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: 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 […]
Book Review: Unwanted Neighbours: The Mughals, the Portuguese and their Frontier Zones by Jorge Flores
In Unwanted Neighbours: The Mughals, the Portuguese and their Frontier Zones, Jorge Flores explores the ways in which the Portuguese Estado da India—situated on the coastal peripheries of the Mughal empire—dealt with their Timurid neighbours from c. 1570 to c. 1640. Unwanted Neighbours is a book that is extremely rich in thematic concerns, empirical details and includes a varied cast of characters. It also […]
In Stretching the Constitution: The Brexit Shock in Historic Perspective, Andrew Blick situates Brexit within the wider context of UK constitutional reform debates over the course of the past century. Blick’s unconventional approach to this topic is insightful, providing instructive historical context to contemporary discussions of Brexit that will be of particular value for scholars of constitutional affairs, writes Gary Wilson.
Stretching the Constitution: […]
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 […]