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…

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…

2017 - Volume 11, Issue 4