Alon PeledTraversing Digital Babel: Information, E-Government, and Exchange

MIT Press, 2014

by JASMINE MCNEALY on November 7, 2014

Alon Peled

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Technology] Failure by government agencies to share information has had disastrous results globally. From the inability to prevent terrorist attacks, like the 9-11 attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, to the ill-equipped and ill-fated responses to disasters like the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, and Hurricane Katrina, a common denominator in all of these events, and those similar, was a lack of inter- and intra-government information sharing.  In his new book Traversing Digital Babel: Information, E-Government, and Exchange (MIT 2014), Alon Peled, associate professor of political science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, conceptualizes a platform that would incentivize inter-agency information sharing. Called the Public Sector Information Exchange (PSIE), the platform would not only enable the trading of information, but also offers the valuation of information assets. In this way the PSIE creates an inter-government economic system. In detailing of the opportunities and threats to such a system, Peled offers examples of how similar systems have been implemented in governments throughout the world, and uses interdisciplinary training and experience in information technology and political science to describe a system and rationale that could offer assistance to those looking for simplified and efficient  government.

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Kirk Randazzo and Richard WatermanChecking the Courts: Law, Ideology, and Contingent Discretion

October 27, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Kirk Randazzo is the author (with Richard Waterman) of Checking the Courts: Law, Ideology, and Contingent Discretion (SUNY Press 2014). Randazzo is associate professor of political science at the University of South Carolina. He has previously written several books on the courts and foreign policy. How does legislative language affect the courts? Randazzo and [...]

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] How did we come to think of spaces for the storage and circulation of body parts as “banks,” and what are the consequences of that history for the way we think about human bodies as property today? Kara W. Swanson’s wonderful new book traces the history of body banks [...]

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Matthew HuberLifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Geography]  Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) is an incisive look into how oil permeates our lives and helped shape American politics during the twentieth century. Author Matthew Huber shows the crucial role oil and housing policy played in the New Deal and how, in subsequent decades, government [...]

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Anthony SantaroExile & Embrace: Contemporary Religious Discourses on the Death Penalty

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Andrea Louise CampbellTrapped in America’s Safety Net: One Family’s Struggle

October 13, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Andrea Louise Campbell is the author of Trapped in America’s Safety Net: One Family’s Struggle (University of Chicago Press, 2014). Campbell is professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Trapped in America’s Safety Net sheds light on the reality of means-tested programs in the United States. Following an accident that left [...]

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James MartinDrugs on the Dark Net: How Cryptomarkets are Transforming the Global Trade in Illicit Drugs

October 9, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Terrorism and Organized Crime] I am old enough to realise that we have entered a science fiction world in which the old systems of the market place are being sidestepped by new technology. We who follow the tried and true methods are missing out of the brave new world. The changes are [...]

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Ajay K. MehrotraMaking the Modern American Fiscal State: Law Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Intellectual History] Prior to the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment, the United States did not have a national system of taxation—it had a regional system, a system linked to political parties, and a system that, in many instances, preserved and protected trade.  In his superbly written and thoughtful book Making the Modern American [...]

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Heather MenziesReclaiming the Commons for the Common Good: A Memoir and Manifesto

October 6, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Journalism] The Canadian author and scholar, Heather Menzies, has written a book about the journey she took to the highlands of Scotland in search of her ancestral roots. In Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good: A Memoir & Manifesto (New Society Publishers, 2014), Menzies outlines her discovery of a vanished way of life [...]

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