystematic. She demonstrates that it is possible to learn from these experiments in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere to design a better system that would increase political participation and trust. This would involve setting a strict cap on private donations and creating a public voucher system to give each voter an equal amount to spend in support of political parties. More radically, Cagé argues that a significant fraction of seats in parliamentary assemblies should be set aside for representatives from disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.
At a time of widespread political disenchantment, The Price of Democracy is a bracing reminder of the problems we face and an inspirational guide to the potential for reform.
More and more young men and women today are taking longer and having more difficulty making a successful transition to adulthood. They are staying in school longer, having a harder time finding steady employment at jobs that provide health insurance, and are not marrying and having children until much later in life than their parents did. In The Price of Independence, a roster of distinguished experts diagnose the extent and causes of these trends. Observers of social trends have speculated on the economic changes that may be delaying the transition to adulthood—from worsening job opportunities to mounting student debt and higher housing costs—but few have offered empirical evidence to back up their claims. The Price of Independence represents the first significant analysis of these economic explanations, charting the evolving life circumstances of eighteen to thirty-five year-olds over the last few decades. Lisa Bell, Gary Burtless, Janet Gornick, and Timothy M. Smeeding show that the earnings of young workers in the United States and a number of industrialized countries have declined relative to the cost of supporting a family, which may explain their protracted dependence. In addition, Henry Farber finds that job stability for young male workers has dropped over the last generation. But while economic factors have some influence on young people's transitions to adulthood, The Price of Independence shows that changes in the economic climate can not account for the magnitude of the societal shift in the timing of independent living, marriage, and childbearing. Aaron Yelowitz debunks the myth that steep housing prices are forcing the young to live at home—housing costs actually fell between 1980 and 2000 once lower interest rates and tax subsidies are taken into account. And Ngina Chiteji reveals that average student loan debt is only $3,500 per household. The trend toward starting careers and families later appears to have more to do with changing social norms, as well as policies that have broadened access to higher education, than with changes in the economy. For better or worse, the current generation is redefining the nature and boundaries of what it means to be a young adult. The Price of Independence documents just how dramatically the modern lifecycle has changed and offers evidence as an antidote to much of the conventional wisdom about these social changes.
The Price of Literature examines the presence of theory in the nineteenth-century French novel, something Proust likened to leaving a price tag on a gift. Emerging after the French Revolution, what we now call literature was conceived as an art liberated from representational constraints. Patrick M. Bray shows how literature’s freedom to represent anything at all has meant, paradoxically, that it cannot articulate a coherent theory of itself—unless this theory is a necessarily subversive literary representation, or “the novel’s theoretical turn.”
Literary thought, or the theory produced by the text, can only function by exploring what escapes dominant representations. The Price of Literature analyzes how certain iconic texts from the nineteenth century (by Mme de Staël, Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, and Proust) perform a theoretical turn to claim the freedom to represent anything in the world, but also literature’s ability to transform the world it represents. The conclusion advances a new way of thinking about literary scholarship—one based on how literature redistributes ways of writing by lending form to thought.
How being “nice” in school and university settings works to reinforce racialized, gendered, and (dis)ability-related inequities in education and society
Being nice is difficult to critique. Niceness is almost always portrayed and felt as a positive quality. In schools, nice teachers are popular among students, parents, and administrators. And yet Niceness, as a distinct set of practices and discourses, is not actually good for individuals, institutions, or communities because of the way it maintains and reinforces educational inequity.
In The Price of Nice, an interdisciplinary group of scholars explores Niceness in educational spaces from elementary schools through higher education to highlight how this seemingly benign quality reinforces structural inequalities. Grounded in data, personal narrative, and theory, the chapters show that Niceness, as a raced, gendered, and classed set of behaviors, functions both as a shield to save educators from having to do the hard work of dismantling inequity and as a disciplining agent for those who attempt or even consider disrupting structures and ideologies of dominance.
Contributors: Sarah Abuwandi, Arizona State U; Colin Ben, U of Utah; Nicholas Bustamante, Arizona State U; Aidan/Amanda J. Charles, Northern Arizona U; Jeremiah Chin, Arizona State U; Sally Campbell Galman, U of Massachusetts; Frederick Gooding Jr., Texas Christian U; Deirdre Judge, Tufts U; Katie A. Lazdowski; Román Liera, U of Southern California; Sylvia Mac, U of La Verne; Lindsey Malcolm-Piqueux, California Institute of Technology; Giselle Martinez Negrette, U of Wisconsin–Madison; Amber Poleviyuma, Arizona State U; Alexus Richmond, Arizona State U; Frances J. Riemer, Northern Arizona U; Jessica Sierk, St. Lawrence U; Bailey B. Smolarek, U of Wisconsin–Madison; Jessica Solyom, Arizona State U; Megan Tom, Arizona State U; Sabina Vaught, U of Oklahoma; Cynthia Diana Villarreal, U of Southern California; Kristine T. Weatherston, Temple U; Joseph C. Wegwert, Northern Arizona U; Marguerite Anne Fillion Wilson, Binghamton U; Jia-Hui Stefanie Wong, Trinity College; Denise Gray Yull, Binghamton U.
Rising fossil fuel prices and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions are fostering a nuclear power renaissance and a revitalized uranium mining industry across the American West. In The Price of Nuclear Power, environmental sociologist Stephanie Malin offers an on-the-ground portrait of several uranium communities caught between the harmful legacy of previous mining booms and the potential promise of new economic development. Using this context, she examines how shifting notions of environmental justice inspire divergent views about nuclear power’s sustainability and equally divisive forms of social activism.
Drawing on extensive fieldwork conducted in rural isolated towns such as Monticello, Utah, and Nucla and Naturita, Colorado, as well as in upscale communities like Telluride, Colorado, and incorporating interviews with community leaders, environmental activists, radiation regulators, and mining executives, Malin uncovers a fundamental paradox of the nuclear renaissance: the communities most hurt by uranium’s legacy—such as high rates of cancers, respiratory ailments, and reproductive disorders—were actually quick to support industry renewal. She shows that many impoverished communities support mining not only because of the employment opportunities, but also out of a personal identification with uranium, a sense of patriotism, and new notions of environmentalism. But other communities, such as Telluride, have become sites of resistance, skeptical of industry and government promises of safe mining, fearing that regulatory enforcement won’t be strong enough. Indeed, Malin shows that the nuclear renaissance has exacerbated social divisions across the Colorado Plateau, threatening social cohesion. Malin further illustrates ways in which renewed uranium production is not a socially sustainable form of energy development for rural communities, as it is utterly dependent on unstable global markets.
The Price of Nuclear Power is an insightful portrait of the local impact of the nuclear renaissance and the social and environmental tensions inherent in the rebirth of uranium mining.
Once the sword of power has been drawn, it can never again be sheathed. That is the lesson the United States has been learning ever since she emerged from World War II as one of the great world powers. This central issue dominates Herbert Agar's exciting narrative history of the first twelve years of American world responsibility. He reviews the events and crises that have marked postwar history—the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the Berlin airlift, the Eightieth Congress and Truman's election, the Hiss case, the collapse of Nationalist China, the McCarthy hearings, the atom and hydrogen bombs, McCarthy's "retirement," and Eisenhower's first election. In the great tradition of journalism and history, Mr. Agar has based his writings on close observation of recent world events and on his acquaintance with the people who have participated in them. He presents a vigorous and brilliant interpretation of the difficult years of America's coming of age in the field of international politics and diplomacy and a candid evaluation of the price America must pay as the world's most powerful nation.
If wars are costly and risky to both sides, why do they occur? Why engage in an arms race when it’s clear that increasing one’s own defense expenditures will only trigger a similar reaction by the other side, leaving both countries just as insecure—and considerably poorer? Just as people buy expensive things precisely because they are more expensive, because they offer the possibility of improved social status or prestige, so too do countries, argues Lilach Gilady.
In The Price of Prestige, Gilady shows how many seemingly wasteful government expenditures that appear to contradict the laws of demand actually follow the pattern for what are known as Veblen goods, or positional goods for which demand increases alongside price, even when cheaper substitutes are readily available. From flashy space programs to costly weapons systems a country does not need and cannot maintain to foreign aid programs that offer little benefit to recipients, these conspicuous and strategically timed expenditures are intended to instill awe in the observer through their wasteful might. And underestimating the important social role of excess has serious policy implications. Increasing the cost of war, for example, may not always be an effective tool for preventing it, Gilady argues, nor does decreasing the cost of weapons and other technologies of war necessarily increase the potential for conflict, as shown by the case of a cheap fighter plane whose price tag drove consumers away. In today’s changing world, where there are high levels of uncertainty about the distribution of power, Gilady also offers a valuable way to predict which countries are most likely to be concerned about their position and therefore adopt costly, excessive policies.
“In The Price of Racial Reconciliation, Ronald Walters offers an abundance of riches. This book provides an extraordinarily comprehensive and persuasive set of arguments for reparations, and will be the lens through which meaningful opportunities for reconciliation are viewed in the future. If this book does not lead to the success of the reparations movement, nothing will.”
—Charles J. Ogletree, Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
“The Price of Racial Reconciliation is a seminal study of comparative histories and race(ism) in the formation of state structures that prefigure(d) socioeconomic positions of Black peoples in South Africa and the United States. The scholarship is meticulous in brilliantly constructed analysis of the politics of memory, reparations as an immutable principle of justice, imperative for nonracial(ist) democracy, and a regime of racial reconciliation.”
—James Turner, Professor of African and African American Studies and Founder, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University
“A fascinating and pathbreaking analysis of the attempt at racial reconciliation in South Africa which asks if that model is relevant to the contemporary American racial dilemma. An engaging multidisciplinary approach relevant to philosophy, sociology, history, and political science.”
—William Strickland, Associate Professor of Political Science, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
The issue of reparations in America provokes a lot of interest, but the public debate usually occurs at the level of historical accounting: “Who owes what for slavery?” This book attempts to get past that question to address racial restitution within the framework of larger societal interests. For example, the answer to the “why reparations?” question is more than the moral of payment for an injustice done in the past. Ronald Walters suggests that, insofar as the impact of slavery is still very much with us today and has been reinforced by forms of postslavery oppression, the objective of racial harmony will be disrupted unless it is recognized with the solemnity and amelioration it deserves. The author concludes that the grand narrative of black oppression in the United States—which contains the past and present summary of the black experience—prevents racial reconciliation as long as some substantial form of racial restitution is not seriously considered. This is “the price” of reconciliation.
The method for achieving this finding is grounded in comparative politics, where the analyses of institutions and political behaviors are standard approaches. The author presents the conceptual difficulties involved in the project of racial reconciliation by comparing South African Truth and Reconciliation and the demand for reparations in the United States.
Ronald Walters is Distinguished Leadership Scholar and Director, African American Leadership Program and Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland.
“This delightful compendium of short, savory, and highly tellable tales embodies the beliefs and folkways of rural Japan—specifically the area most impacted by the recent tsunami and nuclear disaster. It adds immeasurably to our insight into that endangered world.”
—Joseph Sobol, Ph.D., director, ETSU Storytelling Graduate Program
Alex Capus’s novels have been runaway best-sellers in Germany, and his novel Léon and Louise received widespread critical acclaim on its English publication in 2012.
A Price to Pay, the fourth of Capus’s novels to be published in English, tells the interwoven stories of three disparate figures from interwar Switzerland: pacifist Felix Bloch, who ends up working on the Manhattan Project; Laura d’Oriano, who wants to become a singer but instead becomes an Allied spy in fascist Italy; and Emile Gillieron, who accompanies Heinrich Schliemann to Troy and becomes one of art’s greatest forgers. Taking off from the only moment in history when all three were in the same place—a November day in 1924 at Zürich Station—Capus traces their diverging paths as they secure their places in the annals of history—but at what price?
Tracing the connections between human-like robots and AI at the site of dehumanization and exploited labor
The word robot—introduced in Karel Capek’s 1920 play R.U.R.—derives from rabota, the Czech word for servitude or forced labor. A century later, the play’s dystopian themes of dehumanization and exploited labor are being played out in factories, workplaces, and battlefields. In The Robotic Imaginary, Jennifer Rhee traces the provocative and productive connections of contemporary robots in technology, film, art, and literature. Centered around the twinned processes of anthropomorphization and dehumanization, she analyzes the coevolution of cultural and technological robots and artificial intelligence, arguing that it is through the conceptualization of the human and, more important, the dehumanized that these multiple spheres affect and transform each other.
Drawing on the writings of Alan Turing, Sara Ahmed, and Arlie Russell Hochschild; such films and novels as Her and The Stepford Wives; technologies like Kismet (the pioneering “emotional robot”); and contemporary drone art, this book explores anthropomorphic paradigms in robot design and imagery in ways that often challenge the very grounds on which those paradigms operate in robotics labs and industry. From disembodied, conversational AI and its entanglement with care labor; embodied mobile robots as they intersect with domestic labor; emotional robots impacting affective labor; and armed military drones and artistic responses to drone warfare, The Robotic Imaginary ultimately reveals how the human is made knowable through the design of and discourse on humanoid robots that are, paradoxically, dehumanized.
Drawing from a Society for Applied Anthropology study on human rights and the environment, Who Pays the Price? provides a detailed look at the human experience of environmental crisis. The issues examined span the globe -- loss of land and access to critical resources; contamination of air, water and soil; exposure to radiation, toxic chemicals, and other hazardous wastes. Topics considered in-depth include: human rights and environmental degradation nation-state struggles over indigenous rights rights abuse accompanying resource extraction, weapons production, and tourism development environmental racism, gender bias, and multinational industry double standards social justice environmentalism The book incorporates material from a wide range of economic and geographic contexts, including case studies from China, Russia, Latin America, the United States, Canada, Africa, and the South Pacific.