Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Titles

These are recent titles that we have stocked:
  • The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History Of Upland Southeast Asia by James Scott. For two thousand years the disparate groups that now reside in Zomia (a mountainous region the size of Europe that consists of portions of seven Asian countries) have fled the projects of the organised state societies that surround them - slavery, conscription, taxes, corvĂ©e labour, epidemics, and warfare. This book, essentially an "anarchist history," is the first-ever examination of the huge literature on state-making whose author evaluates why people would deliberately and reactively remain stateless. Among the strategies employed by the people of Zomia to remain stateless are physical dispersion in rugged terrain; agricultural practices that enhance mobility; pliable ethnic identities; devotion to prophetic, millenarian leaders; and maintenance of a largely oral culture that allows them to reinvent their histories and genealogies as they move between and around states. In accessible language, James Scott tells the story of the peoples of Zomia and their unlikely odyssey in search of self-determination. He redefines our views on Asian politics, history, demographics, and even our fundamental ideas about what constitutes civilization, and challenges us with a radically different approach to history that presents events from the perspective of stateless peoples and redefines state-making as a form of "internal colonialism." This new perspective requires a radical re-evaluation of the civilisational narratives of the lowland states.)
  • Changing Agrifood Markets In Southeast Asia: Impacts On Small-Scale Producers edited by Larry Digal and Felicity Proctor et al. Agrifood markets are in an unprecedented state of flux, and are generating intense policy debate worldwide. The primary drivers are market liberalisation, a reduced role of the state and shifts into market-driven policy, changes in consumer preferences and purchasing power, rising energy and food prices, climate change and its implications, and the modernisation of food processing and retail itself. This book is based on the work of the Regoverning Markets Programme (2005-2008), an intensive multi-partner collaborative research and policy support programme. The Programme examines the keys to inclusion into agrifood systems under different degrees of restructuring. It works on deepening the research on implications and opportunities for small-scale producers and SMEs. It tries to understand what is the practice in connecting small-scale producers with dynamic markets and brings these findings into the wider policy arena. Overall, the programme provides strategic advice and guidance to the public sector, agrifood chain actors, civil society organisations and development agencies and approaches that can anticipate and manage the impacts of the dynamic changes in local and regional markets. While the program covers nine regions in the world, this book covers only the research done in Southeast Asia.
  • The Global Economic Crisis: Implications for ASEAN. In June 2009, the ASEAN Studies Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung organised the ISEAS annual roundtable, this time on the subject of "The Global Economic Crisis: Implications for ASEAN". The roundtable concluded that the crisis had a significant impact on the region, and ASEAN needed to have a better co-ordinated approach if it was to weather the storm. The region had taken into account the fact that the developed countries like the US and the EU would take a longer time to come out of the crisis. Hence, while export-led growth policies had served the region well in the past, governments now had to adopt policies that were oriented more to the domestic or regional markets. Another conclusion of the roundtable had to do with the notion of security. The current economic crisis was considered as a new kind of insecurity. Hence, the future treatment of regional security should be reconceptualised, so that there could be better prospects of anticipating future threats from the economic realm. Lastly, the roundtable judged that ASEAN had not fully addressed the implications of the current crisis on the poor. In the light of the tendency of the crisis to push increasing number of people to become poor, ASEAN cooperation in labour and social protection needed to aim at preventing the crisis from causing further social damage.
  • Six Countries, Six Reform Models: The Healthcare Reform Experience Of Israel, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland And Taiwan - Healthcare Reforms Under The Radar Screen edited by Kieke Okma and Luca Crivelli. This book presents the healthcare reform experiences of six small- to mid-sized, but dynamic, economies spanning the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Europe. Usually not given serious consideration in major international comparisons because of their small size, each in fact provides a fascinating case study that illuminates the understanding of the dynamics of healthcare reform. Although dissimilar in historical and cultural backgrounds, they share some important features: all faced very similar pressures for change in the 1970s and 1980s; all considered a very similar range of policy options; and all did not only discuss but actually implemented fundamental changes in their healthcare funding, organization, contracting and governance structures with strikingly different outcomes. The analytic frameworks used by the authors reflect their broad range of professional and disciplinary backgrounds in health economics and political science. Beyond mere descriptions of reform processes and superficial analyses based on aggregate data from the usual OECD or WHO sources, they seek to understand - and explain - the variations in country experiences by examining the politico-socio-economic factors driving health reform as seen through the respective country lenses.

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