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: 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.
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 […]