It’s time for a summer reading list from Fletcher professors. Whereas last year’s recommendations stayed close to the professors’ areas of expertise, this year the books span the distance from class reading lists to general interest.
Eileen Babbitt, our negotiation and conflict management guru suggests a book for each of her classes. For D220 (Processes of International Negotiation), she suggests the classic, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by Roger Fisher and William Ury. For D221 (International Mediation), she picks Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World, edited by Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall, published by U.S. Institute of Peace Press. And, for D223 (Conflict Resolution Theory) she suggests Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies, by John-Paul Lederach.
In truth, Eileen sent me those suggestions last summer, when I thought I’d post a second list of professors’ picks. Fortunately, she has confirmed that they’re still her picks for this year.
Daniel Drezner, Fletcher’s professor of international politics who has just completed his second year here, selected Robert Gilpin’s Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order and Jeffry Frieden’s Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century.
Academic Dean and Professor of International Humanitarian Studies Peter Uvin provides numerous suggestions that take you from the area of his research to subjects beyond. He starts with The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can be Done About It, by Paul Collier. Never one to miss a chance to kid his colleagues, Prof. Uvin says, “For a book written by an economist, this is not half-bad.”
Moving further afield, he tells me (via email), “I love reading science. I think everyone should understand — or at least feel wonder about — how our world functions. Great books include The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality, by Brian Greene; A Briefer History of Time, by Steven Hawkins and Leonard Mlodinow, which has really nice pictures; Chaos: Making a New Science, by James Gleick, which is a lot of fun to read, and is directly relevant to social thinking as well; and Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century by Michio Kaku. The last book is particularly interesting as he describes the likely technological breakthroughs for the next 50 years in each field — and how they may affect your life. And then you should read something about our global environment, but I am sure Bill Moomaw will tell you better what that ought to be.” (Note from your blogger — I’ll try to get Prof. Moomaw to weigh in soon.)
Finally, looking after the whole student, Prof. Uvin’s emailed list concludes with Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society by Peter Senge and colleagues, and says it “is really useful to help you manage your life in every way.”
It’s still early in the summer, and I hope to post another list soon.
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