- Cuban Economic and Social Development: Policy Reforms and Challenges in the 21st Century
The Cuban economy has been transformed over the course of the last decade, and these changes are now likely to accelerate. In this edited volume, prominent Cuban economists and sociologists present a clear analysis of Cuba's economic and social circumstances and suggest steps for Cuba to reactivate economic growth and improve the welfare of its citizens. These authors focus first on trade, capital inflows, exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policy, and the agricultural sector. In a second section, a multidisciplinary team of sociologists and an economist map how reforms in economic and social policies have produced declines in the social standing of some specific groups and economic mobility for others.
A joint collaboration between scholars at Harvard University and in Cuba, this book includes the same editors and many of the same authors of The Cuban Economy at the Start of the Twenty-First Century (edited by Jorge I. Domínguez, Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, and Lorena G. Barberia), which is also part of the David Rockefeller Center Series on Latin American Studies.
(Harvard University Press, 2012)
Former Weatherhead Center director Jorge I. Domínguez is the Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico in the Department of Government. Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva is a professor in the Department of Economics and a researcher at the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy, University of Havana. Mayra Espina Prieto is a professor and researcher at Centro de Investigaciones Psicológicas y Sociológicas (CIPS), Havana, Cuba. Lorena Barberia is a program associate at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University.
- The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life
The monarchical presidential regimes that prevailed in the Arab world for so long looked as though they would last indefinitely—until events in Tunisia and Egypt made clear their time was up. The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life exposes for the first time the origins and dynamics of a governmental system that largely defined the Arab Middle East in the twentieth century.
Presidents who rule for life have been a feature of the Arab world since independence. In the 1980s their regimes increasingly resembled monarchies as presidents took up residence in palaces and made every effort to ensure their sons would succeed them. Owen explores the main features of the prototypical Arab monarchical regime: its household; its inner circle of corrupt cronies; and its attempts to create a popular legitimacy based on economic success, a manipulated constitution, managed elections, and information suppression.
Why has the Arab world suffered such a concentration of permanent presidential government? Though post-Soviet Central Asia has also known monarchical presidencies, Owen argues that a significant reason is the “Arab demonstration effect,” whereby close ties across the Arab world have enabled ruling families to share management strategies and assistance. But this effect also explains why these presidencies all came under the same pressure to reform or go. Owen discusses the huge popular opposition the presidential systems engendered during the Arab Spring, and the political change that ensued, while also delineating the challenges the Arab revolutions face across the Middle East and North Africa.
(Harvard University Press, 2012)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate and Harvard Academy Senior Scholar E. Roger Owen is the A.J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History in the Department of History.
- Civilization: The West and The Rest
The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed?
In Civilization: The West and the Rest, Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, consumerism, modern medicine, and the work ethic. These were the “killer applications” that allowed the West to leap ahead of the rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting newly discovered scientific laws, evolving a system of representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the Industrial Revolution, and embracing a dynamic work ethic. Civilization shows just how fewer than a dozen Western empires came to control more than half of humanity and four-fifths of the world economy.
Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered—not because of clashes with rival civilizations, but simply because the rest have now downloaded the six killer apps we once monopolized—while the West has literally lost faith in itself.
(Penguin USA, 2011)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Niall Ferguson is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History in the Department of History and the William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
- Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America
The American racial order—the beliefs, institutions, and practices that organize relationships among the nation's races and ethnicities—is undergoing its greatest transformation since the 1960s. In Creating a New Racial Order, the authors show that the personal and political choices of Americans will be critical to how, and how much, racial hierarchy is redefined in decades to come.
The authors outline the components that make up a racial order and examine the specific mechanisms influencing group dynamics in the United States: immigration, multiracialism, genomic science, and generational change. The authors show that individuals are moving across group boundaries, that genomic science is challenging the whole concept of race, and that economic variation within groups is increasing. Above all, young adults understand race differently from their elders: their formative memories are 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Obama's election—not civil rights marches, riots, or the early stages of immigration. However, blockages could stymie or distort these changes, so the authors point to essential policy and political choices.
Portraying a vision, not of a post-racial America, but of a different racial America, Creating a New Racial Order examines how the structures of race and ethnicity are altering a nation.
(Princeton University Press, 2012)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Jennifer L. Hochschild is the Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government in the Department of Government, and professor of African and African American studies in the Department of African and African American History. Vesla M. Weaver is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. Traci R. Burch is an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University.
- The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism
In this penetrating new study, Harvard University's Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson go beyond images of protesters in Colonial costumes to provide a nuanced portrait of the Tea Party. What they find is sometimes surprising. Drawing on grassroots interviews and visits to local meetings in several regions, they find that older, middle-class Tea Partiers mostly approve of Social Security, Medicare, and generous benefits for military veterans. Their opposition to “big government” entails reluctance to pay taxes to help people viewed as undeserving “freeloaders”—including immigrants, lower income earners, and the young. At the national level, Tea Party elites and funders leverage grassroots energy to further longstanding goals such as tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of business, and privatization of the very same Social Security and Medicare programs on which many grassroots Tea Partiers depend. Elites and grassroot members of the Tea Party are nevertheless united in their hatred of Barack Obama and their determination to push the Republican Party sharply to the right.
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism combines fine-grained portraits of local Tea Party members and chapters with an overarching analysis of the movement's rise, impact, and likely fate.
(Oxford University Press, 2011)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology in the Departments of Government and Sociology. Vanessa Williamson is a PhD candidate in Government and Social Policy at Harvard University.
- Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery
Two acclaimed political economists, Menzie D. Chinn and Jeffry Frieden, explore the origins and long-term effects of the financial crisis in historical and comparative perspective.
By 2008, the United States had become the biggest international borrower in world history, with almost half of its 6.4 trillion dollar federal debt in foreign hands. The proportion of foreign loans to the size of the economy put the United States in league with Mexico, Pakistan, and other third-world debtor nations. The massive inflow of foreign funds financed the booms in housing prices and consumer spending that fueled the economy until the collapse of late 2008.
The authors explore the political and economic roots of this crisis as well as its long-term effects. They explain the political strategies behind the Bush administration's policy of funding massive deficits with the foreign borrowing that fed the crisis. They see the continuing impact of our huge debt in a slow recovery ahead. Their clear, insightful, and comprehensive account will long be regarded as the standard on the crisis.
(W.W. Norton & Company, 2011)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Jeffry Frieden is the Stanfield Professor of International Peace in the Department of Government. Menzie D. Chinn is a professor of public affairs and economics in the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin.