This year, Professor of Political Science Kevin Dunn published three books that address, from three vastly different perspectives, political and social realities and how global citizens can engage with them.
In March, the University of Michigan Press published “Undertaking Discourse Analysis for Social Research,” which Dunn co-authored with Iver Neumann, the Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Dunn and Neumann offer a primer on unpacking different modes of discourse, those “building blocks of our social reality,” Dunn says.
“We’re not born with knowledge. We accumulate data through discourses, and the most powerful, successful discourses work like natural common sense,” he explains. “Most discourses for constructing our social reality are products of political power, and what this book does is look at how truth is established and how to unpack the power dynamics behind that.”
Dunn and Neumann’s book provides students and scholars alike a concise, accessible introduction to the theories and concepts of discourse analysis in the social sciences in tandem with a practical “how-to” guide for using the method.
Published in May by Bloomsbury Academic, Dunn’s monograph, “Global Punk: Resistance and Rebellion in Everyday Life,” examines the global phenomenon of DIY (do-it-yourself) punk, arguing that it provides a powerful tool for political resistance and personal self-empowerment.
Dunn, who has been involved in the DIY punk community since he was a teenager, says that “the DIY punk ethos distinguishes itself from commercial music, which is labeling and selling a sound or lifestyle rather than an ideology.”
In that spirit, “Global Punk” looks beyond music to explore DIY punk as a lived experience and the ways in which punk contributes to the process of dis-alienation and political engagement.
Drawing examples from across the evolution of punk – from the streets of 1976 London to the alleys of contemporary Jakarta – “Global Punk” is both historically rich and global in scope. The book critically examines the impact that DIY punk has had on both individuals and communities, and offers chapter-length investigations of two important aspects of DIY punk culture: the influence of independent record labels and self-published zines. Grounded in scholarly theories, written in an accessible style, “Global Punk” shows why DIY punk remains a vital cultural vehicle for change.
Earlier in 2016, Bloomsbury Academic also published a four-volume reference collection, titled “African Politics: Critical and Primary Sources,” which Dunn edited. The collection focuses on 100 high-quality essays pulled from journal articles, book chapters and historical documents – produced by scholars and practitioners from Africa, Europe and North America – that have made the most important contributions in the field. The essays are drawn from disciplines such as anthropology, economics, sociology and religious studies, and represent the varied ideological, philosophical and theoretical streams that have influenced scholarship on African politics.
Teaching at HWS since 2001, Dunn is the author of several other books, including “Imagining the Congo” (2003), “The Politics of Origin in Africa” (2013) and “Inside African Politics” (2013). His research focuses predominantly on the African Great Lakes Region (Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania), and issues in that region concerning security, development, regionalization/globalization, and international relations.