What We Are Reading Today: Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo

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Updated 26 March 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo

Author: Seth Anziska

The 1978 Camp David Accords and the signing of the Egypt- Israel peace treaty are widely viewed as a triumph of US diplomacy in the Middle East.

Yet the Palestinians—the would-be beneficiaries of this vision for a comprehensive regional settlement—remain without a state to this day.

How and why Palestinian statelessness persists are the central questions of Seth Anziska’s groundbreaking history of the Palestinian- Israeli peace process.

Based on newly declassified sources and interviews with key participants, Preventing Palestine charts how Egyptian-Israeli peace was forged at the cost of sovereignty for the Palestinians, creating crippling challenges to their aspirations for a homeland— hurdles that only increased with Israeli settlement expansion and Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

The first intifada and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but the 1993 Oslo Accords undermined the meaning of independence. Filled with astute political analysis, Preventing Palestine offers a bold new interpretation of an enduring struggle for selfdetermination

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What We Are Reading Today: Democratic Federalism

Updated 04 June 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Democratic Federalism

Authors: Robert Inman and Daniel L. Rubinfeld

Around the world, federalism has emerged as the system of choice for nascent republics and established nations alike. In this book, leading scholars and governmental advisers Robert Inman and Daniel Rubinfeld consider the most promising forms of federal governance and the most effective path to enacting federal policies. 

The result is an essential guide to federalism, its principles, its applications, and its potential to enhance democratic governance.

Drawing on the latest work from economics, political science, and law, Inman and Rubinfeld assess different models of federalism and their relative abilities to promote economic efficiency, encourage the participation of citizens, and protect individual liberties. Under the right conditions, the authors argue, a federal democracy—including a national legislature with locally elected representatives—can best achieve these goals. Because a stable union between the national and local governments is key, Inman and Rubinfeld also propose an innovative method for evaluating new federal laws and their possible impact on state and local governments. Finally, to show what the adoption of federalism can mean for citizens, the authors discuss the evolution of governance in the European Union and South Africa’s transition from apartheid to a multiracial democracy.

Interdisciplinary in approach, Democratic Federalism brims with applicable policy ideas and comparative case studies of global significance. This book is indispensable for understanding the importance of federal forms of government—both in recent history and, crucially, for future democracies.