Book of the Week: “Kings and presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR” by Bruce Riedel

An insider’s account of the often-fraught U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Saudi Arabia and the United States have been partners since 1943, when President Roosevelt met with two future Saudi monarchs. Subsequent U.S. presidents have had direct relationships with those kings and their successors– setting the tone for a special partnership between an absolute monarchy with a unique Islamic identity and the world’s most powerful democracy. Although based in large part on economic interests, the U.S.-Saudi relationship has rarely been smooth.

Publisher: Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2018
Call Number: 327(532/73) HEIA 121331

Livre de la semaine : “Demain la Chine : démocratie ou dictature ?” de Jean-Pierre Cabestan

Une thèse communément admise voudrait que le développement économique spectaculaire de la Chine et l’expansion d’une classe moyenne qu’il entraîne favorisent tôt ou tard une libéralisation de son régime politique et une évolution plus ou moins douce vers la démocratie. Est-ce si sûr ?

Jean-Pierre Cabestan montre la fragilité de cette thèse en regard du fonctionnement réel du système politique chinois et de ses rapports avec la société. Il expose les raisons qui rendent beaucoup plus probable le maintien d’un régime autoritaire et modernisateur dirigé sans partage par le Parti communiste, la principale étant le large consensus des élites autour de ce projet.

Editeur : Paris : Gallimard
Cote : 321.7(51) HEIA 122732


Jean-Pierre Cabestan sera présent à l’Institut, le mercredi 31 octobre, pour une conférence intitulée “China’s Future: Democracy or Dictatorship, Rule of Law or Rule by Law?”

Book of the Week: “The climate casino: risk, uncertainty, and economics for a warming world” by William Nordhaus

The 2018 Nobel laureate for economics analyses the politics and economics of the central environmental issue of today and points the way to real solutions.

Climate change is profoundly altering our world in ways that pose major risks to human societies and natural systems. We have entered the Climate Casino and are rolling the global-warming dice, warns economist William Nordhaus. But there is still time to turn around and walk back out of the casino, and in this essential book the author explains how.

Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013
Call Number: 577.22 HEIA 96481

Book of the Week: “Capitalism: a conversation in critical theory” by Nancy Fraser and Rahel Jaeggi

In this important new book, Nancy Fraser and Rahel Jaeggi take a fresh look at the big questions surrounding the peculiar social form known as “capitalism”, upending many of our commonly held assumptions about what capitalism is and how to subject it to critique.

They show how, throughout its history, various regimes of capitalism have relied on a series of institutional separations between economy and polity, production and social reproduction, and human and non-human nature, periodically readjusting the boundaries between these domains in response to crises and upheavals. They consider how these “boundary struggles” offer a key to understanding capitalism’s contradictions and the multiple forms of conflict to which it gives rise.

Publisher: London : Polity, 2018
Call Number: 330.122 HEIA 122232


Nancy Fraser will be present at the Institute, on Thursday, 11 October, for a public lecture on democracy’s crisis and the political contradictions of financialised capitalism.

Book of the Week: “Sex and secularism” by Joan Wallach Scott

Joan Wallach Scott’s acclaimed and controversial writings have been foundational for the field of gender history.

“Challenging the assertion that secularism has always been synonymous with equality between the sexes, Sex and Secularism reveals how this idea has been used to justify claims of white, Western, and Christian racial and religious superiority and has served to distract our attention from a persistent set of difficulties related to gender difference―ones shared by Western and non-Western cultures alike.”

Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2018
Call Number: 305.3 HEIA 120474


Joan Wallach Scott will be present at the Institute, on Tuesday, 25 September, for the Opening lecture of the academic year, “Gender equality: why is it so difficult to achieve?”