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Building Family Identity

The Orsini Castle of Bracciano from Fiefdom to Duchy (1470–1698)

Edited by Paolo Alei and Max Grossman

The Orsini of Bracciano were among the most powerful and influential signori di castelli of early modern Italy, controlling a vast domain that stretched from the Tyrrehenian Sea to the mountains of Abruzzo. This book explores the construction and decoration of their principal headquarters north of Rome between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries as well as the careers and artistic patronage of its leaders, who included captains, condottieri, cardinals and urban aristocrats. The castle is one of the largest in Latium and was once a centre of courtly culture and diplomacy, hosting princes, kings and popes. Today it boasts many beautifully preserved artworks of the Renaissance era, including frescos by Antoniazzo Romano and the Zuccari brothers.

The contributors to this study investigate the castle as a visual expression of the family identity of its builders. They trace its evolution from the fortified capital of a large fiefdom at the dawn of the age of artillery to the palatial residence of a ducal dynasty in the aftermath of the Italian Wars. Richly illustrated with numerous historic and new photographs, this book analyses a fascinating and mostly neglected facet of early modern Italian culture: the artistic patronage of seigniorial clans.

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Global South Powers in Transition

A Comparative Analysis of Mexico and South Africa

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Edited by Deon Geldenhuys and Humberto González

Employing a novel collaborative transnational methodology, this ground-breaking book presents the first comprehensive and systematic comparison of Mexico and South Africa. Although geographically, historically and diplomatically far apart, Mexico and South Africa are ambitious and influential powers in the Global South and also experience wide-ranging domestic transitions. A binational team of 26 researchers from the two countries, all specialists in their respective disciplines, probe the transitions that Mexico and South Africa are undergoing in areas such as socio-cultural diversity, domestic politics, economic development, labour dynamics, social and territorial inequality, food security, crime and violence, and foreign relations. The detailed country studies allow the authors to identify striking similarities but also profound differences between the two societies. In so doing, the book helps to explain Mexico and South Africa to each other but also to the world at large.

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L'Arménie entre la Russie et l'Occident

Quelle évolution dans un environnement complexe ?

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Anna Mkhoyan

En 2018 la Révolution de velours, pacifique dans son déroulement, amène au pouvoir son leader Nikol Pashinyan, dans un pays qui a déjà parcouru du chemin depuis sa souveraineté en 1991. C’est à cette Arménie que s’intéresse cette monographie : comment se place-t-elle par rapport à la Russie et les puissances occidentales, telles que l’Union européenne (UE) ou l’OTAN, et pourquoi ? 

Cette étude débute par une partie introductive sur les relations entre la Russie et l’Occident, le champ politique de l’espace post-soviétique étant dominé par ces acteurs et les instruments qu’ils proposent aux Nouveaux États indépendants (NEI). Dans un second temps, l’ouvrage s’intéresse aux évolutions et alignements distincts des NEI dans le système international. Ainsi, les votes de l’Arménie à l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies démontrent une position plus proche de celle de la Russie que de l’UE. Dans ce cadre, une étude des relations russo-arméniennes est proposée dans la troisième partie, afin d’expliquer les choix de politique extérieure de l’Arménie. Enfin, le livre se termine par une réflexion sur une éventuelle exception arménienne dans le Caucase du Sud en matière de coopération avec l’UE et l’OTAN compte tenu de la proximité des relations russo-arméniennes.

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Edited by Lorenzo Kamel

In this edited book, several leading scholars address a number of security-related issues, all connected to one main research question: What (in)security means from the perspective of people living in the Middle East and North Africa? In doing so, the contributors shed light on the contours of a stable and legitimate order that responds to the needs of the peoples in the region, on what history tells us about the ongoing debates on security and stability in the region, and, last but not least, on «human security», which encompasses the dimension of human rights, political rights and social/economic security.

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Roman History for Latin Students

Ambush at Caudium, Livy Ab Urbe Condita Book 9.1–12.328

Edited by Steven M. Cerutti

In the first twelve chapters of Book 9 of his Ab Urbe Condita, Livy tells the story of how, in 321 B.C., a young and untested Samnite commander named C. Pontius traps four Roman legions in the narrow mountain pass in the southern Apennines called the Caudine Forks. Stunned at his own success, he seeks the counsel of his father, who tells him that he must either let them go unscathed or slaughter them all to the man; there is no third option. For Pontius, however, turnabout is fairer play: long bristling under the jackboot of Roman saevitia et superbia, he decides to take this opportunity to inflict a little of his own. He frees the Romans, yes, but only after humiliating them by making them strip to their under-tunics and crawl beneath the yoke of the vanquished. What Pontius fails to realize is that the Romans will never suffer such indignation without answering with absolute reprisal. So, by his own foolish act of saevitia et superbia, Pontius guarantees the very outcome he was trying to avert: the destruction of his people and the ultimate hegemony of Rome throughout peninsular Italy.

This gripping story of Roman honor and fortitude under fire, at a time when Rome’s hegemony on the Italian peninsula was far from a foregone conclusion, is presented in Roman History for Latin Students: Ambush at Caudium, Livy Ab Urbe Condita Book 9.1–12.328 for the first time in a student-friendly edition, complete with Latin text (328 lines), a full vocabulary, and a comprehensive apparatus of notes on grammatical matters and rhetorical terms.

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Constitutional Courts in Post-Soviet States

Between the Model of a State of Law and Its Local Application

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Jacek Zaleśny

In the book, authors from eleven post-communist countries analyse the specific legal and political character of the organs of the control of law constitutionality in post-Soviet states. This is done through explaining the legal and political character of those bodies as well as their place in the system of the state power. The authors also examine tasks assigned to those bodies, the manner of their establishment, the course of their work, the legal force of their decisions and the legal status of their members. In the conclusions, the authors refer to the optimisation of the political status of the organs controlling the constitutionality of law as organs of the protection of the constitution.

Research findings, conclusions and recommendations formulated in the book can be applied with a view to changing the mechanisms of the protection of constitutionality in post-Soviet states or presenting lawmakers in other countries with consequences of adopting particular legal solutions.

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Fluchtweg Bulgarien

Die verlängerte Mauer an den Grenzen zur Türkei, Jugoslawien und Griechenland

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Stefan Appelius

Seit dem Bau der Berliner Mauer im Sommer 1961 suchten DDR-Bürger nach alternativen, möglichst gefahrlosen Fluchtwegen in die Bundesrepublik. Dabei entwickelte sich der Fluchtweg über die damalige Volksrepublik Bulgarien mit ihren Grenzen zur Türkei, Griechenland und Jugoslawien bereits nach kurzer Zeit zu einer Hauptfluchtroute. Die überwiegend jungen Leute glaubten, über das rückständige Bulgarien „ganz einfach" in den Westen zu gelangen. Stefan Appelius hat seit fünfzehn Jahren über den Fluchtweg Bulgarien gearbeitet, und das Thema in der Bundesrepublik erstmals einer großen Öffentlichkeit bekanntgemacht. Er wertete mehrere tausend Archivquellen aus und führte seit zwölf Jahren mehrere hundert Interviews mit Flüchtlingen, Angehörigen von Todesopfern, mit Grenzern, DDR-Diplomaten und Staatssicherheitsleuten. Hier legt er die wichtigsten Ergebnisse seiner Arbeit vor.

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Kathleen Brush

The world does not need to be complex and confusing. It can be made simpler so that the business, political, social, and economic implications of global news briefs beaming across televisions and electronic devices can be easily grasped. Key to this is knowing that a five-hundred-year competition for global supremacy between the Chinese, European, Islamic, and Russian empires only ended in 1945. When it did, the world had 57 independent nations. After all empires were dissolved in 1991, there were 193, and each nation carried histories of empires in the form of conquest, religions followed, languages practiced, diversified populations, repressive rule, and histories of discrimination. A Brief History of International Relations: The World Made Easy explores this history of global conflict to contextualize and simplify the often perplexing relations between nations and empires.

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Edited by Vera Eccarius-Kelly and Michael M. Gunter

This book evaluates U.S. foreign policy patterns towards Kurdish movements in Turkey and Syria and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In the first section of the collection, U.S. foreign policy approaches are examined by comparing multiple U.S. administrations and their responses to Kurdish demands for autonomy. While Kurds have been used to advance particular policy interests, several contributors also identify challenges to Kurdish independence movements linked to ideological divisions and patronage structures. However, Kurds could benefit from political changes even if U.S. policy preferences favor maintaining established borders.

In the second section, several contributors explore the Kurdistan Regional Government’s unfulfilled expectations and the fallout from the 2017 independence referendum. Consecutive U.S. administrations have been reluctant to destabilize the region, supported efforts by Turkey to co-opt the KRG, and impeded Kurdish movements in Syria and Turkey.

Finally, the third section analyzes the ways in which Kurdish movements have responded to long-standing patterns of U.S. foreign policy preferences. Here contributors examine Kurdish lobbying efforts in the United States, discuss Kurdish para-diplomacy activities in a comparative context, and frame the YPG/J’s (People’s Protections Units/Women’s Protections Units) and PYD’s (Democratic Union Party) project in Syria. Broader power structures are critically examined by focusing on particular Kurdish movements and their responses to U.S. foreign policy initiatives.

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The Rise of Tech Giants

A Game Changer in Global Finance and Politics

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Edited by Nicola Bilotta and Simone Romano

Tech giants entering the banking and financial industry is not an issue of the future, it is already happening. This phenomenon has crucial implications that extend well beyond the banking system. There are questions like: Will tech giants be competitors of incumbents or will they rather partner up? How is the financial regulation going to handle this radical change, and will it succeed in creating a level playing field? What are the implications from a political and social point of view? Will tech giants acquire too much bargaining power in dealing with sovereign states, allowing them to shift political decisions and laws in their favour? This edited book provides a number of answers to these questions through a research effort on the economic and political implications of this technological revolution. While it is impossible to stop this revolution, it poses the challenge of steering towards a sustainable and inclusive improvement of our society and economy.