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    Intimate Strangers: Commercial Surrogacy in Russia and Ukraine and the Making of Truth
    Siegl, Veronika (Cornell University Press, 2023-07-15)
    Zooming in on commercial surrogacy in Russia and Ukraine, Intimate Strangers addresses market expansion into the intimate spheres of life that play out on women's bodies as mothers and workers. Veronika Siegl follows the inner workings of a surrogacy market marked by secrecy, distrust, and anonymous business relationships. She explores intended mothers' anxious struggles for a child in light of stigmatized infertility and the aggressive biopolitics of motherhood; the uncertain but pragmatic pathways in and out of fertility clinics as surrogates navigate harsh economic realities and resist being objectified or morally judged; and the powerful role of agents and doctors who have found a profitable niche in nurturing and facilitating other people's existential hopes. Intimate Strangers discusses these issues against the backdrop of ultra-conservatism and moral governance in Russia, the rising international popularity of the Ukrainian surrogacy market, and the pervasiveness of neo-liberal ideologies and individualized notions of reproductive freedom.
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    Women, Life, Freedom: Our Fight for Human Rights and Equality in Iran
    Sotoudeh, Nasrin (Cornell University Press, 2023-10-15)
    The Laurence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal, presented by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, recognizes outstanding individuals, groups, and organizations that produce innovations to further democracy in the United States or around the world. Nasrin Sotoudeh is an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist who has been called "Iran's Nelson Mandela." Sotoudeh is a longtime opponent of the death penalty, advocate of improving imprisonment health conditions, and an activist dedicated to fighting for the rights of women, children, religious and ethnic minorities, journalists and artists, and those facing execution. As a result of her advocacy, Sotoudeh has been repeatedly imprisoned by the Iranian government for crimes against the state; she served one sentence from 2010 to 2013 and was sentenced again in 2018 to thirty-eight years and six months in prison and 148 lashes. Her work has been featured in the 2020 documentary Nasrin, by filmmakers Jeff Kaufman and Marcia S. Ross. For this important work, she is the recipient of the 2023 Brown Democracy Medal from the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, marking the award's tenth year.
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    Ecological States: Politics of Science and Nature in Urbanizing China
    Rodenbiker, Jesse (Cornell University Press, 2023-06-15)
    Ecological States critically examines ecological policies in the People's Republic of China to show how campaigns of scientifically based environmental protection transform nature and society. While many point to China's ecological civilization programs as a new paradigm for global environmental governance, Jesse Rodenbiker argues that ecological redlining extends the reach of the authoritarian state. Although Chinese urban sustainability initiatives have driven millions of citizens from their land and housing, Rodenbiker shows that these migrants are not passive subjects of state policy. Instead, they creatively navigate resettlement processes in pursuit of their own benefit. However, their resistance is limited by varied forms of state-backed infrastructural violence. Through extensive fieldwork with scientists, urban planners, and everyday citizens in southwestern China, Ecological States exposes the ways in which the scientific logics and practices fundamental to China's green urbanization have solidified state power and contributed to dispossession and social inequality With support from the Henry Luce Foundation, our goal is to produce all titles in this series both in Open Access, for reasons of global accessibility and equity, as well as in print editions.
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    Reconciliation by Stealth: How People Talk about War Crimes
    Kostovicova, Denisa (Cornell University Press, 2023-05-15)
    Reconciliation by Stealth advances a novel approach to evaluating the effects of transitional justice in postconflict societies. Through her examination of the Balkan conflicts, Denisa Kostovicova asks what happens when former adversaries discuss legacies of violence and atrocity, and whether it is possible to do so without further deepening animosities. Reconciliation by Stealth shifts our attention from what people say about war crimes, to how they deliberate past wrongs. Bringing together theories of democratic deliberation and peacebuilding, Kostovicova demonstrates how people from opposing ethnic groups reconcile through reasoned, respectful, and empathetic deliberation about a difficult legacy. She finds that expression of ethnic difference plays a role in good-quality deliberation across ethnic lines, while revealed intraethnic divisions help deliberators expand moral horizons previously narrowed by conflict. In the process, people forge bonds of solidarity and offset divisive identity politics that bears upon their deliberations. Reconciliation by Stealth shows us the importance of theoretical and methodological innovation in capturing how transitional justice can promote reconciliation, and points to the untapped potential of deliberative problem-solving to repair relationships fractured by conflict. Thanks to generous funding from the London School of Economic and Political Science, the ebook editions of this book are available as Open Access volumes from Cornell Open ( and other repositories.
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    Forces of Nature: New Perspectives on Korean Environments
    (Cornell University Press, 2023-05-15)
    Bringing together a multidisciplinary conversation about the entanglement of nature and society in the Korean peninsula, Forces of Nature aims to define and develop the field of the Korean environmental humanities. At its core, the volume works to foreground non-human agents that have long been marginalized in Korean studies, placing flora, fauna, mineral deposits, and climatic conditions that have hitherto been confined to footnotes front and center. In the process, the authors blaze new trails through Korea's social and physical landscapes. What emerges is a deeper appreciation of the environmental conflicts that have animated life in Korea. The authors show how natural processes have continually shaped the course of events on the peninsula―how floods, droughts, famines, fires, and pests have inexorably impinged on human affairs―and how different forces have been mobilized by the state to variously, control, extract, modernize, and showcase the Korean landscape. Forces of Nature suggestively reveals Korea's physical landscape to be not so much a passive context to Korea's history, but an active agent in its transformation and reinvention across centuries. With support from the Henry Luce Foundation, our goal is to produce all titles in this series both in Open Access, for reasons of global accessibility and equity, as well as in print editions.
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    Dynasty Divided: A Family History of Russian and Ukrainian Nationalism
    Baumann, Fabian (Cornell University Press, 2023-08-15)
    Dynasty Divided uses the story of a prominent Kievan family of journalists, scholars, and politicians to analyze the emergence of rivaling nationalisms in nineteenth-century Ukraine, the most pivotal borderland of the Russian Empire. The Shul'gins identified as Russians and defended the tsarist autocracy; the Shul'hyns identified as Ukrainians and supported peasant-oriented socialism. Fabian Baumann shows how these men and women consciously chose a political position and only then began their self-fashioning as members of a national community, defying the notion of nationalism as a direct consequence of ethnicity. Baumann asks what made individuals into determined nationalists in the first place, revealing the close link to private lives, including intimate family dramas and scandals. He looks at how nationalism emerged from domestic spaces, and how women played an important (if often invisible) role in fin-de-siècle politics. Dynasty Divided explains how nineteenth-century Kievans cultivated their national self-images and how, by the twentieth century, Ukraine steered away from Russia. The two branches of this family of Russian nationalists and Ukrainian nationalists epitomize the struggles for modern Ukraine.
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    The Downfall of the American Order?
    Katzenstein, Peter J.; Kirshner, Jonathan (Cornell University Press, 2022-05-15)
    The Downfall of the American Order?' offers penetrating insight into the emerging global political economy at this moment of an increasingly chaotic world. For seventy-five years, the basic patterns of world politics and the contours of international economic activity took place in the shadow of American leadership and the institutions it designed—an order designed to avoid the horrors of previous eras, including, most poignantly, two world wars and the Great Depression. But all things must pass. The global financial crisis of 2008, the legacy of two long, losing wars, and the polarizing and tumultuous presidency of Donald Trump all suggest that global affairs have reached a turning point. The implications of this are profound. The contributors to this book cast their eyes back on the order that once was, and look ahead to what might follow. In dialogue with each other's appraisals and expectations, they differ in their assessments of the probable, ranging from a hollowed-out American primacy muddling through by default, to partial modifications of old institutions and practices at home and abroad, and to wholesale contestations and the search for new orders. Contributors: Rawi Abdelal, Sheri Berman, Mark Blyth, Francis J. Gavin, Peter A. Gourevitch, Ilene Grabel, Peter J. Katzenstein, Jonathan Kirshner, and John Gerard Ruggie
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    Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine
    Wanner, Catherine (Cornell University Press, 2022-11-15)
    Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine reveals how and why religion has become a pivotal political force in a society struggling to overcome the legacy of its entangled past with Russia and chart a new future. If Ukraine is "ground zero" in the tensions between Russia and the West, religion is an arena where the consequences of conflicts between Russia and Ukraine keenly play out. Vibrant forms of everyday religiosity pave the way for religion to be weaponized and securitized to advance political agendas in Ukraine and beyond. These practices, Catherine Wanner argues, enable religiosity to be increasingly present in public spaces, public institutions, and wartime politics in a pluralist society that claims to be secular. Based on ethnographic data and interviews conducted since before the Revolution of Dignity and the outbreak of armed combat in 2014, Wanner investigates the conditions that catapulted religiosity, religious institutions, and religious leaders to the forefront of politics and geopolitics.
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    The Sanctuary City: Immigrant, Refugee, and Receiving Communities in Postindustrial Philadelphia
    Vitiello, Domenic (Cornell University Press, 2022-08-15)
    In The Sanctuary City, Domenic Vitiello argues that sanctuary means much more than the limited protections offered by city governments or churches sheltering immigrants from deportation. It is a wider set of protections and humanitarian support for vulnerable newcomers. Sanctuary cities are the places where immigrants and their allies create safe spaces to rebuild lives and communities, often through the work of social movements and community organizations or civil society. Philadelphia has been an important center of sanctuary and reflects the growing diversity of American cities in recent decades. One result of this diversity is that sanctuary means different things for different immigrant, refugee, and receiving communities. Vitiello explores the migration, settlement, and local and transnational civil society of Central Americans, Southeast Asians, Liberians, Arabs, Mexicans, and their allies in the region across the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Together, their experiences illuminate the diversity of immigrants and refugees in the United States and what is at stake for different people, and for all of us, in our immigration debates.
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    No Spiritual Investment in the World: Gnosticism and Postwar German Philosophy
    Styfhals, Willem (Cornell University Press, 2019-05-15)
    Throughout the twentieth century, German writers, philosophers, theologians, and historians turned to Gnosticism to make sense of the modern condition. While some saw this ancient Christian heresy as a way to rethink modernity, most German intellectuals questioned Gnosticism's return in a contemporary setting. In No Spiritual Investment in the World, Willem Styfhals explores the Gnostic worldview's enigmatic place in these discourses on modernity, presenting a comprehensive intellectual history of Gnosticism's role in postwar German thought. Establishing the German-Jewish philosopher Jacob Taubes at the nexus of the debate, Styfhals traces how such figures as Hans Blumenberg, Hans Jonas, Eric Voegelin, Odo Marquard, and Gershom Scholem contended with Gnosticism and its tenets on evil and divine absence as metaphorical detours to address issues of cultural crisis, nihilism, and the legitimacy of the modern world. These concerns, he argues, centered on the difficulty of spiritual engagement in a world from which the divine has withdrawn. Reading Gnosticism against the backdrop of postwar German debates about secularization, political theology, and post-secularism, No Spiritual Investment in the World sheds new light on the historical contours of postwar German philosophy.