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Of Death and Dominion: The Existential Foundations of Governance (Rethinking Theory) Paperback – November 21, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0810124417 ISBN-10: 0810124416 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Rethinking Theory
  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (November 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810124416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810124417
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,318,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mohammed A. Bamyeh is a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Ends of Globalization and The Social Origins of Islam: Mind, Economy, Discourse and the editor of Palestine America.

More About the Author

Mohammed Bamyeh is a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and the editor of International Sociology Review of Books (ISRB). He has held the Hubert Humphrey chair in International Studies at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the SSRC-MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. He has previously taught at Georgetown University, New York University, SUNY-Buffalo, and the University of Massachusetts. He has delivered invited lectures at many other universities and institutions in the United States, Canada, China, Taiwan, Sweden, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Malaysia, Macau, and Zimbabwe.

He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. His subsequent areas of interest have included Islamic studies, political and cultural globalization, civil society and social movements, and comparative social and political theory. He is currently involved in studying the Arab revolutions, about which he lectured widely and published several articles since January 2011. His most recent book, Islam and Society: Social Movements, Global Structures, Social Critique, is expected to appear as part of the American Sociological Association's Rose monograph series, co-sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation in 2013. His other books include Intellectuals and Civil Society in the Middle East (Tauris 2012); Anarchy as Order: The History and future of Civic Humanity (Rowan & Littlefield 2009); Of Death and Dominion: The Existential Foundations of Governance (Northwestern UP 2007); The Ends of Globalization (Minnesota UP 2000); The Social Origins of Islam: Mind, Economy, Discourse (Minnesota UP 1999, winner of the Albert Hourani Honorable Mention from the Middle East Studies Association); and the trend report Transnationalism, published as a special issue of the International Sociological Association's journal Current Sociology (1993). He has also edited Palestine America (published as a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, 2003); and co-edited (with Brett Neilson) Drugs in Motion: Toward a Materialist Tracking of Global Mobilities (published as a special issue of Cultural Critique, 2009).

Mohammed Bamyeh is the founding editor of the journal Passages: Journal of Transnational and Transcultural Studies, the former book series editor of "World Heritage Studies on Multiculturalism and Transnationalism," and the current co-editor of the book series "Tracking Globalization" (Indiana UP). His articles and reviews have appeared in, among others, The Royal Bulletin of Interfaith Studies, Arena Journal, American Sociological Review, The American Journal of Sociology, Rethinking Marxism, Social Semiotics, Lettre International, The Canadian Journal of Sociology, The Middle East Journal, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Social Text, Criterios, Social Analysis, as well as in various edited volumes and encyclopedias (such as the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the UNESCO's Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, and The Encyclopedia of the Qur'an). He has further organized a number of community-oriented film series on the Arab World, and participated in organizing two larger scale Arab film festivals in Minneapolis.

Web page:

Blogs on the Arab revolutions:

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Yevgeny N. Kuznetsov on February 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Detective Story about Life and Death (and Governance Behind them)

Does philosophy exist to prepare us to death? Socrates thought so. Death plays a central role in conceptual edifice of arguably most profound philosopher of the 20th century -Martin Heidegger and all of Eastern philosophical outlook. We are finite but our life's projects (whatever they are) are manifestly not, raising a question of how our life continues after death. Death, in short, provides a revealing perspective on life.

This book is about governance - a set of principles and rules which spans many lifetimes. Politics, by contrast is petty in a sense that is done by politicians confined, by definition, to their own life-time. It explores four tropes - common threads of how statesmen strive for transcendence of political projects of their lives.

For only slightly initiated like myself (I am an economist) the book reads like a detective story. An exposition is at once lucid, panoramic and focused, and it is an easy ready for anyone with some familiarity (and perhaps admiration for) Heidegger, Nietzsche, Tolstoy and many other sources on which the book relies in its narrative. It galvanizes and sheds an unexpected light your prior knowledge (and this is why the book reads like a detective story) -- it is like putting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Given my claim of a detective story, giving out any clues would spoil the reading, so here is examples of how the book helped me - an economist - articulate a richer perspective on my own work. I often work with what might be called 'strategic first movers' -- individuals thinking and doing things against the established canons and traditions.
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