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: 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.
Book Review: Athens and the War on Public Space: Tracing a City in Crisis by Klara Jaya Brekke, Christos Filippidis and Antonis Vradis
In Athens and the War on Public Space: Tracing a City in Crisis, Klara Jaya Brekke, Christos Filippidis and Antonis Vradis merge textual and visual material to focus on public space in Athens and its socio-spatial dynamics, attempting to grasp, however momentarily, the ever-moving, multifaceted and violent consequences of crisis. This is a valuable intervention that critically addresses the key issues faced by both a society […]
In The Political Economy of Italy’s Decline, Andrea Lorenzo Capussela offers an account of Italy’s current political and economic malaise, charting the evolution of the current social order from the post-war years to the aftermath of the eurocrisis. This is an erudite and compelling study, writes Dominik A. Leusder, that will be a key theoretical resource for anyone seeking to better understand Italy’s […]
In Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime, Bruno Latour explores the political and philosophical challenges proper to a time defined by an environmental and socio-economic crisis. Rodrigo Muñoz-González welcomes this energetic, compelling and provocative attempt to find an alternative vision to the contradictory and flawed project of modernity.
Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime. Bruno Latour (trans. by Catherine […]
Book Review: National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy by Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin
In National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy, Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin offer a concise examination of the rise of national populism, seeking to challenge some of the established views regarding this political shift. Simon Kaye writes that while elements of the book’s analysis engage in simplification, it is nonetheless a succinct, striking and thought-provoking work.
If you are interested in this review, you can listen to the […]
In The Finance Curse: How Global Finance is Making Us All Poorer, Nicholas Shaxsoncharts the devastation caused by the concentration and consolidation of global finance, its ideologies and institutions. Suggesting the need for fundamental reform of business, accounting and finance education, this book exposes global finance as a curse, not a boon, writes Atul K. Shah.
The Finance Curse: How Global Finance is […]
In Mapping Society: The Spatial Dimensions of Social Cartography – available to download here for free – Laura Vaughan offers an analysis of how maps have both described and shaped social phenomena. This is a scholarly and thoroughly researched book that unpicks the context behind many of the foremost examples of social cartography, finds Inderbir Bhullar, and reveals how the layout of cities can exacerbate or ameliorate social ills.
Book Review: The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century by Helena Rosenblatt
In The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century, Helena Rosenblatt gives an account of how the meanings of ‘liberalism’ have evolved through a world history of its uses from ancient Rome to the present day and also recovers some of its connotations that have been lost, discarded or eroded. This book challenges some of the assumptions held […]
In Council Democracy: Towards a Democratic Socialist Politics, editor James Muldoon brings together contributors to reopen discussion of councilist ideas and movements and to take the scholarship into new realms. While the chapters evidence the continuing tensions within the literature, this is a welcome and important contribution to the revival of this deeply emancipatory form of democratic socialism, writes Babak Amini.
Council Democracy: Towards a […]
Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems edited by Erik S Herron, Robert J Pekkanen and Matthew S Shugart
Electoral systems are key components in the operation of representative democracies that vary considerably in their construction, with important consequences for how democracy is implemented. Ron Johnston reviews The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems which provides valuable overviews of many of the important topics studied by electoral system scholars, though he wonders about the relative value of such large and expensive volumes aimed […]
For many of us, economics appears too abstract and rooted in assumptions that make individuals seem unfamiliar as human subjects. In Everyday Economics: A User’s Guide to the Modern Economy, Steve Coulter seeks to tackle these perceptions by offering an accessible take on economics that shows how it has relevance to different aspects of our everyday lives, from health to shopping and housing. Coulter […]
In Global Health Governance in International Society, Jeremy Youde reflects on the challenges facing global health governance and the future of international society. While this is a theoretically engaging and empirically informed study, Ioannis Papagaryfallou questions the solidarist approach of the English School of international theory within the text.
Global Health Governance in International Society. Jeremy Youde. Oxford University Press. 2018.
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Global Health has emerged […]
In European Security in Integration Theory: Contested Boundaries, Kamil Zwolski revisits two theories of international and European integration – federalism and functionalism – to show their relevance for understanding the dilemmas facing Europe today. As early integration theories may return as part of current debates, this book will be of use to academics and policymakers, finds Anna Nadibaidze.
European Security in Integration Theory: Contested Boundaries. Kamil Zwolski. […]
In Invisible Countries: Journeys to the Edge of Nationhood, Joshua Keating presents five present-day cases of border debates, humanising the issues they raise through personal stories and daily experiences. Covering topics from virtual citizenship to nested sovereignty, this book may rejuvenate the conversation about how countries and borders affect residents when they are neither static nor responsive to people, writes Jennifer Stubbs.
Invisible Countries: Journeys to […]
In New Female Tribes: Shattering Female Stereotypes and Redefining Women Today, Rachel Pashley presents the results of a survey of over 8,000 women in nineteen different countries, navigating the reader through a series of snapshots that show how women see themselves around the globe today. While at times engaging in broad brush-strokes in its depiction of four female ‘tribes’, this is a hopeful, […]
In 99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto, Brian Massumi offers a short yet intricate economic, cultural and philosophical work that aims to retrieve the concept of value from capitalist power. Through the book’s deliberately fragmented form, Massumi presents a relevant and urgent dissection of the processes by which we are currently shaped, and a hopeful vision of how […]
Book Review: Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia by Tomas Matza
In Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia,Thomas Matza offers an ethnographic account that explores the rise of psychotherapy in post-socialist Russia. Through in-depth interviews and observations of psychotherapists working in different institutions across the country, Matza not only probes deeply into their practice and perspectives, but also gives a human face to Russian experiences of flux and transition, […]