Book Reviews

Recently Reviewed Books:
  • Bankrupt: Global Lawmaking and Systematic Financial Crisis (T. Halliday & B. Carruthers)
  • Rule By Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes (T. Ginsburg & T. Moustafa, eds)
  • Darfur and the Crime of Genocide (J. Hagan & W. Rymond-Richmond)


 Terence C. Halliday and Bruce G. Carruthers, Bankrupt: Global Lawmaking and Systematic Financial Crisis. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009, 536 pp

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  •  Canadian Journal of Sociology- Michael Power; Professor of Accounting and Research Theme Director of the ESRC Center for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the London School of Economics.


 "...This is a very important and well written book which makes a contribution far beyond the supposedly 'arcane margins' of insolvency law. It is relevant to all attempts to understand the contingent trajectory of global norms in any policy field... This book also sets a very high methodological bar for future research into norm development; the concept of recursivity challenges the future studies to combine both access to global institutions and to states and localities. Overall, Halliday and Carruthers have achieved unusual and difficult access to global and national policy actors and have produced a work with unrivalled reach, relevance and appeal for scholars in sociology, law, management and political issues, as well as for the practical communities with which they have engaged..."

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Tom Ginsburg and Tamir Moustafa (eds), Rule By Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008, 378 pp.

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  • Law and Society Review- Miguel Scholar, Suffolk University Law School

 "Edited volumes are a necessary scholarly evil. They facilitate broad coverage, but the chapters may be uneven and the themes lost in the wealth of detail. Rule by Law is the rare exception that has fine individual chapters and themes that transcend the sum of the parts. It lays to rest the misconception that courts in authoritarian regimes are marginalized political actors. More important, the theory that courts are best understood as part of a democratic regime (Dahl 1957) is enriched by examining the role that courts play in authoritarian regimes.  Shapiro is right to conclude Rule by Law by stating, ‘‘This project represents something of a high water mark in the study of law and courts in general and judicial review in particular’’ (p. 326)..."

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  • American Society of International Law, Newsletter Issue #39, May 2009.

"This book explores the conditions under which authoritarian rulers “delegate” decision making to judiciaries—and the political consequences of their choices. One would think that much more would have been written (by other writers) on this important feature of the intersection between judicial and political processes. The authors have fortunately provided a succinct but authoritative assessment of this practice, via its dozen case studies in countries including (in the order presented) Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Singapore, Mexico, China, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

The editors’ juxtaposition of political scientists and law school authors yields a fascinating array of readable vignettes. Such matters are rarely the cannon fodder of news analysis. This convincing assessment is therefore an incredibly important contribution to the literature in a rather neglected subject."  

 John Hagan and Wenona Rymond-Richmond. Darfur and the Crime of Genocide. Cambridge University Press; New York, NY; 2008.

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 “To read these pages is to hear the voices of survivors who painstakingly recount the killings, rapes and harrowing devastation in Darfur. The authors use eyewitness reports from more than a thousand State Department interviews to document and analyze the on-going atrocities and the reasons so shamefully little has been done to address this terrible episode in human destruction. In the face of genocide, the ultimate crime, this powerful and insightful book offers valuable lessons - lessons I hope we will learn from - not only for the victims of the Darfur genocide, but for the victims of future genocides, and for our own essential selves.”
--Mia Farrow, UNICEF and Dream for Darfur

"Why has the field of criminology ignored genocide for so long? The answer to this question has important implications for theories of crime and international policy alike. The terrible tragedy in Darfur serves as the motivation for Hagan and Rymond-Richmond to trace the intellectual history of competing approaches to genocide, from the pioneering work of Sheldon Glueck on Nazi war crimes to controversies over official reaction to atrocities in the former Yugoslavia and now Africa. A call to action, Darfur and the Crime of Genocide is disturbing but necessary reading for all those concerned with international justice and a more general criminological conception of collective responses to crime around the world."
--Robert J. Sampson, Harvard University, Henry Ford II Professor of Sociology

“This is a remarkable book and an urgently important one. Bringing together a close review of the empirical evidence and a creative use of criminological concepts, the authors assemble a compelling argument that the events in Darfur amount to an intentional, racialized, state-supported, act of genocide. In doing so, The Crime of Genocide presents a criminological case for the prosecution that will be hard to ignore. But that’s not all. Hagan and Rymond-Richmond also argue that the discipline of criminology must begin to address crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity – the collective crimes that increasingly define our time but do not yet shape our research. Sixty years ago, Edwin Sutherland transformed criminology with his argument for the inclusion of “white collar crimes.” The ambition of this book is to expand the criminological imagination once more and to demonstrate what such an undertaking would look like. The Crime of Genocide succeeds on all these counts. It makes a powerful case that the mass killings, rapes and expropriations taking place in Darfur have the actus reus and mens rea of genocidal crimes. It demonstrates that criminology can explain the social mechanisms that drove these collective events. It contributes to public awareness of these crimes and their causes. And it provides crucially relevant evidence for the political and legal processes designed to allocate responsibility, restore peace and prevent the recurrence of such atrocious criminal activities.”
--David Garland, New York University, Vanderbilt Professor of Law, Author of The Culture of Control