A selection of recent books and articles written, edited and co-authored by CRASSH researchers and fellows. You can find many more examples of the multi-disciplinary output by our researchers in our Publications section.


Books

Radically Legal: Berlin Constitutes the Future

Book cover of Radically Legal

Author: Joanna Kusiak (Nine Dots Prize Fellow)

Right in the middle of the German constitution, a group of ordinary citizens discovers a forgotten clause that allows them to take 240,000 homes back from multi-billion corporations. In this work of creative non-fiction, scholar-activist and Nine Dots Prize winner Joanna Kusiak tells the story of a grassroots movement that convinced a million Berliners to pop the speculative housing bubble. She offers a vision of urban housing as democratically held commons, legally managed by a radically new institutional model that works through democratic conflicts. Moving between interdisciplinary analysis and her own personal story, Kusiak connects the dots between the past and the present, the local and the global, and shows the potential of radically legal politics as a means of strengthening our democracies and reviving the rule of law.


Aesthetics and Counter-Aesthetics of International Justice

Book cover of Aesthetics and Counter Aesthetics of International Justice

Editors: Christine Schwöbel-Patel (CRASSH Visiting Fellow) and Robert Knox

In recent years, growing attention has been paid to the relationship between international law and aesthetics. This collection situates this relationship within its wider political context, demonstrating that the question of aesthetics in not neutral but rather connected to the social, economic, and political relationships in which international justice is deeply embedded.


Counterspeech: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Countering Dangerous Speech

Counterspeech book cover with collage of open mouths between quotation marks.

Edited by Stefanie Ullmann and Marcus Tomalin (Giving Voice to Digital Democracies project)

This volume looks at the forms and functions of counterspeech as well as what determines its effectiveness and success from multidisciplinary perspectives. Counterspeech is in line with international human rights and freedom of speech, and it can be a much more powerful tool against dangerous and toxic speech than blocking and censorship.


Gendering Minorities: Muslim Women and the Politics of Modernity

Book cover with illustration of female face and handwriting.

Author: Sherin Basheer Saheera (Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow)

The book by B. S. Sherin is a welcome break as it aspires towards viewing women’s agency from a decolonial approach and breaks away from normative feminist interventions. Its view is provided through the lens of socio-religious heterogeneity. This is not an easy task to achieve, as Islamic feminist scholars writing on women often face the conundrum of swinging between Western Enlightenment and Islamic worldview.


The Graft Hybrid

Book cover of 'The Graft Hybrid' with drawing of citrus fruits.

Author: Matthew Holmes (The Global as ARTEFACT)

The global triumph of Mendelian genetics in the twentieth century was not a foregone conclusion, thanks to the existence of graft hybrids. These chimeral plants and animals are created by grafting tissue from one organism to another with the goal of passing the newly hybridized genetic material on to their offspring. But prevailing genetic theory insisted that heredity was confined to the sex cells and there was no inheritance of characteristics acquired during an organism’s lifetime. Under sustained attacks from geneticists, scientific belief in the existence of graft hybrids slowly began to decline. Yet ordinary horticulturalists and breeders continued to believe in the power of grafting. Matthew Holmes tells the story of these organisms—which include multicolored chickens and black nightshades that grew tomatoes—and their enduring influence on twentieth-century biology.


I won’t let them be like me: Ezidi Women’s Agency and Identity after the Sinjar Genocide

Book cover for 'I won't let them be like me'.

Author: Rick Latham Lechowick (Global History Lab)

This first extensive ethnographic work ever conducted with Ezidi women examines origins and developments of transformations in their female identity and agency. The analysis of their expressions and performances is particularly notable because of the subaltern position under numerous layers of minority, e.g. ethnicity, geography, religion, politics, culture, language, as well as gender. The aim of this study is to investigate the utilisation of subaltern identity to actualise agency among women after genocide.


Risk in the Film Business: Known Unknowns

Book cover for 'Risk in the Film Business'.

Author: Michael Franklin (CRASSH Visiting Fellow)

This book explores the complex, multifaceted and contested subject of risk in the film business. How risk is understood and managed has a substantial impact upon which films are financed, produced and seen.


Articles

The New Digital Dark Age

Author: Gina Neff (Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy)

Online trust will reach an all-time low thanks to unchecked disinformation, AI-generated content, and social platforms pulling up their data drawbridge.


Investing in the community: English local authorities and the ‘patient investment’ of economic regeneration

Author: Niamh Mulcahy (CRASSH Fellow)

This paper explores increasing emphasis on long-term investment in English devolution policy, as part of attempts to revitalise struggling communities through investment in infrastructure and public space.


Listening to the Cultural Acoustics of Migrant Voices: The Archived Conversations of the BBC and the British Library’s ‘Listening Project

Author: Tanvi Solanki (CRASSH Visiting Fellow)

I examine the cultural acoustics of voice and listening in relation to the experience of migration and displacement through an analysis of a selection of digitized audio recordings of intimate one-on-one conversations between asylum seekers originally recorded by local British Broadcasting Corporation’s radio stations in booths set up throughout the United Kingdom, with the unedited recordings digitally archived by the British Library for the public.


Conspiracy Thinking in Europe and America: A Comparative Study

Authors: Hugo Drochon (Conspiracy and Democracy project) and Annemarie S Walter

What explains conspiracy thinking in Europe and America? This is the first and largest comparative study of conspiracy thinking to date, presenting findings using a representative sample of 11,523 respondents in nine countries. First, it shows that the overall level of conspiracy thinking in Europe is equal to or slightly lower than the United States, contradicting the notion that conspiracy theories is an especially American phenomenon. Second, people more inclined to conspiracy thinking position themselves towards the right of the political spectrum, engage in magical thinking, feel distrust towards public officials and reject the political system. Finally, we find that – surprisingly – the country context in which respondents reside has hardly any effect as predictor of levels of conspiracy thinking or as a moderator of individual-level determinants. Heterogeneity in conspiratorial thinking seems to be largely a function of individual traits.


Report on Best Practices in Subsea Telecommunications Cable Sustainability

Co-authored by: Hunter Vaughan (Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy) with Nicole Starosielski (Lead Author), Iago Bojczuk, Anne Pasek, George N. Ramírez, Nicholas R. Silcox and Anjali Sugadev

Over the past ten years, there has been a growing awareness of Internet infrastructure and its impacts on the planet. Researchers, policy-makers, and companies have all sought to assess and reduce the carbon emissions produced by Internet infrastructure, largely focused on data centers. Subsea telecommunications cables, which transport over 99% of all transoceanic data traffic via 1.4 million kilometers of cable globally, have remained almost entirely absent in these discussions. This omission is in part due to the relatively small carbon footprint of subsea cable systems. Indeed, subsea telecommunications cables have long been recognized as enabling a more sustainable future, providing opportunities for reduced travel, more efficient access to information, and enabling international climate-related science, in addition to underpinning the social and economic fabric of our world through global communications.


Visit our Publications section to find more writing by our members.


CRASSH welcomes the free expression of views within the law. Opinions expressed in this, and all other interviews and blogs published on our website are not necessarily shared by CRASSH or the University of Cambridge.

 

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