By Stephanie Morales, Contributing Writer
Faculty and students mingled and munched on hors d’oeuvres as they came together to celebrate three professors who have had books published in the past year. The first Politics and International Affairs Book Party was an intimate gathering set up in the sunroom of the Hood House on Oct. 15. The professors were Dr. Mary Malone, Dr. Jeannie Sowers and Dr. Stacy D. VanDeveer, who are all political science instructors here at the University of New Hampshire.
Each of the professors took a turn discussing their books and how they were turned into a reality after the chatter eventually came to a halt.
Malone’s “The Rule of Law in Central America” was an in-depth study on the impact of crime on citizen’s fear of the law in Central American countries like Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Malone, who is the coordinator of Latin American Studies, found the transition from dictatorship to democracy to be a challenging aspect of life for people who live in Central America.
Malone said, “It’s incredibly difficult to get used to the idea of calling the people you used to fear.”
Sowers wrote “Environmental Politics in Egypt: Activists, Experts, and the State” as the sole author. She thanked her department, the College of Liberal Arts and family for her huge accomplishment. Sowers had wanted to write a book on Egypt for some time but had struggled with finding a niche. Once she traveled to Egypt, she knew that air pollution and the environment was a subject matter that she wanted to explore further. Sowers remarked that it was not unusual to start a project and for it to “become an entirely different thing” along the way.
VanDeveer, also the chair of the Political Science Department, released a fourth edition of “The Global Environment: Institutions, Law, and Policy” and published “Transnational Climate Change Governance,” which he co-authored with 16 people. VanDeveer found working with so many other authors “difficult logistically but a lot of fun.” A benefit of writing this book for VanDeveer was that he came out with a different outlook.
“The book and project helped make me more optimistic about climate change,” VanDeever said.
Many who attended the book party were graduate students who had had these professors in the past. Haojun Chen is a graduate student originally from China who came to UNH to further his studies in political science. He mainly attended the book party because he was curious about some matters discussed in VanDeveer’s recent works.
“I want to know about some environmental issues about Shanghai because it’s my hometown, and it would be interesting to see the opinions about it compared to my knowledge,” Chen said.
The Politics and International Affairs book party would not have been possible without the Center for International Education, which is home of the study abroad program and the international affairs dual major and minor. Gregg Orifici, assistant director of the Center for International Education, believed that it was important to put on these events in order to further internationalize the campus and “globalize the student experience.” The books all dealt with some sort of international conflict or issue.
“It was a natural fit that we should provide a venue for such an event,” Orifici said.
The book party cultivated discussion on global issues amongst faculty and students. This was, according to Orifici, the first of hopefully many other Politics and International Affairs book parties.