Books for Review

The journal publishes book reviews from the field of international relations and other related disciplines. The book reviews are not submitted to peer review but are edited by a member of the editorial team in charge of book reviews. We publish in Czech, English and Slovak.

Guidelines for book reviewers:

  • The year of publication of the reviewed book may not be more than three years before the expected publication of the review.
  • The length of the review should range from 1 500 – 2 500 words.
  • The review should briefly introduce the author or authors, provide information about the book’s thesis, objectives, structure and content, present its strengths and weaknesses and identify its potential audience.
  • Each review must include a critical evaluation of the book and its contribution.
  • The review style must match the formal manuscript requirements of our journal.

On this page, we publish an up-to-date list of books for which we would like a review, and we can assist book reviewers in obtaining a review copy of a book from the list. Upon reaching an agreement with the Book Review Editor, reviewers can choose a title that they wish to review that is not on the list. Similarly to the journal’s research articles, the reviews are indexed in expert databases such as Scopus, ERIH PLUS, C.E.O.L., ProQuest, and Ebsco Political Science Complete. The author of a book review that is accepted for publication receives an one-year subscription to the printed version of our journal. The selection of the reviewed book is at the discretion of the reviewer.

If you wish to submit a book review or consult a proposed book, contact the Book Review Editor Míla O’Sullivan at osullivan@iir.cz

 

Dividing United Europe. From Crisis to Fragmentation?
Aline Sierp, Christian Karner

Routledge
2020

Pictures of Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform, the burning of German flags, newspaper articles portraying Southern Europe as work-shy and Northern Europe as tight-fisted: The Eurozone crisis has thrown up old stereotypes; often digging into well-established historical images of ‘the other’. The conscious or tacit (ab)use of national prejudices by politicians and parts of the media, and the strong emotional reactions among European citizens have caused a lot of public concern about the likely negative implications of such reawakening of national clichés and the newly hardening boundaries they construct for the process of European integration.

Troubling Motherhood: Maternality in Global Politics
Lucy B. Hall, Anna L. Weissman, and Laura J. Shepherd (eds.)
Oxford University Press
2020

By considering representations and narratives of maternity, this volume shows how practices of global politics shape and are shaped by the gendered norms and institutions that underpin motherhood. Motherhood matters in global politics. Yet, the diverse ways in which performances and practices of motherhood are constituted by and are constitutive of other dimensions of political life are frequently obscured, or assumed to be of little interest to scholars, policymakers, and practitioners.

 
Fieldwork as Failure: Living and Knowing in the Field of International Relations
Katarina Kušić and Jakub Záhora (eds.)
E-International Relations Publishing
2020


This volume aims to unsettle the silence that surrounds fieldwork failure in both methods training and academic publications. While fieldwork has gradually evolved into standard practice in IR research, the question of possible failures in field-based knowledge production remains conspicuously absent from both graduate training and writing in IR. This volume fills that lacuna by engaging with fieldwork as a site of knowledge production and inevitable failure. It develops methodological discussions in IR in two novel ways. First, it engages failure through experience-near and practice-based perspectives, with authors speaking from their experiences. And secondly, it delves into the politics of methods in IR and the discipline more generally to probe ways in which the realities of research condition scholarly claims.

 

NATO’s Democratic Retrenchment. Hegemony After the Return of History
Henrik B.L. Larsen
Routledge
2020 


Exploring NATO’s post-Cold War determination to support democracy abroad, this book addresses the alliance’s adaptation to the new illiberal backlashes in Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Afghanistan after the alleged ‘return of history’. 

The book engages the question of what has driven NATO to pursue democratisation in face of the significant region-specific challenges and what can explain policy expansion or retrenchment over time. Explaining NATO’s adaptation from the perspective of power dynamics that push for international change and historical experience that informs grand strategy allows wider inferences not only about democratisation as a foreign policy strategy but also about the nature of the transatlantic alliance and its relations with a mostly illiberal environment.
 

Africa on the Move. Shifting Identities, Histories, Boundaries
Horáková Hana, Rudwick Stephanie, Schmiedl Martin (eds.)
Univerzita Hradec Králové 
2020

Africa is on the move. New geopolitical constellations have prompted individuals and groups to escape war, authoritarian regimes, environmental crises, and poverty. This has led to multiple migration patterns and complex mobilities of African people within and outside of Africa. This volume demonstrates that there is no unifying way to conceptualise the multiple nature of African mobilities.


The Political Economy of European Security
Kaija Schilde

Cambridge University Press
2020

What is the relationship between private actors and international institutions in global governance, as institutions such as the EU develop aspects of political authority once in the sole domain of nation states? Important areas of recent EU development have been immigration, security, and defense policies. Are these EU policies the result of strategic imperatives, or are they also driven by the political economy of markets? Kaija Schilde argues that answers require evaluating the EU in the comparative tradition of the political development of authority.
 

Can Big Bird Fight Terrorism? Children's Television and Globalized Multicultural Education
Naomi A. Moland
Oxford University Press
2019

Sesame Street has taught generations of Americans their letters and numbers, and also how to better understand and get along with people of different races, faiths, ethnicities, and temperaments. But the show has a global reach as well, with more than thirty co-productions of Sesame Street that are viewed in over 150 countries.
 

Fear and Uncertainty in Europe. The Return to Realism?
Belloni, Roberto, Della Sala, Vincent, Viotti, Paul (Eds.)
Palgrave Macmillan
2019

Russia’s intervention in the Ukraine, Donald Trump’s presidency and instability in the Middle East are just a few of the factors that have brought an end to the immediate post-Cold War belief that a new international order was emerging: one where fear and uncertainty gave way to a thick normative and institutional architecture that diminished the importance of material power. This has raised questions about the instruments we use to understand order in Europe and in international relations.

Pessimism in International Relations. Provocations, Possibilities, Politics
Stevens, Tim, Michelsen, Nicholas (eds.)

Palgrave Macmillan
2019

This volume explores the past, present and future of pessimism in International Relations. It seeks to differentiate pessimism from cynicism and fatalism and assess its possibilities as a respectable perspective on national and international politics. The book traces the origins of pessimism in political thought from antiquity through to the present day, illuminating its role in key schools of International Relations and in the work of important international political theorists.

Human Rights Discourse in the Post-9/11 Age
Chowdhury, Kanishka

Palgrave Macmillan
2019

This book offers a materialist critique of mainstream human rights discourse in the period following 9/11, examining literary works, critical histories, international declarations, government statutes, NGO manifestos, and a documentary film. The author points out some of the contradictions that emerge in contemporary rights language when material relations are not sufficiently perceived or acknowledged, and he directs attention to the role of some rights talk in maintaining and managing the accelerated global project of capital accumulation. 

 

Gendering Security and Insecurity. Post/Neocolonial Security Logics and Feminist Interventions
Navtej K. Purewal and Sophia Dingli

Routledge
2019

Security studies and international relations have conventionally relegated gendered analysis to the margins of academic concern, most commonly through the ‘women in’ or ‘women and’ politics and IR discourse. This comprehensive volume contributes to debates which seek to move feminist scholarship away from the reification of the war/peace and security/economy divides. By foregrounding the empirical reality of the breakdown of these traditional divisions, the authors pay particular attention to frameworks which query their very existence.
 

The Making of Global International Relations. Origins and Evolution of IR at its Centenary
Amitav Acharya and Barry Buzan

Cambridge University Press
2019

This book presents a challenge to the discipline of international relations (IR) to rethink itself, in the light of both its own modern origins, and the two centuries of world history that have shaped it. By tracking the development of thinking about IR, and the practice of world politics, this book shows how they relate to each other across five time periods from nineteenth-century colonialism, through two world wars, the Cold War and decolonization, to twenty-first-century globalization.

The Limits of Human Rights
Bardo Fassbender and Knut Traisbach (eds.)
Oxford University Press
2019

What are the limits of human rights, and what do these limits mean? This volume engages critically and constructively with this question to provide a distinct contribution to the contemporary discussion on human rights. Fassbender and Traisbach, along with a group of leading experts in the field, examine the issue from multiple disciplinary perspectives, analysing the limits of our current discourse of human rights. It does so in an original way, and without attempting to deconstruct, or deny, human rights.