Elizabeth Economy’s The World According to China headlines this week’s list of new democracy books. Other titles also include works on Latin American politics, Renaissance History, and American History. Zeynep Pamuk, this week’s guest on the podcast, also receives an obvious mention. Make sure to check out the podcast for a conversation where we discuss her pathbreaking ideas on the role of science in democracy. Next week’s list will focus on the top five books of 2021. So, this week’s list includes new books from this week and next.
The World According to China
Elizabeth Economy is among the most respected scholars on politics in China. Her last book, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, is among the most insightful works on China during the Xi Jinping era. Her new book examines China’s ambitious approach to international relations. She explores how the international community continues to adapt to China’s growing power. Every close China watcher from academics to policymakers will read this book. If you are interested in understanding how China will to shape the world (and in many ways already has), this is an essential book to read.
Elizabeth C. Economy, The World According to China
This is an exciting volume that I hope is not overlooked. Juan Pablo Luna is among the most prolific writers on Latin American political parties. He has contributed to volumes on party system institutionalization and important periodicals like Journal of Democracy. This edited volume includes articles from some significant Latin American scholars. Moreover, it touches on a topic with important implications for areas beyond Latin America. Most academics specializing in Latin American politics will add this volume to their shelves. I’d recommend it to those interested in Latin American politics or global trends in political parties.
Juan Pablo Luna, Rafael Piñeiro Rodríguez, Fernando Rosenblatt, and Gabriel Vommaro (eds.) Diminished Parties: Democratic Representation in Contemporary Latin America
Popular Protest and Ideals of Democracy in Late Renaissance Italy
It’s easy to forget how Renaissance Italy established nascent forms of democracy that influenced political theorists for hundreds of years. Samuel Cohn offers a deep dive into this overlooked period of proto-democracy. He approaches the subject like a historian, but offers an anatomy into governance during this period. Moreover, he also considers the reason for the decline in representative government during this era. It’s a fascinating account for any interested in history, but also offers parallels for the current moment in our own historical moment.
Samuel K. Cohn, Jr., Popular Protest and Ideals of Democracy in Late Renaissance Italy
A Progressive History of American Democracy Since 1945
Chris Magoc is a historian by training, but his new book will draw interest from multiple disciplines. His focus is narrowly on the United States, however the historical period is quite broad. It extends back to 1945 when the social rights extended from the New Deal began to evolve into civil rights for African Americans, women, and other historically disadvantaged communities or groups. It’s focus is on progressive movements, so it will likely appeal more to readers with a leftist ideological orientation. Nonetheless, it may draw interest from anyone interested in a history of recent American social movements.
Chris J. Magoc, A Progressive History of American Democracy Since 1945: American Dreams, Hard Realities: American Dreams, Hard Realities
Politics and Expertise
This week’s podcast actually talks to Zeynep Pamuk about her new book, Political and Expertise. You can also read a longer review of the book and its implication here. Still, it’s important to recognize Zeynep Pamuk is among the rising stars in political science today. She is an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego with a PhD from Harvard University. About two years ago, Nancy Rosenblum and Russell Muirhead referenced her idea of a science court in their book A Lot of People are Saying. Politics and Expertise details Pamuk’s ideas that have been discussed in academic circles for years. Now they are available for the general public to discover.