The Untold Story of the World’s Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty, by Maria Ivanova (The MIT Press 20201, 384 pages, $30.00 paperback)
The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) was founded in 1972 as a nimble, fast, and flexible entity at the core of the UN system – a subsidiary body rather than a specialized agency. In this book, Maria Ivanova offers a detailed account of UNEP’s origin and history and a vision for its future. Ivanova counters the common criticism that UNEP was deficient by design, arguing that UNEP has in fact delivered on much (though not all) of its mandate. UNEP’s fiftieth anniversary, Ivanova argues, presents an opportunity for reinvention. She envisions a future UNEP that is the go-to institution for information on the state of the planet, a normative vision of global environmental governance, and support for domestic environmental agendas.
Maria Ivanova is Associate Professor of Global Governance and Director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Ivanova is also a visiting scholar at the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT.
Learn about the story behind the book here: YouTube (The Untold Story of the World’s Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty by Maria Ivanova)
The Invisibility Bargain: Governance Networks and Migrant Human Security, by Jeffrey D. Pugh (Oxford University Press, 296 pages, $29.95 paperback)
The world is currently struggling with social and political responses to massive refugee and immigration flows that sometimes include discriminatory and xenophobic rhetoric and policies, sanctioned by powerful social institutions and political figures. Much of the existing work on these responses, and the strategies used by migrants to achieve protection, rights, and social integration, focus on industrialized receiving countries in Europe and the United States, even as most migration occurs within the Global South, which also hosts 86% of refugees in the world. In the Global South in general, and Latin America in particular, personal relationships, informal institutions and networks, and non-state actors play an important role as sources of authority, enforcers of social norms, and channels of influence and power.
This book (Oxford University Press, 2021) seeks to understand how migrants negotiate their place in the receiving society, and adapt innovative strategies to coexist peacefully, establish livelihoods, and participate politically given their status as ‘guests’. Their acceptance is often contingent on the perception that they contribute economically to the host country while remaining politically and socially invisible. This unwritten expectation, which I call the ‘invisibility bargain’, produces a vulnerable status in which migrants’ visible differences or overt political demands on the state may be met with a hostile backlash from the host society that labels migrants as ungrateful, dangerous, or threatening. In a democratic state, the government has political incentives to prioritize citizens (who vote), not migrants, so the state is not the ideal provider of human security and peace in many migrant-receiving communities. Instead, governance networks, which link non-state actors, international institutions, and the state, form an institutional web that can provide access to rights, resources, and protection for migrants through informal channels that avoid the negative backlash against visible political activism.
Jeffrey D. Pugh is Assistant Professor in the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the founding executive director of the Center for Mediation, Peace, and Resolution of Conflict (CEMPROC) in Quito, Ecuador. Pugh’s research focuses on peacebuilding and non-state actors in the Global South, and he is a past president of the Middle Atlantic Council on Latin American Studies (MACLAS).
Register and Join the celebration of Jeffrey Pugh’s New Book: The Invisibility Bargain! April 1 (3pm – 4:30pm)!