Massoumi, “Muslim Women, Social Movements and the ‘War on Terror'”

In November, Palgrave Macmillan will release “Muslim Women, Social Movements and the ‘War on Terror’” by Narzanin Massoumi (University of Bath, UK). The publisher’s description follows:

On 15th February 2003, two million people marched in the streets of 9781137355645London to call on the British government not to go to war with Iraq. Though Britain did enter war, the movement did not rest in defeat. This book tells the story of what happened behind the scenes of this extraordinary mass movement, looking specifically at the political relationship between Muslim and leftist activists.

Crisis narratives about Muslims assume that they are only engaged with sectarian communalist forms of identity politics or that their supposed religious and social conservatism is incompatible with progressive values. Through telling this story, Massoumi looks closely at the role of identity politics within social movements, considering what this means in practice and whether we can meaningfully speak of identity politics. Arguing that identity politics can only be understood within the context of a wider social and political structure, this book analyses the conditions through which Muslim and leftist engagement emerges within this movement, and highlights the decisive leadership of Muslim women.

Zhao, “The Confucian-Legalist State A New Theory of Chinese History”

In November, Oxford University Press will release “The Confucian-Legalist State A New Theory of Chinese History” by Dingxin Zhao (University of Chicago). The publisher’s description follows:

The Confucian-Legalist State analyzes the history of China between the 11th century BCE and 1911 under the guidance of a new theory of social change. It centers on two questions. First, how and why China was unified and developed into a bureaucratic empire under the state of Qin in 221 BCE? Second, how was it that, until the nineteenth century, the political and cultural structure of China that was institutionalized during the Western Han dynasty (206 BCE – 8 CE) showed great resilience, despite great changes in demography, socioeconomic structure, ethnic composition, market relations, religious landscapes, technology, and in other respects brought by rebellions or nomadic conquests? In addressing these two questions, author Dingxin Zhao also explains numerous other historical patterns of China, including but not limited to the nature of ancient China’s interstate relations, the logics behind the rising importance of imperil Confucianism during the Western Han dynasty and behind the formation of Neo-Confucian society during the Song dynasty (960-1279 CE), the changing nature of China’s religious ecology under the age of Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism, the pattern of interactions between nomads and sedentary Chinese empires, the rise and dominance of civilian government, and China’s inability to develop industrial capitalism without the coercion of Western imperialism.