In the current issue of New Left Review, Malcolm Bull discusses my 2013 book, The End of Protest. Go to the article. Bull writes: “There have been places, notably neo-liberal core countries like the USA and UK, where political protests have been small, sporadic and ineffectual. . . . In The End of Protest, Alasdair Roberts attributes this change to the growing intolerance of public unrest in market societies, and the effectiveness of policies of repression (legal changes with strengthened police forces to enforce them) and containment (the manipulation of urban space, enhanced surveillance and kettling), combined with economic appeasement (fiscal stimulus and quantitative easing) carried out by technocrats at central banks rather than the government itself. The result has been the atrophy of traditional forms of mass organization and the failure of new forms of networked protest to take their place.” The End of Protest will be available in paperback from Cornell University Press in November.
My 2008 book The Collapse of Fortress Bush, published by New York University Press, is now available on Kindle. Details here. Kirkus Reviews called the book “A trenchant analysis of the last eight years of American political history. . . . A work of rare insight that fills gaps glaringly evident in most public discourse.” Choice said: “Roberts’ sound judgment and expertise in the field of public administration make this an excellent primer on governance in the Bush years.”
In the current issue of Public Administration Quarterly, Chester Robinson and Gloria Billingsley discuss my 2013 monograph Large Forces: What’s Missing in Public Administration: “Many problems on the public policy agenda reflect environmental factors, including political, economic, shifts in populations from farms to cities, and social conventions, some of which our society and leaders are not eager to take on. Alasdair Roberts, and other organic theorists, see the country’s policy decisions as being buffered by these powerful forces. To them, it seems impossible to fully understand the actions of government without studying the large forces that caused the problem to come into being. What government does, and how it does it, cannot be explained without accounting for the pressure applied by these forces. Large forces scholarship helps us to produce rigorous, persuasive and contextual answers to public policy issues.” Read their article.
On Baidu.com, Lihua Fang discusses my 2013 monograph, Large Forces: What’s Missing in Public Administration. Read Fang’s comment in Chinese. Read the Google translation.
I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on the future of access to information at the Canadian Bar Association’s Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium in Ottawa on October 28. The program is here.
Public Radio’s Backstory has just rebroadcast a show that includes a discussion between me and Peter Onuf of the University of Virginia on the development of policing in the United States. The interview drew on work from America’s First Great Depression and The End of Protest. Listen to BackStory’s show on policing in America. My interview begins at the fifteen-minute mark. My segment is titled “Running the riot.”
I’m quoted in a July 29 story by Radio France Internationale on WikiLeaks. Read the story. I provided a skeptical view about WikiLeaks’ impact in a 2011 article in the Wilson Quarterly, The WikiLeaks Illusion. Read the 2011 article. A longer academic version of that article also appeared in the International Review of Administrative Sciences in 2012. Read the 2012 article.
The End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent will be published in paperback by Cornell University Press in November 2016. Updated LC Catalog data here. It was first published as an eb00k in the new Cornell Selects series in 2013.