Countering Terrorism

Book Review

Martha CRENSHAW and Gary LAFREE. Countering Terrorism.  

Countering Terrorism

In Countering Terrorism, Martha Crenshaw and Gary Lafree provide a very detailed account on global acts of terrorism. What makes the subject so challenging? Why is it so hard for governments to formulate an effective counter-terrorism policy? What are the obstacles that experts face and in what ways can terrorism best be defined, classified, studied and understood in order to design the best possible policies to counter terrorism? These are some of the questions answered in this book, which is…

The Misguided Search for the Political

Book Review

Nick J. Sciullo

The Misguided Search for the Political

In The Misguided Search for the Political, Lois McNay argues that radical democracy suffers from a reliance on abstractions that echo the criticism radical democrats make of traditional liberal democrats.  While radical democracy is often theorized as a critique of the immaterial focus of liberal democracy, it too suffers from the inability to adequately account for the materiality of inequality.  McNay’s book is provocative, readable, and a worthwhile addition to the libraries of political…

Muslims in Putin’s Russia: Discourse on Identity, Politics, and Security

Book Review

Renat Bekkin

Muslims in Putin’s Russia: Discourse on Identity, Politics, and Security

The times when readers in the West learned about Islam in Russia from the books of Sovietologist Alexander Bennigsen, who for objective reasons could not have access to many important sources, have passed away. Over the last couple of decades, many studies giving an idea of the forms of existence of Islam and the life of Russian Muslims in 19-20 centuries have appeared. These are the works written by R. Geraci [Geraci 2001], E. Campbell [Campbell 2015], R. Crews [Crews 2009] and other authors.…

The Arab Spring Five Years Later: Toward Greater Inclusiveness (Volume 1)

Book Review

Nikola Zukalová

The Arab Spring Five Years Later: Toward Greater Inclusiveness (Volume 1)

Since the so-called Arab Spring began in 2011, the selection of Arab countries (re: Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Morocco) and their international partners concentrated mostly on political and identity issues, neglecting the importance of economics, which indirectly triggered the current fluctuating situations in these countries. Following the 2011 uprisings the democratisation of Arab countries did not go as anticipated. Instead, a new phase of instability began, raising serious regional and…

Energy Security

Book Review

Sabit Ibrahim Akca

Energy Security

Increasing dependence of modern societies on energy resources has pushed energy security to the top of the international agenda, turning it into an indispensable means of preserving and advancing economic prosperity. This prosperity, however, is not divided equally among states and the role of multi-billion dollar modern energy systems in controlling energy resources is overwhelming, becoming a root cause of unjust and corrupt social, economic, and political relations. Energy Security, as…

The Sunni Tragedy in the Middle East: Northern Lebanon from al-Qaeda to ISIS

Book Review

Wouter Jansen

The Sunni Tragedy in the Middle East: Northern Lebanon from al-Qaeda to ISIS

In The Sunni Tragedy in the Middle East: Northern Lebanon from al-Qaeda to ISIS, Bernard Rougier provides a very detailed and well-structured account of different historical events, including the Lebanese civil war and the struggle between Lebanon and Syria from the early 1960s until the 1990s, when Northern Lebanon served as the battleground between the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Syrian regime. Rougier divided his book in multiple chapters, each focusing on a specific…

The Islamic State: A Brief Introduction

Book Review

Maged Srour

The Islamic State: A Brief Introduction

In mid-2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in a move to turn the terrorist group into a territorial entity—a state with borders and, importantly, recognition. The combined weight of local and international efforts limited, retracted and has — by now — overwhelmed ISIS (as a state) and sent the group hurling to the far-flung ‘provinces’ of the Islamic State. Charles Lister’s work (2015) The Islamic State – A Brief Introduction,…

Cyber Policy in China

Book Review

Wonhee Lee

Cyber Policy in China

Greg Austin’s Cyber Policy in China provides an extensive and illuminating survey of China’s quest, since the year 2000, for informatisation—the process by which China is transforming itself into an advanced information society. With his chronological analysis, Austin neatly interweaves nearly 1,000 sources from China and the US, focusing on the interplay between ‘ideal policy values’ in China’s informatisation ambition and ‘leadership values’— such as regime stability, economic nationalism and…

Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing When We Need It Most

Book Review

Diletta Fabiani

Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing When We Need It Most

In Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing When We Need It Most, authors Thomas Dale, David Held and Kevin Young ask: Why are international negotiations increasingly stalling at a time when we desperately need them to efficiently tackle current global issues? According to the authors, international institutions are failing because they are in a state of ‘gridlock’—the concept defined as a ‘specific set of conditions and mechanisms that impede global cooperation in the present day’ (p. 3),…

Drone Warfare

Book Review

Daniel Connolly

Drone Warfare

Philosopher John Kaag and political scientist Sarah Kreps share the concern that drone technology is developing faster than our ability to understand its implications. The result of their collaboration, Drone Warfare (2014, Polity Press) is an interdisciplinary synthesis of the legal, political and moral arguments surrounding the United States’ use of armed drones to conduct targeted killings of suspected terrorists. Their treatment of US drone policy, while largely critical, is nevertheless…

What’s Wrong with the WTO and How to Fix It

Book Review

Unislawa Williams and LaDarrien Gillette

What’s Wrong with the WTO and How to Fix It

What’s Wrong with the WTO and How to Fix It by Rorden Wilkinson is not only a bold analysis of the failures of the World Trade Organization (WTO), but also a proposal for how to fundamentally reform it. According to Wilkinson, the primary goal of a reorganised WTO should be to improve humanitarian outcomes—not to increase and encourage free trade. If the aim continues to be on expanding free trade, with the expectation that humanitarian outcomes may follow, the system will continue to…

Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict

Book Review

Veronika Váchalová

Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict

Sexual violence has a history as long as the practise of war itself. It has been a part of the spoils of war that represent the gravest abuses of human rights. Nowadays, despite enormous humanitarian protests and efforts it is continuously used as a prevalent war tactic and a tool of war. Janie L. Leatherman looks at the causes and consequences of sexual violence in armed conflicts. Her book Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict is timely. She creates a link between global political economic…

Social Movements in Global Politics

Book Review

Aliaksandr Novikau

Social Movements in Global Politics

The twenty-first century has, so far, been characterised by a crisis of institutional politics. Nation-state governments have become less and less capable of solving long-standing, potentially catastrophic problems such as global climate change, world population growth, global inequality and the loss of local cultures. As a result, many people are dissatisfied with politicians and politics in general. According to West, author of Social Movements in Global Politics, these flaws in policy-making…

Is the EU doomed?

Book Review

Daniela Lenčéš Chalániová

Is the EU doomed?

n recent years, Polity Press released a number of works which take issue with the current crisis of the EU and the possible futures that might follow from it. Consider, for instance, Simon Hix’s What’s Wrong with the EU & How to Fix It (2008), Jürgen Habermas’ essay collection The Crisis of the European Union: A Response (2012) and Anthony Giddens’ Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe? (2013).  Zielonka’s book-long essay Is the EU Doomed? fits neatly into this body of…

Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Book Review

Teodora-Maria Daghie

Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Human rights are considered universal, meaning that they should be applied regardless of any borders, ethnicity, skin colour, sex, language, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion or social status (etc). They also state that all people are born free and equal in dignity and have equal rights. At the global level we have achieved a Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various UN conventions, including those dealing with genocide, discrimination and gender rights. Freeman’s work…

Politics in the Age of Austerity

Book Review

Jan Kovář

Politics in the Age of Austerity

  Democratic-capitalist governments are increasingly facing restraints as they endeavour to reconcile the conflicting interests and demands on public policy of two competing constituencies: the people and “markets.” The fiscal crisis and the resulting rise of the austerity state further deepen these dilemmas. But, what is the impact of the rise of the austerity state and deteriorating public finances on democracy and political participation? Will democracy be able to continue to promote…

European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World

Book Review

Andriy Tyushka

European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World

The flurry of changes to the EU’s internal and external environments produced a demand for thorough analytical accounts of the Union’s challenges as an international actor aiming to imprint the world order. Unsurprisingly, a robust scholarship of EU foreign policy analysis has mushroomed in the last decade. Among them, Karen E. Smith’s European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World stands out for its distinctive focus—searching for the rationale behind the EU’s empowerment and its goal…

Peace operations, 2nd edition

Book Review

Adisa Avdić- Küsmüş

Peace operations, 2nd edition

The advent of peacekeeping in the mid-20th century was a significant shift in strategy for conflict resolution.  The failure of collective security under the League of Nations pushed for finding more effective ways for dealing with conflicts. The idea of deploying forces to war torn areas with the purpose of limiting violence gradually evolved and resulted in the establishment of large, complex and costly missions around the world. But how did such operations evolve? Who organises them and how…

Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia

Book Review

Anya Gromilova

Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia

The bookThe Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia offers as in-depth and penetrative look into the three former Soviet Baltic Republics’ foreign policy towards Russia from 1994 to present day. Grigas focuses primarily on the domestic variables of policy making in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in order to dismantle the conventional approach to studies of the Baltic-Russian relations. The author argues against simplistic narratives such as the common perception that…

The End of American World Order

Book Review

Jaume Castan Pinos

The End of American World Order

In The End of American World Order, Amitav Acharya engages in core debates of International Relations; hegemony and world polarity. This is, needless to say, an extremely complex subject, and consequently, a formidable academic challenge. Perhaps the main strength of the book is that Acharya is not intimidated by the daunting challenges he faces. One of the main virtues of the book is that his deconstruction of the American World Order (AWO) myths is serene and rigorous without resorting to…

2019 - Volume 13 Issue 3