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: Analysing Corruption: An Introduction by Dan Hough

Book Review: Analysing Corruption: An Introduction by Dan Hough

In Analysing Corruption: An Introduction, Dan Hough offers a new textbook that underscores the difficulties of defining, measuring and analysing corruption. While arguing that some of the challenges facing corruption research and policy may be overstated in the book, this is a good wide-ranging introduction to some of the main ideas and evidence driving the study of corruption today, finds Paul Caruana-Galizia. 
Analysing Corruption: […]

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    Book Review: Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge by Margaret Willson

Book Review: Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge by Margaret Willson

In Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge, Margaret Willson offers a new ethnographic study that traces a largely forgotten history of Icelandic seawomen, eloquently weaving together the past and the present. This book shows how deep curiosity and the posing of seemingly small questions can lead to large-scale insights, and should be read by all those interested in ethnography, recommends Younes Saramifar. 
Seawomen […]

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    Book Review: A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy

Book Review: A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy

In A Little History of Economics, Niall Kishtainy details the complex trajectory of economics from ancient Greece to the present, drawing on a wealth of historical knowledge, illuminating anecdotes and examples as well as imaginative metaphors to trace the evolution of economic thinking. But, asks Madeline McSherry, where are the women in this history? 
A Little History of Economics. Niall Kishtainy. Yale University Press. […]

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September 24th, 2017|Book Reviews, featured|0 Comments|
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    Book Review: Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614 by Matthew Carr

Book Review: Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614 by Matthew Carr

In Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614, Matthew Carr explores how, following the 1492 conquest of Granada, the sixteenth-century Spanish monarchy conducted peninsula-wide expulsions and conversions of Muslims as well as Jews. Ed Jones finds in the book’s historical analysis a valuable cautionary tale for contemporary public conversations surrounding immigration and integration regarding the consequences of legitimating fear and violence. 
Blood and Faith: […]

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    Book Review: A Sharing Economy: How Social Wealth Funds can Reduce Inequality and Help Balance the Books by Stewart Lansley

Book Review: A Sharing Economy: How Social Wealth Funds can Reduce Inequality and Help Balance the Books by Stewart Lansley

In A Sharing Economy: How Social Wealth Funds can Reduce Inequality and Help Balance the Books, Stewart Lansley offers a timely proposal for a significant shift in the relations between capital, citizens and the state to combat inequality and ensure a more just distribution of wealth. This is a concise and informative book that will be of interest to anyone interested in […]

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    Book Review: Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization by Margaret E. Peters

Book Review: Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization by Margaret E. Peters

In Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization, Margaret E. Peters explores how an increase in free trade has led to more restrictive immigration policies around the world. While questioning some elements of its structure and style, Paul Caruana-Galizia nonetheless welcomes this as a timely and well-researched study that offers valuable insight into the trade-offs between free trade and immigration. 
Trading Barriers: Immigration and the […]

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    Book Review: Gentrifier by John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch and Marc Lamont Hill

Book Review: Gentrifier by John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch and Marc Lamont Hill

In Gentrifier, John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch and Marc Lamont Hill offer a riposte to the widespread use of the term ‘gentrification’ in recent years, drawing on their own personal experiences as self-identified ‘gentrifiers’ to suggest a different understanding of urban change. While recognising that the book’s approach may prove controversial, Peter Matthews recommends this accessible read as a welcome corrective to media and popular narratives of […]

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    Book Review: Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time by Filip Vostal

Book Review: Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time by Filip Vostal

In Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time, Filip Vostal examines how speed has become a key pressure within Higher Education through interviews with twenty academics based in the UK. While the empirical research could be broader, Luke Martell highly recommends the book for offering considered, inquiring reflections on the structures that are contributing to the acceleration of academic life. 
Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of […]

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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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