Scholars 2011-12

Members

Celeste Arrington
Gail Bederman
Elizabeth Bernstein
Andreas Blume
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Thomas J. Csordas
Jeremiah Dittmar
Sherine F. Hamdy
Alexander Laban Hinton
Janis H. Jenkins
Amy Kaplan
Eugene Kontorovich

 

Jennifer S. Light
Steven Lukes
W. Bentley MacLeod
Karuna Mantena
Angel Adams Parham
In-Uck Park
Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Jessica Ellen Sewell
Kabir Tambar
Kimberly Theidon
Peter Vanderschraaf
Jarrett Zigon

Visitors

Asli Ü. Bâli
Jonathan Caverley
James Doyle
Beth Kiyoko Jamieson
Andrew Johnston
Jennifer A. London
Eric S. Maskin
Andrew Moravcsik
Judith Surkis
Justus von Daniels

Visiting Associate

Sheena Kang

 

Members

       

Celeste Arrington
George Washington University
Political Science

 

 

What is Fair? The Moral Politics of Victim Redress

Although it might not seem possible to put a price on human suffering, governments worldwide routinely compensate individuals harmed by state policies. How are restitution packages decided? By what standards do victims, government officials, and the broader public evaluate the fairness or justness of proposed redress policies? At times, all democratic polities must grapple with the questions of when and how to grant redress to victims of systematic discrimination or governmental wrongdoing. Yet the moral principles and political calculations on which such decisions are based remain under-theorized. I propose to analyze how conflicts between contending models of what is morally just and fair affect redress policy outcomes, focusing on victim redress movements in Japan and Korea, with comparative reference to victim movements in Western democracies. Specifically, I will compare the effects of sociolinguistic framing, religiously-based moral codes, and legal norms and institutions on the moral economy of victim redress.

 

 

       

Gail Bederman
University of Notre Dame
History

 

The Worst Sort of Property: Population, Marriage and Sexual Radicalism in England, 1793-1803

My project returns to the 1790s to gain a fresh perspective on the kinds of naturalized logics and political premises underlying contemporary US disputes over the morality of abortion. Bitter disputes over which individual has the superior claim—the fetus, to life; or the mother, to liberty—have proved unanswerable. My project takes the form of an archivally researched set of interwoven narratives about the lives and writings of William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, and T.R. Malthus between 1792 and 1803, which, taken together, provide a sort of genealogy of some of the unrecognized logics embedded in contemporary US arguments about abortion.

 

 

       

Elizabeth Bernstein
Barnard College
Columbia University
Sociology

 

Brokered Subjects: Sex, Trafficking, and the Politics of Freedom

Brokered Subjects analyzes the construction of "sex trafficking" as a moral and political issue within the contemporary United States and transnationally. Taking as a departure point my previous ethnographic research with migrant and domestic sex workers and the social actors who aim to regulate their movements, I consider the moral politics of the coalition of conservative Christians, secular feminists, and bipartisan state officials who have successfully encoded their concerns around sexual slavery and forced migration into broad-ranging discourses and policies. In particular, I trace developing points of intersection amongst policy makers and activists on two key political fronts—carceral feminism and militarized humanitarianism—elaborating upon the distinctive moral visions and political strategies that undergird each of these modes of activist intervention. I further demonstrate how the alliance between evangelical Christians and feminists, which has been so efficacious in framing current policies and debates, is the product of two historically unique and intertwined trends: a rightward shift on the part of many mainstream feminists and other secular liberals away from a redistributive model of justice and towards a politics of incarceration, coincident with a leftward sweep on the part of many younger evangelicals away from the isolationist issues of abortion and gay marriage and toward a globally oriented social justice theology. Within the neoliberal context of a devolving state apparatus, in which practices of governance increasingly rely upon a coalition of state and non-state actors, these shifts have helped to align both groups’ agendas with contemporary state interests in border control, militarism, and policing.

 

 

       

Andreas Blume
University of Pittsburgh
Economics

 

Communication Strategies with Imperfectly Shared Meanings

The standard game theoretic account of meaning is as an equilibrium phenomenon. In equilibrium, all agents know each others’ strategies and optimize given that knowledge. The meaning of a message is then entirely determined by the role it plays in the players’ equilibrium strategies. Importantly, since in equilibrium players know each others’ strategies, it appears that there cannot be disagreement about meaning in equilibrium. The goal of the project is to reconcile the intuition that meaning is frequently not clear with the fact that in equilibrium players know each others’ strategies and hence the uses of messages. If successful, the methodology developed in this project to model imperfectly shared meanings could be imported into standard game theoretic models with a significant communication component, e.g. models of contracting, expert advice, lobbying, consulting, bargaining, debate, etc.

 

 

 

 

   

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Brown University
New Media Studies
 

 

 

Imagined Networks, Glocal Connections

"Networks" has become a defining concept of our epoch. They are employed by various disciplines to diagram the ever-increasing connections and flows within social, cultural, political, and technological structures, as well as the collapsing boundaries between them. Networks, thus used, are odd infectious entities: they are both analytic tools and actually existing phenomena, descriptions and prescriptions. To understand the power of networks, Imagined Networks: Glocal Connections argues for the importance of images and the imagination, rather than simple mapping. The imagination is key to transforming networks from planning devices to lived experiences, to translating technologies into media, connections into "friends." It is key to the formation of new groupings that link the local to the global, the micro to the macro, based on a plural "you," rather than a collective "we."

 
         

Thomas J. Csordas
University of California
San Diego
Anthropology

 

Moral Subjectivity, Moral Economy, and the Struggle for Biographical Coherence in the Experience and Treatment of Adolescent Psychiatric Disorder

The long term goal of the NIMH-funded research "Southwest Youth and the Experience of Psychiatric Treatment" (SWYEPT) is to produce knowledge of use to those concerned with the lives of adolescents in the context of cultural differences across Native American, Hispanic/Latino, and Euro-American ethnic groups. Among severely troubled adolescents inhabiting a landscape of poverty, drug-related violence, and despair who enter treatment as psychiatric inpatients, the often stark harshness of their conditions of life poses a challenge to understanding cultural meaning, social interaction, and individual experience. The joint book project (with Janis H. Jenkins) will examine SWYEPT data beginning with the observation that these young patients can be classified either in terms of psychiatric disorder or life experience–the pathological or the moral. Our ethnographic task is to grant equal if not greater privilege to the second of these systems, focusing on the formation of moral subjectivities and the moral economy of mental health care to understand the life trajectories of these young people and their efforts to achieve a biographical coherence that can serve as a basis for the eventual integrity of adult identity.

 

 

 

 

   

Jeremiah Dittmar
American University
Economics

 

Ideas, Technology, and Economic Change: The Impact of the Printing Press

The objective of this project is to deepen our understanding of the role of technology in economic growth by determining how the adoption of the movable type printing press impacted city growth in Europe. The printing press was the great innovation in early modern information technology and provides the closest historical parallel to the internet. The proposed research will, for the first time, document how the information technology revolution of the Renaissance transformed the economic geography of Europe and contributed to the emergence of modern economic growth. The research will combine economic, geographic, and historic scholarship in new ways–to document local interactions between technology, ideas, and institutions that radically transformed economic life. We expect that this historical research will allow us to draw lessons for contemporary questions concerning the impact of modern information technology on the location of production and economic growth.

 

 

       

Sherine F. Hamdy
Brown University
Anthropology

 

Recalibrating Life: The Social Lives Around Prenatal Genetic Testing in Saudi Arabia and Egypt

My project ethnographically and critically examines the moral dilemmas around prenatal genetic testing in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as experienced by family members burdened with genetic disease, mothers perceived to be "at risk," the geneticists, and the Muslim leaders who are asked to make moral pronouncements on the subject. Genetic screening programs in the Muslim Arab world, as elsewhere, put parents-to-be in the unprecedented role of making moral decisions about the value of unborn life based on notions of health and disease. These technologies, which can test fetuses for genetic abnormalities, enable prospective parents and geneticists to calculate which lives are worth living and which should be terminated. Understanding the appeals to moral positions as they unfold in these two places will both complicate the universalism of Western bioethics discourse as well as the notion of a singular "Islamic" response to emergent biotechnologies. My ultimate goal is to not only provide a rigorous set of questions and guidelines in collaboration with stakeholders in these countries, but also to expand the analytical and theoretical frameworks of social scientific approaches to health, biotechnologies, and Islam.

 
         

Alexander Laban Hinton
Rutgers University
Anthropology

 

Transitional Slippages: Power, Politics, and the Moral Economy of Justice at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

To what extent can transitional justice mechanisms help people find justice after genocide and mass atrocity? My book project poses this question in relationship to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC or "Khmer Rouge Tribunal"), which is mandated to try the senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge for crimes committed from April 17, 1975 through January 6, 1979. Such tribunals are often depicted as delivering justice and a host of other goods (for example, peace, reconciliation, healing, closure, democracy, and the rule of law) in an impartial, apolitical manner. My project, based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork at the tribunal and elsewhere in Cambodia, argues that such tribunals are highly normative and political. Through a process of reduction and production, the tribunal shrinks complex political, sociocultural, and personal histories while producing a liberal democratic subject position and a social imaginary of (civilized) humanity. A recognition of this moral economy of transitional justice and the historical and sociocultural complexities in post-conflict societies is critical to finding locally resonant paths toward sustainable peace.

 

 

       

Janis H. Jenkins
University of California,
San Diego
Anthropology

 

Moral Subjectivity, Moral Economy, and the Struggle for Biographical Coherence in the Experience and Treatment of Adolescent Psychiatric Disorder

The long term goal of the NIMH-funded research "Southwest Youth and the Experience of Psychiatric Treatment" (SWYEPT) is to produce knowledge of use to those concerned with the lives of adolescents in the context of cultural differences across Native American, Hispanic/ Latino, and Euro-American ethnic groups. Among severely troubled adolescents inhabiting a landscape of poverty, drug-related violence, and despair who enter treatment as psychiatric inpatients, the often stark harshness of their conditions of life poses a challenge to understanding cultural meaning, social interaction, and individual experience. The joint book project (with Thomas J. Csordas) will examine SWYEPT data beginning with the observation that these young patients can be classified either in terms of psychiatric disorder or life experience–the pathological or the moral. Our ethnographic task is to grant equal if not greater privilege to the second of these systems, focusing on the formation of moral subjectivities and the moral economy of mental health care to understand the life trajectories of these young people and their efforts to achieve a biographical coherence that can serve as a basis for the eventual integrity of adult identity.

 

 

       

Amy Kaplan
University of Pennsylvania
American Studies

 

American Zionism

American Zionism seeks to explain how America's popular support for Israel has emerged and developed over time. I historicize the deeply held assumption that the two nations have a timeless organic bond rooted in common traditions and values. Israel has embodied powerful multiple meanings to a wide array of Americans. My project focuses on the crucible of US culture, the medium in which these meanings have been created, and contested. While diplomatic historians have scrutinized the political alliance, my book explores how cultural identifications with Israel have upheld cherished myths about America's past and projections of its self-image in the world.

 

 

 

 

   

Eugene Kontorovich
Northwestern University
Law

 

Justice at Sea: Piracy and the Limits of International Criminal Law

My project examines the lessons of piracy for modern international criminal law. Piracy provides a unique way to assess the progress and potential of international criminal law. For hundreds of years piracy has been a universal jurisdiction crime; it inspired the modern regime of international criminal justice. Piracy is also very much a current challenge, as highlighted by the unprecedented resurgence of robbery on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden. Thus it offers a yardstick against which to measure the progress of international law from the 19th century to today. It provides a historical and empirical perspective on such much-debated questions as the limits and promise of universal jurisdiction, the willingness of nations to sacrifice their own sailors and sovereign prerogatives for the sake of global justice, the extent to which states have internalized international norms; as well as more domestic questions like the legality of human rights litigation in US courts and the ability of Congress to regulate purely foreign conduct. The overarching theme of the project is that modern international criminal law is not inventing the wheel. Much of what it tries to do has already been attempted, albeit on a smaller scale, in regards to crimes on the high seas. Perhaps because of its forward-looking nature, international law has paid little attention to these earlier efforts. For international law, piracy can teach valuable cautionary lessons, illustrating the difficulties in having international law replace or trump national self-interest.

 

 

       

Jennifer S. Light
Northwestern University
History

 

Junior Republics, Juvenile States, and Youth Cities: Simulating American Society, 1895-1945

Light is writing about the historical and contemporary significance of the junior republic movement, 1895-1945, when children joined self-governing communities for civic and character education. A book will expand the historiography of educational simulations. A companion article will address technology designers seeking to educate today’s youth using digital simulation tools.

 

 

       

Steven Lukes
New York University
Sociology

 

Sociology of Morals

I propose to write a book on the sociology of morals that I have long been intending to write. The book I plan will first aim to reconstruct a history of sociological thinking about morals (I see no significant distinction here between sociology and anthropology) from, say, Montaigne through Durkheim and Westermaarck to the present. Then, in its main part, I shall address at least the following three broad questions: (1) How wide and how deep does moral diversity go (where width signifies distance and depth intractability) and how can we investigate this (double) question empirically in a non-ethnocentric way? (2) Under what conditions do the boundaries of moral concern expand, eventually coming to embrace the human species and beyond, in the minds of thinkers and in practical life? And (3) What sense can we make of the idea of moral progress, in large and small ways—from the humanization of punishment to the “civilizing process" of Norbert Elias and, for instance, bans on smoking in public places? What are the factors that make if more or less likely to occur?

 

 

       

W. Bentley MacLeod
Columbia University
Economics

 

Incentives and Economic Organization

My current research explores the question of how institutions are designed to supply complex goods and services that affect social well-being and inequality. Next year I plan to work on the following projects: (1) Education, Schools, and Labor Market Outcomes–joint work with Miguel Urquiola. We have a discussion paper, MacLeod and Urquiola (2009), that we are currently revising for the Journal of Political Economy. We are currently in the process of collecting data on education systems world wide. Our goal is to better understand the impact that eduction systems have upon labor market performance of individuals and inequality. (2) Compensation, Inequality and Labor Market Performance. This is a project with Thomas Lemieux and Daniel Parent. (3) Contract: The Law and Economics of Bilateral Exchange. This is a book project under contract with MIT Press. (4) Law, Economics and Development. This is a second book project that would begin once the MIT book is completed. It will be based upon my a course I have given at SIPA and the Law School at Columbia University.

 

 

       

Karuna Mantena
Yale University
Political Science

 

Gandhi’s Realism: Means and Ends in Politics

This project reconsiders Gandhi’s political thought from the standpoint of a realist theory of political means. Though Gandhi is often taken to be the exemplary figure of a form of conviction politics, I explore how Gandhi’s politics were connected to a contextual and consequentialist theory of political violence. It was this underlying account of the pathologies and seductions of modern politics which called forth the inventive use of non-violent modes of political action. To distinguish Gandhi’s realism from conviction politics, or more generally from forms of moralism, is to emphasize, firstly, the extent to which non-violence was not simply a static ethical injunction but referred to the interplay of various tactics, strategies, and stances that aimed at transforming the psychological valence of violence in the dynamics of political conflict; and, secondly, that, for Gandhi, the significance of non-violent action had much less to do with the moral purity of the political actor than its political efficacy. I take the core of Gandhi’s political theory to be less the moral critique of violence as such than his attempt to formulate a novel theory of political action out of it.

 

 

       

Angel Adams Parham
Loyola University--New Orleans
Sociology

 

Legacies of St. Domingue/Haiti in Louisiana: Race, Memory, and Family History

Sociological theories concerning race in the US generally privilege a US-based, Anglo-American framework for examining the structure and experience of race across the US. The history of the establishment of different regions as part of the US raises questions, however, about how settled the Anglo-American system of race is. Over the last two hundred years, attempts to firmly establish this Anglo-American ideal over varied regions of the US have been continually challenged. As a result, the US we have today is best understood as a palimpsest where traces of alternative racial and ethnic frameworks bleed through to the top layers of our "American" portrait, continually complicating the simpler picture we often try to paint. Because it has been so intimately tied to the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean with its differing approaches to race, the past and present of Louisiana nicely illustrate this palimpsest character. This research project combines in-depth interviews of individuals with roots in 18th and 19th century Louisiana and St. Domingue/Haiti with historical research in order to create a critical dialogue between past and present that helps to illuminate current issues, quandaries, and debates concerning race and racial inequality in this region. It is hoped that this examination of past and present racial systems in Louisiana will encourage further scholarship on race that is more firmly rooted in regional, historical, and–where relevant—transnational frames of analysis.

 

 

       

In-Uck Park
University of Bristol
Economics

 

Internal Organization and Stable Coalition Structures

Circumstances abound in economic, political or social arenas, in which individual agents interact via the organizations they choose to belong to. The structure of organizations that will emerge as a result, e.g., how many and what kind of organizations will be formed, is important for the performance of the overall system. Drawing on the positive relationship observed between individual agents’ abilities and their internal ranks and payoffs, we propose to conduct a theoretical investigation on coalition formation, with a view to delineate the interrelation between the internal organization of coalitions on the one hand and the structure of stable coalitions to emerge on the other. We intend to start by studying the impact of internal organization on the structure of stable coalitions, before moving on to explore the endogenous co-determination of the two, hopefully in conjunction with welfare considerations. It is hoped that this research will further our understanding of the main factors and the mechanism that determine the structure of organizations to arise and thereby, shed some new lights on how the efficiency of the whole system might be improved.

 

 

       

Nancy Scheper-Hughes
University of California,
Berkeley
Anthropology

 

The Ghosts of Montes de Oca: From Moral Therapy to Moral Collapse at the National Mental Colony, Argentina

The world knows about Argentina’s 30,000 desaparecedos, those ordinary people from all walks of life who were kidnapped, tortured, murdered and "disappeared" during the military dictatorship (1976-1983) known as the "El Proceso" to its supporters and as the “Dirty War" to its victims. But the history of missing patients from the Colonia Montes de Oca, Argentina’s national asylum for the "mentally deficients" (including officially unknown persons, NNs) has never been thoroughly researched or documented. Founded in the early 20th century with the utopian premise of removing the nation’s mentally impaired to the serene and salutary countryside, by the 1970s the progressive model of moral therapy gave way to moral collapse and to an epoch of malignant neglect, medical abuse, medical experimentation and bio-theft of the helpless "depositos." Based on two ethnographic exploratory and documentary field trips in 2000, 2001, followed by an official invitational visit by the Argentine Ministry of Health, in 2008 to review and discuss my preliminary report, and to observe a reform that was officially initiated in 2007, I am writing a book length monograph analyzing the cultural, political, ideological, and bio-psychiatric forces that created and maintained an institution in which it was easy enough for any of the patients to flee, to sicken and to die. I argue that tucked inside the cultural politics of the Argentine "dirty war" was a "petite war," an "invisible genocide" against the population of socially abandoned mental deficients. I explain how this situation came about in a country known as one of the most psychologically sophisticated in the world.

 

 

       

Jessica Ellen Sewell
Institute for Advanced Study

 

Manly Things: Masculine Interiors and Domestic Objects in the Postwar United States

Manly Things explores the relationship between masculine interiors and domestic objects, ever-changing definitions of masculinity, and the shift to consumption-based identity in the postwar United States. It demonstrates how, in the context of the American "crisis of masculinity" of the late 1950s and 1960s, when masculine identity was perceived as under attack by feminine culture, men used domestic objects to bolster their identity as men and to weather the transition to masculine identities based on consumption. Examining the bachelor pad and other masculine interiors, including the corporate office, and the masculine objects that furnished these spaces, including the lounge chair, the briar pipe, and the stereo, it shows how real and imagined masculine interiors served to construct an image of urban individualist masculinity.

 

 

       

Kabir Tambar
Stanford University
Anthropology

 

Parables of Karbala: Mourning, Morality, and Modernity in Turkey

How are contemporary Muslim movements evaluating the legacies of modernization in terms of the moral and political futures it prescribes? What forms of historical con- sciousness, public comportment, aesthetic sensibility, and ritual affect–in short, what forms of subjectivity–are such movements pursuing in the course of critiquing modernity’s moral limits? I am exploring these questions in a book manuscript where I examine the process by which Alevi Muslims in contemporary Turkey have come to adopt modernist sensibilities toward their community’s past and toward the public performance of their religious traditions in the present. My project develops in two directions. First, it explores how, in the process of the Alevi community’s incorporation into the urban, industrial economy over the past four decades, Alevi dispositions toward devotional practices and narratives of early Islam have increasingly conformed to the Republican Turkish state’s expectations of modern civic participation. Second, the book examines the efforts by Alevis in the present day to critically reevaluate the modernist sensibilities they have been urged to internalize. The book illuminates the stakes of challenging, as well as of yielding to, the seductions of modernity in the contemporary Muslim world.

 
         

Kimberly Theidon
Harvard University
Anthropology

 

Pasts Imperfect: Working with Former Combatants in Colombia

A key challenge following mass atrocity is what to do with the thousands of low-level perpetrators whose sheer numbers may overwhelm the legal system and whose return to civilian life may generate tremendous fear and resentment. In this book, I explore how the former combatants with whom I work in Colombia conceptualize not only killing, but also justice, reparations, and reconciliation—concepts that are central concerns to the growing field of transitional justice. We know a great deal about how "ordinary people" can be socialized into committing horrific acts of violence. From the classic studies of World War II to the Milgram experiments on authority and obedience and the Stanford Prison Experiments to more recent work looking at military socialization, violence workers, the mobilization of cultural repertoires and the bodily construction of radical alterity, there is a rich and abundant interdisciplinary literature focused on the socialization of torturers and killers. My research was compelled by the desire to understand how we might reverse this process. In the context of sustained lethal violence, what are the resources individuals and collectives marshal to bring violence to a halt? Once the killing stops, how do people live together again?

 
         

Peter Vanderschraaf
University of California,
Merced
Philosophy

 

Morals by Convention

I shall present and defend a contemporary reformulation of moral conventionalism, based upon the ancient but relatively underexplored idea that moral norms are best understood as subsets of the systems of conventions that regulate human societies. My defense of moral conventionalism will incorporate elements of the social sciences, especially game theory, as well as the key philosophical literature on convention. An emerging tradition analyzes various problems in moral philosophy using  game theory, which is a formal theory of social interaction. In one strand of this tradition, certain moral concepts are analyzed in terms of rational choice in a strategic context (rational choice game theory). Another strand applies evolutionary analyses of strategies for interaction (evolutionary game theory) to explain the origins of social norms. My defense of moral conventionalism will be the first work in this tradition that fully integrates the parts of rational choice and the evolutionary branches of game theory most closely connected with moral theory.

 
   

 

   

Jarrett Zigon
University of Amsterdam
Anthropology

 

 

 

 

Moral and Political Subjectivities in Rights-Based HIV/AIDS Programs: A Study in the Anthropology of Moralities

How do competing and contested moralities within local rights-based HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs affect the politico-moral subjectivities of participants in these programs?  In addressing this question I am particularly interested in institutional contexts that combine human rights and personal responsibility approaches to health.  Utilizing an anthropological theory of moralities that I have developed over the last ten years, I will do a genealogical-discursive analysis on the socio-political context of the rise of human rights as a moral discourse, and consider the results of ongoing transnational ethnographic research in four prevention and treatment programs.

 
         

Visitors

       

Asli Ü. Bâli
(Term 2)
University of California,
Los Angeles
Law

 

Subordination by Law? Discretion and Discrimination Against U.S. Muslims Beyond September 11th

Subordination by Law examines how post-9/11 immigration policy changes served as an incubator to develop more general techniques – now available for use against citizens through the criminal law – to control alleged threats emanating from Muslims within the U.S. Strategies originally developed in the immigration context – which is characterized by lower constitutional and procedural protections than the criminal justice system – are now deployed under the rubric of counterterrorism against U.S. citizen Muslims. The counter-terrorism paradigm has produced analogous deprivations of liberty, limited procedural protections and deteriorating conditions of detention to those imposed on visa-holders deemed to be of “special interest” by the FBI in the immediate post-9/11 context. The resulting preventive detention model has been used to criminalize ordinary forms of speech and association, effectively treating Muslim dissent as sedition and traditional transnational Muslim networks as criminalized national security threats. This project will chronicle the web of legal doctrine and policy that has produced the elision between the legal status of immigrant and U.S. citizen Muslims and analyze the overlapping use of race, religion, ethnicity and national origin as categories to mark this community for intersectional forms of subordination. The empirical and analytic components of the project will serve as a basis to identify potential legal strategies to resist counter-terrorism based arguments for the diminution of rights and procedural protections for American Muslims.

 

 

       

Jonathan Caverley
Northwestern University
Political Science

 

Death and Taxes: The Political Economy of Democratic Militarism

Jonathan Caverley is completing a book, "Death and Taxes: The Political Economy of Democratic Militarism," examining the distribution of the costs of defense within democracies, and its contribution to military aggressiveness. He also studies the globalization of the defense industry, and the role of technology in international politics.

 
         

James Doyle
University of Bristol
Philosophy

 

Plato's Gorgias

Professor Doyle will be working on a book on Plato's Gorgias.  This will give an analysis of the main arguments of the dialogue, and an account of the use to which Plato puts the dialogue form, as leveling an implicit critique of Socrates' conception of philosophical method and his associated doctrine of "intellectualism."

 
         

Beth Kiyoko Jamieson
Independent Scholar
 

 

Complicated Bodies: Feminism, Freedom, and Fixing Gender

Kiki Jamieson studies the ways gender is defined and enforced through legal and political institutions. She explores issues of discrimination and punishment related to gender identity and expression, with particular emphasis on the force of law felt by gender non-conforming people in institutions ranging from prisons to schools to marriage.

 
         

Andrew Johnston
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China
Architecture/Cultural Geography

 

Quicksilver Landscapes: Space, Power, and Ethnicity in the Mercury Mining Industry in California and the West, 1845-1890

Andrew Johnston is working on a book entitled Quicksilver Landscapes: Space, Power, and Ethnicity in the Mercury Mining Industry in California and the West, 1845-1890. This book reconstructs the cultural landscapes of the mercury industry in the context of race, technology, the organization of labor, and everyday life.

 
         

Jennifer A. London
Independent Scholar
Political Science
 

 

 

 

 

Autocracy and the Foreigner: The Political Thought of Ibn al-Muqaffa

London is a political theorist working on Arabic models of the just world. She will complete a manuscript on the political thought of the Persian secretary Ibn al-Muqaffa – a luminary of early Arabic prose. She will analyze how Ibn al-Muqaffa‘ introduced Persian political ideas at the ‘Abbasid court to achieve greater authority.

 

 

 

 

   

Eric S. Maskin
(Term 2)
Harvard University
Economics

 

This year I will continue my work on mechanism design, repeated games, income inequality, and the theory of voting.

 

 

 

 
         

Andrew Moravcsik
Princeton University
Political Science

 

Democracy-enhancing Multilateralism in Europe and the World

International organizations are widely believed to undermine the democratic legitimacy of nation-states. This research project challenges the conventional wisdom, arguing that multilateralism can sustain and often even enhance the legitimacy of national democracies, even in well-functioning polities. Philosophical, theoretical and empirical analysis supports this conclusion. This work: (a) proposes a core conception of constitutional democracy as an alternative to existing philosophical notions; (b) elaborates theoretical mechanisms through which multilateral institutions can influence constitutional democracy positively or negatively; (c) assesses empirically the overall strength and direction of this effect across six contemporary issues (European integration, global trade, financial regulation, the environment, anti-terrorism policy, and human rights), with the hypothesis that negative effects have been exaggerated; and (d) explores the residual variation to generalize about conditions under which multilateralism is most likely to have domestic democratic costs or benefits. The overall aim is to articulate a set of critical democratic standards appropriate to help guide the evaluation and reform of international institutions. This shared framework supports two parallel research efforts in distinct empirical domains: a single-authored book on the European Union and a book with Robert Keohane and Stephen Macedo on global multilateral institutions.

 

 

 

       

Judith Surkis
Institute for Advanced Study
History

 

Scandalous Subjects: Intimacy and Indecency in France and French Algeria, 1830-1930

In French Algeria, colonial jurists liked to argue that the French had maintained Islam—and hence Muslim law—since the conquest in 1830. French legislators and jurists nonetheless profoundly transformed local law, even as they claimed to preserve it. My project explores how ideas of religious and sexual difference underwrote this plural and hierarchical system. In the second half of the 19th century, cases of Muslim familial conflict appeared before French courts of appeal. By isolating "indecent" facets of Islamic and customary law for their rhetorical and juridical attentions, jurists and settlers, as well as politicians and publicists, increasingly articulated indigenous legal and religious difference as a kind of sexual difference. This unexplored archive offers a new view of the historical entanglement of French and "Muslim" law. In restoring this history to view, my project re-frames contemporary controversies over sexual and religious pluralism in France today.

 
         

Justus von Daniels
Benjamin N. Cardozo
School of Law
Law and Religion

 

The Dynamics of Legal Accommodation

In my project I analyze the processes and mechanisms of practiced legal interaction of religious law and state law in the United States. Based on a qualitative empirical study about Jewish and Muslim communities in the United States who adhere to parts of religious law, I scrutinize how state law and community law respond to each other. The in-depth analysis of the present interactions shows that legal accommodation is a process of mutual recognition. 

Jewish communities have created ways to exercise parts of their traditional law in autonomous courts which are treated as arbitration courts. With the rising debate of legal accommodation for Muslim communities in the West, a critically revised version of this weak legal autonomy is often advocated as a role model for Islamic law. 

But Muslim communities develop different ways to apply Islamic law within the frame of state law. The study aims to explain some dynamics of legal pluralism: in the case of religious law, different forms of hybrid norms, weak legal autonomy and procedural cooperation evolve from a context-sensitive coordination.

 
         

Visiting Associate

       

Sheena Kang
University of Chicago
Political Theory

 

Sheena Kang is a political theorist working on a project that explores theoretical questions of historic injustice. She asks how, if at all, historic injustice can be understood as a current and ongoing problem.  The project explores the role of official apologies in addressing historic wrongs and underlying themes of justice, recognition and responsibility among others.