US-UN Relations Discussion at the Heritage Foundation

by Kenneth Anderson

After a blogging hiatus over the summer due to some family medical issues – all happily resolved – I am moving back to posting on a regular basis. I’ve missed posting and hanging out with the OJ community online.  I’ve been only fitfully been following posts here, or for that matter most of the global news, and I’ve decided not to try and go back and catch up or join in past discussions, but just go forward from here.  I do plan to start posting more frequently on international economic law issues, including the Eurozone crisis and such things, as well as greater attention to international organization issues, the UN, and global governance issues generally.

Meanwhile – though I would ordinarily leave this to the weekly events announcement –  I wanted to alert readers that the Heritage Foundation has been kind enough to invite me to talk about my book, released back in May, on US-UN relations – Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order.  For complicated scheduling reasons, along with a desire to do this event during the annual September opening of the UN General Assembly session, the discussion will be held this upcoming Wednesday, September 26, 12 noon, at the Heritage Foundation in downtown DC.  Here’s a link to the event; open to the public; requires RSVP either online or by phone.

It is Yom Kippur that day, so I realize with apologies that some of the folks most vital to this topic will be missing, but there will be video posted at Heritage at some point soon after the event.  Good news is that the Hoover Institution, which published the book, is co-hosting, and is making complimentary copies of the book available at the event, which I’ll be happy to sign.  And finally my thanks to Heritage Foundation senior fellow Brett Schaefer, who will host and moderate the event.

2 Responses

  1. Are there any serious reviews of this from non movement conservatives? The 30 reviews on Amazon were of no help as most were apparently written by high school students and lay people who didn’t have a pre-existing appreciation of the moral complexities of the UN collective security regime.

    I’m interested in the thoughts of mainline constructivists and internationalist – who are already well informed about the imperfections of the system, but who don’t buy heavily into Eric Posner-style reductionism about IL and people who assign a high value to the way the system acts as real constraint, and a mechanism to internalise norms and harmonise.

  2. Will – actually, there aren’t any reviews at all.  It’s the downside of being a book published by a think tank – Hoover Press.  Hard to get attention to it in a serious way the way an academic press book would be.  That was a deliberate tradeoff on my part; I had offers from academic presses, but they would have charged $35-45 for it.  Hoover was willing to price it at $13 for hardback and 9.99 on kindle.  

    Since I see it as a supplemental reading, at most, rather than a main text in courses – a sort of alternative take – I didn’t think anyone would buy it, either as a general reader or for the classrooom, at the academic press price.  I might have guessed wrong about the best way to reach an audience – really is hard to get attention to a book like this with this publisher – but finally decided that price would be important at least when the academic publisher would charge triple the Hoover price.  Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, as we law and econ professors like to say.

    The high school student reviews took me by surprise – I had made the book available pre publication in pdf to several DC area high schools, to see if it was readable by high school students.  One of the classes apparently was told they had the option to write a review to Amazon in lieu of whatever the assignment was.  Since it looks like some wrote a quickie review without reading the book and everyone else copied it, I guess I have my answer about suitability for high school students.  I thought about asking Amazon to take them down, but thought, heck, everything else goes up at Amazon so why not encourage high school students to take part, however minimally, in public discourse.

    However, if you want to see a very substantial preview – or some teacher wants to use it in lieu of assigning the book for purchase – I’ve posted up to SSRN an excerpt amounting to the first three chapters plus intro.  This is with Hoover Press’s blessing; if the downside of a think tank press is no respect, the upside is it’s not in it even to cover costs, so it’s relaxed about making it available widely.  At some point Hoover will simply post the pdf of the whole manuscript on its site for free access.

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