Book Reviews

In this section you can read reviews of academic books covering Europe and the European neighbourhood. We publish four reviews a month, aiming to cover a wide range of books on all aspects of public policy and politics.

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    Book Review: The Balkans in the Cold War edited by Svetozar Rajak, Konstantina E. Botsiou, Eirini Karamouzi and Evanthis Hatzivassiliou

Book Review: The Balkans in the Cold War edited by Svetozar Rajak, Konstantina E. Botsiou, Eirini Karamouzi and Evanthis Hatzivassiliou

In The Balkans in the Cold War, editors Svetozar Rajak, Konstantina E. Botsiou, Eirini Karamouzi and Evanthis Hatzivassiliou bring together contributors drawing on recently released archival documents to explore the origins, development and impact of the Cold War in the Balkan regions. While less convinced of the book’s treatment of culture in the region, this is a forceful challenge to prevailing historical interpretations and a valuable contribution […]

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    Book Review: The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions by Jason Hickel

Book Review: The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions by Jason Hickel

In The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions, Jason Hickel challenges the progress narrative that has shaped perceptions of global poverty, arguing that there is a widening gulf that is a direct product of the political order. This is a well-written and highly readable diagnosis of the current causes and state of global inequality, writes John Picton, and an […]

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    Book Review: Combatants of Muslim Origin in European Armies in the Twentieth Century: Far from Jihad

Book Review: Combatants of Muslim Origin in European Armies in the Twentieth Century: Far from Jihad

In Combatants of Muslim Origin in European Armies in the Twentieth Century: Far from Jihad, Xavier Bougarel, Raphaëlle Branche and Cloé Drieu offer a collection attending to the everyday experiences and practices of the Muslim combatants who fought in the ranks of various European armies, but have hitherto been neglected in many existing historical studies. The book’s non-Anglocentric approach makes it essential reading for scholars […]

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Book Review: The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees

Drawing on 25 years of research, The Holocaust: A New History offers a new major treatment of the Holocaust that traces events in their entirety from their origins to their horrifying conclusions. Gary Wilson praises Laurence Rees for this eminently readable account, which offers definitive insight into this appalling history. 
The Holocaust: A New History. Laurence Rees. Viking. 2017.
Find this book: 
It is over 30 years since Martin […]

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    Book Review: Migration, Ethics & Power: Spaces of Hospitality in International Politics by Dan Bulley

Book Review: Migration, Ethics & Power: Spaces of Hospitality in International Politics by Dan Bulley

In Migration, Ethics and Power: Spaces of Hospitality in International Politics, Dan Bulley offers a study of the ethics and politics of hospitality, exploring how spaces are produced through various negotiations of host/guest relations. Covering such topics as refugee camps, global cities and the institutional ethos of the EU, this book is a sophisticated and nuanced conceptualisation of hospitality that will be […]

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    Book Review: On Extremism and Democracy in Europe by Cas Mudde

Book Review: On Extremism and Democracy in Europe by Cas Mudde

In On Extremism and Democracy in Europe, Cas Mudde presents a number of essays reflecting on the far right, populism, Euroscepticism and the state of liberal democracy today. Challenging prevailing fears, particularly those promoted in the mainstream media, this book offers a reliable and approachable analysis of contemporary European politics that will be of use to those trying to […]

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    Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System – by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier

Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System – by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier

Book Review – In Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System, Alexander Betts and Paul Collier set out to offer solutions to the flawed system of refugee management that has gained increasing attention through the emergence of the crisis discourse surrounding migration. While this ambitious book sets out to challenge this through restoring a narrative of hope, Gayle Munro questions whether its […]

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Book Review: Duress: Imperial Durabilities in our Times

How do colonial histories remain active forces shaping the conditions and most urgent issues of the present? In Duress: Imperial Durabilities in our Times, Ann Laura Stoler utilises ‘duress’ as a category of domination as the prism through which to analysis how imperial traces continue to impact on relations of exploitation in the contemporary moment. Ed Jones praises this book as a refreshing […]

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Book Review: The Great Regression

How do we make sense of the dramatic political changes of recent months? In The Great Regression, editor Heinrich Geiselberger brings together contributors including Nancy Fraser, Arjun Appadurai and Bruno Latour to grapple with the causes and consequences of this ostensible ‘great regression’. While questioning the tendency to centralise ‘the left’ as the prime site of blame, Elisa Pannini praises this cross-national collection […]

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The Long Read: The Working Class Hasn’t Gone Away

Ron Johnston reviews three recent books that, in very different ways, explore the changing nature and politics of the working class in post-industrial societies.
The New Politics of Class: The Political Exclusion of the British Working Class. Geoffrey Evans and James Tilley. Oxford University Press. 2017.
The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality. Justin […]

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Essay: Opening Capitalist Realism by Alfie Bown

In Opening Capitalist Realism, Alfie Bown pays tribute to the work of the late writer and philosopher on all aspects of capitalism, Mark Fisher. Drawing on the glimmers of hope enfolded in Fisher’s 2009 work Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, Bown argues that the events of the past year have turned the glimpses of optimism identified by Fisher […]

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    Essay: Populism and the Limits of Neoliberalism by William Davies

Essay: Populism and the Limits of Neoliberalism by William Davies

Coinciding with the release of a revised edition of The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition, William Davies argues that the recent surge in ‘populism’ must be understood in relation to the structures of political, cultural and moral economy, in particular the inability of neoliberalism to sustain the myth of a level playing field or […]

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Book Review: Charlemagne by Johannes Fried

In Charlemagne, Johannes Fried offers a new account of the life of the Frankish king and emperor, one of the most influential figures in European history. Although the limited surviving resources from the period make the book more of an in-depth account of the socio-political context of Charlemagne’s reign rather than a strict biography, Sara Perley welcomes this as a well-researched and engaging […]

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    Book Review: Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey by Kaya Genç

Book Review: Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey by Kaya Genç

In Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey, Kaya Genç draws upon a range of interviews undertaken following the 2013 Gezi Park protests, bringing to light the diverse perspectives of different members of Turkish society at a time of division and dissent. Genç’s innovative use of oral history makes for a fascinating and magnetic read that particularly deserves praise for […]

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    Book Review: Reconstructing Karl Polanyi: Excavation and Critique by Gareth Dale

Book Review: Reconstructing Karl Polanyi: Excavation and Critique by Gareth Dale

In Reconstructing Karl Polanyi: Excavation and Critique, Gareth Dale contributes a further volume to his decade-long research into the life and thought of the influential political economist. Here, he provides an account of Polanyi’s specific contributions to the social sciences, reconstructs some of his more complex or elusive concepts and reflects on the relevance of his theories to present-day […]

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    Book Review: The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny by Ian Davidson

Book Review: The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny by Ian Davidson

In The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, Ian Davidson offers a new examination of the diverse factors that converged to spark and propel this crucial historical event. While the breadth of the book is occasionally overwhelming and characterised more by description than explanation, its rich detail highlights the intricacies of the French Revolution without centralising the role played by […]

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    Book Review: Singapore and Switzerland: Secrets to Small States Success edited by Yvonne Guo and Jun Jie Woo

Book Review: Singapore and Switzerland: Secrets to Small States Success edited by Yvonne Guo and Jun Jie Woo

What makes a small state succeed? In Singapore and Switzerland: Secrets to Small State Success, editors Yvonne Guo and Jun Jie Woo explore this question through two cases that have shown similar economic performance by balancing international forces and domestic demands. This is a far-reaching overview of the mechanisms that have shaped the successes – and some failures – of […]

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    Book Review: Re-Making Kozarac: Agency, Reconciliation and Contested Return in Post-War Bosnia by Sebina Sivac-Bryant

Book Review: Re-Making Kozarac: Agency, Reconciliation and Contested Return in Post-War Bosnia by Sebina Sivac-Bryant

In Re-Making Kozarac: Agency, Reconciliation and Contested Return in Post-War Bosnia, Sebina Sivac-Bryant focuses her longitudinal study on the town of Kozarac in north-west Bosnia as one of the only successful examples of contested minority return following the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the community in the 1990s. The book fills a significant gap in addressing questions of reconciliation, community rebuilding and trauma […]

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February 26th, 2017|Book Reviews, featured|0 Comments|
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    Book Review: The Populist Radical Right: A Reader edited by Cas Mudde

Book Review: The Populist Radical Right: A Reader edited by Cas Mudde

With The Populist Radical Right: A Reader, editor Cas Mudde brings together seminal social science scholarship on the radical or extreme right in Western democracies produced between the early 1990s to the present day. With a wealth of information that will be of particular use to scholars and students beginning research in this field, the volume will leave readers […]

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    Book Review: Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle

Book Review: Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle

In Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy, Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle offer a diagnosis and remedy for the malaise currently gripping the study of philosophy, advocating a ‘field philosophy’ that aims to break free of the strictures of its disciplinary and departmental settings that have led to accusations of insularity and irrelevance. While suggesting that the authors’ claims are […]

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February 12th, 2017|Book Reviews, featured|0 Comments|