Recommended Readings

Select an author name from the list below.

Mali, terre des hommes / [Mali, land of men]

Cover of Mali, terre des hommes / [Mali, land of men]

Author: Éric Bertrand

Bertrand Dumond, Quebec, 2010

Nearly 40 years old and married with two children, Éric Bertrand decided to make a teenage dream of experiencing Africa from the inside a reality. He signed up for the Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup's volunteer cooperant program and spent four-and-a-half months in the bush of Mali. Though he often lost his bearings, his strong empathy and desire to learn from the other helped him to tune into what was going on and to meet people where they were: in their culture, with their history, their strengths and their weaknesses, without judgment. In that sense, Éric's adventure in Mali is a true love story. Through the other, he discovered himself and learned to accept his own strengths and weaknesses.

Mali, terre des hommes is the story of this journey of discovery, told in an intimate, sensitive and lively style with a generous dose of humour. Readers are immediately transported to the very heart of West Africa, where they discover, take in the smells, marvel, lose their balance, and, through the character Josette—the author's conscience—question their values as they experience culture shock. “[translation] Overwhelmed with stimuli, my conscience quickly switches to survival mode. So I drift along a river of objects, blissfully following Bourlaye and the other cooperants. I am drunk on abundance: where is destitute Africa (1)?”

Though this story focuses on the encounter with the other, it is also full of concrete information about the country and practical advice for those in search of a novel adventure. The life of the volunteer is evident throughout, though without a focus on daily activities. Delightful yet realistic descriptions pique our curiosity: “[translation] Their melodious words receive no help from the eyes to convey their meaning, carrying their pure meaning all on their own. Each successive syllable is delivered in the same key. The music of the words undulates softly, falling invariably on a flat note at the end of each phrase (2).»

What is more, Éric's tremendous capacity to adapt and enter into relationship with the other may inspire potential cooperants (3), who will have many opportunities to discover new avenues of reflection. “[translation] I must trust…life and my ability to develop in order to transform this event into a progressive experience” (4).

  1. Mali, terre des hommes, p. 31
  2. Mali, terre des hommes, p. 34
  3. A Profile of the Interculturally Effective Person (IEP)
  4. Mali, terre des hommes, p. 206

Negotiating Globally: How to Negotiate Deals, Resolve Disputes, and Make Decisions Across Cultural Boundaries

Negotiating Globally: How to Negotiate Deals, Resolve Disputes, and Make Decisions Across Cultural Boundaries

Jeanne M. Brett

In today's global business environment, negotiators who understand how culture affects negotiation fundamentals have a decided advantage at the bargaining table. Negotiators' interests, their assumptions about strategy, and the economic, social, legal, and political context of negotiation all vary with culture. Negotiating Globally shows how to successfully navigate across boundaries of national culture when negotiating deals, resolving disputes, and making decisions. Rather than offering country-specific protocol and customs, Negotiating Globally provides a general framework to help negotiators manage cultural differences whenever they appear at the negotiation table. The book explains how to navigate the treacherous waters of conflict management in cultures where direct confrontation is not the norm and face saving is imperative and provides concrete advice for managers and leaders to coax high-quality decisions out of multicultural teams.

The Author Jeanne M. Brett is the DeWitt W. Buchanan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations at the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, where she is also the director and a founding member of the Dispute Resolution Research Center. She divides her time between research, teaching and consulting on negotiation strategies in a global environment. Brett is coauthor of Getting Disputes Resolved: Designing Systems to Cut the Costs of Conflict (Jossey-Bass, 1988).

Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes

Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes

2nd Edition – Updated and Expanded
2004
William Bridges

This book is highly recommended for anyone who has gone through or will go through transition — which is everyone! It is an especially useful framework for understanding the overseas posting experience, as well as the many endings and new beginnings we all experience in life.

As someone who has experienced international relocation multiple times, I have found this book to be a valuable resource to remind me that inner turmoil and readjustment are normal — and actually a positive sign of adaptation — although it doesn't always feel that way!

People who move abroad go through transition repeatedly — when they leave home, when they arrive, when they finally settle, and then when they leave, and return home again. One of the reasons people go through culture shock is the internal readjustments that need to take place to truly adapt to a new culture. You leave some of the old you behind, and a new person, who has incorporated part of the new culture, emerges. The reason people experience return culture shock is they are often unaware how much they have changed, and that the person they have become no longer fits in so well at home. People often say coming home is harder than leaving home because they don't expect to have to readjust to what was familiar. Culture shock is in fact a manifestation of transition.

The focus of this book is the difficult process of letting go of an old situation, of suffering the confusing nowhere of in-betweenness, and of launching forth again in a new situation.

Bridges three-phase Transition model consists of:

  1. An Ending
  2. A Neutral Zone
  3. A New Beginning

First published twenty-five years ago, William Bridges' book Transitions has gone on to sell half a million copies. In his mid-forties when he wrote the first edition, Bridges is now seventy and brings new wisdom gained through the years to the new edition. While the core concepts of the first and second editions are the same, there are more examples to add clarity to the author's ideas.

One of the points he seeks to clarify in this edition is the difference between change and transition — they are often confused as being one and the same. Bridges says they are not. He refers to change as being situational — change is a move to a new city, a new job, a birth or a death. Transition, he explains, is psychological. It is not an event, but instead an inner re-orientation and redefinition of self that one goes through in order to incorporate change into yourself. He tells us that unless transition happens, change won't work, because it doesn't "stick". The error we make is we talk a lot about change, but rarely deal with the deeper transition. You can get ready for change, but if you don't prepare for transition, you can be unpleasantly surprised by the turmoil it creates internally. Even a positive change, like a desired move to another country, or home again, can profoundly disorient people because they have not prepared for the inner re-orientation they encounter.

Transitions is not a how-to-cope with change book; it is a personal development theory that views transition as a natural process of disorientation and orientation that leads to personal growth. Change will happen — this model gives us a way to deal with it productively.

China Streetsmart: What You MUST Know to be Effective and Profitable in China

Cover of China Streetsmart: What You MUST Know to be Effective and Profitable in China

by John Chan

Publisher: Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Asia Pte Ltd

China Streetsmart is an invaluable book for investors who desire to learn the secrets of award-winning businesses operating in China today. This book clears up the confusion and conflicting stories on what it takes to be successful in China by not postulating theory but rather giving investors practical and proven advice.

Concerned about corruption, protecting your intellectual property and whether or how to find the right local partner? China Streetsmart covers all these topics and more with real life examples to help China investors, both new and old, improve their effectiveness and ultimately create profitable businesses.

The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban

The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban

by Sarah Chayes

A National Public Radio reporter covering the last stand of the Taliban in their home base of Kandahar in Afghanistan's southern borderland, Sarah Chayes became deeply immersed in the unfolding drama of the attempt to rebuild a broken nation at the crossroads of the world's destiny. Her NPR tour up in early 2002, she left reporting to help turn the country's fortunes, accepting a job running a nonprofit founded by President Hamid Karzai's brother. With remarkable access to leading players in the postwar government, Chayes witnessed a tragic story unfold-the perverse turn of events whereby the U.S. government and armed forces allowed and abetted the return to power of corrupt militia commanders to the country, as well as the reinfiltration of bands of Taliban forces supported by U.S. ally Pakistan. In this gripping and dramatic account of her four years on the ground, working with Afghanis in the battle to restore their country to order and establish democracy, Chayes opens Americans' eyes to the sobering realities of this vital front in the war on terror.

The story Chayes tells is a powerful, disturbing revelation of misguided U.S. policy and of the deeply entrenched traditions of tribal warlordism that have ruled Afghanistan through the centuries.

Inside Chinese Business : A Guide for Managers Worldwide

Inside Chinese Business book cover

By: Ming-Jer Chen

Publisher: Harvard Business School Press

Ming-Jer Chen, a leading expert on business strategy and competition, offers Western managers the definitive guide to navigating the fascinating-but often confusing-Chinese business world. Drawing from his intimate knowledge of Chinese culture and history, and from his extensive managerial work and international experience, Chen provides an unrivalled insider's perspective on how to work, compete, and cooperate successfully with Chinese companies around the globe.

Inside Chinese Business explains that almost all major Chinese organizations are relationship-based and continue to be influenced by an enduring set of cultural and social principles. Building on this premise with examples from companies throughout Asia and North America, the book addresses issues including:

  • Chinese "business families" and their transformation in the new century.
  • Guanxi: what it is, how it works, and how Western managers can develop their own business networks.
  • The influence of traditional Chinese concepts such as "face," balance, harmony, and social roles on contemporary business conduct.
  • How to spot a yesno: understanding Chinese communication patterns.
  • The Chinese distaste for "negotiation"-and how to negotiate with them.
  • The cultural roots of Chinese competitive practices and ways Western companies can successfully adapt these ideas.
  • Navigating the People's Republic of China's transitional economy.
  • Using cultural difference to develop a globally integrative business perspective.

Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country

Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country

by Shirin Ebadi (Author), Azadeh Moaveni (Author)

The moving, inspiring memoir of one of the great women of our times, Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and advocate for the oppressed, whose spirit has remained strong in the face of political persecution and despite the challenges she has faced raising a family while pursuing her work.

Best known in this country as the lawyer working tirelessly on behalf of Canadian photojournalist, Zara Kazemi – raped, tortured and murdered in Iran – Dr. Ebadi offers us a vivid picture of the struggles of one woman against the system. The book movingly chronicles her childhood in a loving, untraditional family, her upbringing before the Revolution in 1979 that toppled the Shah, her marriage and her religious faith, as well as her life as a mother and lawyer battling an oppressive regime in the courts while bringing up her girls at home.

Outspoken, controversial, Shirin Ebadi is one of the most fascinating women today. She rose quickly to become the first female judge in the country; but when the religious authorities declared women unfit to serve as judges she was demoted to clerk in the courtroom she had once presided over. She eventually fought her way back as a human rights lawyer, defending women and children in politically charged cases that most lawyers were afraid to represent. She has been arrested and been the target of assassination, but through it all has spoken out with quiet bravery on behalf of the victims of injustice and discrimination and become a powerful voice for change, almost universally embraced as a hero.

Her memoir is a gripping story – a must-read for anyone interested in Zara Kazemi’s case, in the life of a remarkable woman, or in understanding the political and religious upheaval in our world.

From the Hardcover edition.

I is for Infidel

I is for Infidel

From Holy War to Holy Terror: Eighteen Years Inside Afghanistan

by Kathy Gannon

Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest countries, cradled by mountains to the South and East, desert to the West, and the fractious tribal lands to the North. For much of its history it has been a land visited only by people on their way to somewhere else. Not, though, by Kathy Gannon. She arrived in 1986 with dreams of being a foreign correspondent, expecting that she might move on soon afterwards. She stayed 18 years, becoming in that time the most knowledgeable Western journalist to observe the cataclysms that rocked the region and after 2001 went on to convulse the world. From the collapse of the Soviet occupation to the years of anarchic tribalism, to the creation and rise of the Taliban, to the hijacking of power by al Qaeda, Gannon stayed with the story of Afghanistan and its people. She watched the country go from being the battleground for a proxy superpower conflict to a forgotten backwater where vicious local politics ran unchecked and the essential structure of the country decayed. With the collapse of respect for law apart from the law of the gun went due process, education, a public role for women, the economy, and the last vestiges of interest from the international community. At the end, Afghanistan had become so damaged and vulnerable a country that it became the refuge for a truly evil man whose designs would bring global ignominy and another round of superpower conflict to its mountains and plains.

Throughout this time Gannon has been an intimate observer whose personal friends throughout he country have allowed her to see the world through Afghan eyes. She brings this brilliant and affectionate insight to provide a gripping portrait of a nation that was abused and idly discarded by the West, used as an incubator for religious extremism by its neighbours, and hugely, fatally misunderstood by almost everyone.

Women Who Light the Dark

Women Who Light the Dark

Paola Gianturco

Across the world, local women are helping one another tackle problems that darken their lives. These women lack material resources, but they possess a wealth of a more precious resource: imagination. Imaginations that light the dark. Moroccan women create and produce plays that educate illiterate people about women’s rights. Girls in Zimbabwe compose and perform poems that move communities to fight child rape. In Vietnam, counselors heal survivors of domestic violence with line dancing, art, and games. Brazilian math teachers inspire girls from the favelas to learn math by originating fashion shows. Sometimes imagination takes the form of innovative strategies. In Nicaragua, women become welders, carpenters and electricians—all supposedly men’s jobs. In Kenya, mothers get wells dug at schools so their daughters can bring water home from class rather than walking seven hours to fetch it. In the US, activists introduce women with disabilities to ropes courses, camping, whitewater rafting, and swimming, empowering them to lead. Travel with photojournalist Paola Gianturco: climb Annapurna; eat lunch while soldiers carry sandbags to the roof; watch a traditional healer at work; attend a Muslim reception with ambassadors, rabbis, bishops, and cabinet ministers; witness a ceremony that welcomes indigenous babies to the world.

The Most Dangerous Place – Pakistan's Lawless Frontier

Cover of The Most Dangerous Place – Pakistan's Lawless Frontier

Author: Imtiaz Gul

Publisher: Penguin

The tribal region located on the frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan is the centre of terrorist activity in the world today. Since 2001, Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters have regrouped here, using its mountainous terrain as a safe haven in which to train, plan major terror attacks, send insurgents to Afghanistan, and recruit ever-younger fighters.

In this essential book, Imtiaz Gul follows the trail of militancy to show how a fatal mix of ultraconservatism, economic under-development and an absence of law and order have radicalized a region and its people, with grave consequences for the stability of Pakistan.

Using a wealth of local knowledge, and interviews with officials, militant leaders and followers, this is the definitive account of the place that poses an international security risk unlike any other.

When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge

When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge

K. David Harrison

Speakers of thousands of the world's languages are now abandoning their ancestral tongues at an unprecedented rate. What exactly is lost when speakers of indigenous languages switch to speaking English, Hindi, Russian, or other global tongues? And why should we care if small languages vanish?

Building on my fieldwork in Russia, Mongolia, India, the Philippines and Lithuania, and drawing examples from a wide array of threatened or recently vanished languages, this book highlights the complex systems of knowledge embedded in indigenous languages. It illuminates individual faces of language loss, while revealing its global scale.

Languages are the repository of thousands of years of a people's science and art – from observations of ecological patterns to creation myths. The disappearance of a language is not only a loss for the community of speakers itself, but for our common human knowledge of mathematics, biology, geography, philosophy, agriculture, and linguistics. In this century, we are facing a massive erosion of the human knowledge base.

As the book explores technologies for survival and the languages that communicate them, we are introduced to people such as Aunt Marta, one of the last speakers of the language of the reindeer-herding Tofa people of Siberia; Vasya Gabov, at 54 the youngest speaker of Ös, who, after being pressured into speaking only Russian as a child, invented in secret a writing system for his mother tongue; and Shoydak-ool, a Tuvan storyteller who practices the vanishing art of telling Tuva's traditional epics.

The global abandonment of indigenous languages will bring a massive loss of accumulated knowledge and culture – this book argues for the irreplaceable nature of these unique knowledge systems and the urgency of documenting them before they are lost forever.

Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali

By Kris Holloway; Consulting Editor John Bidwell

What is it like to live and work in a remote corner of the world and befriend a courageous midwife who breaks traditional roles? Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Mali Midwife is the inspiring story of Monique Dembele, an accidental midwife who became a legend, and Kris Holloway, the young Peace Corps volunteer who became her closest confidante. In a small village in Mali, West Africa, Monique saved lives and dispensed hope every day in a place where childbirth is a life-and-death matter and where many children are buried before they cut a tooth. Kris worked side-by-side with her as they cared for each other through sickness and tragedy and shared their innermost secrets and hopes. Monique's life was representative of many women in one of the world's poorest nations, yet she faced her challenges in extraordinary ways. Despite her fiercely traditional society and her limited education she fought for her beliefs—birth control, the end of female genital mutilation, the right to receive a salary, and the right to educate her daughters. And she struggled to be with the man she loved. Her story is one of tragedy joy, rebellion, and of an ancient culture in the midst of change. It is an uplifting tribute to indomitable spirits everywhere. Monique and the Mango Rains is a fascinating voyage to an unforgettable place, a voyage spent close to the ground, immersed in village life, learning first-hand the rhythms of this world. From witnessing her first village birth to the night of Monique's own tragic death, Kris draws on her first-person experiences in Mali, her graduate studies in maternal and child health, medical and clinic records, letters and journals, as well as conversations with Monique, her family, friends and colleagues, to gives readers a unique view—and a friend in West Africa.

Culture, Leadership and Organizations

Culture, Leadership and Organizations

by Robert J. House (Editor), Paul J. Hanges (Editor), Mansour Javidan (Editor), Peter Dorfman (Editor), Vipin Gupta (Editor)

Culture, Leadership, and Organizations reports the results of a ten-year research program, the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) research program. GLOBE is a long-term program designed to conceptualize, operationalize, test, and validate a cross-level integrated theory of the relationship between culture and societal, organizational, and leadership effectiveness. A team of 160 scholars worked together since 1994 to study societal culture, organizational culture, and attributes of effective leadership in 62 cultures. Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies reports the findings of the first two phases of GLOBE. The book is primarily based on the results of the survey of over 17,000 middle managers in three industries: banking, food processing, and telecommunications, as well as archival measures of country economic prosperity and the physical and psychological well-being of the cultures studied.

GLOBE has several distinguishing features. First, it is truly a cross-cultural research program. The constructs were defined, conceptualized, and operationalized by the multicultural team of researchers. Second, the industries were selected through a polling of the country investigators, and the instruments were designed with the full participation of the researchers representing the different cultures. Finally, the data in each country were collected by investigators who were either natives of the cultures studied or had extensive knowledge and experience in that culture.

A unique feature of this book is that while it is an edited book and many experts have written the different chapters, unlike other edited books, it is a fully integrated, seamless, and cohesive book covering the many aspects of the theory underpinning the GLOBE

War Child
A Child Soldier's Story

Emmanuel Jal

In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven year old Sudanese boy, living in a small village with his parents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. But as Sudan's civil war moved closer—with the Islamic government seizing tribal lands for water, oil, and other resources—Jal's family moved again and again, seeking peace. Then, on one terrible day, Jal was separated from his mother, and later learned she had been killed; his father Simon rose to become a powerful commander in the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army, fighting for the freedom of Sudan. Soon, Jal was conscripted into that army, one of 10,000 child soldiers, and fought through two separate civil wars over nearly a decade.

But, remarkably, Jal survived, and his life began to change when he was adopted by a British aid worker. He began the journey that would lead him to change his name and to music: recording and releasing his own album, which produced the number one hip-hop single in Kenya, and from there went on to perform with Moby, Bono, Peter Gabriel, and other international music stars.

Shocking, inspiring, and finally hopeful, War Child is a memoir by a unique young man, who is determined to tell his story and in so doing bring peace to his homeland.

St. Martin's Press

Diplomatic Baggage: The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse

Diplomatic Baggage: The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse

by Brigid Keenan

Brigid Keenan was a glamorous and successful young London fashion journalist. But falling in love with a diplomat saw her leave behind the gilt chairs of the Paris salons for a large chicken shed in the forests of Nepal. Thirty years later (at the farewell party for the Papal Nuncio in Kazakhstan), Brigid found herself wondering whether her decision had been the right one. This is her marvelous account of life as a "trailing spouse"-an endlessly engaging tale of diplomatic protocol, difficult teenagers, homesickness, frustrated career aspirations, witch doctors, and giant jumping spiders.

Principles of Intercultural Communication

Principles of Intercultural Communication

By Igor E. Klyukanov
Pearson Education Inc.
c. 2005

Written by Igor Klyukanov, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Eastern Washington University, this university textbook provides an overview of current intercultural communication theory. Library stacks abound with books written on the same subject, but Klyukanov manages to present the information in a unique manner.

The author breaks down current intercultural communication theory into 10 principles and each chapter of the book is based on one of these ten principles. While some of the names of the principles are rather difficult to pronounce (i.e. The Performativity Principle), Principles of Intercultural Communication is presented in a manner that manages to cover most of existing intercultural communication theory, including major contributors to the field such as E.T. Hall, Geert Hofstede, Stella Ting-Toomey, and W. Gudykunst. Although the basic theories are covered in this book, the author's presentation of the material under the 10 principles makes it easier to see how unconnected theories intersect and contribute to the discipline of intercultural communication.

Each principle begins with a problem question that students are invited to consider. Klyukanov makes use of detailed case studies in every chapter, showing the application of the theory to real-life situations. For the concrete learner, these case studies move the information from the academic, abstract realm to one of real world application. The author even includes a chart showing the relation between each principle along with a compass that helps students get their bearings. Another unique approach – bound to please educators – are sections in each chapter called "Sidetrips". Basically discussion questions, "Sidetrips" provide students with the opportunity to apply their new knowledge and skills. These discussion questions, featured at the end of every chapter, encourage the reader to think critically.

This book will likely have little appeal beyond university campuses and the halls of academia but is a useful resource for students new to the field of intercultural communication. While the language used to describe the principles will likely never become household words, the concepts covered give a solid introduction to the topic of intercultural communication and Klyukanov's methodology will certainly engage students.

Sleeping Rough in Port-au-Prince: An Ethnography of Street Children And Violence in Haiti

Sleeping Rough in Port-au-Prince: An Ethnography of Street Children And Violence in Haiti

J. Christopher Kovats-Bernat

In this ethnographic analysis of the cultural lives of children who are "sleeping rough" in Port-au-Prince, Kovats-Bernat expands the traditional bounds of anthropological thought, which have only recently permitted a scholarly treatment of "the child" as a valuable informant, relevant witness, and active agent of social change. Refuting the commonplace notion that street children are unsocialized, Hobbesian mongrels, the author finds these children adopt strategies to carve a social and cultural space for themselves on the contested streets of Port-au-Prince, individually and collectively playing a surprisingly vital role in Haiti's civic life as they shape their own complex political, economic, and cultural identities.

Conflict across Cultures – A Unique Experience of Bridging Differences

Conflict across Cultures – A Unique Experience of Bridging Differences

by Michelle LeBaron and Venashri Pillay

Cultural differences among members of a group, be it a multinational business team or a multinational family, are frequently the source of misunderstanding and conflict. Using stories from a variety of cultures to illustrate techniques for resolving or at least reducing culture-inspired conflicts, LeBaron, Pillay and contributors from around the globe demystify the intricate and important relationships between conflict and culture. The authors describe processes and identify the tools and skills that make for successful conflict resolution. The stories, which are at the heart of the book, are from a variety of cultures and geogaphic locations and have application for groups in all kinds of settings: business, law, social services, government, non-governmental agencies, academia, even families.

Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success [Hardcover]

Cover of Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success

Author: David Livermore, PhD

Why are some leaders able to create trust and negotiate contracts with Chinese, Latin Americans, and Germans all in the same day, while others are barely able to manage the diversity in their own offices? The answer lies in their cultural intelligence, or CQ. Packed with practical tools, research, and case studies, Leading with Cultural Intelligence breaks new ground, offering today's global workforce a specific, four-step model to becoming more adept at managing across cultures. Practical and insightful, this indispensable guide shows leaders how to connect across any cultural divide, including national, ethnic, and organizational cultures.

The Global Staircase

Mary MacKinnon, 2005, Ketabsara Press, Tehran, Iran

As a Canadian Foreign Service spouse, author Mary MacKinnon has experienced fifteen international moves over the past thirty years. She has worked for the past fifteen years as an international mobility consultant, and is presently living in Cairo, Egypt where her husband is posted as Canadian Ambassador.

The title of the book, The Global Staircase, is inspired by MacKinnon's early international experience, living in Paris while her husband was completing his studies. Their top-floor bohemian apartment could only be reached by a long, circular staircase. The author uses this staircase as model for the rotational cycle, clearly describing each "step" along the way. Every new floor on the staircase represents the completion of a full cycle and the return home.

The author extends the staircase analogy to add two "handrails": the home handrail and the life-stage handrail. Mackinnon describes the handrails as "...the two common factors that impact how you will go through the cycle and adjust to your life abroad." This unique approach takes into consideration the expat's relationship to home during the foreign assignment and their stage in life at that time – single, married, children, elderly parents to care for, etc. – as an important factor in the adjustment to an international relocation.

The second half of the book focuses on specific expat issues. As a "trailing spouse" the author examines the challenges of dual career couples and accepting international assignments. She also addresses the issue of caring for loved-ones from afar and finally, the sticky issue of playing host to the steady flow of visitors while living internationally. This section comes full of practical information, strategies and tips based on the author's years of personal and professional experience.

The Global Staircase is an insightful guide for all personnel and spouses relocating internationally for long periods (3-5 years), particularly for Foreign Service members.

Six Months in Sudan: A Young Doctor in a War-torn Village

by Dr. James Maskalyk (Author)
Publisher: Random House of Canada/Doubleday Canada

“People are hungry to be brought closer to the world, even its hard parts. I went to Sudan, and am writing about it again, because I believe that which separates action from inaction is the same thing that separates my friends from Sudan. It is not indifference. It is distance. May it fall away.”

In 2007 James Maskalyk set out for the contested border town of Abyei, Sudan, as a doctor newly recruited by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Equipped with his experience as an emergency physician in a downtown hospital and drawn to the hardest parts of the world, Maskalyk spent his days treating malnourished children, coping with a measles epidemic and watching for war. Worn thin by the struggle to meet overwhelming needs with few resources, he returned home six months later more affected by the experience, the people and the place than he had anticipated.

Six Months in Sudan began as a blog that Maskalyk wrote from his hut in Sudan in an attempt to bring his family and friends closer to his hot, hot days. It is the story of the doctors, nurses and countless volunteers who leave their homes behind to ease the suffering of others, and it is the story of the people of Abyei who suffer its hardship because it is the only home they have. With great hope and insight, Maskalyk illuminates a distant place and chronicles the toll of war on one community, one man, and the cost of it to all of us.

In the Country of Men

Cover of In the Country of Men

Author: Hisham Matar

On a white-hot day in Tripoli, Libya, in the summer of 1979, nine-year-old Suleiman is shopping in the market square with his mother. His father is away on business–but Suleiman is sure he has just seen him, standing across the street . . .

From a breathtaking new talent comes an utterly gripping, emotional novel told from the point of view of a young boy growing up in a terrifying and bewildering world where his best friend's father disappears and is next seen on state television at a public execution; where a mysterious man sits outside the house all day and asks strange questions; and where it seems his father has finally disappeared for good.

Soon the whispers and fears, secrets and lies will become so intense that Suleiman can bear them no longer and in his terrified efforts to save his family may end up betraying his friends, his parents and ultimately himself.

Managing Cultural Differences, Seventh Edition: Global Leadership Strategies for the 21st Century

Managing Cultural Differences, Seventh Edition: Global Leadership Strategies for the 21st Century

by Robert T. Moran (Author), Ph.D., Philip R. Harris (Author), Sarah V. Moran (Author)

This new edition of a business textbook bestseller has been completely updated. In particular, the book presents a fuller discussion of global business today. Also, issues of terrorism and state security as they affect culture and business are discussed substantially. The structure and content of the book remain the same, with thorough updating of the plentiful region and country descriptions, demographic data, graphs and maps. This book differs from textbooks on International Management because it zeroes in on culture as the crucial dimension and educates students about the cultures around the world so they will be better prepared to work successfully for a multinational corporation or in a global context.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time

Three Cups of Tea book cover

By: Greg Mortenson (Author), David Oliver Relin (Author)

Publisher: The Penguin Group

The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban's backyard

Anyone who despairs of the individual's power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan's treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson's quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France but not the French

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France but not the French

Why We Love France but not the French

From a distance, modern France looks like a riddle. Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong shows how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Approaching France like a pair of anthropologists, authors Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow use anecdotes and observations, history, political analysis and reflection to uncover the French national character, offering a fresh take on a country that no one seems to understand.

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong is a journey into the French heart, mind and soul. Deciphering French ideas about land, food, privacy and language, Nadeau and Barlow weave together the threads of French society – from centralization and the Napoleonic Code to elite education and even street protests – giving us, for the first time, a complete picture of the French.

Book Review

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently... and Why
by Richard E. Nisbett, 2003

Author Richard Nisbett is an American social psychologist who has taught at Yale and the University of Michigan. The main premise of his book is that Westerners (meaning American) and East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and others) think and hence see the world differently.

The author profiles a number of studies he conducted to demonstrate that there is a difference in Western and Eastern cognition (not intelligence). He believes that the two groups perceive what they see differently based on their social structures, philosophies, educational systems and ecologies. For example, he conducted research to prove the generalization that East Asian thought is more "holistic" than Western "reductionist" thought, by showing American and Japanese students pictures of fish in water – the American students focussed on the fish and their size, while the Japanese students commented on the background environment.

Professor Nisbett concludes from other research that Asians are drawn to relations between objects and events rather than the object or event alone. Westerners, in comparison, focus on objects or people, assigning them categories and logical rules for understanding them.

Many of the ideas presented in this work are not new, but it is helpful to have several theories on cognitive differences between East and West presented and tested under one cover. There is always the danger some readers will equate cognition with mental ability, but the author does warn against making this assumption. For those new to the field of intercultural communication, or for those wanting to understand more about differences between East and West, this may be a useful book. For those more familiar with the concept of intercultural communication, there is really nothing new here.

This review was written by Heather Johnston, an intercultural specialist with the Centre for Intercultural Learning.

An Imperfect Offering
Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century

James Orbinski

As Albert Camus wrote, the doctor's role is as a witness-to witness authentically the reality of humanity, and to speak out against the horrors of political inaction. . . . The only crime equaling inhumanity is the crime of indifference, silence, and forgetting.
James Orbinski

In 1988, James Orbinski, then a medical student in his twenties, embarked on a year-long research trip to Rwanda, a trip that would change who he would be as a doctor and as a man. Investigating the conditions of pediatric AIDS in Rwanda, James confronted widespread pain and suffering, much of it preventable, much of it occasioned by political and economic corruption. Fuelled by the injustice of what he had seen in Rwanda, Orbinski helped establish the Canadian chapter of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders/MSF). As a member of MSF he travelled to Peru during a cholera epidemic, to Somalia during the famine and civil war, and to Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

In April 1994, James answered a call from the MSF Amsterdam office. Rwandan government soldiers and armed militias of extremist Hutus had begun systematically to murder Tutsis. While other foreigners were evacuated from Rwanda, Orbinski agreed to serve as Chef de Mission for MSF in Kigali. As Rwanda descended into a hell of civil war and genocide, he and his team worked tirelessly, tending to thousands upon thousands of casualties. In fourteen weeks 800,000 men, women and children were exterminated. Half a million people were injured, and millions were displaced. The Rwandan genocide was Orbinski's undoing. Confronted by indescribable cruelty, he struggled to regain his footing as a doctor, a humanitarian and a man. In the end he chose not to retreat from the world, but resumed his work with MSF, and was the organization's president when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.

An Imperfect Offering is a deeply personal, deeply political book. With unstinting candor, Orbinski explores the nature of humanitarian action in the twenty-first century, and asserts the fundamental imperative of seeing as human those whose political systems have most brutally failed. He insists that in responding to the suffering of others, we must never lose sight of the dignity of those being helped or deny them the right to act as agents in their own lives. He takes readers on a journey to some of the darkest places of our history but finds there unimaginable acts of courage and empathy. Here he is doctor as witness, recording voices that must be heard around the world; calling on others to meet their responsibility.

Doubleday Canada

A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan

A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan

Written by Nelofer Pazira

A Bed of Red Flowers is a gripping, heart-rending story about a country caught in a struggle of the superpowers – and of the real people behind the politics. Universally acclaimed for its astute insights and extraordinary humanity, Pazira’s memoir won the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize for 2005.The Winnipeg Free Press writes: “Powerfully written, A Bed of Red Flowers is a rare account of a misunderstood country and its intrepid people, trying to live ordinary lives under extraordinary circumstances.” The Gazette (Montreal) describes the book as “an outpouring of passionate non-fiction that captivates like the tales of Sheherazade.… It’s a remarkable journey. An inspiring read.”

Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer

Cover of Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer

by Rolf Potts

Publisher: Travelers' Tales Guides

For the past ten years, Rolf Potts has taken his keen postmodern travel sensibility into the far reaches of five continents for such publications as National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, and The New York Times Magazine. This book documents his boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys — from getting stranded without water in the Libyan Desert, to crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand, to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram.

Marco Polo Didn't Go There is more than just an entertaining journey into fascinating corners of the world. The book is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing a commentary track — endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. Offbeat and insightful, this book is an engrossing read for students of travel writing as well as armchair wanderers.

Cultural Contestation in Ethnic Conflict

Cultural Contestation in Ethnic Conflict

Marc Howard Ross, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania

Ethnic conflict often focuses on culturally charged symbols and rituals that evoke strong emotions from all sides. Marc Howard Ross examines battles over diverse cultural expressions, including Islamic headscarves in France, parades in Northern Ireland, holy sites in Jerusalem and Confederate flags in the American South to propose a psychocultural framework for understanding ethnic conflict, as well as barriers to, and opportunities for, its mitigation. His analysis explores how culture frames interests, structures demand-making and shapes how opponents can find common ground to produce constructive outcomes to long-term disputes. He focuses on participants' accounts of conflict to identify emotionally significant issues, and the power of cultural expressions to link individuals to larger identities and shape action. Ross shows that, contrary to popular belief, culture does not necessarily exacerbate conflict; rather, the constructed nature of psychocultural narratives can facilitate successful conflict mitigation through the development of more inclusive narratives and identities.

Forsaken

Forsaken

Lana Slezic Introduction by Deborah Ellis

In March 2004, award-winning Canadian photographer Lana Slezic went to Afghanistan with, in her own words, "preconceived notions and a knapsack full of naivety." She believed the ousting of the Taliban in 2001 meant that girls were back at school, women had discarded the burka, and the environment was less oppressive for women. What Slezic discovered about the truth prompted her to lengthen a six week assignment into a two-year stay.

During that time, Slezic travelled quietly and unobtrusively through many regions of Afghanistan, talking to women and girls who were willing to tell her their stories. The Afghan women were warm, generous, and eager to share their time with her. Yet, without exception, everywhere Slezic went she encountered issues of domestic violence, forced marriage, seclusion, illiteracy, and a lack of freedom on the most basic of levels.

Today, every Western organization with an interest in Afghan women -- from NGOs to the US and Canadian governments -- is developing aid plans. What we tend to forget, Slezic shows us, is that the people most knowledgeable about the issue are the Afghan women themselves. With its searing stories and heart stopping, full-colour images, Forsaken allows some of these women to speak directly to us, and in the process attempts to redress the imbalance in the conversation.

From Anansi Press Catalogue

Cultural Intelligence: People Skills for Global Business

David C. Thomas and Kerr Inkson

Much more than simply a list of protocols, Cultural Intelligence helps readers develop a mind-set that can be applied to any number of countries, cultures, and business situations. It is a systematic way to approach the tremendous variety of interactions and challenges that business people must face around the world – much easier and more realistic than documenting every trait of every culture and preparing to cater to each. This book presents a three-stage process for becoming culturally intelligent. These steps involve learning the fundamental principles of cross-cultural interactions, such as what cultures are, how they might vary, and how they affect behaviour; practicing mindfulness and paying attention in a reflective and creative way to cues; and developing a repertoire of behavioural skills that can be adapted to different situations. It takes time and effort to develop high cultural intelligence, but this book helps readers with the right attitude begin this rewarding experience.

David C. Thomas is Professor of International Management at Simon Fraser University, Canada. His research on the interaction of individuals from different cultures in organizational settings has prompted him to conduct studies in more than a dozen different countries.

Kerr Inkson is Professor of Management at the Auckland campus of Massey University, New Zealand.

Berrett-Koehler; illustrated edition edition

The Media and the Rwanda Genocide

The Media and the Rwanda Genocide

Edited by Allan Thompson

The news media played a crucial role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide: local media fuelled the killings, while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued what was happening.

This is the first book to explore both sides of that media equation. The book examines how local radio and print media were used as a tool of hate, encouraging neighbours to turn against each other. It also presents a critique of international media coverage of the cataclysmic events in Rwanda. Bringing together local reporters and commentators from Rwanda, high-profile Western journalists, and leading media theorists, this is the only book to identify and probe the extent of the media's accountability. It also examines deliberations by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on the role of the media in the genocide.

This book is a startling record of the dangerous influence that the media can have when used as a political tool or when news organizations and journalists fail to live up to their responsibilities. The authors put forward suggestions for the future by outlining how we can avoid censorship and propaganda, and by arguing for a new responsibility in media reporting. The book includes an opening statement from Kofi Annan and an introduction by Senator Roméo Dallaire.

Riding the Whirlwind

Riding the Whirlwind

Fons Trompenaars

Fons Trompenaars, author of global business bestseller "Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business", delivers a dynamic new take on creativity and innovation. A recent survey of global CEOs found that leaders in every industry and in every part of the world are emerging from a period of retrenchment and moving towards a vision of sustained growth, and that innovation is the preferred path to achieving that growth. Innovation has regained its central place in corporate life. Much has been written about creativity and innovation. And there are plenty of books about corporate culture and innovation in organizations. What is lacking is a practical book that brings these ideas together."Riding the whirlwind" brilliantly reconnects people, teams and organizations to create constant renewal of talent and motivation. Using hilarious illustrations of innovation and innovative cultures from Fawlty Towers and Monty Python's "Flying Circus", "Riding the Whirlwind" is a blueprint for creating a culture of high-octane creativity and innovation.

Managing People Across Cultures

Managing People Across Cultures

Fons Trompenaars, Charles Hampden-Turner

Managing People Across Cultures maps out the value of people issues in the organizations of today. It challenges us to ask key questions such as "How did Human Resource Management (HRM) come to be and what genuine need is there for it?" and "What should the future direction of HRM be?" Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner spell out their vision for what HRM must do to stay relevant to businesses today. Their view is that people management must embrace the values of entrepreneurship, i.e. agility, flexibility and innovation to ensure its continued effectiveness. The authors also argue that workplaces have to become customized to grow and learn as its employees push the boundaries of learning and discovery. Functional barriers also need to be torn down. You will discover that the rightful place for HRM is at the fountainhead of any business; the place where ideas are first generated and mobilized for action.

Where War Lives

Where War Lives

Paul Watson

A Pulitzer Prize — winning journalist takes us on a personal and historic journey from Mogadishu through Rwanda to Afghanistan and Iraq.

With the click of a shutter the world came to know Staff Sgt. William David Cleveland Jr. as a desecrated corpse. In the split-second that Paul Watson had to choose between pressing the shutter release or turning away, the world went quiet and Watson heard Cleveland whisper: “If you do this, I will own you forever.” And he has.

Paul Watson was born a rebel with one hand, who grew up thinking it took two to fire an assault rifle, or play jazz piano. So he became a journalist. At first, he loved war. He fed his lust for the bang-bang, by spending vacations with guerrilla fighters in Angola, Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia, and writing about conflicts on the frontlines of the Cold War. Soon he graduated to assignments covering some of the world’s most important conflicts, including South Africa, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Watson reported on Osama bin Laden’s first battlefield victory in Somalia. Unwittingly, Watson’s Pulitzer Prize—winning photo of Staff Sgt. David Cleveland — whose Black Hawk was shot down over the streets of Mogadishu — helped hand bin Laden one of his earliest propaganda coups, one that proved barbarity is a powerful weapon in a modern media war. Public outrage over the pictures of Cleveland’s corpse forced President Clinton to order the world’s most powerful military into retreat. With each new beheading announced on the news, Watson wonders whether he helped teach the terrorists one of their most valuable lessons.

Much more than a journalist’s memoir, Where War Lives connects the dots of the historic continuum from Mogadishu through Rwanda to Afghanistan and Iraq.

From McClelland Publishing Catalogue

Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

Cover of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

by Ethan Watters

Publisher: Free Press (Hardcover – Jan. 12, 2010)

From the Publisher
It is well known that American culture is a dominant force at home and abroad; our exportation of everything from movies to junk food is a well-documented phenomenon. But is it possible America's most troubling impact on the globalizing world has yet to be accounted for? In Crazy Like Us, Ethan Watters reveals that the most devastating consequence of the spread of American culture has not been our golden arches or our bomb craters but our bulldozing of the human psyche itself: We are in the process of homogenizing the way the world goes mad.

Global Business Leadership: GeoLeadership Strategies for the International Marketplace

Global Business Leadership: GeoLeadership Strategies for the International Marketplace

E.S. Wibbeke

Global Business Leadership discusses the urgent issues facing global business leaders and presents seven strategies found necessary for successful intercultural business ventures. It provides business professionals and students with insight into the failure of businesses to prepare leaders for stepping into complex cultural contexts.

The Geoleadership Model developed by Dr. Wibbeke is applied to global business situations using cases taken from leading companies such as Google and eBay. The book uses a case study format to present salient issues related to intercultural leadership and then principles of the model are applied to the case in discussion format. The concepts of care, communication, consciousness, change, capability and others are analyzed in relation to how each concept is seen in different parts of the business world. Each chapter concludes with a "bottom line" example of how each Geoleadership concept directly affects business results.

Global Business Leadership also provides instruction about entry into cultural contexts, negotiating, preventing and managing cultural-based local-global conflict, and preparing global leaders to increase intercultural awareness and sensitivity.

Dr. Wibbeke founded and managed the leading Internet website (Web of Culture) for cross-cultural information on the Internet and shares such global experiences with other would-be globetrotters.

My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah

Cover of My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah

By Robin Wiszowaty

Publisher: Me To We Books (July 31 2009)

A memoir of a girl's choice to leave childhood comforts behind to live in her adoptive country of Kenya. Growing up in suburban Illinois, Robin Wiszowaty never pictured herself living with an impoverished Maasai family in rural Kenya. Yet in her early twenties Wiszowaty embarked on an incredible journey that would shake her from complacency, take her to unimaginable locales, and change her life forever. My Maasai Life follows Wiszowaty's remarkable voyage as she explores some of the most remote areas of East Africa and has her eyes opened to the diverse issues facing the fascinating Maasai people.

The Intercultural City: Planning For Diversity Advantage

The Intercultural City: Planning For Diversity Advantage

Phil Wood and Charles Landry

In a world of increasing mobility, how people of different cultures live together is a key issue of our age, especially for those responsible for planning and running cities. New thinking is needed on how diverse communities can cooperate in productive harmony instead of leading parallel or antagonistic lives. Policy is often dominated by mitigating the perceived negative effects of diversity and little thought is given to how a 'diversity dividend' or increased innovative capacity might be achieved.

The Intercultural City, based on numerous case studies world-wide, analyses the links between urban change and cultural diversity. It draws on original research in North America, Europe, Australasia and the UK. It critiques past and current policy and introduces new conceptual frameworks. It provides significant and practical advice for readers, with new insights and tools for practitioners such as the 'intercultural lens', 'indicators of openness', 'urban cultural literacy' and 'ten steps to an Intercultural City'.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (2007), and Building Social Business (2010)

Cover of Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (2007), and Building Social Business (2010)

Muhammad Yunus

Public Affairs, New York

In 2006, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for its innovative banking program for the poor-the Grameen Bank . From that successful experiment of providing the poor-mainly women-with small loans to launch businesses, Yunus has developed a new way to view capitalism and do business, which he calls “social business.”

In Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism-a New-York Times bestseller in 2007-and in his latest book, Building Social Business published in 2010, Dr. Yunus explores his visionary concept of “Social Business” and attempts to demonstrate its feasibility.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism sets the foundations of Social Business. With great enthusiasm and simple words, Yunus not only shares the story of the Grameen Bank experiment but goes a step further by bringing forward the theory of social business as a means to eliminate poverty and create a new form of capitalism. The author claims that entrepreneurs can apply the energy of profit-making to the pursuit of social goals and explores at length, the required conditions and the process of creating such a business. Reinvesting dividends in the company or in any other social business is an essential condition. Because “the motivating forces behind social business are packed inside each human being” (1) and that people who are given the right conditions care about others and the world, this all become possible. Case studies, including the venture between the multinational DANONE and the Grameen Bank, demonstrate that social businesses may create self-supporting and viable commercial enterprises while helping the poor. Whether or not one would agree with Yunus’ theory, this book will undeniably challenge your views on development assistance and, possibly, human nature itself. Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism will plant the seeds of hope for a better world and bring forward solutions to the current complex of poverty alleviation and wealth redistribution.

Building Social Business is Mohammad Yunus’ latest book and it shows how his vision of social business went from concept to practice. Picking up where Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism left up, the book presents tips and ideas on how corporations, entrepreneurs, and social activists around the world, including the United States, could create social businesses. Lessons learned from the successful partnership between DANONE and the Grameen Bank are examined, and the development of two new social businesses in health and water is documented. In brief, the book offers practical guidance for those interested in creating a social business of their own and, indeed, in transcending traditional capitalism.

  1. Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism, p. 37