By Anderson M. Bean
Roman & Littlefield/Lexington Books (March, 2022)
Since 2006, Venezuela has witnessed an explosion of different forms of popular power and participatory democracy. Over 47,000 grassroots neighborhood-based communal councils and 3,000 communes have been constructed. In Communes and the Venezuelan State: The Struggle for Participatory Democracy in a Time of Crisis, Anderson Bean offers a critical analysis of these experiments in popular and workers' power and their potential for societal transformation within and beyond Venezuela. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research, Bean demonstrates how workers and peasants, through networks of popular power, exercise agency over their own development while facing challenges from the capitalist state. Most importantly, this book connects with the far-reaching implications that the communal movement in Venezuela has for building a society responsive more to the needs of ordinary people than to the desires of the elites.
By Abdallah Hendawy
Roman & Littlefield/Lexington Books (October, 2021)
Bleeding Hearts: From Passionate Activism to Violent Insurgency in Egypt examines the wave of violence that broke out in Egypt in the aftermath of the 2013 military takeover against the country’s first democratically elected president. Abdallah Hendawy sheds light on stories of several political activists who abandoned their commitment to nonviolence and took up arms against the state. Through multiple interviews, ethnographic observations, field work, and qualitative data analysis, Hendawy challenges the dominant theoretical paradigms on radicalization that often attribute this complex phenomenon to ideological or religious beliefs. Hendawy thoroughly examines the tumultuous events that followed the 2013 military takeover and the journey of several radicalized individuals. He demonstrates how and why select Egyptian activists turned to violent tactics in the course of their political engagement.
The book ultimately concludes that repressive political environments, particularly the systematic authoritarian practices by state security agencies against political activists, are largely responsible for radicalization. Abusive state practices traumatized the activists and created a litany of unsettled grievances without recourse, giving rise to a formidable desire for revenge against those who violated them – both individuals and the institutions they represent. (Roman & Littlefield/Lexington Books, 2021)
By Avideh K. Mayville
Anthem Sociological Perspectives on Human Rights and Development (November, 2019)
"The Transformation of Capacity in International Development” exposes the transformation of capacity building as a concept of practice within development through an examination of USAID’s work in Afghanistan and Pakistan from 1977 to 2017. It has implications for the future of rights-based approaches to development, the international management of global security threats and sustainability of donor investments.