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.
In Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers, David Scott FitzGerald argues that the rich democracies of the Global North have developed ways to evade the spirit of international humanitarian laws when it comes to migration, whilst simultaneously de jure adhering to them. With a rich empirical basis and a clear, accessible style, this compelling and topical book will appeal to […]
In Anatomies of Revolution, George Lawson offers a new account of how revolutions begin, unfold and end through a dynamic amalgam of in-depth sociological theory, multiple historical narratives and poignant commentary on contemporary politics. This book is a triumph when it comes to a creative theorisation of revolution, writes Eric Loefflad, providing clarity not in spite of complexity, but through it.
If you are […]
Book Review: The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security edited by Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True
In The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security, editors Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True bring together 93 contributors to capture the ever-growing volume of scholarship that has developed since the passing of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in October 2000. Columba Achilleos-Sarll recommends this as an extensive, timely contribution to the study of the WPS agenda, which maps […]
Book Review: Footsoldiers: Political Party Membership in the 21st Century by Tim Bale, Paul Webb and Monica Poletti
Although tens of millions of adults turn out to vote at UK general elections having decided which party’s policies and leaders they prefer, very few of them join those parties, let alone actively participate in and promote them. Who are those few, why do they join and what do they do? Ron Johnston reviews the latest book reporting on party member […]
Book Review: When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel by Michal Kravel-Tovi
In Israel, Jewish conversions by first and second generation repatriates from the former Soviet Union are often depicted in public discourse as ‘wink-wink’ conversions, whereby converts and the state pretend that converts’ commitment to the Jewish faith and practice is sincere rather than performed solely for the duration of the conversion process. In When the State Winks, Michal Kravel-Tovi unsettles this narrative, […]
Book Review: In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy by Katrina Forrester
With In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy, Katrina Forrester explores how John Rawls’s justice theory became the dominant way of thinking about institutions and individuals in the second half of the twentieth century. This important work sheds light on the conceptual roots of modern political thought while at the same time disclosing its limits, writes Rahel […]
If capitalism has triumphed to become the sole socio-economic system globally, what are the prospects for achieving a fairer world? In his new book Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World, Branko Milanovic examines the historical shifts that have led to capitalism’s dominance and looks at the varieties of capitalism at work today to propose choices to ensure […]
In Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World, Krishan Kumar analyses five key historical empires – the Ottoman, the Habsburg, the Russian/Soviet, the British and the French – making the case for how the ideas and ideologies of each shaped their mode of imperial rule and enduring influence. Due to a lack of clarity in the book’s central thesis and its […]
In The Far Right Today, Cas Mudde provides readers with a comprehensive overview of contemporary far right politics: a pressing task considering that groups or parties once located on the fringe of mainstream politics have experienced a surge in popularity over recent years across Europe and beyond. The most worrying aspect of this surge, argues the author, is the mainstreaming and normalisation […]
Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles
In Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France, Ignacio Siles studies the evolution of the blog both as a technological platform and a medium of personal expression, focusing particularly on the different conditions that have shaped the creation, adoption and transformation of blogs in the US and France. The book provides powerful insights into the mutually constitutive relationship […]
In Why Not Default? The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt, Jerome Roos explores why sovereign defaults have been an undesirable last option by systemically unpacking the structural characteristics of the contemporary debt market. This is a fresh and painstakingly researched approach that raises vital questions for economists, political scientists and policymakers to address in the era of relatively low cost, yet mounting, […]
Book Review: Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen and David Soskice
In Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century, Torben Iversen and David Soskice add to current debates concerning the relationship between democracy and capitalism by arguing that they mutually support each other and enable resilience through turbulence and crisis. This is a welcome contribution to scholarship exploring the ‘crisis of democratic capitalism’, writes M Kerem Coban, and offers a unique and provocative framework […]
In Social Mobility and its Enemies, Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin offer a thought-provoking assessment of the state of social mobility in Britain. In the context of much social and political change and rising levels of inequality in Britain, this book is able to dispel the myth of meritocracy and suggest evidence-informed avenues for achieving a fairer society for all, writes Ross Goldstone.
Social Mobility and […]
In The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction, Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb bring together Marx’s early writings in order to shape them into a distinct political philosophy. This is a diligently and rigorously researched work, writes Tarique Niazi, that will serve as a must-have primer for both early and advanced students and scholars of Marx.
The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction. Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb. Bloomsbury. […]
Book Review: Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance by David Macfadyen et al
In Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance, David Macfadyen et al show how the emergence of an international bureaucracy of civil servants and their role in the development of the League of Nations rested on Eric Drummond and the early internationalists around him. This book provides a much-needed historical and biographical perspective on the […]
Book Review: The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey
In The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation, Carl Benedikt Frey explores automation and its consequences, taking the reader on a long sweep of UK and US industrial history that demonstrates the distinction between labour-enabling and labour-replacing technologies. As arguably the most comprehensive account of automation to date, this book deserves to be read widely, writes Liam Kennedy.
Book Review: The Justice and Development Party in Turkey: Populism, Personalism, Organization by Toygar Sinan Baykan
In The Justice and Development Party in Turkey: Populism, Personalism, Organization,Toygar Sinan Baykan offers a sophisticated contribution to the existing literature on the JDP by shifting focus from structural analysis towards the role of party agency. This is an invaluable addition to the study of populism in Turkey, writes Nikos Christofis, opening up new ways to approach the JDP’s rise, structure and […]
Book Review: Twilight of the Elites: Prosperity, The Periphery and the Future of France by Christophe Guilluy
In Twilight of the Elites: Prosperity, The Periphery and the Future of France, Christophe Guilluy sets out the predicament of the ‘left-behind’ regions of France and excoriates the elites that have presided over their decline. While Guilluy does make a novel set of claims about the working-class response to recent political developments, peripheral France requires a more granular analysis than that found in […]
Book Review: …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year by Michael Hudson
In …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year, Michael Hudson offers a historical account of the role that debt played in ancient societies. In focusing on how such societies dealt with the proliferation of debts that cannot be paid, this book sheds informative light on the significance of debt today, writes Alfredo Hernandez […]
In The Politics of Land, editor Tim Bartley brings together contributors to highlight the significance of the neglected issue of land to political sociology. This is a highly informative volume that explores a range of issues related to the land-politics nexus beyond the top-down understanding of its role in capitalist accumulation with much potential for future sociological research, writes Alexander Dobeson.
The Politics of […]