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Author: Lars T. Lih
Lenin’s What is to Be Done? (1902) has long been seen as the founding document of a 'party of a new type'. For some, it provided a model of ‘vanguard party’ that was the essence of Bolshevism, for others it manifested Lenin’s élitist and manipulatory attitude towards the workers.
This substantial new commentary, based on contemporary Russian- and German-language sources, provides hitherto unavailable contextual information that undermines these views and shows how Lenin's argument rests squarely on an optimistic confidence in the workers' revolutionary inclinations and on his admiration of German Social Democracy in particular. Lenin's outlook cannot be understood, Lih claims here, outside the context of international Social Democracy, the disputes within Russian Social Democracy and the institutions of the revolutionary underground.
The new translation focuses attention on hard-to-translate key terms. This study raises new and unsettling questions about the legacy of Marx, Bolshevism as a historical force, and the course of Soviet history, but, most of all, it will revolutionise the conventional interpretations of Lenin.
Perspectives on State Power and Violence
Editor: John T. Parry
The topic of “evil” means different things depending upon context. For some, it is an archaic term, while others view it as a central problem of ethics, psychology, or politics. Coupled with state power, the problem of evil takes on a special salience for most observers. When governments do evil –in whatever way we define the term – the scale of harm increases, sometimes exponentially. The evils of state violence, then, demand our attention and concern. Yet the linkage of evil with state power does not resolve the underlying question of how to understand the concepts that we invoke when we use the term. Instead, the question becomes what evil means in the context of and in relation to state power.
The fifteen essays in this book bring multiple perspectives to bear on the problems of state-sponsored evil and violence, and on the ways in which law enables or responds to them. The approaches and conclusions articulated by the various contributors sometimes complement and sometimes stand in tension with each other, but as a whole they contribute to our ongoing effort to understand the characteristics and workings of state power, and our need to grapple with the harm it causes.
In this book Sita van Bemmelen offers an account of changes in Toba Batak society (Sumatra, Indonesia) due to Christianity and Dutch colonial rule (1861-1942) with a focus on customs and customary law related to the life cycle and gender relations. The first part, a historical ethnography, describes them as they existed at the onset of colonial rule. The second part zooms in on the negotiations between the Toba Batak elite, the missionaries of the German Rhenish Mission and colonial administrators about these customs showing the evolving views on desirable modernity of each contestant. The pillars of the Toba patrilineal kinship system were challenged, but alterations changed the way it was reproduced and gender relations for ever.
The Festschrift Darkhei Noam: The Jews of Arab Lands presented to Norman (Noam) Stillman offers a coherent and thought-provoking discussion by eminent scholars in the field of both the history and culture of the Jews in the Islamic World from pre-modern to modern times. Based on primary sources the book speaks to the resilience, flexibility, and creativity of Jewish culture in Arab lands.

The volume clearly addresses the areas of research Norman Stillman himself has considerably contributed to. Research foci of the book are on the flexibility of Jewish law in real life, Jewish cultural life particularly on material and musical culture, the role of women in these different societies, antisemitism and Jewish responses to hatred against the Jews, and antisemitism from ancient martyrdom to modern political Zionism.
During the first half of the twentieth century, Austrian socialist thinkers such as Otto Bauer, Rudolf Hilferding, Karl Renner, and Max Adler emerged from and helped transform Austrian Social Democracy into one of Europe's best organized and most effective political and social movements. Equipped with extensive introductions that outline the intellectual and political background within which the Austro Marxists worked, these volumes represent the most thorough effort to date to provide a representative sampling in English of the Austro-Marxists' key theoretical ideas and their approaches to politic action. Drawing on their writings from the early twentieth century until the collapse of Austrian Socialism in the 1930s, these volumes illustrate the conceptual richness of Austro-Marxist thought and the enduring challenge that socialists faced then and now in the realization of their hopes.
This volume offers the essential theoretical thought of the Austro-Marxist thinkers Otto Bauer, Max Adler, Karl Renner, Friedrich Adler, Rudolf Hilferding, and Otto Neurath over the span of their Austrian Social-Democratic careers, from the decades before World War I until the mid-1930s. Austro-Marxist theoretical perspectives were conceived as social scientific tools for the issues that faced the development of socialism in their time. The relevance of their thought for the contemporary world inheres in this understanding.
Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics re-examines the relationship between Eurasia’s past and its present by interrogating the social construction of time and the archaeological production of culture. Traditionally, archaeological research in Eurasia has focused on assembling normative descriptions of monolithic cultures that endure for millennia, largely immune to the forces of historical change. The papers in this volume seek to document forces of difference and contestation in the past that were produced in the perceptible engagements of peoples, things, and places. The research gathered here convincingly demonstrates that these forces made social life in ancient Eurasia rather more fitful and its publics considerably more unruly than archaeological research has traditionally allowed.
Contributors are Mikheil Abramishvili, Paula N. Doumani Dupuy, Magnus Fiskesjö, Hilary Gopnik, Emma Hite, Jean-Luc Houle, Erik G. Johannesson, James A. Johnson, Lori Khatchadourian, Ian Lindsay, Maureen E. Marshall, Mitchell S. Rothman, Irina Shingiray, Adam T. Smith, Kathryn O. Weber and Xin Wu.