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  • Why are land rights so bitterly contested in Indonesia, even after the end of Suharto’s New Order in 1998? What methods have grassroots movements used to re-possess – or to occupy – lands that have been seized by powerful entities? How come small-scale Indonesian farmers and marginalized communities crave legal recognition from the state? How did the Free Aceh Movement make the post-conflict land rights situation there worse than before? And why does Christian Lund insist that his new book is not primarily a book about Indonesia? And above all, why is “What is to be done?” the wrong question to ask about the problem of land dispossession?
    In this wide-ranging conversation with NIAS Director Duncan McCargo, Christian Lund – a professor in the Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen – talks about his ground-breaking new book, Nine-Tenths of the Law: Enduring Dispossession in Indonesia (Yale UP, 2021). Christian explains how he switched from studying Ghana to working on ‘bedazzling’ Indonesia; and what he discovered during a long, collaborative journey of deep ethnographic immersion, during which he focused on troublesome and intractable questions of land rights, in cases drawn from North Sumatra, West Java and Aceh.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
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  • In Faith in Freedom: Muslim Immigrant Women’s Experiences of Domestic Violence (Melbourne University Press, 2019), Nafiseh Ghafournia explores questions of domestic violence in the context of Muslim immigrant women in Australia. Aiming to correct existing accounts of Muslim women’s lives and experiences particularly as immigrants, the study uses an intersectional framework to deepen our understanding of the ways that immigrant Muslim women understand, experience, and respond to domestic violence. Among the themes that the book covers are the relationships between culture, religion, gender, and immigration status in the context of domestic violence; why and when, if at all, might women leave abusive relationships; the various kinds of domestic violence that immigrant Muslim women experience, including physical, psychological, financial, spiritual, sexual, in-laws, and immigration-related violence; services available to victims and survivors of abuse; and essential information for service providers and policy makers.
    The book will appeal to anyone interested in immigrant experiences, domestic violence from an intersectional perspective, Muslim women; and because of its practical value, it should also be read by service providers, policymakers, ESL educators, and others who interact with immigrants on a regular basis.
    Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. She earned her PhD in Islamic Studies with a focus on gender from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Her dissertation research explored questions of change and tradition, specifically in the context of gender and sexuality, in Islam. She is currently working on a book project on Muslim women's marriage to non-Muslims in Islam. Shehnaz runs a YouTube channel called What the Patriarchy?!, where she vlogs about feminism and Islam in an effort to dismantle the patriarchy and uproot it from Islam (ambitious, she knows). She can be reached at haqqani_s@mercer.edu.
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  • There are few movements more firmly associated with civil disobedience than the Civil Rights Movement. In the mainstream imagination, civil rights activists eschewed coercion, appealed to the majority's principles, and submitted willingly to legal punishment in order to demand necessary legislative reforms and facilitate the realization of core constitutional and democratic principles. Their fidelity to the spirit of the law, commitment to civility, and allegiance to American democracy set the normative standard for liberal philosophies of civil disobedience.
    This narrative offers the civil disobedience of the Civil Rights Movement as a moral exemplar: a blueprint for activists who seek transformative change and racial justice within the bounds of democracy. Yet in this book, Erin R. Pineda shows how it more often functions as a disciplining example—a means of scolding activists and quieting dissent. As Pineda argues, the familiar account of Civil Rights disobedience not only misremembers history; it also distorts our political judgments about how civil disobedience might fit into democratic politics.
    Seeing Like an Activist: Civil Disobedience and the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford UP, 2021) charts the emergence of this influential account of civil disobedience in the Civil Rights Movement, and demonstrates its reliance on a narrative about black protest that is itself entangled with white supremacy. Liberal political theorists whose work informed decades of scholarship saw civil disobedience "like a white state": taking for granted the legitimacy of the constitutional order, assuming as primary the ends of constitutional integrity and stability, centering the white citizen as the normative ideal, and figuring the problem of racial injustice as limited, exceptional, and all-but-already solved. Instead, this book "sees" civil disobedience from the perspective of an activist, showing the consequences for ideas about how civil disobedience ought to unfold in the present. Building on historical and archival evidence, Pineda shows how civil rights activists, in concert with anticolonial movements across the globe, turned to civil disobedience as a practice of decolonization in order to emancipate themselves and others, and in the process transform the racial order. Pineda recovers this powerful alternative account by adopting a different theoretical approach—one which sees activists as themselves engaged in the creative work of political theorizing.
    Tejas Parasher is Junior Research Fellow in Political Thought and Intellectual History at King’s College, University of Cambridge.
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  • In Sorting Sexualities: Expertise and the Politics of Legal Classification (University of Chicago Press, 2021), Stefan Vogler deftly unpacks the politics of the techno-legal classification of sexuality in the United States. His study focuses specifically on state classification practices around LGBTQ people seeking asylum in the United States and sexual offenders being evaluated for carceral placement--two situations where state actors must determine individuals' sexualities. Though these legal settings are diametrically opposed--one a punitive assessment, the other a protective one--they present the same question: how do we know someone's sexuality?
    In this rich ethnographic study, Vogler reveals how different legal arenas take dramatically different approaches to classifying sexuality and use those classifications to legitimate different forms of social control. By delving into the histories behind these diverging classification practices and analyzing their contemporary reverberations, Vogler shows how the science of sexuality is far more central to state power than we realize.
    Rachel Stuart is a sex work researcher whose primary interest is the lived experiences of sex workers.
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  • In India, elite law firms offer a surprising oasis for women within a hostile, predominantly male industry. Less than 10 percent of the country's lawyers are female, but women in the most prestigious firms are significantly represented both at entry and partnership. Elite workspaces are notorious for being unfriendly to new actors, so what allows for aberration in certain workspaces?
    Drawing from observations and interviews with more than 130 elite professionals, Accidental Feminism: Gender Parity and Selective Mobility Among India’s Professional Elite (Princeton UP, 2021) examines how a range of underlying mechanisms-gendered socialization and essentialism, family structures and dynamics, and firm and regulatory histories-afford certain professionals egalitarian outcomes that are not available to their local and global peers. Juxtaposing findings on the legal profession with those on elite consulting firms, Swethaa Ballakrishnen reveals that parity arises not from a commitment to create feminist organizations, but from structural factors that incidentally come together to do gender differently. Simultaneously, their research offers notes of caution: while conditional convergence may create equality in ways that more targeted endeavors fail to achieve, "accidental" developments are hard to replicate, and are, in this case, buttressed by embedded inequalities. Ballakrishnen examines whether gender parity produced without institutional sanction should still be considered feminist.
    In offering new ways to think about equality movements and outcomes, Accidental Feminism forces readers to critically consider the work of intention in progress narratives.
    Noopur Raval is a postdoctoral researcher working at the intersection of Information Studies, STS, Media Studies and Anthropology.
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  • In America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellions since the 1960s (Liveright, 2021) Dr. Elizabeth Hinton asserts the significance of Black rebellions in post-civil rights America, arguing that the riots were indeed rebellions or political acts in response to the failures and unfulfilled promises of the Civil Rights period. She investigates an overlooked trend of Black uprisings emanating from poor and working-class Black neighborhoods, towns, and cities often sparked by police terror between 1964 and 1972. In refuting the racist pathologies that community violence in response to racist policing and economic disinvestment has been assigned by commissions, politicians, liberals and conservatives alike, Hinton presents a redefinition through the analytic of rebellion that enhances our understanding of resistance to anti-Blackness and policing today.
    Amanda Joyce Hall is a Ph.D. Candidate in History and African American Studies at Yale University. She is writing an international history on the grassroots movement against South African apartheid during the 1970s and 1980s. She tweets from @amandajoycehall
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  • Between 2009 and 2014, an anti-homosexuality law circulating in the Ugandan parliament came to be the focus of a global conversation about queer rights. The law attracted attention for the draconian nature of its provisions and for the involvement of US evangelical Christian activists who were said to have lobbied for its passage. Focusing on the Ugandan case, Out of Time: The Queer Politics of Postcoloniality (Oxford UP, 2020) seeks to understand the encounters and entanglements across geopolitical divides that produce and contest contemporary queerphobias. It investigates the impact and memory of the colonial encounter on the politics of sexuality, the politics of religiosity of different Christian denominations, and the political economy of contemporary homophobic moral panics. 
    In addition, Out of Time places the Ugandan experience in conversation with contemporaneous developments in India and Britain--three locations that are yoked together by the experience of British imperialism and its afterlives. Intervening in a queer theoretical literature on temporality, Rahul Rao argues that time and space matter differently in the queer politics of postcolonial countries. By employing an intersectional analysis and drawing on a range of sources, Rao offers an original interpretation of why queerness mutates to become a metonym for categories such as nationality, religiosity, race, class, and caste. The book argues that these mutations reveal the deep grammars forged in the violence that founds and reproduces the social institutions in which queer difference struggles to make space for itself.
    Dr. Rahul Rao is Reader in Political Theory at SOAS University of London. He is also the author of Out of Third World Protest: Between Home and the World (2010) also published by Oxford University Press. He is a member of the Radical Philosophy collective and blogs at The Disorder of Things. He is currently writing a book about the politics of statues.
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  • In many ways, divorce is a quintessentially personal decision—the choice to leave a marriage that causes harm or feels unfulfilling to the two people involved. But anyone who has gone through a divorce knows the additional public dimensions of breaking up, from intense shame and societal criticism to friends’ and relatives’ unsolicited advice. In Intimate Disconnections: Divorce and the Romance of Independence in Contemporary Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2020), Allison Alexy tells the fascinating story of the changing norms surrounding divorce in Japan in the early 2000s, when sudden demographic and social changes made it a newly visible and viable option. Not only will one of three Japanese marriages today end in divorce, but divorces are suddenly much more likely to be initiated by women who cite new standards for intimacy as their motivation. As people across Japan now consider divorcing their spouses, or work to avoid separation, they face complicated questions about the risks and possibilities marriage brings: How can couples be intimate without becoming suffocatingly close? How should they build loving relationships when older models are no longer feasible? What do you do, both legally and socially, when you just can’t take it anymore?

    Relating the intensely personal stories from people experiencing different stages of divorce, Alexy provides a rich ethnography of Japan while also speaking more broadly to contemporary visions of love and marriage during an era in which neoliberal values are prompting wide-ranging transformations in homes across the globe.
    This book is available open access. 
    Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
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  • By the election year of 1844, Joseph Smith, the controversial founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had amassed a national following of some 25,000 believers. Nearly half of them lived in the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, where Smith was not only their religious leader but also the mayor and the commander-in-chief of a militia of some 2,500 men. In less than twenty years, Smith had helped transform the American religious landscape and grown his own political power substantially. Yet the standing of the Mormon people in American society remained unstable. Unable to garner federal protection, and having failed to win the support of former president Martin Van Buren or any of the other candidates in the race, Smith decided to take matters into his own hands, launching his own bid for the presidency. While many scoffed at the notion that Smith could come anywhere close to the White House, others regarded his run―and his religion―as a threat to the stability of the young nation. Hounded by mobs throughout the campaign, Smith was ultimately killed by one―the first presidential candidate to be assassinated.
    Though Joseph Smith's run for president is now best remembered―when it is remembered at all―for its gruesome end, the renegade campaign was revolutionary. Smith called for the total abolition of slavery, the closure of the country's penitentiaries, and the reestablishment of a national bank to stabilize the economy. But Smith's most important proposal was for an expansion of protections for religious minorities. At a time when the Bill of Rights did not apply to individual states, Smith sought to empower the federal government to protect minorities when states failed to do so.
    In his book Joseph Smith for President: The Prophet, the Assassins, and the Fight for American Religious Freedom (Oxford UP, 2021),  Spencer W. McBride tells the story of Joseph Smith's quixotic but consequential run for the White House and shows how his calls for religious freedom helped to shape the American political system we know today.
    Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com.
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  • Discussions of the ethics and politics of immigration tend to focus on those seeking entry into a new society. We ask whether a country has the “right to exclude” those who want to relocate within it. We explore the moral implications of more-or-less restrictive immigration policies, often with a view towards the plight of immigrants and refugees.
    These are of course important questions, but in his new book, Immigration and Freedom (Princeton University Press, 2021) Chandran Kukathas argues that a state’s immigration policies also exert control over its domestic population. He asks whether this exercise of power is justifiable.
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  • We often hear or read the phrase “crimes against humanity” when we learn about the Holocaust, or genocide in places like Rwanda or Serbia. And just as often, we don’t reflect on what this phrase means because it seems to simply encompass horrific actions by individuals or groups, directed towards specific ethnic, religious, or cultural groups. Sinja Graf’s new book, The Humanity of Universal Crime: Inclusion, Inequality, and Intervention in International Political Thought (Oxford UP, 2021), helps us to consider what this terminology actually means and how we can and should think about both the crimes themselves and the humanity of the victims and the perpetrators. As Graf explains in the book and in our conversation, once we start to unpack this term and our conceptualization of it, the complexity of truly understanding “universal crimes” becomes starkly clear. It is also clear that this is an understudied realm within contemporary political theory. The Humanity of Universal Crime seeks to explore this complexity and to provide a path to think about and consider both the idea itself and how it is has been used in politics and processes over the past centuries.
    Graf knits together this exploration and understanding across disciplines, weaving in concepts from international law, political theory, colonial studies, and human rights. In the initial section of the book, John Locke’s engagement with this idea of universal crime is traced and explored to understand how Locke, who was so influential to the establishment of classical liberal thought and structures, saw the place and role of universal crime in context of the coercive power of the state. The next section of the book, which is both historical and theoretical, examines the way that colonialism created fragmentation within concepts of humanity, determining that there were those who are included under this umbrella of humanity, and, as a result, get to enjoy the protections and rights associated with being included. And there are those who were considered not fully human, and thus could be excluded from this umbrella category. As with so much else that was part of western imperial colonialism and 19th century eurocentrism, these distinctions fell along racial, religious, national, and ethnic lines. Graf’s research examines this normative fracturing of humanity during this period. The final section of The Humanity of Universal Crime is focused on more contemporary debates about distinctions between war and policing, especially in the context of the post-Cold War world. In this more recent period, structures and processes have been established and developed to legally respond to “crimes against humanity.” But Graf notes that, even so, these international systems do not necessarily have clear understandings of humanity – and how the perpetrators and the victims are both included under that umbrella category. The Humanity of Universal Crime is a keen investigation of these complex concepts and how they have been put into effect, and what we really understand about crimes against humanity and what we still need to consider.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj.
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  • Every year, millions of women turn to law to help them escape intimate partner violence. The legal processes are complex and varied, often enmeshing women for many years. In Intimate Partner Violence and the Law, published by Oxford University Press in 2021, Professor Heather Douglas examines intimate partner violence, including nonphysical coercive control, and shows how women's interactions with the law and legal processes can support or exacerbate their experiences and their abilities to leave an abusive partner. Over a period of three years, Douglas conducted a series of interviews to understand how women engage with criminal, family, and civil courts. The women's stories show how abusers can use the law to further perpetuate abuse. Despite the heightened danger that leaving an abusive partner can represent, the book showcases the level of endurance, resilience and patience that it takes women when they seek protection through law for themselves and their children. Reading the first-hand experiences of women and the impact on them from their interactions with police, lawyers, judges, and child protective services is extremely moving and illuminating. The book is profoundly important in understanding the need for reform to protect women and their children from intimate partner violence. Douglas shows how the legal system operates in practice, and the gap in protection for women and their children as to how it should work. 
    Professor Heather Douglas is a Professor of Law at the Melbourne Law School at The University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor at the School of Law at The University of Queensland. She has worked on the legal response to intimate partner violence for over twenty years, both as a practitioner and an academic. 
    Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK
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  • Between 1885 and 1960, laws and policies designed to repress prostitution dramatically shaped London's commercial sex industry. J. Laite's book Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens: Commercial Sex in London, 1885-1960 (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012) examines how laws translated into street-level reality, explores how women who sold sex experienced criminalization, and charts the complex dimensions of the underground sexual economy in the modern metropolis.
    Rachel Stuart is a sex work researcher whose primary interest is the lived experiences of sex workers.
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  • Students of American history know that the framers of the Constitution were deeply concerned that the United States would founder on the shoals of mob rule. They designed a system meant to ensure rule by an elected elite, a republic rather than a democracy. While democratic elements have been introduced over the past two centuries, that basic structure still stands.
    In Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the Twenty-First Century (Princeton UP, 2020), Landemore argues that it is time to create a more truly democratic system, one in which elections do not play a major role. While she thinks it unlikely that the national arena is necessarily the best place to start implementing such changes, she does see opportunities for creating local assemblies or “mini-publics” where citizens chosen by lot would deliberate on and enact policies and laws. She points out that hundreds of experiments in this direction have been initiated in the past two decades, and she lays down principles and approaches that make the likelihood of success greater. Her work is profoundly optimistic about the potential for citizens from all walks of life to participate in governing their society.
    Jack Petranker, MA, JD, is the founder and Senior Teacher at the Center for Creative Inquiry and the Director of the Mangalam Research Center. www.jackpetranker.com.
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  • Giovanni Mantilla’s new book, Lawmaking under Pressure: International Humanitarian Law and Internal Armed Conflict (Cornell University Press, 2020), traces the origins and development of the international humanitarian treaty rules that now exist to regulate internal armed conflict, and explores the global politics and diplomatic dynamics that led to the creation of such laws in 1949 and in the 1970s. In this conversation with Yi Ning Chang, Giovanni reflects on history and theory in the study of international relations and international law, on the nature of norms and power in the international sphere, and on “theorizing possibility” in international politics. Readers in the US may use the code “09FLYER” for a 30% discount through Cornell University Press, while those outside the US may use “CSF21PSA”, also for a 30% discount, through Combined Academic Publishers.
    Awarded the prestigious Francis Lieber Prize for outstanding book in the field of the law of armed conflict in 2021, Lawmaking under Pressure analyzes the origins and development of the international humanitarian treaty rules that now exist to regulate internal armed conflict. Until well into the twentieth century, states allowed atrocious violence as an acceptable product of internal conflict. Why have states created international laws to control internal armed conflict? Why did states compromise their national security by accepting these international humanitarian constraints? Why did they create these rules at improbable moments, as European empires cracked, freedom fighters emerged, and fears of communist rebellion spread? Mantilla explores the global politics and diplomatic dynamics that led to the creation of such laws in 1949 and in the 1970s.
    By the 1949 Diplomatic Conference that revised the Geneva Conventions, most countries supported legislation committing states and rebels to humane principles of wartime behavior and to the avoidance of abhorrent atrocities, including torture and the murder of non-combatants. However, for decades, states had long refused to codify similar regulations concerning violence within their own borders. Diplomatic conferences in Geneva twice channeled humanitarian attitudes alongside Cold War and decolonization politics, even compelling reluctant European empires Britain and France to accept them. Lawmaking under Pressure documents the tense politics behind the making of humanitarian laws that have become touchstones of the contemporary international normative order.
    Mantilla not only explains the pressures that resulted in constraints on national sovereignty but also uncovers the fascinating international politics of shame, status, and hypocrisy that helped to produce the humanitarian rules now governing internal conflict.
    Yi Ning Chang is a PhD student in political theory at the Department of Government at Harvard University. She works on the history of contemporary political thought, postcolonial theory and race, and the global histories of anticolonialism and anti-imperialism in Southeast Asia. Yi Ning can be reached at yiningchang@g.harvard.edu.
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  • On September 23, 1970, a group of antiwar activists staged a robbery at a bank in Massachusetts, during which a police officer was killed. While the three men who participated in the robbery were soon apprehended, two women escaped and became fugitives on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, eventually landing in a lesbian collective in Lexington, Kentucky, during the summer of 1974. In pursuit, the FBI launched a massive dragnet. Five lesbian women and one gay man ended up in jail for refusing to cooperate with federal officials, whom they saw as invading their lives and community. Dubbed the Lexington Six, the group's resistance attracted national attention, inspiring a nationwide movement in other minority communities. Like the iconic Stonewall demonstrations, this gripping story of spirited defiance has special resonance in today's America.
    Drawing on transcripts of the judicial hearings, contemporaneous newspaper accounts, hundreds of pages of FBI files released to the author under the Freedom of Information Act, and interviews with many of the participants, Josephine Donovan reconstructs this fascinating, untold story. The Lexington Six: Lesbian and Gay Resistance in 1970s America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020) is a vital addition to LGBTQ, feminist, and radical American history.
    Josephine Donovan is professor emerita of English at the University of Maine, Orono.
    John Marszalek III is author of Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi (2020, University Press of Mississippi). He is clinical faculty of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Southern New Hampshire University. Website: Johnmarszalek3.com Twitter: @marsjf3
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  • Michael McConnell, the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford University Law School and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, has written an examination of the power that the president has in the U.S. constitutional system. The President Who Would Not Be King: Executive Power under the Constitution (Princeton UP, 2020) presents a unique analysis of the powers that were allocated to the executive in Article II of the Constitution, as well as an exploration of the origin of many of the executive powers that are outlined in the Constitution but allocated to other branches of government within the new constitutional system. Thus, while McConnell’s focus is on the executive in the American constitutional system, the framing of this focus is in delineating the prerogative powers that Blackstone had noted belong to the monarch or the individual head of state, but that the Founders in 1787 split up. The argument in the book also clarifies the structure of Article II, explaining in important detail the sections of Article II and how they are connected to each other. McConnell’s deep dive into the discussions not only in Philadelphia in 1787, but also in the state ratifying conventions and among the different founders provide the historical context for the explicit and implied powers distributed throughout the Constitution. McConnell’s historical analysis pays particular attention to the committees that were established during the Constitutional Convention, like the Committee on Detail, that had to flesh out how the powers that were being invested in the document would manifest in operation. Thus, The President Who Would Not Be King is an historical examination of the competing ideas that were part of the conversation that ultimately became the U.S. Constitution. 
    But McConnell does not stop at the founding period. He provides much more contemporary examples and case studies of some of the tensions around these prerogative powers that were not all given to the president in Article II. This takes up Justice Robert Jackson’s important decision in Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer in terms of how that decision shaped expectations around executive use of power and authority, and has also positioned those expectations within, intentionally or not, our highly partisan political environment. McConnell’s work provides a path to understanding constitutional meaning from before the constitution itself was written, which is distinct from constitutional theories like originalism. The President Who Would Not Be King also wrestles with the Founders’ ideas around the complexity of separation of powers, given the executive powers that Congress holds and can use, as well as the executive powers vested in the presidency.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj.
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  • From an award-winning civil rights lawyer, a profound challenge to our society's normalization of the caging of human beings, and the role of the legal profession in perpetuating it Alec Karakatsanis is interested in what we choose to punish. Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System (New Press, 2019) is a profoundly radical reconsideration of the American "injustice system" by someone who is actively, wildly successfully, challenging it.For example, it is a crime in most of America for poor people to wager in the streets over dice; dice-wagerers can be seized, searched, have their assets forfeited, and be locked in cages. It's perfectly fine, by contrast, for people to wager over international currencies, mortgages, or the global supply of wheat; wheat-wagerers become names on the wings of hospitals and museums. He is also troubled by how the legal system works when it is trying to punish people. The bail system, for example, is meant to ensure that people return for court dates. But it has morphed into a way to lock up poor people who have not been convicted of anything. He's so concerned about this that he has personally sued court systems across the country, resulting in literally tens of thousands of people being released from jail when their money bail was found to be unconstitutional. Karakatsanis doesn't think people who have gone to law school, passed the bar, and sworn to uphold the Constitution should be complicit in the mass caging of human beings--an everyday brutality inflicted disproportionately on the bodies and minds of poor people and people of color and for which the legal system has never offered sufficient justification. **Special announcement for teachers: Usual Cruelty is available free of charge for your students and for each student assigned a complimentary copy of Usual Cruelty will be circulated in prisons. Learn more https://thenewpress.com/books/...Lee M. Pierce (she/they) is an Assistant Professor at SUNY Geneseo specializing in rhetoric, race, and U.S. political culture. They also host the Media & Communications and Language channels for New Books Network and their own podcast titled RhetoricLee Speaking.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

  • Today we are talking with Becca Andrews, a journalist at Mother Jones, where she writes about reproductive rights and gender. The story we discuss is “When Choice is 221 Miles Away: The Nightmare of Getting an Abortion in the South” and its follow up.
    Becca’s debut work of nonfiction, No Choice, based on her Mother Jones cover story about the past, present, and future of Roe v. Wade, will be published by in 2022.
    Andrews is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism and wrote for newspapers in her home state of Tennessee.
    Agata Popeda is a Polish-American journalist. Interested in everything, with a particular weakness for literature and foreign relations.
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  • This collection of narrative essays by sex workers presents a crystal-clear rejoinder: there's never been a better time to fight for justice. Responding to the resurgence of the #MeToo movement in 2017, sex workers from across the industry--hookers and prostitutes, strippers and dancers, porn stars, cam models, Dommes and subs alike--complicate narratives of sexual harassment and violence, and expand conversations often limited to normative workplaces.
    Writing across topics such as homelessness, motherhood, and toxic masculinity, We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival (Feminist Press, 2021) gives voice to the fight for agency and accountability across sex industries. With contributions by leading voices in the movement such as Melissa Gira Grant, Ceyenne Doroshow, Audacia Ray, femi babylon, April Flores, and Yin Q, this anthology explores sex work as work, and sex workers as laboring subjects in need of respect--not rescue.
    A portion of this book's net proceeds will be donated to SWOP Behind Bars (SBB).
    Rachel Stuart is a sex work researcher whose primary interest is the lived experiences of sex workers.
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