books 2009

The Courage for Change

Re-Engineering the University of Dar es Salaam

By Matthew L. Luhanga

Dar es Salaam University Press

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change,” begins Matthew Luhanga, quoting Charles Darwin and setting the tone for an account of his extraordinary career. The youngest, longest serving Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Luhanga was appointed to this top position just three months after becoming Chief Academic Officer – the only administrative position he had ever held.

Luhanga, a professor of telecommunications engineering, was focused on research and developing the university’s first Master’s program in the field. But after intervening in a student protest on behalf of his boss, the Vice Chancellor, Luhanga found that the president of the United Republic of Tanzania had fired that VC – and appointed him! “It took eight years for the Central Establishments to write me an official letter of appointment,” he recalls. “It contained no terms and conditions of service and none were ever issued to me for the 15 years and 8 months I served as Vice Chancellor.” Despite this troubled beginning, it was during his tenure that a dramatic transformation of UDSM took place.

While coping with violent student protests, severe economic hardships and conflicts between the university and the government, Luhanga and other university leaders devised a strategy for building human capital, raising academic standards, increasing enrollment, rehabilitating and expanding infrastructure and technology and improving gender balance. Here he tells how, with determination as well as support from Carnegie Corporation and other funders, the university was reengineered for the improvement of the lives of Tanzanians, Africans and others around the world.

Better Safe than Sorry

The Ironies of Living with the Bomb

By Michael Krepon

Stanford Security Studies

“Pessimism serves no useful purpose in dealing with the dangers of nuclear proliferation and terrorism,” says author Michael Krepon, founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center and Diplomat Scholar at the University of Virginia. While admitting our worst fears still could be realized at any time, he argues that the United States today possesses more tools and capacity to reduce nuclear dangers than ever before. In this book, written with Carnegie Corporation support, Krepon provides a snapshot of where we are now and moves back to earlier periods of presumed maximum nuclear danger, to provide context for the future he envisions. With all but eight countries having pledged not to acquire the Bomb, and major powers having less use for it than ever, he believes if the U.S. adopts a “back to basics” approach—from containment and deterrence to diplomacy, military strength and arms control—cooperative threat reduction initiatives can provide safe passage through this, the second nuclear age.

Vol. 5 / No. 3 / Fall 2009  

Making Modern Muslims

The Politics of Islamic Education in Southeast Asia

Since the 9/11 attacks in the United States and the October 2002 Bali bombings in Indonesia (which resulted in the convictions of students from a Muslim boarding school) Islamic education in Southeast Asia has become the focus of intense international attention. Carnegie scholar Robert W. Hefner, professor of anthropology and director of the Program on Islam and Civil Society at the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs, Boston University, believes much can be learned from looking at Islamic education and Southeast Asian politics side-by-side.

Based on a two-year research project by leading scholars from the area, Making Modern Muslims aims to shed light on the direction of Islamic education by examining where, culturally and politically, it has come from.

The book focuses on schools in five countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia, and reveals the nature of the struggle for hearts and minds taking place across the region.

Partisans of Allah

Jihad in South Asia
by Ayesha Jalal
Harvard University Press, 2009

The idea of jihad is central to Islamic faith and ethics. Yet its meanings have been highly contested over time, ranging from the philosophical struggle to live an ethical life to the political injunction to wage war against enemies of Islam. The word jihad is derived from the Arabic root meaning to strive against an undesirable opponent—an external enemy, Satan or the base inner self. Pre-Islamic Arab society interpreted it as any endeavor in the service of a worthy cause, while other words were more commonly used for warfare.

Most works on jihad, while nodding in the direction of its spiritual significance, have treated it as the Muslim practice of war, whether of the aggressive or the defensive kind. In Partisans of Allah, Carnegie scholar Ayesha Jalal, a professor of history at Tufts University, explains how significant innovations in modern Islamic thought have resulted from historical imperatives. She draws on historical, legal and literary sources to trace the intellectual itinerary of jihad through several centuries and across the territory connecting the Middle East with South Asia. Analyzing the complex interplay of ethics and politics in Muslim history, the author sweeps away many misconceptions and reveals the powerful role of jihad in the Islamic faith today.

The Dilemmas of Statebuilding

Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations
Edited by Roland Paris and Timothy D. Sisk
Routledge, 2009

It is difficult to imagine a more complex or demanding task than post-conflict peacebuilding, which combines separate yet simultaneous transitions—from fighting to peace; wartime government to postwar government; war economy to transparent postwar development that reinforces peace. This multilateral process, summarized under the term statebuilding, gives rise to myriad dilemmas of coordination, security, institutional design, autonomy and the like. In The Dilemmas of Statebuilding, the editors, professors of international policy studies, present a collection of the latest research from some of the field’s top scholars in hopes of boosting the effectiveness of post-conflict peacebuilding and statebuilding efforts.

The essays in this volume, which was created with Corporation support, reflect a consensus in recognizing of the enormity and complexity of the task of building states in the aftermath of war. The authors aim to spur other scholars to investigate the tensions and dilemmas in further detail and to encourage policy practitioners to design and implement new approaches based on a greater awareness of the limitations of international interventions. The dilemmas of statebuilding will never go away, they contend, but can be managed more successfully than in the past—if their underlying causes, interactions and implications are better understood.

Beyond Preemption

Force and Legitimacy in a Changing World
Ivo H. Daalder, Editor
Brookings Institution Press, 2009

Preemption is here to stay, according to editor Ivo H. Daalder of the Brookings Institution. With use of military force a central preoccupation of states and their leaders, the demand for intervention is likely to grow as it has since the end of the cold war—especially since the global interconnectedness of our times means distance no longer wards off dangers far away. But if, as America has learned, a national decision is made without sufficient regard to whether its use of force has legitimacy in the eyes of the international community, the result can be a setback to the cause of peace and to the interests of the nation that has gone to war.

Events in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq have raised profound questions about military force: When is its use justifiable? For what purpose? Who decides? Beyond Preemption offers thoughtful discussion on these issues, based on Brookings’ major project, “Force and Legitimacy in the Evolving International System,” supported by Carnegie Corporation and others. Drawing on the contributions of scholars, officials, analysts and international lawyers, it proposes powerful new ways to forge international consensus regarding preemption and the proper use of force required to meet the global challenges of our age.

Vol. 5 / No. 2 / Spring 2009