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. 

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

 

Politics of Violence and Fear in MENA
Helena Reimer-Burgrova
Palgrave Macmillan
2022

‘Politics of Violence and Fear in MENA: The Case of Egypt’ explores the state-orchestrated violence in Egypt, Syria, and Turkey justified by vaguely defined terrorist threats. It analyses the “wars on terror” as cases of lengthy securitisation processes that reinforced and legitimised autocratic practices of oppression in each country. Paying particular attention to Egypt’s “war on terror” that began 1981, the book looks into how and with what implications such securitisation processes are upheld throughout lengthy periods of time. Reworking the traditional securitisation theory, this book offers a novel securitisation model (the TER-model) that addresses the questions of securitisation durability and is applicable in non-liberal empirical contexts. The monograph is ideal for graduate students, researchers and policy makers in the fields of political science, International Relations, and Middle Eastern Studies.

 

The Political Economy of Eastern Europe 30 years into the ‘Transition’
Agnes Gagyi, Ondřej Slačálek (eds.)
Palgrave Macmillan

2022

By the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in most parts of Eastern Europe, high expectations associated with postsocialist transition have been substituted by disillusionment. After 1990, Eastern Europe has been internationally treated with a low-interest acknowledgement of what was understood as a slow and erratic, but unquestionable process of integration in a Western-dominated world order. In the context of today’s geopolitical reorganization, East European examples of authoritarian politics once again become discussed as significant reference points for Western and global politics. This book represents a contribution to this debate from a distinctive East European perspective: that of new left scholars and activists from the region, whose lifetime largely corresponds to the transformations of the postsocialist period, and who came to develop an understanding of their environment in terms of its relations to global capitalist processes. A both theoretical and empirical contribution, the book provides essential insights on topics conventionally associated with East European transition from privatization to the politicized slogans of corruption or civil society, and analyzes their connection to the newest reconfigurations of postsocialist capitalist regimes. As a contribution to contemporary debates on the present global socio-political transformation, this collection does not only seek to debate analytical statements, but also to change the field where analytical stakes are set, by adding perspectives that think Eastern Europe’s global relations from within the regional context and its political stakes.

 

The Routledge Handbook of EU-Russia Relations
Tatiana Romanova, Maxine David (eds.)
2021

 

The Routledge Handbook of EU-Russia Relations offers a comprehensive overview of the changing dynamics in relations between the EU and Russia provided by leading experts in the field.

Coherently organised into seven parts, the book provides a structure through which EU-Russia relations can be studied in a comprehensive yet manageable fashion. It provides readers with the tools to deliver critical analysis of this sometimes volatile and polarising relationship, so new events and facts can be conceptualised in an objective and critical manner. Informed by high-quality academic research and key bilateral data/statistics, it further brings scope, balance and depth, with chapters contributed by a range of experts from the EU, Russia and beyond. Chapters deal with a wide range of policy areas and issues that are highly topical and fundamental to understanding the continuing development of EU-Russia relations, such as political and security relations, economic relations, social relations and regional and global governance.

The Routledge Handbook of EU-Russia Relations aims to promote dialogue between the different research agendas in EU-Russia relations, as well as between Russian and Western scholars and, hopefully, also between civil societies. As such, it will be an essential reference for scholars, students, researchers, policymakers and journalists interested and working in the fields of Russian politics/studies, EU studies/politics, European politics/studies, post-Communist/post-Soviet politics and international relations.

 

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.