Wednesday, October 24, 2007

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October's (very, very belated) Books of the Month

I'm juuuust a wee bit late on this month's book club selections. So, to be quick about it:

The international relations book is Michael Tomz's Reputation and International Cooperation: Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries. In recent years, some of the most interesting work in international relations theory has been about the significance of reputation effects in world politics. Tomz argues for a dynamic theory of reputation, in which actors can update their beliefs over time about whether governments will honor their commitments. He marshalls considerable empirical evidence to make this case by looking at the behavior of sovereign borrowers and lenders over the past few centuries.

Tomz's book, combined with the recent efforts of Daryl Press and Anne Sartori, have created a fruitful area of research in international relations. Go check it out.

The general interest book is Cass Sunstein's 2.0. This is one of those arguments -- the Internet will foster cyberbalkanization -- that I pooh-poohed when the original book came out. That said, trends in the blogosphere suggest that his argument has held up better than I would have predicted a few years ago.

Naturally, by waiting until very late in the month to make this book recommendation, Sunstein has gone and published yet another book. So I promise to be more punctual next month.

posted by Dan on 10.24.07 at 12:15 AM


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