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 – 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.

Review – The Role of France in the Rwandan Genocide

Review – The Role of France in the Rwandan Genocide

Kroslak contests that France was not only involved in events through passivity, but actually enabled the genocide through its support for the Hutu regime before, during and after the killing. Overall, this study represents an estimable and rigorously researched contribution to the subject, though, as this essay will unearth, there are some problematic elements to the book.

Review – A Second Look at Huntington’s Third Wave Thesis

Review – A Second Look at Huntington’s Third Wave Thesis

It is worth taking a second look at Huntington’s thesis considering the controversial democratisation attempts pursued by the US in the early years of the 21st Century.

Review – Geopolitics of the World System

Review – Geopolitics of the World System

Cohen’s Geopolitics of the World System examines the dramatic changes wrought by ideological and economic forces unleashed by the end of the Cold War. Cohen considers these forces in the context of their human and physical settings and explores their geographical influence on foreign policy and international relations.

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