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Edited by Harald Wydra and Bjørn Thomassen

This Handbook engages the reader in the major debates, approaches, methodologies, and explanatory frames within political anthropology. Examining the shifting borders of a moving field of enquiry, it illustrates disciplinary paradigm shifts, the role of humans in political structures, ethnographies of the political, and global processes. Reflecting the variety of directions that surround political anthropology today, this volume will be essential reading to understanding the interactions of humans within political frames in a globalising world.
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Harald Wydra and Bjørn Thomassen

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Cyprus and the Roadmap for Peace

A Critical Interrogation of the Conflict

Edited by Michális S. Michael and Yücel Vural

While 2017 offered much ground for optimism in resolving the longstanding ‘Cyprus problem’, a closer inspection of the differences experienced reveals the complex difficulties that surround the conflict. The impasse introduced a short-lived confidence that concealed the contradictory combustion of a ‘frozen’/dormant conflict. Despite intense high-level negotiations, a way forward has proved elusive, while local constituency expectations are challenging their leaders for control over both process and outcome. This dilemma lies at the heart of this edited volume.
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Herbert C. Kelman

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Edited by Michális S. Michael and Yücel Vural

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Andrew O’Neil

Despite major changes in the security environment in Northeast Asia, including North Korea’s emergence as a nuclear-armed power, the US–Republic of Korea (ROK) alliance has been characterised by several consistent themes since its inception. The most prominent of these has been a tension between entrapment and abandonment fears, and a misalignment between close military-operational ties and uneven political strategic relations. While the alliance has experienced a significant ‘thickening’ of its institutional fabric, it nevertheless remains susceptible to strains regarding the inter-Korean focus of governments in Seoul and the aversion among US policymakers to any accommodation of Pyongyang. Looking ahead, these dynamics will continue to shape the US–ROK alliance as it confronts a new, and increasingly unpredictable, era of strategic uncertainty on the Korean peninsula.

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Harsh V. Pant

This chapter examines the evolution of American policies towards India and Pakistan since the end of the Cold War. It argues that structural convergence has led to a strengthening of U.S.–India ties while U.S.–Pakistan relations have come under severe strain due to Pakistan’s dubious role in fighting terrorism. This chapter starts by looking at Indian Prime Minister’s visit to the U.S. in June 2017, his first under the Donald Trump presidency. Subsequently, it maps out the factors that have led to a strengthening of U.S.–India relations. Finally, it examines the challenges confronting America’s ties with Pakistan.

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Kerry Brown and Meghan Iverson

China and the US are the contemporary world's two greatest powers. And yet there is a lack of consensus about how far they are able to work with each other, accommodating China's new pre-eminence and the US' need to adapt and change its posture particularly in the Asia Pacific region. In terms of hard power, for the foreseeable future the US will still be overwhelmingly preeminent. And yet in other areas, we are already seeing changes to the role it plays, particularly under Donald Trump, and the ways in which it is trying to craft a new narrative for the region with, and around, China. This chapter attempts to describe how this new narrative might unfold.

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Felicia Peck

This chapter focuses on a shortcoming in global environmental politics (GEP) research: the largely neglected role of the material environment itself as a force upon environmental politics. The knowledge deficiencies that result from inadequate incorporation of environmental influences in political analysis are illustrated through the case of the role of “carbon” in climate governance, and examples of GEP research that are strengthened by attentiveness to the materiality of climate governance are given. Methodological approaches most apt to support the incorporation of materiality in GEP research include discourse analysis, multi-scalar consideration, and the pairing of inductively and deductively gathered evidence. The case of carbon and climate outlined in the chapter suggests that the efficacy of the carbon-based, econometric, and techno-managerial modes of global climate politics is in need of further investigation by scholars.

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Andrew T.H. Tan

The January 2016 elections in Taiwan, which was won by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), have diminished the prospects for reunification with China. This, together with China’s growing economic and military power, as well as rising confidence and nationalism, have meant that the prospects of China using force to resolve the Taiwan problem has increased. However, any resort to coercion or military force by China would carry grave risks for it, as despite isolationist sentiments that underpinned Trump’s election, there is a high probability that the US would react to any attempt to coerce or attack Taiwan, given the anti-China mood in the US Congress. This could lead to uncertain consequences, such as an uncontrolled escalation into all-out conflict between the two great powers. It is thus in China’s interest to pursue peaceful means towards reunification and avoid any precipitate action that could upset the current order. It is also in the United States’ interest to remain actively engaged in the region in order to maintain stability.