Research Institute for Social Sciences hosts joint book launch

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Posted on 13 December 2012

The Research Institute for Social Sciences hosted a joint launch last week in the Claus Moser foyer to celebrate books by three of its members. Keele Professor Emerita, Pnina Werbner, gave a brief presentation at the launch.
Mario Prost's The Concept of Unity in Public International Law, Hart 2012.  The Concept of Unity in Public International Law takes a critical look at the debate on the so-called 'fragmentation' of international law, a debate that has dominated international legal scholarship over the past two decades.

The book starts from the premise that there can be no meaningful discussion of fragmentation without some prior understanding of the concept of unity. Eschewing one grand theory of unity, however, the book identifies and compares five candidate conceptions of unity in international law.

The thesis on which the book is based won the 2009 Prize for best doctoral thesis from the Association of Quebec Law Professors, and the book was shortlisted for the Society of Legal Scholars' 2012 Peter Birks Book Prize. A French edition of the book will be published in 2013 by Editions Bruylant (Brussels).

Deirdre McKay's Global Filipinos: Migrants' Lives in the Virtual Village, Indiana University Press, 2012. Contract workers from the Philippines make up one of the world's largest movements of temporary labor migrants. Deirdre McKay follows Filipino migrants from one rural community to work sites overseas and then home again.

Focusing on the experiences of individuals, McKay interrogates current approaches to globalization, multi-sited research, subjectivity, and the village itself. Reviewers describe it as unique and important in its contribution to our understanding of globalization, as well as being a luminous, elegant, and well-argued multi-sited ethnographic study.

Marie-Andree Jacob's Matching Organs with Donors: Legality and Kinship, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. Matching Organs with Donors reveals the methods and mindsets of doctors, patients, donors, and sellers in Israel's living kidney transplant bureaus.

The book describes how these actors identify and adjudicate suitable matches between donor and recipient using terms borrowed from definitions of kinship.

This look at the cultural landscapes of transplantations has broader implications. It deepens our understanding of the law and management of informed consent, decision-making among hospital professionals, and the shadowy borders between altruism and commerce.