The Future Faces of War: Population and National Security
By Jennifer Dabbs Sciubba, Mellon Environmental Fellow in International Studies. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. 240 pp. $44.95
Population size, structure, distribution and composition affect security in numerous ways, including national power, civil conflict and development. The Future Faces of War: Population and National Security offers a comprehensive overview of how demographic trends can function as components, indicators and multipliers of a state’s national security. Each chapter focuses on a particular demographic trend and describes its national security implications in three realms—military, regime and structural.
Illustrating the mechanisms by which demography and security are connected, the book pushes the conversation forward by challenging common conceptions about demographic trends and national security. Key for policymakers and general readers alike, it goes on to suggest ways trends can provide opportunities for building partnerships and strengthening states. Focusing on multiple scenarios and the theoretical links between population and security, the insights gathered here will remain relevant for years to come.
The book also includes a short glossary pointing out definitions of commonly used demographic terms and an index to direct readers to particular trends or implications, such as youth bulge or civil conflict.
Taiwan’s Democracy on Trial: Political Change during the Chen Shui-bian Era and Beyond
By John F. Copper, Rhodes’ Stanley J. Buckman Distinguished Professor of International Studies. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. 118 pp. $21
Professor Copper assesses the process of democratization in Taiwan during the Chen Shui-bian Era (2000-08) and after. He shows that in several respects, the most important of which are press freedom, human rights, ethnic relations, political reform, constitutionalism and clean governance, democratization regressed. Economic management was not good and relations with the United States were severely strained, which also hurt the Chen administration and explains why the Nationalist Party returned to power in 2008. The democratization process has improved since 2008.
Prof. Copper is the author of more than 25 books on China, Taiwan and Asian affairs. In 1997, he was the recipient of the International Communications Award.
The A to Z of Taiwan (Republic of China)
By John F. Copper, Rhodes’ Stanley J. Buckman Distinguished Professor of International Studies. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. 384 pp. $29.95
Constant debate over whether Taiwan is its own sovereign state, part of the Republic of China, or part of the People’s Republic of China has been going on for years. With Chinese leaders in the People’s Republic of China rejecting Taiwan’s legal separation and vowing that they will resolve the “Taiwan issue” by military force if necessary, and most citizens of Taiwan opposing unification with China in the short run, it would appear that Taiwan faces some tough decisions ahead.
Professor Copper’s book offers insight into Taiwan’s situation through a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, a map, a bibliography and several hundred cross-referenced dictionary entries on important people, places, events, political parties and institutions, as well as major political, economic, social and cultural aspects of this island country. Whether or not Taiwan joins the People’s Republic of China or gains its independence, the book provides necessary information to understand its state of affairs.
C.S. Lewis and Friends
Edited by David Hein, Hood College Professor of Religion and Philosophy, and Edward Henderson ’61, Louisiana State University Professor of Philosophy and the Jaak Seynaeve Professor of Christian Studies. London: SPCK Publishing. 176 pp. £12.99
C.S. Lewis is one of the best loved Christian writers of recent times. In his imaginative fiction his genius finds its fullest expression and makes its most lasting theological contribution. Lewis had friends, who, like him, employed powerfully creative imaginations to explore the profundities of Christian thought and their struggles with their faith. This book contains illuminating essays on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rose Macaulay and Austin Farrer.
The Ancient Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry
By Raymond Barfield ’86, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy, Duke Divinity School. New York: Cambridge University Press. 250 pp. $90
From its beginnings, philosophy’s language, concepts and imaginative growth have been heavily influenced by poetry and poets. Drawing on the work of a wide range of thinkers throughout the history of Western philosophy, Ray Barfield explores the pervasiveness of poetry’s impact on philosophy and, conversely, how philosophy has sometimes resisted or denied poetry’s influence. Although some thinkers, like Giambatista Vico and Nietzsche, praised the wisdom of poets, and saw poetry and philosophy as mutually beneficial pursuits, others resented, diminished or eliminated the importance of poetry in philosophy.
Beginning with the famous the passage in Plato’s Republic in which Socrates exiles the poets from the city, this book traces the history of the ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry through the works of thinkers in the Western tradition ranging from Plato to the work of the contemporary thinker Mikhail Bakhtin. This new perspective provides an illuminating way of reading philosophy that can be extended and applied to other philosophers.
Lovesick Japan: Sex, Marriage, Romance, Law
By Mark D. West ’89, Nippon Life Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Michigan Law School. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 272 pp. $29.95
In Lovesick Japan, Mark West explores an official vision of love, sex and marriage in contemporary Japan. A comprehensive body of evidence—2,700 court opinions—describes a society characterized by a presupposed absence of physical and emotional intimacy, affection and personal connections. In compelling, poignant and sometimes horrifying court cases, West finds that Japanese judges frequently opine on whether a person is in love, what other emotions a person is feeling, and whether those emotions are appropriate for the situation.
Sometimes judges’ views about love, sex, and marriage emerge from their presentation of the facts of cases. “Judicial opinions that read like salacious romance novels offer a telling portrait of a nation in which love invites misery, sex lacks intimacy and loveless, sexless marriage is the norm,” comments Eric A. Feldman, Deputy Dean for International Affairs, University of Pennsylvania Law School, in a review of the book.