Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks

Book Review

Ahmet Gencturk, (Panteion University, Greece)

Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks

Since the popularisation of neo-liberalism in the late 1970’s the centricity of the nation-state has faced a comprehensive challenge. A key criticism holds that the nation-state is, by its very nature, incompatible with the concept of democracy since it seeks to create homogenous political communities. Adopting a more Western understanding of nation-state building, late (19th and early 20th century) Ottoman and, later, Kemalists followed a top-down approach. Islamism, which stands in…

Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others

Book Review

Katerina Kjirovska

Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others

James Gilligan, in his book Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others, sets out to solve a mystery: a murder mystery. He claims that ‘as cigarette smoking has been shown to increase the rates of lung cancer, so the presence of a Republican in the White House increases the rates of suicide and homicide.’ It is significant that the author of this book is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New York whose aim was conducting research on suicide and homicide and…

Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War? Perceptions, Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond

Book Review

Katerina Krulisova

Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War? Perceptions, Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond

  The academic and political recognition of sexual violence as a weapon of war undoubtedly marks a historical success of the activism of the feminist movement, widely defined. Sexual violence during armed conflicts represents an acute, and serious, global security problem that requires a coordinated policy action—such action, however, is only possible via prior recognition of the phenomenon as a threat and the subsequent securitisation of it. By moving from the unproblematic side-lining of…

The Hybridity of Terrorism

Book Review

Michael Becker

The Hybridity of Terrorism

  In recent decades, as the incidence and deadliness of terrorism have grown, so too has the academic literature on the causes, nature, and consequences of the phenomenon. In The Hybridity of Terrorism, Sebastian Wojciechowski proposes a new lens through which to understand terrorism. Breaking it down into several constituent parts (subject, actors, forms, causes, spaces, and features), each of which is the subject of one chapter, Wojciechowski argues persuasively that terrorism cannot be…

The Horn of Africa (Hot Spots in Global Politics)

Book Review

Kateřina Struhová

The Horn of Africa (Hot Spots in Global Politics)

  In The Horn of Africa Kidane Mengisteab, comprehensively introduces readers to the complex socio-political situation of the region. The book’s title may be somehow confusing for some readers, as traditionally the region consists of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and entities that emerged within Somalia. Mengisteab’s book however, covers a wider region – the so-called the Greater Horn of Africa – by adding Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda to the previously listed countries.  The region is,…

Global Health and International Relations

Book Review

Emel Elif Tugdar

Global Health and International Relations

Health is traditionally perceived as a domestic issue in politics. With the globalisation and increasing interdependence of states, health has become an important foreign policy and diplomatic concern that has implications for security, economics and international development. In recent years, the world has witnessed an increasing interaction between international relations and health due to the reasons such as involvement of intergovernmental organisations, impact of the transnational…

British Foreign Policy

Book Review

Andrei Babadac

British Foreign Policy

This work summarises the key elements of the British foreign policy making to date and, at the same time, deploys solid historical references, making a thorough introduction to the key actors and elements that shape it. This work is merely an introduction to the complexity of the mechanisms that put together make the contemporary British foreign policy. It aims to answer questions such as: who makes the foreign policy and what is the role of the British identity, at the same time addressing…

The Politics of Immigration

Book Review

Yana Brovdiy

The Politics of Immigration

There have never been so many people living outside of their country of origin as today. According to the latest estimates of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs international migrants constitute 232 million people or 3.2% of the world’s population. At the same time immigration continues to be very controversial and a highly politicised topic in the West. Support for immigration quotas, in a recent Swiss referendum won by a slim margin of 50.4% and shows a clear division on…

The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

Book Review

Lukáš Makovický (University of Ottawa [Graduate])

The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

About two thirds of Pascal Bruckner’s book The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse are, unfortunately to the theme, disappointing. To start, Bruckner is a celebrated French intellectual, a philosophy graduate and has written best-selling books on human guilt and masochism, to which Fanaticism seems an heir. The line selling this book says about the content – since we live in times close to an environmental, economic and political collapse, there is nobody else to blame, except for us, humans ... and…

The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure

Book Review

Marat Gizatullin (Metropolitan University Prague)

The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure

This book is focused on three countries that have experienced the rapid, and dramatic, change from being part of one energy rich country to political independence and energy dependence on supplies from a single source, Russia. Additionally, these states and serve as transit routes for the sale of energy resources from Russia to its main European consumers. Balmaceda, has spent much time in the case countries gathering and processing sources in local languages as well as conducting a series of…

European Identity

Book Review

Sophia Alifirova (University of Toronto)

European Identity

This edited volume considers why ‘various forces and claims are [...] fragmenting the possibility of one European identity even as the European economic integration has proceeded faster and further than anyone expected’ (p. 2). It evaluates the situational nature of identity and attempts to answer the question of whether a common European identity may be developed in light of strong challenges? In the introduction, Checkel and Katzenstein summarise the theoretical background for European…

Power in the 21st Century: International Security and International Political Economy

Book Review

Emilian Kavalski (Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University, Sydney)

Power in the 21st Century: International Security and International Political Economy

The question of power forms one of the cornerstones of both the theory and practice of international relations. In spite of (or probably because of) its centrality, however, the notion and practices of power animate some of the most contested and tense debates in the study of world affairs. Thus, every generation of international relations scholars undertakes a reconsideration and probing of the concept of power in an attempt to place its own definitive stamp on one of the oldest conversations…

Egypt's Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution

Book Review

Lucie Švejdová (Metropolitan University Prague)

Egypt's Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution

Every revolution unleashes forces beyond the control even of those who stand responsible of pulling the trigger. Analogous with Clausewitz’s “fog-o-war,” the evolution and outcome of a particular revolution is blurred by the chaos it inevitably instils. To manipulate and navigate such forces so that the aimed goals of its initiators are ultimately met is an art itself for there is no rule guaranteeing victory for the instigators. Even the architects of the revolution may be swept away by the…

Managing the Undesirables: Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Government

Book Review

Wendy Booth

Managing the Undesirables: Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Government

According to a 2012 report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), ‘an average of 3000 people per day became refugees in 2012, five times more than in 2010.’ The number of refugees, worldwide, now stands at approximately 15.4 million. These figures are startling. Discovering effective ways to assist refugees, whatever the humanitarian crisis, is a matter of urgency. As the author of Managing the Undesirables, Agier’s aim is to describe and create an understanding of humanitarian…

Gender and International Relations: Theory, Practice, Policy

Book Review

Kateřina Krulišová

Gender and International Relations: Theory, Practice, Policy

  Gender and International Relations: “friends or foes”? The topic of gender is one of the most contested subjects in current IR studies and, when applied to IR’s most hotly debated topics, there is no consensus among scholars, not least feminist scholars, about what gender actually is, how it should be applied and politicised/securitised. Undoubtedly, the literature on the topic is growing fast and may cause a great deal of confusion among students of IR, mainly for its incomprehensiveness. …

Liberal Terror

Book Review

Lukáš Makovický (Political Science graduate)

Liberal Terror

Given the number of recent, quality, poststructuralist accounts of the War on Terror (de Goede, Dillon and Reid, Elden, Graham), why should one pay attention to Brad Evans’ new book, Liberal Terror? There is no short answer, but if one were to give such, it would include the expressions ‘complex,’ ‘carefully thought out,’ and ‘setting new academic standards for nomad theorising.’ To paraphrase one of the book’s core intellectual influences, Gilles Deleuze, Evans takes the readers on a journey.…

Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics

Book Review

Jelena Cupać (European University Institute)

Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics

International relations scholars have rarely tackled the subject of international organizations outside of the paradigmatic question imposed by the neo-neo debate about the nature and possibility of cooperation among states. In this regard, Michael Barnett’s and Martha Finnemore’s book Rules for the World may be viewed as an attempt to break away from these preset research questions of the disciplinary debate. The book successfully manages to unpack the black box of international organisations…

Culture and Foreign Policy: The Neglected Factor in International Relations

Book Review

Marek Neuman (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Culture and Foreign Policy: The Neglected Factor in International Relations

In his book Culture and Foreign Policy, Wiarda’s point of departure is the recognition that US foreign policy often pays insufficient attention to the many expressions of (political) culture that can be found in the various countries the State Department has established relations with. Wiarda’s contribution to the understanding of US foreign policy could not come at a more critical time; the debate of American unilateralism, of the frequently criticised one-size-fits-all model, is as vivid…

Globalization and the Environment: Capitalism, Ecology and Power

Book Review

Kacper Szulecki (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin)

Globalization and the Environment: Capitalism, Ecology and Power

Global environmental deterioration is commonly acknowledged and yet, ‘despite rapid advances in human development, economic progress and […] technology,’ as well as the existence of a vast institutional setup for governing the environment, things ‘appear to be getting worse’ (p. 1). Why is that? The nexus of socio-economic and political conditions commonly termed “capitalism” is to blame; argues Peter Newell. Is ‘the very idea of sustainable development in a context of globalization an oxymoron…

From Solidarity to Martial Law: The Polish Crisis of 1980-1981, A Documentary History

Book Review

Teodora-Maria Daghie (University of Bucharest)

From Solidarity to Martial Law: The Polish Crisis of 1980-1981, A Documentary History

The volume by Andrezj Paczowski and Malcom Byrne (eds) is part of the National Security Archive Cold War Reader edited by CEU University Press in 2007. It presents a series of 95 documents, portraying a central moment in the contemporary Polish history; the time between the foundation of the Solidarity Trade Union and imposition of martial law in 1980-1981. Through extensive use of first hand materials, this work presents a detailed image of Polish society in those turbulent moments when the…

National Security Intelligence

Book Review

Andrei Alexandru Babadac

National Security Intelligence

Loch K. Johnson’s National Security Intelligence explores the evolution of the US’s intelligence community from the first days of the Cold War until the present. Johnson’s main argument holds that when national leaders take decisions, the quality of information before them may significantly determine policy successes or failures. Researchers engaged in intelligence studies focus on such information: where it comes from, its accuracy, how it is deployed and what might be done to improve its…

Demobilizing Irregular Forces

Book Review

Yehonatan Cohen

Demobilizing Irregular Forces

The cessation of hostilities does not necessarily mean the return to security for civilians and former combatants. Without a concerted programme to build trust among warring factions and disarm and enfranchise former combatants, risks of a resurgence of violence remain high.  Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) seeks to achieve these goals and stabilise post-conflict societies while providing an environment conducive to long-term peace. Yet, despite the obvious importance of DDR…

Killer Robots: Legality and Ethicality of Autonomous Weapons

Book Review

Daniel Palát

Killer Robots: Legality and Ethicality of Autonomous Weapons

The militaries of developed states are on the cusp of witnessing the second Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), with the wide-scale introduction of automated and autonomous systems and weapons. These will be based on a wide range of technologies, including IT, biotechnology, robotics, AI and nanotechnologies. The development of these kinds of weapons was pioneered by the Nazis and Japanese during WWII, although their autonomous systems were not effective; they remained part of the…

Dignity in Adversity: Human Rights in Troubled Times

Book Review

Scott Nicholas Romaniuk (University of Aberdeen)

Dignity in Adversity: Human Rights in Troubled Times

The dystopic possibilities for the US motioned by the violent acts of 9/11 were painfully intensified by the immediate aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina less than five years later. In Europe, tensions from the sovereign debt crisis yielded deep fissures in the fabric of the European project and presented unique degradations of their own that have become manifest across the social spectrum. Brazil, China, and India face ruthless challenges in the course of their global integration, while…

Dissident Irish Republicanism

Book Review

Sergei Kartashev (Metropolitan University Prague)

Dissident Irish Republicanism

For those that are neither involved in international relations nor living in the UK or Ireland, the phenomenon of Irish republicanism, manifested in political violence, is something that ended in peace agreements and is beyond the current sources of terrorist threats. Scant news concerning Irish republican movements tend to be connected with the on-going political process and infrequent marches-cum-demonstrations. Compared to the period of “Troubles,” the activities of this movement have…

Politics in Deeply Divided Societies

Book Review

Guy Lancaster (Arkansas State University)

Politics in Deeply Divided Societies

The end of the Cold War and the reorganisation of global politics along less dualistic lines did not create deeply divided societies, although it did facilitate the breakup of once stable states into smaller and smaller polities, often along ethnic and/or religious lines, as peoples began to vie anew for their own right of self-determination. This has opened new challenges for national and global governance; challenges necessitating the development of an authoritative introductory survey of the…

The Decadence of Industrial Democracies: Disbelief and Discredit

Book Review

Roxana Radu (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement)

The Decadence of Industrial Democracies: Disbelief and Discredit

For many years now, technology enthusiasts have asserted that new technological tools – both analog and digital – have largely played a positive role in advancing progress. In his Decadence of Industrial Democracies: Disbelief and Discredit, Bernard Stiegler challenges this view by providing a detailed account of the way in which technical reproduction has historically changed and continues to change our lives in the broader framework of capitalism, by disentangling culture and strangling the…

The Post-Sarkozy Era: A Review Essay.

Book Review

Yves Laberge (Université Laval)

The Post-Sarkozy Era: A Review Essay.

Three books are reviewed for this Review Essay: Nick Hewlett, The Sarkozy Phenomenon. Societas Academic Publishing, 2011. 9781845402396. Michel Maffesoli, Sarkologies : Pourquoi tant de haine(s)?. Albin Michel, 2011. 9782226220929. Olivier Mongin and Georges Vigarello, Sarkozy. Corps et âme d'un président. Éditions Perrin, 2008. 9782262028121. On the evening of 06 May 2012, France entered the “Post-Sarkozy Era,” As with any president in Western democracies, many authors have commented…

Handbook of Transnational Governance

Book Review

Moses Kibe Kihiko (International Leadership University)

Handbook of Transnational Governance

Even though the modern state is often regarded as the most effective form of governance ever devised – ideally, securing unprecedented levels of prosperity and security for its citizens –globalisation has severely altered the social, economic and ecological relations between people, and no state, matter how competent, can address transnational issues unilaterally. This created a host of new policy challenges; many of which fall outside states’ territorial jurisdiction. At the same time,…

Europe, Regions and European Regionalism

Book Review

Tatiana Shaban (University of Victoria)

Europe, Regions and European Regionalism

Despite that current governance in the EU has been characterised as “multi-levelled,” the nation-state remains the dominant actor in terms of major decision-making. Newhouse’s statement that ‘whether within or across national borders, (regionalism) is Europe’s current and future dynamic,’ remains relevant and challenges the narrative that the “Europe of the Regions” rhetoric has been marginalised. While there are certainly countervailing trends among fringe political groups, much of the…

International Security and Gender

Book Review

Kateřina Krulišová

International Security and Gender

In International Security and Gender, Detraz explores the role of socially constructed and expected codes of behaviour attached to both sexes in relation to international security’s most pressing issues. The work aims to incorporate gender as a concept into a traditionally masculine security studies discipline and thus broaden the sphere of analysis. However neutral the title may seem at the first glance, the applied gender lenses are clearly feminist and concerned mainly with women and their…

WikiLeaks: News in the Networked Era

Book Review

Johanna Granville (University of Debrecen, Hungary)

WikiLeaks: News in the Networked Era

What is new about the Wikileaks phenomenon and why is it important? Is Wikileaks a form of journalism? What were the effects of Wikileaks’ revelations? How has Wikileaks impacted the future of the internet? Charlie Beckett and James Ball pose these, and other, questions in their latest work. The book is organised into four chapters and an epilogue. Chapter one contains a brief historical sketch and demonstrates the ways in which Wikileaks challenges not only governments, but both mainstream and…

Human Trafficking in Europe: Character, Causes and Consequences

Book Review

Angelina Stanojoska (University St. Clement of Ohrid)

Human Trafficking in Europe: Character, Causes and Consequences

Human history is replete with examples of countries founded on slavery, which believed that the exploitation of slaves was not immoral. Rather, that slaves were simply inferior to others and deserve their circumstances. Modern slavery – bearing similar but not identical hallmarks of past practices – has taken on new lingo, such as human trafficking, which in fact is the trading of people over boundaries for the purpose of enslavement. Slavery and society have been, and continue to be, walking…

Risk, Global Governance and Security: the Other War on Terror

Book Review

Emmanouela Mylonaki (London South Bank University)

Risk, Global Governance and Security: the Other War on Terror

Since its commencement, the Bush Doctrine, a.k.a. the Global War on Terror (GwoT), has been defined and analysed by reference to military and other violent actions rather than by reference to the lower-profile aspects of global cooperation counter-terrorism strategies. This books aims at addressing the “other” war on terror which moves beyond military campaigns to several multilateral cooperative attempts to fight terrorism. The authors examine the following alternative less-noticed non…

International Mediation

Book Review

Martina Bohatová

International Mediation

Since violent conflict typically produces death, destruction suffering and misery, and given that nearly all international political and social actors laud the use of violence – though tend to use it regardless – the use of mediation for conflict resolution is among the most significant tools. Indeed, over the last decades, mediation has played a vital role in ending decades-long civil violence, enduring rivalries and interstate conflicts; hence the volume of research on this topic has steadily…

Power in the Changing Global Order: The US, Russia and China

Book Review

James Whibley (Victoria University of Wellington)

Power in the Changing Global Order: The US, Russia and China

Despite its status as a fundamental concept in International Relations (IR), defining or analysing how power works eludes many scholars. Martin A. Smith, a senior lecturer at the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, provides a helpful guide to understanding how power operates and how states can undermine or strengthen their own power through the policy choices of leaders. Furthermore, by examining the recent foreign policies of the US, Russia, and China the book contributes an original analysis of…

Politics and Policies in Post-Communist Transition. Primary and Secondary Privatisation in Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union

Book Review

Justin R. Clardie (Cameron University)

Politics and Policies in Post-Communist Transition. Primary and Secondary Privatisation in Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union

The economic and political transition of the post-Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe is ranked among the most important events of the past twenty-odd years. The way that the various countries handled such transitions continue to have impact their political and economic situations today. Soos provides a comprehensive and detailed account of the dynamics of one aspect of these transitions; privatisation. Specifically, Soos compares the methods and speed of privatisation, for medium…

Multilateral Security and ESDP Operations

Book Review

Anna Kalińska (Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika)

Multilateral Security and ESDP Operations

Multilateral security – a defining feature of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) – with ESDP, has emerged as an important sub-field in international relations. Following WWII, with the amount of devastation delivered to Europe, the US stepped forward with a series of normative and realist strategies to enhance cooperation between Western states. Such drives were initially under the aegis of the UN and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in a bid to overcome the trials of…

Peacebuilding

Book Review

Gökhan Güneysu (Anadolu University)

Peacebuilding

One can think of only a few works timelier than Sandole’s: Peacebuilding. The international society bears witness to an upheaval of international and national structures; structures that have been taken for granted. Informal violence is ubiquitous and state structures, which – be they strictly Hobbesian – we suppose should have saved individuals from the ravages of conflicts and “new” wars, are either dysfunctional or simply non-existent. Peacebuilding itself is not a completely recent issue.…

2019 - Volume 13 Issue 3