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.
Book Review: Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology by Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer
In Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology, Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer argues that speculative fiction offers a rich vein to theorise catastrophe and crisis in ways that are not paralysing or demoralising, drawing on the work of those such as Octavia E. Butler and Kurt Vonnegut. This book admirably succeeds in showing its source material to offer a […]
Book Review: Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe can be Saved from Itself by Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese
In Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe can be Saved from Itself, Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese offer an innovative look at citizenship, grounded in the development of a transnational civil society sphere across Europe. This is an ambitious, perceptive and clear-sighted argument for a transnational citizenship and politics, writes Ben Margulies, that also details the political project required to make it a reality.
Citizens of Nowhere: […]
Book Review: The Populist Radical Left in Europe edited by Giorgios Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis
In The Populist Radical Left in Europe, editors Giorgios Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis bring together contributors to explore populist radical left movements across Europe, discussing examples including Greece’s Syriza, Spain’s Podemos, Slovenia’s Left Party, France’s La France Insoumise and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, among others. This is an engaging and engaged work of political science, writes Anton Jäger, that provides a necessary moment of reflection on […]
In Politics Rules: Power, Globalization and Development, Adam Sneyd confronts the neglect of politics in government and mainstream development circles, stressing the importance of careful, ‘disinterested’ political analysis. While suggesting that there may be no easy way out of the trap of ideology, Gavin Fridell welcomes the book as a thought-provoking and engaging guide that plots conceptual and practical ways to go beyond narrow […]
In For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq, Ayça Çubukçu illustrates how different and sometimes colliding understandings of justice, human rights, legitimacy and international law co-existed in response to the Iraq occupation through the case of the World Tribunal on Iraq, which sought to document and provide grounds for adjudicating war crimes committed by the US, the UK and their allied […]
Book Review: Tales of Brexits Past and Present: Understanding the Choices, Threats and Opportunities in Our Separation from the EU by Nigel Culkin and Richard Simmons
In Tales of Brexits Past and Present: Understanding the Choices, Threats and Opportunities in Our Separation from the EU, Nigel Culkin and Richard Simmons draw upon three purported historic examples of previous ‘Brexits’ in which Britain retreated from its relationship with the European continent to consider the challenges and opportunities of Brexit in economic and entrepreneurial terms. Gary Wilson welcomes this novel contribution to the growing […]
In The Left Case Against the EU, Costas Lapavitsas makes the case that the European Union is beyond left-wing reform, as evidenced by the EU’s response to the Eurozone crisis; left-wing contestation must instead be undertaken locally. While more convinced by Lapavitsas’s appraisal of the EU than his proposals for reclaiming the national political space, David Hollanders nonetheless finds this an expedient, informed and lucid […]
Book review: Le nouvel empire: L’Europe du vingt et unième siècle [The New Empire: Europe of the 21st Century] by Bruno Le Maire
In Le nouvel empire: L’Europe du vingt et unième siècle, Bruno Le Maire offers his take on the future of Europe. Published shortly before this week’s European Parliament elections, the book sets out a case for constructing European political unity not through the creation of a federal Europe, but over time, on the foundation of national sovereignties. Gijs de […]
Book Review: International Courts and Mass Atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia by Ivor Sokolić
In International Courts and Mass Atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia, Ivor Sokolić focuses on the contradictions that can arise between the ‘truths’ provided by international courts’ judgments and national war narratives, focusing on the understudied case of Croatia. This is an in-depth analysis that will be a must-read for transitional justice scholars and practitioners both in the Balkans and […]
Book Review: Other, Please Specify: Queer Methods in Sociology edited by D’Lane Compton, Tey Meadow and Kristen Schilt
In Other, Please Specify: Queer Methods in Sociology, editors D’Lane Compton, Tey Meadow and Kristen Schilt bring together contributors to reflect on the challenges and rewards of developing and conducting queer research while also questioning the traditional epistemological, methodological and political commitments of sociology. This is an engaging and vital book that provides methodological advice and practical strategies for undertaking queer research, writes Catalina Martin.
Other, Please […]
Book Review: Transformations of Trade Unionism: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives on Workers Organizing in Europe and the United States, Eighteenth to Twenty-First Centuries by Ad Knotter
In Transformations of Trade Unionism: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives on Workers Organizing in Europe and the United States, Eighteenth to Twenty-First Centuries, available to download here for free, Ad Knotter offers a historical analysis of the development of the labour movement in European countries and in the United States from the eighteenth century up to the present day. This detailed, well-written and novel account […]
Book Review: The UK’s Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit edited by Patrick Dunleavy, Alice Park and Ros Taylor
In The UK’s Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit, the first book published by LSE Press and available open access here, editors Patrick Dunleavy, Alice Park and Ros Taylor bring together contributors at an ideal juncture to assess how the UK’s political landscape has changed in recent history and reflect on its current state, covering such topics as the electoral system, political participation, devolution and human rights. This […]
Book Review: Gender and the Radical and Extreme Right: Mechanisms of Transmission and the Role of Educational Interventions edited by Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Hilary Pilkington
In Gender and the Radical and Extreme Right: Mechanisms of Transmission and the Role of Educational Interventions, editors Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Hilary Pilkington bring together contributors to offer an interdisciplinary perspective on an often overlooked topic: the intersections between the radical and extreme right, education and gender. This volume will be invaluable in present and future efforts to better understand the role that women […]
Book Review: The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era by Barry Eichengreen
In The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era, Barry Eichengreen places the surge of new populisms within deep historical context, looking at the convulsions caused by populist agitators and the response from the political establishment. Diogo Senra Rodeiro recommends this clear and highly informative analysis.
The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era. Barry Eichengreen. Oxford University […]
In Adventures in Theory: A Compact Anthology, Calvin Thomas offers a new collection of eighteen excerpts of classic books and essays by formative thinkers including Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Judith Butler, Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault. Yves Laberge recommends this anthology to those looking to discover conceptual tools to better understand the ideologies, mechanisms and structures underpinning our societies.
Adventures in Theory: A Compact Anthology. Calvin Thomas (ed.). […]
Book Review: The Political Value of Time: Citizenship, Duration and Democratic Justice by Elizabeth F. Cohen
In The Political Value of Time: Citizenship, Duration and Democratic Justice, Elizabeth F. Cohen explores how scientifically measured durational time is valued and used by liberal democratic states in political processes. Iris Lim recommends this for the care and precision that Cohen exhibits in her comprehensive effort at showing durational time to be at the core of how sovereign states function.
The Political Value of […]
Book Review: How Nations Succeed: Manufacturing, Trade, Industrial Policy and Economic Development by Murat A. Yülek
In How Nations Succeed: Manufacturing, Trade, Industrial Policy and Economic Development, Murat A. Yülek offers insight into forward- and outward-looking industrial policy formulation that can further enhance national prosperity, with particular emphasis placed on capacity-building processes, skill accumulation and science and technology development. This is an excellent volume on industrial development and the sustainable policies to drive this, recommends Uchenna R. Efobi.
How Nations Succeed: […]
In Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics, Catherine Lu examines a foundational question in international ethics: namely, how should we respond to political catastrophes, most particularly the legacies of colonial injustice? The book offers a fresh perspective on global justice, responsibility and reconciliation, writes Marija Antanaviciute, that orients attention from an emphasis on individual accountability to explore strategies for addressing international structural injustice.
Book Review: Inside Asylum Bureaucracy: Organizing Refugee Status Determination in Austria by Julia Dahlvik
In Inside Asylum Bureaucracy: Organizing Refugee Status Determination in Austria, Julia Dahlvik conducts an in-depth case study of Austria’s former Federal Asylum Office (FAO) to explore how bureaucrats and other decision-makers adjudicate asylum cases. The book offers insightful conclusions that can lead to tangible policy changes, finds Victoria de Keizer.
This review is part of a theme week published in the run-up to International […]
In A Political Theory of Post-Truth, Ignas Kalpokas offers a nuanced and lucid description of the conditions and content of a post-truth world, drawing particularly on the work of the seventeen-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza with support from the twentieth-century post-structuralist Gilles Deleuze. Going beyond cliches and superficial diagnosis, this is a perceptive, yet alarming, vision of an ever-more embedded post-truth future, finds Roderick Howlett.