10 books like Ruling But Not Governing

By Steven A. Cook,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Ruling But Not Governing. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Managing Instability in Algeria

By Isabelle Werenfels,

Book cover of Managing Instability in Algeria: Elites and Political Change

In this book, Werenfels explains how elite dynamics and tactics work in the Algerian political system and how they have led to the lack of significant political change since the country returned to the democratic process in 1995. Werenfels analyses the coping mechanisms of the highly opaque authoritarian elite in a shifting local and global environment building on evidence from extensive research. This book planted the seed of an idea for what the topic of my own book would be and how I wanted to structure it. 

Managing Instability in Algeria

By Isabelle Werenfels,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Managing Instability in Algeria as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This topical new book seeks to understand the relationship between elite dynamics and strategies and the lack of profound political change in Algeria after 1995, when the country's military rulers returned to electoral processes.

Using evidence from extensive fieldwork, Isabelle Werenfels exposes successful survival strategies of an opaque authoritarian elite in a changing domestic and international environment. The main focus is on:

the changing balance of power between different elite segments the modes of generation change and the different emerging young elite types constraints, obligations and opportunities arising from elite embeddings in clienteles networks and in specific social and economic…


Dictators and Dictatorships

By Natasha M. Ezrow, Erica Frantz,

Book cover of Dictators and Dictatorships: Understanding Authoritarian Regimes and Their Leaders

I like this book because it is based on a qualitative investigation into the politics of authoritarian states. It contends that political outcomes in dictatorships are mostly the result of relations between leaders and elites, and the internal structures that influence the dynamics of these relations. The book analyses the differences between several authoritarian regimes and their political ramifications. Process in personalist, military, one-party, monarchical, and semi-authoritarian regimes are examined. The book explains what dictatorship entails and how authoritarian politics function. 

Dictators and Dictatorships

By Natasha M. Ezrow, Erica Frantz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dictators and Dictatorships as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This title discusses how dictatorships work, looking at leaders, elites, and regime dynamics, synthesizing foundational and cutting-edge research on authoritarian politics, and integrating theory with case studies. "Dictators and Dictatorships" is a qualitative enquiry into the politics of authoritarian regimes. It argues that political outcomes in dictatorships are largely a product of leader-elite relations. Differences in the internal structure of dictatorships affect the dynamics of this relationship. This book shows how dictatorships differ from one another and the implications of these differences for political outcomes. In particular, it examines political processes in personalist, military, single-party, monarchic, and hybrid regimes. The…


Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics

By Miriam R. Lowi,

Book cover of Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics: Algeria Compared

In this book, Lowi examines why Algeria's domestic political economy disintegrated in the mid-1980s and how the regime eventually reclaimed power and hegemony. Miriam Lowi discusses the significance of leadership decisions for political outcomes and extends her theory to explain the diversity in stability among oil-exporting states in response to economic shocks. Comparing Algeria to Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, she inquires as to why certain regimes fail and endure regime change while others remain stable or are able to regain stability after a time of turmoil.

Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics

By Miriam R. Lowi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How can we make sense of Algeria's post-colonial experience - the tragedy of unfulfilled expectations, the descent into violence, the resurgence of the state? Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics explains why Algeria's domestic political economy unravelled from the mid-1980s, and how the regime eventually managed to regain power and hegemony. Miriam Lowi argues the importance of leadership decisions for political outcomes, and extends the argument to explain the variation in stability in oil-exporting states following economic shocks. Comparing Algeria with Iran, Iraq, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, she asks why some states break down and undergo regime change, while…


A History of Algeria

By James McDougall,

Book cover of A History of Algeria

A History of Algeria by British historian James McDougall is one of the most original books I have read on Algeria. It takes a fresh new look at the history of contemporary Algeria and avoids the classic chronological approach. The style is exquisite, and the scientific rigor is impeccable. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the history of Algeria, and Algerians. 

A History of Algeria

By James McDougall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of Algeria as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Covering a period of five hundred years, from the arrival of the Ottomans to the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, James McDougall presents an expansive new account of the modern history of Africa's largest country. Drawing on substantial new scholarship and over a decade of research, McDougall places Algerian society at the centre of the story, tracing the continuities and the resilience of Algeria's people and their cultures through the dramatic changes and crises that have marked the country. Whether examining the emergence of the Ottoman viceroyalty in the early modern Mediterranean, the 130 years of French colonial rule and…


This Book Will (Help) Cool the Climate

By Isabel Thomas, Alex Paterson (illustrator),

Book cover of This Book Will (Help) Cool the Climate: 50 Ways to Cut Pollution, Speak Up and Protect Our Planet!

This book does exactly what it says, although the chapter entitled "Eat Your Neighbours" did make me wonder if I was reading a different genre. Without being preachy, it gives kids 50 great ideas to help them make a difference to the environment including coming up against climate deniers, rewilding your garden (obviously without the bison, wolves, and wildcats), and buying less stuff including gadgets, clothes, and fast fashion (though I still have some way to go with a certain teenager). If you feel frustrated about how huge a problem climate change is and don’t know where to start, then the book will help you understand what fuels it and gives children some agency over how they choose to live their lives and make a difference.

This Book Will (Help) Cool the Climate

By Isabel Thomas, Alex Paterson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Book Will (Help) Cool the Climate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Our planet is heating up, and it needs your help! If you want to learn to reduce your carbon footprint and cool the Earth, here are practical tips and projects that make a difference!

Are you concerned about climate change? The bad news is, global warming is a real problem that won't go away on its own. But the good news is, there are lots of easy ways you can get involved and make a difference! From swapping your stuff to assigning your school some eco-homework, helping to save the planet is within your reach. Arm yourself with info about…


A History of Egyptian Communism

By Rami Ginat,

Book cover of A History of Egyptian Communism: Jews and Their Compatriots in Quest of Revolution

I found this book very interesting as it re-examines the early period of the Communist movement in Egypt. The history of Egyptian Communism has been extensively studied, but Ginat’s book was able to bring something new to the discussion by analysing previously unstudied Soviet archives. He demonstrates the important role Eastern European and native Jews played in the movement's early days—a role that subsequent generations of Communist historians had largely edited out. The book is rich with detail and provides a genuine insight into the motivations and hopes of those Jewish activists who thought they were building a better world on the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean.

A History of Egyptian Communism

By Rami Ginat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of Egyptian Communism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Conscience

By Alice Mattison,

Book cover of Conscience

Alice Mattison, the author, must have been reading my mind! This piercing novel echoes some of my conflicted feelings about the Sixties and social activism in general, even as it also probes the strains of long-term marriage and friendship. As college students, Olive, Helen, and Val took different routes during the Sixties antiwar protests. Now, when a magazine commissions Olive to write an essay about Val’s long-ago novel, she must confront the repercussions of those friendships and the decisions the three women made. Helen chose violent protest; Olive chose a PhD; Val chose to appropriate Helen’s life in her fiction. Olive’s rethinking raises a question that’s important for us today: How far should an ethical person go for a just cause?  

Conscience

By Alice Mattison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Conscience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Decades ago in Brooklyn, three girls demonstrated against the Vietnam War, and each followed a distinct path into adulthood. Helen became a violent revolutionary. Val wrote a controversial book, essentially a novelization of Helen’s all-too-short but vibrant life. And Olive became an editor and writer, now comfortably settled with her husband, Griff, in New Haven. When Olive is asked to write an essay about Val’s book, doing so brings back to the forefront Olive and Griff’s tangled histories and their complicated reflections on that tumultuous time in their young lives.Conscience, the dazzling new novel from award-winning author Alice Mattison, paints…


The Practice of Citizenship

By Derrick R. Spires,

Book cover of The Practice of Citizenship: Black Politics and Print Culture in the Early United States

This is a fascinating book that deals with one of the central dilemmas in American history—that a nation committed to high ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in a republic made up of people from several lands could also be a nation committed to racial oppression and the denial of fundamental rights. It considers citizenship not as noun but as verb—a dynamic process, not just a legal affiliation. Spires gets at the complexity of American life, explaining approaches to citizenship that required savvy improvisation, community formation, and determined commitment to ideals that were violated by the dominant culture at every turn. Spires explores the tensions, the disagreements over directions and methods, that were part of this collective effort, and the concepts of citizenship that emerged from those productive debates. Among a great many other things, readers will learn a lot about African American intellectual life, writing, and…

The Practice of Citizenship

By Derrick R. Spires,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Practice of Citizenship as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the years between the American Revolution and the U.S. Civil War, as legal and cultural understandings of citizenship became more racially restrictive, black writers articulated an expansive, practice-based theory of citizenship. Grounded in political participation, mutual aid, critique and revolution, and the myriad daily interactions between people living in the same spaces, citizenship, they argued, is not defined by who one is but, rather, by what one does.
In The Practice of Citizenship, Derrick R. Spires examines the parallel development of early black print culture and legal and cultural understandings of U.S. citizenship, beginning in 1787, with the framing…


Sarah Rising

By Ty Chapman,

Book cover of Sarah Rising

“Mommy, is George Floyd going to be okay?”

My son knows George Floyd is not going to be okay, but he won’t stop asking. I think he’s just wondering if he’s safe…if his neighbors are safe…if the world is going to be okay. I don’t know the answers. I try to cover. I lecture. I complain. I blame. I confuse him. This book did what I never could. It’s about a protest. It’s also about family, love, power, community, and bugs. Sarah’s story engaged my child’s heart and mind so much better than any of my amazing lectures. The world is not okay, but Sarah showed us that we can do something about it, and that makes us feel a little safer.

Sarah Rising

By Ty Chapman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sarah Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sarah starts her day like any other day: she eats her toast and feeds her bugs. But today isn't a day like any other day. Today, her dad brings her to a protest to speak out against police violence against Black people. The protesters are loud, and Sarah gets scared. When Sarah spots a beautiful monarch butterfly and follows it through the crowd, she finds herself inside the no-man's land between the line of police and protesters. In the moments that follow, Sarah is confronted with the cruelty of those who are supposed to protect her and learns what it…


How to Blow Up a Pipeline

By Andreas Malm,

Book cover of How to Blow Up a Pipeline

I consider this to be one of the best books ever written about climate change. For here we have a clear-eyed examination of what is working and not working to save the planet from climate catastrophe. Malm, a Swedish academic, demonstrates carefully and provocatively that only militant action has moved the needle on past injustices — and that we better get militant now if we hope to make meaningful changes that save Earth from a situation of climate injustice that is bad but is going to get worse. If you already understand the predicament we’re in, including the “6th mass extinction,” then skip the other books and start with this one. It’s also accessible and well-written. 

How to Blow Up a Pipeline

By Andreas Malm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Blow Up a Pipeline as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The science on climate change has been clear for a very long time now. Yet despite decades of appeals, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and peaceful demonstrations, we are still facing a booming fossil fuel industry, rising seas, rising emission levels, and a rising temperature. With the stakes so high, why haven't we moved beyond peaceful protest?

In this lyrical manifesto, noted climate scholar (and saboteur of SUV tires and coal mines) Andreas Malm makes an impassioned call for the climate movement to escalate its tactics in the face of ecological collapse. We need, he argues, to force fossil fuel…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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