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Reading Hume in Tehran

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A supporter of reform candidate Mir Hussein Moussavi protests the presidential elections in Iran, in Tehran, June 2009.
Reading Hume in Tehran
The Iranian Revolution and the Enlightenment
By Ervand Abrahamian
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu
In 2012, Islamist extremists linked to al Qaeda managed to take control of a large swath of northern Mali, on the lower edges of the Sahara Desert, before the French military eventually dislodged them, with U.S. support. Hammer tells the dramatic story of how, during the period of Islamist rule, a group of Timbuktu residents saved some 350,000 ancient manuscripts that had resided in the city since its medieval heyday as a great center of learning and scholarship. 
By Nicolas van de Walle
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By Bruce J. Dickson

“Dickson draws on remarkable nationwide surveys conducted in China before and after the leadership transition in 2012 to unpack sources of support and prospects of survival of the Chinese one-party state. In so doing, Dickson challenges many assumptions that have become conventional wisdom.”—Melanie Manion, Professor of Political Science, Duke University; author of Information for Autocrats

An engaging synthesis of how the CCP rules and its future prospects, The Dictator’s Dilemma will be essential for anyone interested in understanding China's increasing importance in world politics. Read more >>
From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places
This book profiles seven successful and innovative entrepreneurs, each one hailing from a different major country with an emerging economy. Bayrasli reveals significant institutional obstacles that stand in the way of starting and sustaining new businesses in emerging markets.
By Richard N. Cooper
A Fragmented Continent: Latin America and the Global Politics of Climate Change; American Crossings: Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere
Taken together, these two books help reveal a paradox of Latin America: although its governments disagree sharply on many things, the region enjoys low levels of interstate violence.
By Richard Feinberg
Democracy in Decline?; The Puzzle of Non-Western Democracy
Liberal democracy is in trouble. The great wave of democratization that spread across the developing world at the end of the Cold War has long since crested. These two books explore why.
By G. John Ikenberry
Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection Between Violent Extremism and Education
In their examination of individuals involved in violent extremism of all kinds, Gambetta and Hertog find engineers to be massively overrepresented in right-wing movements, both secular and religious. Not all engineers are violent extremists, of course, but an astonishing proportion of right-wing (but not leftist) extremists are engineers. The authors hypothesize that engineering attracts individuals who yearn for order, social “purity,” and some mythical halcyon days of yore. 
By John Waterbury
What to Read on Venezuela
An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Venezuela.
By Michael Shifter
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