Reviews

Authoritative book reviews by subject experts. Tip: use the search box on the right and enter keywords to help locate reviews on the exact subject that interests you.

Review – Pakistan: A Hard Country

Review – Pakistan: A Hard Country

Using an approach that is as much anthropological as it is historical or political, Anatol Lieven’s ‘Pakistan: A Hard Country’ provides a more intimate portrait of the country than other recent publications. It also lends a fresh perspective on a country that is often misunderstood by Western observers. The book’s central message is that Pakistan is cohesive and dysfunctional all at once.

Review – America’s Allies and War

Review – America’s Allies and War

The most outstanding aspect of ‘America’s Allies and War’ is the systematic and even-handed manner in which it demolishes popular notions of alliance politics, such as the depiction of European NATO allies as free-riding pacifists, whilst making an important theoretical contribution to the burden-sharing literature and International Relations scholarship in general.

Review – China, the USA, and Global Order

Review – China, the USA, and Global Order

Whether The US and china can overcome a tendency towards a zero sum disposition and embrace change in a progressive way in the 21st century remains to be seen.

Review – Brzezinski’s Technetronic Era

Review – Brzezinski’s Technetronic Era

The phrase ‘Technetronic Era’ many not have cemented its place in posterity, but we appear to be living in elements of it nonetheless.

Review – Russian Foreign Policy: From Nation State to Global Risk Sharing

Review – Russian Foreign Policy: From Nation State to Global Risk Sharing

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia endured a difficult rebirth into a unipolar world order where it struggled to find a place. Dr. Nicolai Petro traces the journey the nation’s governments have made since this painful transition and looks to the continuing evolution of Russia’s diplomatic identity.

Review – The Good War: NATO and the Liberal Conscience in Afghanistan

Review – The Good War: NATO and the Liberal Conscience in Afghanistan

One of the challenges facing anyone who wishes to write on the war in Afghanistan is to squeeze this fiendishly difficult topic into an appropriate framework. It is not easy to find an approach that avoids oversimplifying the issues, or bamboozling the reader into boredom, confusion, deep cynicism, or a combination of all three.

Review – Kissinger On China

Review – Kissinger On China

One surefire way to know that a bilateral relationship is of the upmost importance is for Henry Kissinger to devote an entire book to the topic. With world stability likely to hinge in good part on the nature of future of Sino-American relations, and China’s continued rise being almost inevitable, much is at stake.

Review – Moral Dilemmas of Modern War

Review – Moral Dilemmas of Modern War

This book attempts to answer the question of ‘who do you bomb when you cannot reach military targets’. Michael L. Gross updates the ethics of just war, improving on traditional accounts for an age where asymmetric conflict is prevalent. Whilst a spirited attempt to resolve this dilemma, it is only partially successful.

Review – Getting to Yes in Korea

Review – Getting to Yes in Korea

Although this book appeared before the November 2010 bombing of Yeonpyeong island by North Korean forces, its insights and are no less relevant to the question of reversing a dangerous trend of military provocations, brinkmanship and near-war collisions between the Koreas. As Dr. Clemens forcefully argues, a long-lasting, peaceful solution to the inter-Korean division is neither impossible, nor idealistic.

American Ascendance, British Retreat, and the Rise of Iran in the Persian Gulf

American Ascendance, British Retreat, and the Rise of Iran in the Persian Gulf

Three recent publications provide a fresh perspective of the developments which resulted in the decline of British influence in the Gulf, and the subsequent rise of the US.

Review – History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International

Review – History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International

Hartmut Behr’s recent book is a fascinating critical reconsideration of how generations of political thinkers have appraised the interplay between universal and particular interests among the relations of states in their understandings of “the world” from Western antiquity through the present-day

Review – The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Review – The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

The Israel lobby thesis, despite some flaws such as a dismissal of the power of other lobby groups. it is a valid attempt to understand a unique facet in how American policy is forged.

Review: Henry Kissinger and the Shaping of American Foreign Policy

Review: Henry Kissinger and the Shaping of American Foreign Policy

Mario Del Pero’s chief task in his recent monograph is to break up the traditional image of Kissinger to paint a more nuanced picture of his politics and scholarship.

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