The Committee on Global Thought is comprised of some of the world’s most renowned global scholars who have published on topics ranging from political economics and memory to cosmology and international finance. As a result, the CGT library has grown to include everything from multi-year series collections and contributor volumes to textbooks and biographies. Many projects have evolved out of conference and lecture programming, with the goal of turning fruitful discussions into lasting contributions to the field. Click here to view the entire CGT archive.
Recent Faculty Publications
I Am The People: Reflections on Popular Sovereignty Today
The forms of liberal government that emerged after World War II are in the midst of a profound crisis. In I Am the People, Partha Chatterjee reconsiders the concept of popular sovereignty in order to explain today’s dramatic outburst of movements claiming to speak for “the people.” To uncover the roots of populism, Chatterjee traces the twentieth-century trajectory of the welfare state and neoliberal reforms. Drawing on thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, and Ernesto Laclau and with a particular focus on the history of populism in India, I Am the People is a sweeping, theoretically rich account of the origins of today’s tempests. Click here for more details.
Nature and Value
Today, as we confront an unprecedented environmental crisis of our own making, it is more urgent than ever to consider the notion of nature and our place within it. This book brings together essays that individually and as a whole present a detailed and rigorous multidisciplinary exploration of the concept of nature and its wider ethical and political implications. Nature and Value features widely known scholars in a broad swath of disciplines, ranging from philosophy, politics, and political economy to geology, law, literature, and psychology. By engaging with a wide range of scholarship, the authors ultimately converge on a common outlook that is both capacious and original. Click here for more details.
In this fascinating and deeply researched book, Sharon Marcus challenges everything you thought you knew about our obsession with fame. Icons are not merely famous for being famous; the media alone cannot make or break stars; fans are not simply passive dupes. Instead, journalists, the public, and celebrities themselves all compete, passionately and expertly, to shape the stories we tell about celebrities and fans. The result: a high-stakes drama as endless as it is unpredictable. Click here for more details.
People, Power, and Politics
Joseph E. Stiglitz
We all have the sense that the American economy—and its government—tilts toward big business, but as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains in his new book, People, Power, and Profits, the situation is dire. A few corporations have come to dominate entire sectors of the economy, contributing to skyrocketing inequality and slow growth. This is how the financial industry has managed to write its own regulations, tech companies have accumulated reams of personal data with little oversight, and our government has negotiated trade deals that fail to represent the best interests of workers. Too many have made their wealth through exploitation of others rather than through wealth creation. If something isn’t done, new technologies may make matters worse, increasing inequality and unemployment. Click here for more details.
Neil K. Aggarwal
Drawing upon decades of research in cultural psychiatry, cultural psychology, and psychiatric anthropology, CGT Member Neil Krishan Aggarwal investigates how the Islamic State has convinced people to engage in violence since its founding in 2003. Through analysis of hundreds of articles, speeches, videos, songs, and bureaucratic documents in English and Arabic, the book traces how the jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi created a new culture and psychology, one that would pit Sunni Muslims against all others after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Aggarwal tracks how Osama bin Laden and al-Zarqawi disagreed over the goal of militancy in jihad before reaching a détente in 2004 and how al-Qaeda in Iraq merged with five other groups to diffuse its militant cultural identity in 2006 before taking advantage of the Syrian civil war to emerge as the Islamic State. Aggarwal offers a definitive analysis of how culture is created, debated, and disseminated within militant organizations like the Islamic State. Click here for more details.
Crashed is a dramatic new narrative resting on original themes: the haphazard nature of economic development and the erratic path of debt around the world; the unseen way individual countries and regions are linked together in deeply unequal relationships through financial interdependence, investment, politics, and force; the ways the financial crisis interacted with the spectacular rise of social media, the crisis of middle-class America, the rise of China, and global struggles over fossil fuels. Finally, Tooze asks, given this history, what now are the prospects for a liberal, stable, and coherent world order? Click here for more details.
Souleymane Bachir Diagne
What does it mean to be a Muslim philosopher, or to philosophize in Islam? In Open to Reason, Souleymane Bachir Diagne traces Muslims’ intellectual and spiritual history of examining and questioning beliefs and arguments to show how Islamic philosophy has always engaged critically with texts and ideas both inside and outside its tradition. Through a rich reading of classical and modern Muslim philosophers, Diagne explains the long history of philosophy in the Islamic world and its relevance to crucial issues of our own time. Click here for more details.