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Between Covers: An Annual Celebration of LBJ School Research, Nov. 13

On November 13, 2012, the LBJ School will present “Between Covers: An Annual Celebration of LBJ School Research,” honoring faculty and students who have published and edited books, articles and policy research reports over the past year. The event will take place in the LBJ School first floor lobby from 5:00 to 6:30 PM.

Books:

Aging, Health, and Longevity in the Mexican-Origin PopulationJacqueline Angel, Fernando Torres-Gil and Kyriakos Markides (Eds.), Aging, Health, and Longevity in the Mexican-Origin Population (Springer, 2012)

Aging, Health, and Longevity in the Mexican-Origin Population creates a foundation for an interdisciplinary discussion of the trajectory of disability and long-term care for older people of Mexican-origin from a bi-national perspective. Although the literature on Latino elders in the United States is growing, few of these studies or publications offer the breadth and depth contained in this book.

 

Jennifer Bussell, Corruption and Reform in India: Public Services in the Digital Age (Cambridge University Press, 2012)Corruption and Reform in India

Corruption and Reform in India asks why some governments improve public services more effectively than others. Through the investigation of a new era of administrative reform, in which digital technologies may be used to facilitate citizens' access to the state, Bussell's analysis provides unanticipated insights into this fundamental question. In contrast to factors such as economic development or electoral competition, this study highlights the importance of access to rents, which can dramatically shape the opportunities and threats of reform to political elites. Drawing on different sources, Bussell shows that the extent to which politicians rely on income from petty and grand corruption is closely linked to variation in the timing, management, and comprehensiveness of reforms. The book also illuminates the importance of electoral constituencies and coalition politics in shaping policy outcomes.

 

Inequality and InstabilityJames Galbraith, Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2012)

Inequality and Instability demonstrates that finance is the driveshaft that links inequality to economic instability. The book challenges those, mainly on the right, who see mysterious forces of technology behind rising inequality. And it also challenges those, mainly on the left, who have placed the blame narrowly on trade and outsourcing. Inequality and Instability presents straightforward evidence that the rise of inequality mirrors the stock market in the U.S. and the rise of finance and of free-market policies elsewhere. Starting from the premise that fresh argument requires fresh evidence, Galbraith brings new data to bear as never before, presenting information built up over fifteen years in easily understood charts and tables. By measuring inequality at the right geographic scale, he shows that more equal societies systematically enjoy lower unemployment.

 

Frank Gavin, Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012)Nuclear Statecraft

Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age reassesses the strategy of flexible response, the influence of nuclear weapons during the Berlin Crisis, the origins of and motivations for U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy, and how to assess the nuclear dangers the world faces today. In case after case, Gavin finds that we know far less than we think we do about our nuclear history. Archival evidence makes it clear that decision makers were more concerned about underlying geopolitical questions than about the strategic dynamic between two nuclear superpowers.

 

Metropolitan Governance in the Federalist AmericasPeter Ward, Robert Wilson and Peter Spink (Eds.), Metropolitan Governance in the Federalist Americas: Strategies for Equitable and Integrated Development (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012)

Metropolitan Governance in the Federalist Americas features original research and analysis of the principal metropolitan areas in six federalist countries of the Americas—Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela. It finds that a common feature of metropolitan expansion is the lack of a unified governmental structure. The book shows that existing institutional structures and political systems impede collaboration among governments in metropolitan areas. Given both the relatively few successful models at the local level and the disinterest on the part of federal governments, regional governments—states and provinces—seem to provide the most pragmatic bases for constructing metropolitan governments that are capable of efficiently delivering services.

 

New to Paperback:

Jeremi Suri, Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama (Free Press, Paperback 2012)Liberty's Surest Guardian

In Liberty’s Surest Guardian, Suri looks to America’s history to see both what it has to offer failed states around the world and what it should avoid. Far from being cold imperialists, Americans have earnestly attempted to export their invention of representative government. Nation-building is in America’s DNA. It dates back to the days of the American Revolution, when the founding fathers invented the concept of popular sovereignty—the idea that you cannot have a national government without a collective will. The framers of the Constitution initiated a policy of cautious nation-building, hoping not to conquer other countries, but to build a world of stable, self-governed societies that would support America’s way of life. Yet no other country has created more problems for itself and for others by intervening in distant lands and pursuing impractical changes.

 

The Political Economy of BrazilRobert Wilson and Lawrence Graham (Eds.), The Political Economy of Brazil: Public Policies in an Era of Transition (University of Texas Press, Paperback 2012; originally published in 1990)

In this book, several noted scholars focus on specific issues central to an understanding of the political and economic choices that were under debate in Brazil. Their findings reveal that for Brazil, the break with the past—the authoritarian regime—could not be completed due to economic choices made in the 1960s and 1970s, and also the way in which economic resources committed at that time locked the government into a relatively limited number of options in balancing external and internal pressures.