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Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: The Politics of Land edited by Tim Bartley

In The Politics of Land, editor Tim Bartley brings together contributors to highlight the significance of the neglected issue of land to political sociology. This is a highly informative volume that explores a range of issues related to the land-politics nexus beyond the top-down understanding of its role in capitalist accumulation with much potential for future sociological research, writes Alexander Dobeson.  The Politics of Land. Tim Bartley (ed.). Emerald. 2019. Find this book:  This...

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Book Review: Unwanted Neighbours: The Mughals, the Portuguese and their Frontier Zones by Jorge Flores

In Unwanted Neighbours: The Mughals, the Portuguese and their Frontier Zones, Jorge Flores explores the ways in which the Portuguese Estado da India—situated on the coastal peripheries of the Mughal empire—dealt with their Timurid neighbours from c. 1570 to c. 1640. Unwanted Neighbours is a book that is extremely rich in thematic concerns, empirical details and includes a varied cast of characters. It also provides ways to consider the empire’s rise as seen through the eyes of contemporaries...

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Book Review: Stretching the Constitution: The Brexit Shock in Historic Perspective by Andrew Blick

In Stretching the Constitution: The Brexit Shock in Historic Perspective, Andrew Blick situates Brexit within the wider context of UK constitutional reform debates over the course of the past century. Blick’s unconventional approach to this topic is insightful, providing instructive historical context to contemporary discussions of Brexit that will be of particular value for scholars of constitutional affairs, writes Gary Wilson.  Stretching the Constitution: The Brexit Shock in Historic...

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Book Review: Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology by Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer

In Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology, Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer argues that speculative fiction offers a rich vein to theorise catastrophe and crisis in ways that are not paralysing or demoralising, drawing on the work of those such as Octavia E. Butler and Kurt Vonnegut. This book admirably succeeds in showing its source material to offer a repository of potential paths forward through multifarious possible futures, writes Frankie Hines.  Theory for...

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Book Review: Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe can be Saved from Itself by Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese

In Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe can be Saved from Itself, Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese offer an innovative look at citizenship, grounded in the development of a transnational civil society sphere across Europe. This is an ambitious, perceptive and clear-sighted argument for a transnational citizenship and politics, writes Ben Margulies, that also details the political project required to make it a reality.  Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe can be Saved from Itself. Lorenzo Marsili...

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Book Review: The Populist Radical Left in Europe edited by Giorgios Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis

In The Populist Radical Left in Europe, editors Giorgios Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis bring together contributors to explore populist radical left movements across Europe, discussing examples including Greece’s Syriza, Spain’s Podemos, Slovenia’s Left Party, France’s La France Insoumise and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, among others. This is an engaging and engaged work of political science, writes Anton Jäger, that provides a necessary moment of reflection on what left populism means,...

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Book Review: Politics Rules: Power, Globalization and Development by Adam Sneyd

In Politics Rules: Power, Globalization and Development, Adam Sneyd confronts the neglect of politics in government and mainstream development circles, stressing the importance of careful, ‘disinterested’ political analysis. While suggesting that there may be no easy way out of the trap of ideology, Gavin Fridell welcomes the book as a thought-provoking and engaging guide that plots conceptual and practical ways to go beyond narrow visions of development.  Politics Rules: Power, Globalization...

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Book Review: For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq by Ayça Çubukçu

In For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq, Ayça Çubukçu illustrates how different and sometimes colliding understandings of justice, human rights, legitimacy and international law co-existed in response to the Iraq occupation through the case of the World Tribunal on Iraq, which sought to document and provide grounds for adjudicating war crimes committed by the US, the UK and their allied forces during the Iraq War. The combination of ethnographic insight and meticulous...

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Book Review: Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe in Them edited by Joseph Uscinski

In Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe in Them, Joseph Uscinski presents a collection of wide-ranging takes on conspiracy theories, examining them as historical phenomena, psychological quirks, expressions of power relations and political instruments. While this is an interesting and expansive volume, writes Max Budra, it overlooks the conundrum posed by conspiracy theories that succeed – because as soon as they succeed, they are no longer treated as conspiracy theories. Conspiracy...

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Book Review: Tales of Brexits Past and Present: Understanding the Choices, Threats and Opportunities in Our Separation from the EU by Nigel Culkin and Richard Simmons

In Tales of Brexits Past and Present: Understanding the Choices, Threats and Opportunities in Our Separation from the EU, Nigel Culkin and Richard Simmons draw upon three purported historic examples of previous ‘Brexits’ in which Britain retreated from its relationship with the European continent to consider the challenges and opportunities of Brexit in economic and entrepreneurial terms. Gary Wilson welcomes this novel contribution to the growing literature on Brexit.  Tales of Brexits Past...

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