Price, “At the Cross”

In July, the Oxford University Press released “At the Cross: Race, Religion, and Citizenship in the Politics of the Death Penalty” by Melynda J. Price (University of Kentucky College of Law).  The publisher’s description follows:

Curing systemic inequalities in the criminal justice system is the unfinished business of the Civil Rights movement. No part of that system highlights this truth more than the current implementation of the death penalty. At the Cross tells a story of the relationship between the death penalty and race in American politics that complicates the common belief that individual African Americans, especially poor African Americans, are more subject to the death penalty in criminal cases. The current death penalty regime operates quite differently than it did in the past. The findings of this research demonstrate the the racial inequity in the meting out of death sentences has legal and political externalities that move beyond individual defendants to larger numbers of African Americans.

At the Cross looks at the meaning of the death penalty to and for African Americans by using various sites of analysis. Using various sites of analysis, Price shows the connection between criminal justice policies like the death penalty and the political and legal rights of African Americans who are tangentially connected to the criminal justice system through familial and social networks. Drawing on black politics, legal and political theory and narrative analysis, Price utilizes a mixed-method approach that incorporates analysis of media reports, capital jury selection and survey data, as well as original focus group data. As the rates of incarceration trend upward, Black politics scholars have focused on the impact of incarceration on the voting strength of the black community. Local, and even regional, narratives of African American politics and the death penalty expose the fractures in American democracy that foment perceptions of exclusion among blacks.

Alles, “Transnational Islamic Actors and Indonesia’s Foreign Policy”

In December, Routledge will release “Transnational Islamic Actors and Indonesia’s Foreign Policy: Transcending the State,” by Delphine Alles (Université Paris-Est, France).  The publisher’s description follows:

Taking a socio-historical perspective, this book examines the growing role of transnational Islamic Non-State Actors (NSAs) in post-authoritarian Indonesia and how it has affected the making of Indonesia’s foreign policy since the country embarked on the democratization process in 1998. It returns to the origins of the relationship between Islamic organisations and the Indonesian institutions in order to explain the current interactions between transnational Islamic actors and the country’s official foreign policies. The book considers for the first time the interactions between the “parallel diplomacy” undertaken by Indonesia’s Islamic NSAs and the country’s official foreign policy narrative and actions. It explains the adaptation of the state’s responses, and investigates the outcomes of those responses on the country’s international identity. Combining field-collected data and a theoretical reflexion, it offers a distanced analysis which deepens theoretical approaches on transnational religious actors.

Providing original research in Asian Studies, while filling an empirical gap in international relations theory, this book will be of interest to scholars of Indonesian Studies, Islamic Studies, International Relations and Asian Politics.