Jihad in Islamic History
What is jihad? Does it mean violence, as many non-Muslims assume? Or does it mean peace, as some Muslims insist? Because jihad is closely associated with the early spread of Islam, today's debate about the origin and meaning of jihad is nothing less than a struggle over Islam itself. In Jihad in Islamic History, Michael Bonner provides the first study in English that focuses on the early history of jihad, shedding much-needed light on the most recent controversies over jihad. To some, jihad is the essence of radical Islamist ideology, a synonym for terrorism, and even proof of Islam's innate violence. To others, jihad means a peaceful, individual, and internal spiritual striving. Bonner, however, shows that those who argue that jihad means only violence or only peace are both wrong. Jihad is a complex set of doctrines and practices that have changed over time and continue to evolve today. The Quran's messages about fighting and jihad are inseparable from its requirements of generosity and care for the poor. Jihad has often been a constructive and creative force, the key to building new Islamic societies and states. Jihad has regulated relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, in peace as well as in war. And while today's "jihadists" are in some ways following the "classical" jihad tradition, they have in other ways completely broken with it. Written for general readers who want to understand jihad and its controversies, Jihad in Islamic History will also interest specialists because of its original arguments.
Poverty in a Rising Africa
Perceptions of Africa have changed dramatically. Viewed as a continent of wars, famines and entrenched poverty in the late 1990s, there is now a focus on “Africa rising†? and an “African 21st century.†? Two decades of unprecedented economic growth in Africa should have brought substantial improvements in well-being. Whether or not they did, remains unclear given the poor quality of the data, the nature of the growth process (especially the role of natural resources), conflicts that affect part of the region, and high population growth. Poverty in a Rising Africa documents the data challenges and systematically reviews the evidence on poverty from monetary and nonmonetary perspectives, as well as a focus on dimensions of inequality. Chapter 1 maps out the availability and quality of the data needed to track monetary poverty, reflects on the governance and political processes that underpin the current situation with respect to data production, and describes some approaches to addressing the data gaps. Chapter 2 evaluates the robustness of the estimates of poverty in Africa. It concludes that poverty reduction in Africa may be slightly greater than traditional estimates suggest, although even the most optimistic estimates of poverty reduction imply that more people lived in poverty in 2012 than in 1990. A broad-stroke profile of poverty and trends in poverty in the region is presented. Chapter 3 broadens the view of poverty by considering nonmonetary dimensions of well-being, such as education, health, and freedom, using Sen's (1985) capabilities and functioning approach. While progress has been made in a number of these areas, levels remain stubbornly low. Chapter 4 reviews the evidence on inequality in Africa. It looks not only at patterns of monetary inequality in Africa but also other dimensions, including inequality of opportunity, intergenerational mobility in occupation and education, and extreme wealth in Africa.
Good Morning Mr Mandela
Zelda la Grange grew up in South Africa as a white Afrikaner who supported the rules of segregation. Yet just a few years after the end of Apartheid she would become a most trusted assistant to Nelson Mandela, growing to respect and cherish the man she had been taught was the enemy. Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. It is the incredible journey of an awkward, terrified young typist in her twenties later chosen to become the President's most loyal and devoted servants, spending most of her adult working life travelling with, supporting and caring for the man she would come to call 'Khulu', or 'grandfather'. Here Zelda pays tribute to Nelson Mandela as she knew him - a teacher who gave her the most valuable lessons of her life. A man who refused to be defined by his past, who forgave and respected all, but who was also frank, teasing and direct. As he renewed his country, he also freed Zelda from a closed world of fear and mistrust, giving her life true meaning. Now she shares his lasting and inspiring gifts with the world. This is a book about love and second chances. It will touch your life and make you believe that every one of us, no matter who we are or what we have done, has the power to change.
Before there was real estate tycoon cum President-Elect Donald J. Trump, there was Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire media mogul turned prime minster who dominated Italian life for the past twenty years. In a candid, warts-and-all portrait of the leader who played hard in office and in private life. From the bunga-bunga parties to his most secret moments with world leaders, this biography is rich in anecdotes and revelations involving Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel , and many others. Berlusconi's incredible rise to power started from nothing. A self-created man, he was a cruise ship crooner as a young man, became a real estate tycoon in the '70s, started the first commercial television network in history, and turned AC Milan into a world-class soccer club. And that was all before he survived the squalid swampland of Italian politics to become prime minister who has not only served the longest in Italian history, but also has generated the most controversy of arguably any world leader today.
The World America Made
"What would the world look like if America were to reduce its role as a global leader in order to focus all its energies on solving its problems at home? And is America really in decline? Robert Kagan ... paints a vivid, alarming picture of what the world might look like if the United States were truly to let its influence wane"--Flap p. 1 of dust jacket.
Prevention of Armed Conflict
Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has pledged to move the United Nations from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention. Realizing that it is far better and more cost-effective to prevent violent conflicts than to cure them, the Secretary-General has undertaken a review of practical actions that have been and are being taken within the United Nations to prevent conflict. This report looks at the progress that has been achieved in developing the conflict prevention capacity of the United Nations. It also provides recommendations on how efforts of the United Nations system in this field could be further enhanced, with the cooperation and active involvement of Member States, who ultimately have primary responsibility for conflict prevention. This report stresses that conflict prevention lies at the heart of the mandate of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security, and that a general consensus is emerging among Member States that comprehensive and coherent conflict prevention strategies offer the greatest potential for promoting lasting peace.
When you keep repeating that the worst is about to happen, it finally does. The threat of terrorism has caught up with us. By invading Iraq in 2003 and not intervening in Syria since 2011, we have helped fuel radicalization. And we continue to fuel it, by making diplomatic compromises with dictators, by refusing to heed the suffering of populations, and by failing to invent counter-speech. What is the responsibility of our societies in the creation of these new jihadists? How are they molded? How have we played the Islamic State's game and spread its propaganda, allowing it to invade our neighborhoods and enlist more and more recruits ready to fight for a distorted fantasy of Islam? Nicolas HÃ©nin presents the case against the West, showing how its mistakes and inaction have contributed to the disaster. He also advances possible strategies to repair what can still be repaired.
Security and Environment in the Mediterranean
In this volume security specialists, peace researchers, environmental scholars, demographers as well as climate, desertification, water, food and urbanisation specialists from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and North America review security and conflict prevention in the Mediterranean. They also analyse NATO's Mediterranean security dialogue and offer conceptualisations on security and perceptions of security challenges as seen in North and South. The latter half of the book analyses environmental security and conflicts in the Mediterranean and environmental consequences of World War II, the Gulf War, the Balkan wars and the Middle East conflict. It also examines factors of global environmental change: population growth, climate change, desertification, water scarcity, food and urbanisation issues as well as natural disasters. Furthermore, it draws conceptual conclusions for a fourth phase of research on human and environmental security and peace as well as policy conclusions for cooperation and partnership in the Mediterranean in the 21st century.
This concise and accessible new text offers original and insightful analysis of the policy paradigm informing international statebuilding interventions. The book covers the theoretical frameworks and practices of international statebuilding, the debates they have triggered, and the way that international statebuilding has developed in the post-Cold War era. Spanning a broad remit of policy practices from post-conflict peacebuilding to sustainable development and EU enlargement, Chandler draws out how these policies have been cohered around the problematization of autonomy or self-government. Rather than promoting democracy on the basis of the universal capacity of people for self-rule, international statebuilding assumes that people lack capacity to make their own judgements safely and therefore that democracy requires external intervention and the building of civil society and state institutional capacity. Chandler argues that this policy framework inverses traditional liberal–democratic understandings of autonomy and freedom – privileging governance over government – and that the dominance of this policy perspective is a cause of concern for those who live in states involved in statebuilding as much as for those who are subject to these new regulatory frameworks. Encouraging readers to reflect upon the changing understanding of both state–society relations and of the international sphere itself, this work will be of great interest to all scholars of international relations, international security and development.
Glued to Games
With video game sales in the billions and anxious concerns about their long-term effects growing louder, "Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound" brings something new to the discussion. It is the first truly balanced research-based analysis on the games and gamers, addressing both the positive and negative aspects of habitual playing by drawing on significant recent studies and established motivational theory. Filled with examples from popular games and the real experiences of gamers themselves, "Glued to Games" gets to the heart of gaming's powerful psychological and emotional allure--the benefits as well as the dangers. It gives everyone from researchers to parents to gamers themselves a clearer understanding the psychology of gaming, while offering prescriptions for healthier, more enjoyable games and gaming experiences.