Monthly Digest is a resource provided by Security in Context that provides a list of recent publications, calls, conferences and other items relevant to the critical global, security, and international political economy studies audience. In addition to new items, our digest may contain relatively recent entries, so please double check dates on any calls or conferences. All descriptions taken from their original sources unless otherwise indicated. If we’ve missed something, or you have items you’d like to contribute for future digests, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Lives in Their Portfolios
Why Asset Managers Own the World
By Brett Christophers
All hail the new masters of Capitalism: How asset managers acquired the world
Banks have taken a backseat since the global financial crisis over a decade ago. Today, our new financial masters are asset managers, like Blackstone and BlackRock. And they don't just own financial assets.
The roads we drive on; the pipes that supply our drinking water; the farmland that provides our food; energy systems for electricity and heat; hospitals, schools, and even the homes in which many of us live--all now swell asset managers' bulging investment portfolios.
As the owners of more and more of the basic building blocks of everyday life, asset managers shape the lives of each and every one of us in profound and disturbing ways. In this eye-opening follow-up to Rentier Capitalism, Brett Christophers peels back the veil on "asset manager society."
Asset managers, he shows, are unlike traditional owners of housing and other essential infrastructure. Buying and selling these life-supporting assets at a dizzying pace, the crux of their business model is not long-term investment and careful custodianship but making quick profits for themselves and the investors that back them.
In asset manager society, the natural and built environments that sustain us become one more vehicle for siphoning money from the many to the few.
Aid and the Help
International Development and the Transnational Extraction of Care
By Dinah Hannaford
Hiring domestic workers is a routine part of the expat development lifestyle. Whether working for the United Nations, governmental aid agencies, or NGOs such as Oxfam, Save the Children, or World Vision, expatriate aid workers in the developing world employ maids, nannies, security guards, gardeners and chauffeurs. Though nearly every expat aid worker in the developing world has local people working within the intimate sphere of their homes, these relationships are seldom, if ever, discussed in analyses of the development paradigm and its praxis. Aid and the Help addresses this major lacuna through an ethnographic analysis of the intersection of development work and domestic work. Examining the reproductive labor cheaply purchased by aid workers posted overseas opens the opportunity to assess the multiple ways that the ostensibly "giving" industry of development can be an extractive industry as well.
About the author
Dinah Hannaford is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Houston. She is the author of Marriage Without Borders: Transnational Spouses in Neoliberal Senegal (2017).
Architectures of Spatial Justice
By Dana Cuff
A field-defining work that demonstrates how architects are breaking with professional conventions to advance spatial justice and design more equitable buildings and cities.
As state violence, the pandemic, and environmental collapse have exposed systemic inequities, architects and urbanists have been pushed to confront how their actions contribute to racism and climate crisis—and how they can effect change. Establishing an ethics of spatial justice to lead architecture forward, Dana Cuff shows why the discipline requires critical examination—in relation to not only buildings and the capital required to realize them but privilege, power, aesthetics, and sociality. That is, it requires a reevaluation of architecture's fundamental tenets.
Organized around projects and topics, Architectures of Spatial Justice is a compelling blend of theory, history, and applied practice that focuses on two foundational conditions of architecture: its relation to the public and its dependence on capital. The book draws on studies of architectural projects from around the world, with instructive case studies from Chile, Mexico, Japan, and the United States that focus in particular on urban centers, where architecture is most directly engaged with social justice issues.
Emerging from more than two decades of the author's own project-based research, Architectures of Spatial Justice examines ethically driven practices that break with professional conventions to correct long-standing inequities in the built environment, uncovering architecture's limits—and its potential.
The Ukraine War & European Security: How Durable Is America’s Strategy?
Written by Zachary Paikin
More than a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the morale of the United States and its Western allies appears high. Spurred into action by Moscow’s act of aggression, NATO appears more united, the EU has seemingly become more of a geopolitical actor, and Ukraine has resisted and repulsed the Russian onslaught to a degree that few initially thought possible. The Biden administration has thus far laudably managed to ramp up assistance to Kyiv without directly confronting Moscow.
While the current U.S. policy toward Russia and Ukraine may be sustainable for some time, that does not mean it will never run out of road.
However, while the current U.S. policy toward Russia and Ukraine may be sustainable for some time, that does not mean it will never run out of road. Sanctions against Russia — a major global economy — have been ramped up to a level previously unseen, but they have not been effective in compelling Moscow to change course. The United States and its allies have yet to agree on what they deem to be an acceptable endgame to the war. Great power or not, Russia will remain a populous, powerful and potentially disruptive actor in Europe. Without clearly and credibly proposing policies that can lower the temperature, and without beginning to envisage what a future European security order might look like, the United States risks prolonging the conflict — with potentially unforeseeable consequences if popular war–weariness continues to grow.
Alongside continued support for Ukraine, carefully crafted diplomatic proposals can make the outcome of the war more predictable, lower the risk of escalation, and stabilize the U.S.–Russia rivalry. While a window for pursuing them may not emerge until later this year, the time to begin preparations is now. Specifically, the Biden administration should:
• Signal its openness to revitalizing the principle of indivisible security in the Euro–Atlantic area, to ensure that the security concerns of all regional actors are given a fair hearing.
• Coordinate with allies to communicate proposals for sanctions relief in exchange for a phased disengagement of Russian forces following a ceasefire, which would result in a longer–term political process to resolve Ukraine’s territorial integrity while creating the space necessary to focus on discussing security guarantees for all parties.
• Build trust by developing ad hoc proposals for arms control on the continent, to counterbalance the current dynamic of ramping up military–industrial production for an era of renewed interstate war in Europe.
Trends in World Military Expenditure
Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, Ana Assis, Dr Nan Tian, Diego Lopes da Silva, Xiao Liang and Lorenzo Scarazzato.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
World military expenditure rose by 3.7 per cent in real terms in 2022, to reach a record high of $2240 billion. Global spending grew by 19 per cent over the decade 2013–22 and has risen every year since 2015. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a major driver of the growth in spending in 2022. Military expenditure in Europe rose by 13 per cent during the year, which was the largest annual increase in total European spending in the post-cold war era. The exceptional growth was largely accounted for by substantial increases in Russian and Ukrainian spending, but many other European countries boosted their military budgets in 2022. Spending increases in parts of Asia and Oceania also contributed to the global growth in 2022.
This SIPRI Fact Sheet examines key regional and national military expenditure data for 2022 and trends over the decade 2013–22. The data, which replaces all military spending data previously published by SIPRI, comes from the updated SIPRI Military Expenditure Database.
Dr Nan Tian is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Dr Diego Lopes da Silva is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Xiao Liang is a Research Assistant with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Lorenzo Scarazzato is a Research Assistant with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Dr Lucie Béraud-Sudreau is Director of the Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Ana Assis is a Guest Researcher with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Transregional Energy Infrastructures And Authoritarian Power Beyond The State
Ben Schuetze and Alke Jenss
Benjamin Schuetze is Head of a DFG-funded Emmy Noether Research Group at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) in Freiburg, Germany, and Fellow with the Young Academy for Sustainability Research at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS). His research examines the political economy of renewable energies in the Middle East and North Africa and so-called ‘democracy promotion’ initiatives.
Alke Jenss is a Senior Research Fellow at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) in Freiburg, Germany, and responsible for the institute’s Contested Governance Cluster. Her research is situated at the intersection of critical political economy, state theory and urban (in-)security with particular reference to Latin America.
While transregional energy infrastructure projects like the Central American Electrical Interconnection System (SIEPAC) and MedRing quite literally connect regions anew and envisage borderless energy flows, as we argue in an article recently published with Globalizations, these projects potentially prefigure politics: removing opportunities for democratic contestation, and fixing some specific energy futures in place and preventing others. The sustainability claims that accompany many large-scale transregional electricity grid interconnection projects open up a new means to push through highly contested projects.
MESA Global Academy Grant Opportunities
The MESA Global Academy is an interdisciplinary initiative of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) designed to sustain essential research collaborations and knowledge production among MENA-focused academics by providing competitive scholarships to displaced scholars from the MENA region currently located in North America. The MESA Global Academy is a project of MESA in partnership with the City University of New York and other university partners, with generous support from the Carnegie Corporation, the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation, and the Persian Heritage Foundation.
The MESA Global Academy supports scholars working in the area of governance, accountability, and the rule of law, and scholars working on fairness and economic equality. The Global Academy conceives of these two areas in interdisciplinary terms, and invites scholars to apply from the humanities and social sciences, from comparative literature, history, and Islamic studies to political science, anthropology, economics, and beyond. Please see below for descriptions of the topic areas.
Global Academy scholars are required to attend a number of research workshops hosted by partner universities in their area of focus. Each must present their own research at one workshop and serve as a discussant at another; other engagements are welcome and encouraged. The scholars are also required to attend at least five professional development workshops. In addition, scholars are sponsored to attend and participate in at least one MESA Annual Meeting (currently scheduled for November 2023 in Montreal and online in 2024). A $5,000 award covers both travel and research expenses.
The MESA Global Academy offers competitive fellowships to Middle East Studies scholars from the MENA region who are currently displaced in North America. Eligibility criteria for the fellowships include: 1) holding a PhD or equivalent in a field in the social sciences or humanities (graduate students will not be considered); 2) the primary institutional affiliation was in the MENA region prior to displacement; and 3) a publication record indicating scholarly productivity (in English, French, a native MENA language, or principal research language of the field).
The deadline for applications for the 2023-2024 academic year is May 15, 2023. Please click on the button below to start your application.
You may reach out to Mimi Kirk, Program Manager, at email@example.com with any questions about the Global Academy or the application process.
Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program provides funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to the country's economic, social, and research-based growth.
The objective of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is to:
- attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally
- develop their leadership potential
- position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is unique in its emphasis on the synergy between:
- the applicant – their individual merit and potential to launch a successful research-intensive career; and
- the host institution – their commitment to the research program and alignment with the institution's strategic priorities
An applicant to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program must complete their application in full collaboration with the proposed host institution.
Dr. James Galbraith - The Quasi-Inflation Of 2021-2022: A Case Of Bad Analysis And Worse Policies
James K. Galbraith was executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and an economist for the House Banking Committee. He chaired the board of Economists for Peace and Security and directs The University of Texas Inequality Project. He is managing editor of Structural Change and Economic Dynamics and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2014 Dr. Galbraith was co-winner of the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economics, and in 2020 he received the Veblen-Commons Award of the Association for Evolutionary Economics. His most recent books include Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe (Yale University Press, 2016) and Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Resurgence of Militarism: Views from the Global South and Implications for the United States
Join the Institute for Middle East Studies, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and Security in Context for a panel discussion on the legacy of endless militarism, with a particular focus on the perspectives of the Global South.
Dr. Samar Al-Bulushi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Irvine.
Mouin Rabbani is a writer & Co-Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine.
Dr. Sarang Shidore is Director of Studies and Senior Research Fellow, Asia at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
Dr. Roosbelinda Cardenas is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at Hampshire College.
Dr. Shana Marshall is Assistant Research Professor of International Affairs; Associate Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies.
EVENT: April 19, 2023 - Launching A New Era Of China-Brazil Relations?: South-South Futures And The “Tropical Silk Road”
Join Security in Context and the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at UC Santa Barbara for an engaging webinar discussing Brazilian President Lula's recent visit to Beijing where he signed several new agreements with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and following former President Dilma Rousseff's appointment as the Director of the BRICS Development Bank in Shanghai. Is this the launch of a new era of South-South relations? Also, we will delve into the relevant insights of the recently published book, The Tropical Silk Road: The Future of China in South America (Stanford University Press, 2023), shedding light on the dynamic geopolitical landscape, China's investment and extraction projects in South America, and their impact on the future of the planet.
This event features Dr. Laura Waisbich (University of Oxford), Ms. Yiping Cai (UC Irvine), Prof. Fernando Brancoli (UFRJ), and Prof. Paul Amar (Director, Orfalea Center, UC Santa Barbara).
Laura Trajber Waisbich is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, at the University of Oxford. She also affiliated with three Brazil-based think thanks: the Igarapé Institute, the South-South Cooperation Research and Policy Centre (Articulação SUL), and the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (Cebrap).
CAI Yiping is a member of the Executive Committee of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN). She Co-leads DAWN’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) thematic analysis team together with Vanita Mukherjee. She is currently doing her Ph.D. at Department of Global and International Studies, University of California, Irvine, on the theme of gender and Global China.
Fernando Brancoli is Associate Professor of International Security at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and an Associated Researcher at the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Paul Amar is the Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies and Professor at the Department of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He recently co-edited the book The Tropical Silk Road: The Future of the China in South America (Stanford University Press, 2023) with Fernando Brancoli, María Amelia Viteri and Consuelo Fernández-Salvador.
The Women's Movement and the Challenge of Political Islam in Turkey
Security in Context and the OU Center for Peace and Development present, "The Women's Movement and the Challenge of Political Islam in Turkey." In this talk, Security in Context's Firat Demir hosts a talk with Yeşim Arat, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University in Istanbul.
Professor Yeşim Arat was a member of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University, Istanbul from 1983-2022, and is a member of the Science Academy of Turkey. Professor Arat works on questions of women’s political participation, gender-based violence and problems of democratization in Turkey. She is the author of The Patriarchal Paradox: Women Politicians in Turkey (1989), Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy: Islamist Women in Turkish Politics (2005), Violence against Women in Turkey (2007, with Ayşe Gül Altınay), and Turkey Between Democracy and Authoritarianism (with Şevket Pamuk) (Cambridge, 2019) as well as many academic articles.
Lecturer - Human Rights Studies
The Human Rights Studies Program at the University of California, Davis plans to recruit for a Lecturer for the 2023-2024 AY. Primary duties will be to teach five to six courses in support of the undergraduate teaching program and other courses/duties as assigned depending on the successful candidate’s training and expertise. Assignment of classes, hours of instruction, and office hours are at the discretion of the program. Human Rights Studies is an interdisciplinary field, and we encourage applicants from across the disciplines.
A reasonable estimate for this position is $64,329 - $70,295 annually. Salary is prorated based on appointment percentage and commensurate with education, qualifications, and experience. Shared office space, access to the campus library, copier, and computer facilities will be provided. This appointment is renewable contingent on program teaching needs and funding. The successful candidate will join a growing interdisciplinary community of scholars committed to excellence in Human Rights Studies research, teaching and public engagement. Support for research or conference travel may be available. For information about the program and courses of instruction, please visit https://human-rights.ucdavis.edu/
A Ph.D. or relevant terminal degree is required at time of appointment, though ABD applicants may be considered.
For full consideration, applications must be received by May 26, 2023 and submitted via Recruit at: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF05689. Only complete applications will be considered.
Complete applications include:
1. Curriculum Vitae
2. Cover Letter describing training, current research, and teaching experience.
3. Teaching Portfolio to include one syllabus & one complete set of student evaluations (if available)
4. Names and contact information ONLY for three (3) academic references
5. Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Visiting Assistant Professor of Hebrew
Bard College invites applications for a Visiting Assistant Professor of Hebrew. This is a full-time one-year renewable position to begin in Fall 2023. Responsibilities include offering first- and second-year Hebrew language classes. Candidates will also have the opportunity to teach in Bard’s First Year Seminar program and/or offer content courses in their field of expertise.
Candidates should hold a Ph.D. or be near to completing one and have expertise in Hebrew language instruction.
Please upload a letter of application, CV, documentation of teaching excellence such as student evaluations, and the names of three professional references to Interfolio at: http://apply.interfolio.com/123479
Screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bard’s historic main campus is located along the Hudson River in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, 90 miles north of New York City. Bard College is a private institution working in the public interest. Bard faculty and staff lead their students by example, building upon the existing network of boundary-breaking programs focused on rethinking who can and should be included in a liberal arts education.
Director of the Palestinian Land Studies Center
The American University of Beirut (AUB) invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of the Palestinian Land Studies Center.
Applications, nomination, and requests for additional information may be sent to email@example.com. Applications should include a statement of interest, CV, and list of references. Deadline for receiving applications is: June 15, 2023 but recruitment will continue until the position is filled.
The Palestine Land Studies Center (PLSC) at the American University of Beirut was established as part of AUB’s ongoing commitment to the preservation, reclamation and dissemination of Palestinian history. The PLSC is the permanent home for the extensive archives of Dr. Salman Abu Sitta and the Palestine Land Society in London, and activates the archives though research and academic practice, making them available for public interaction from within AUB’s campus. AUB envisions the PLSC as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and a global hub for grassroots investigation and dialogues around the question of land and population studies in Palestine.
Reporting to the Provost, the Director leads the Center and is responsible for developing its programs (research, education, outreach), internal and external partnerships, and public relations, driving its fundraising efforts and managing its operations. Holder of a PhD in a relevant field, the Director must have excellent research credentials and an interest in developing a research agenda that aligns with the mission of the PLSC. The director should have a strong track record in developing and leading innovative programs or institutes. She/he will hold a full-time professorial rank position in a relevant department/faculty at AUB and the opportunity to develop new courses related to the PLSC mission. The director is expected to contribute to AUB’s educational mission through teaching, offering advanced seminars, and graduate thesis supervision. She/he must be committed to expanding and encouraging the use of the Dr. Salman Abu Sitta archive, to forging working relations with AUB faculty members (many of whom have related interests), other AUB centers and institutes, and with organizations in the region and around the world. The Director will have outstanding leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to work effectively with people from a range of social, political, and cultural backgrounds.
New Books Network
The New Books Network is a consortium of author-interview podcast channels dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing scholars and other serious writers to a wide public via new media. Covering 100+ subjects, disciplines, and genres, we publish 50 to 75 episodes every week. The NBN reaches about a million people every month; NBN listeners download close to 5 million episodes a month. The NBN is staffed by Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Marshall Poe, and Co-Editor Leann Wilson. Feel free to contact either one of us for more information. (Authors and publicists, find out how to pitch us here.)
The NBN’s Editorial Policy
The best way to think about the NBN’s editorial policy is to think of the NBN as a bookstore. The NBN itself does not authorize books or endorse anything said in them. In that sense, we are strictly viewpoint neutral. Rather, like a bookstore, we make the viewpoints of authors available to the public. When we publish an interview, we are not saying “This is a good book” (though it usually is). Instead, we are saying “Here is a book by serious author whose viewpoint you may or may not agree with. Listen in, and decide for yourself.”
How We Pick the Books We Cover
On the NBN, the hosts pick the books covered, not the editor. The reason for this policy is that we believe the hosts, who are always subject specialists themselves, know best what the audience of their specific channel needs and wants to learn about. The hosts–experts all–bring their expertise to the selection process in a way an editor never could. The editor of the NBN is, therefore, more of a publisher than an editor in the traditional sense. The NBN “editor” enables the hosts to interview the authors they select and then makes those interviews available to the public.
Some Legal Stuff and Licensing
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