August -- September 2010

"Peddling Peril: How the Secret Nuclear Trade Arms America's Enemies" by David Albright

The Dirty and Dangerous Details of Nuclear Technology Smuggling

Peddling Peril

By David Albright alt

Free Press, 2010, 254 Pages

Reviewed by Kurt Moss

This account of the global clandestine traffic of nuclear-weapons technology is written by David Albright (no relation to Madeline), one of the most knowledgeable American experts on proliferation. Albright minces no words about his conviction that the most dangerous threat today to international security is the threat of nuclear weapons falling into “the wrong hands:” terrorists, criminals or irresponsible governments. He is equally clear about what needs to be done in self-defense against this threat. Western democracies and their allies should not rely on pre-emptive military action as their first line of defense against nuclear-armed rogues. Instead, Albright argues that Western democracies and other responsible governments should make it a security imperative to combat the global nuclear smuggling that is spreading this weapons technology amid comparative indifference to this particular dangerous threat.


"France's New Deal: From the Thirties to the Postwar Era" by Philip Nord

Gaullist Modernization France had some Seminal Roots in Much-Reviled Third Republic and Vichy – A Revisionist View

France's New Deal: From the Thirties to the Postwar Era

By Philip Nord

Princeton University Press, 2010, 383 pages.

Reviewed by Jennifer Wnuk

Even Charles de Gaulle, almost universally hailed as the savior of modern France, is subject to the revisionist diligence of Philip Nord, a Harvard historian who has written a meaty book challenging some of the conventional wisdom about the sources of France’s postwar modernization.


The Birth Dearth in the U.S. and the EU: Are Socio-Cultural Steps a Better Remedy than Immigration?

For years, U.S. policy intellectuals have vehemently moaned that Europe is committing “demographic suicide” with its declining birth rates. Part of the alarm is that the European social model – of a safety net extending from cradle to grave – is bound to be overwhelmed by debt as the age pyramid becomes top-heavy. Part of the “better” American approach, these intellectuals said, was high immigration, traditionally a sustaining force behind stable U.S. birthrates.


"Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language" by Robert McCrum

The Global Lingua Franca is Globish, Which is NOT English -- And Never Will Be

Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language

By Robert McCrum.

W.W. Norton & Co, 352 pages.

Reviewed by Michael Mosettig

When you Google for the source of the oft-quoted aphorism that "English is the easiest language to speak badly," the answer quickly pops up: George Bernard Shaw. This lead sentence of mine incarnates the theme of this book on the spread of English as the world's default language. In my sentence, a corporate name, Google, becomes one of the most widely used verbs in the lexicon. And that particular corporation is the symbol of the exploding worldwide web and communications technology that expresses itself in English.


Gypsies in Hungary Look to Harlem for Tips on “Better Life” and “Social Integration”

Roma, a neighborhood in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, may seem a long way from New York’s Harlem, but just as African-Americans in Harlem experienced the effects of discrimination and poverty, “the Roma”– a branch of the Romani people (also known as gypsies) -- who are concentrated in the Budapest area known as Roma suffer from similar long-standing social stigma, discrimination and injustices.

  • High Skills versus Family-Based Immigration Policy: Complex Considerations.

    By Nicholas Zill

    In the current era of rapid demographic and technological change, and massive refugee flows, there has been much debate in European nations and in the US about immigration policies. One of the major points of contention is whether preferences should be given to would-be entrants on the basis of their high skills (merit-based immigration) or their family ties to individuals already residing in the country (family reunification).

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UMD Jean Monnet Research Project

Infrastructure Planning and Financing: Lessons from Europe and the United States

The University of Maryland has received a Jean Monnet grant from the EU to conduct a series of policy exchanges between Europe and the US on filling infrastructure needs and the utility of public/private partnerships as the financing mechanism. If interested in participating in or receiving more information about these exchanges, please contact Rye McKenzie (

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New from the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

"Edge of a Precipice" by Nathan Crist

"Newpolitik" by Emily Hruban


Summer Course