Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs comprises more than 70 full-time faculty and more than 200 adjunct faculty, scholars, and practitioners. All have distinguished themselves in research and leadership in the policy world, and have produced scholarship in a wide variety of subjects, including international relations, democratization, elections, demography, and social policy.

November 1981|Northern Illinois University Press|John Coatsworth
October 1981|Young Asia Publications|Harpreet Mahajan
October 1978|John Hopkins University Press|Alfred Stepan, Juan J. Linz
The fate of democratic governments throughout the world is a topic of growing concern. The crises of modern history, from the Machtergreifung by Hitler through the downfall of democracies. In a systematic review of the political experiences of Latin American and European democratic nations, these original, thought-provoking books propose a significant new comparative framework for understanding the dynamics of political change and the conditions necessary for democratic stability.
October 1978|Princeton University Press|Alfred Stepan
November 1976|Princeton University Press|Robert Jervis

This study of perception and misperception in foreign policy was a landmark in the application of cognitive psychology to political decision making. The New York Times called it, in an article published nearly ten years after the book's appearance, "the seminal statement of principles underlying political psychology."

The perspective established by Jervis remains an important counterpoint to structural explanations of international politics, and from it has developed a large literature on the psychology of leaders and the problems of decision making under conditions of incomplete information, stress, and cognitive bias.

Jervis begins by describing the process of perception (for example, how decision makers learn from history) and then explores common forms of misperception (such as overestimating one's influence). Finally, he tests his ideas through a number of important events in international relations from nineteenth- and twentieth-century European history.

In a contemporary application of Jervis's ideas, some argue that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 in part because he misread the signals of American leaders with regard to the independence of Kuwait. Also, leaders of the United States and Iraq in the run-up to the most recent Gulf War might have been operating under cognitive biases that made them value certain kinds of information more than others, whether or not the information was true. Jervis proved that, once a leader believed something, that perception would influence the way the leader perceived all other relevant information.

October 1976|Princeton University Press|Mahmood Mamdani

When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population." So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement is the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including even judges, human rights activists, and doctors, nurses, priests, friends, and spouses of the victims. Indeed, it is its very popularity that makes the Rwandan genocide so unthinkable. This book makes it thinkable.

Rejecting easy explanations of the genocide as a mysterious evil force that was bizarrely unleashed, one of Africa's best-known intellectuals situates the tragedy in its proper context. He coaxes to the surface the historical, geographical, and political forces that made it possible for so many Hutu to turn so brutally on their neighbors. He finds answers in the nature of political identities generated during colonialism, in the failures of the nationalist revolution to transcend these identities, and in regional demographic and political currents that reach well beyond Rwanda. In so doing, Mahmood Mamdani usefully broadens understandings of citizenship and political identity in postcolonial Africa.

There have been few attempts to explain the Rwandan horror, and none has succeeded so well as this one. Mamdani's analysis provides a solid foundation for future studies of the massacre. Even more important, his answers point a way out of crisis: a direction for reforming political identity in central Africa and preventing future tragedies.

November 1974|Sage Publications|William B. Eimicke
October 1974|Princeton University Press|Alfred Stepan
October 1972|Monthly Review Press|Mahmood Mamdani

Mahmood Mamdani's book on The Myth of Population Control in India demonstrates that the problems of population can never be understood without understanding the problems of people first. Mahmood Mamdani, an Indian studying at Harvard, journeyed to Manupur, India, central village of the Khanna Study, India's first major field study in birth control. It was initiated by Harvard University and financed by the Rockfeller Foundation and the Indian Government. The study found that the majority of people had large families because they need children to work for the family. Children are also old age insurance for the poor. Voluntary family planning will not be accepted until technological change reduces the need for family laborers and until a change in social structure brings about a change in the pattern of land ownership.

October 1970|Oxford University Press|Jagdish Bhagwati, Padma Desai

India: Planning for Industrialization

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