Top 5 Books: April 2022

Krisztina Csortea

Every issue of International Affairs features a comprehensive book review section which assesses the latest writing in international relations. In the latest in our Top 5 Books series, Managing Editor Krisztina Csortea presents her choices from the March 2022 issue. Share your favourite new books on international politics in the response section below.

1) Show time: the logic and power of violent display

Written by Lee Ann Fujii and edited by Martha Finnemore. Published in Ithica, NY by Cornell University Press.

Show time is a work that stands as a testament to the enduring contributions of its late author, Lee Ann Fujii. Taking as its focus the politics of displays violence in contexts varying from Rwanda and Bosnia to the US, Show time investigates how performative acts of violence are used to create political meaning through the way their effects reverberate across communities. This is a book that manages to be genuinely insightful in its approach to its subject matter without sacrificing empathy for those it represents.

Read the full review here.

2) Atlas of AI

Written by Kate Crawford. Published in New Haven, CT by Yale University Press.

In Atlas of AI Kate Crawford delivers a fascinating investigation into the politics of artificial intelligence that foregrounds the human as much as the technological. Crawford skillfully charts a path between technofatalism and technophillia, in analysing how people both produce and are implicated in the rise of AI. As accessible as it is incisive, Atlas of AI is a must read for those looking to understand the relationship between politics, technology and society.

Read the full review here.

3) Populism and trade

Written by Kent Jones. Published in Oxford by Oxford University Press.

In a world economy that continues to contend with the after-effects of Brexit and the impacts of increased protectionism, Populism and trade makes for interesting reading. Within, Kent Jones provides a systematic analysis of the institutions that make up the contemporary global trading system and their vulnerabilities in the face of rising protectionist populism, combining exhaustive quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Read the full review here.

4) When peace kills politics

Written by Sharath Srinivasan. Published in London by Hurst.

In this urgent work Sharath Srinivasan highlights the ways in which peacekeeping operations in Sudan and South Sudan have inadvertently ended up reinforcing logics that lead to political violence. In so doing, Srinivasan powerfully questions the viability of approaches grounded in depoliticization whilst remaining constructive and nuanced throughout. Anyone interested in the challenges facing contemporary peacebuilding would do well to read this book.

Read the full review here.

5) Toward a global history of Latin America’s revolutionary left

Edited by Tanya Harmer and Alberto Martín Álvarez. Published in Florida by University Press of Florida.

The authors in this edited volume offer wide-ranging analyses of the global interconnections that were produced by and influenced the revolutionary left in Latin America. The contributors to this volume provide a rich history of Latin American contributions to global political thought as well as the numerous and complex interactions between Latin American leftists and like-minded political actors the world over.

Read the full review here.

Krisztina Csortea is the Managing Editor of International Affairs.

This blog features her picks from the book reviews section of International Affairs published in March 2022. To read the reviews in full, click here.

To find more suggestions from the IA Bookshelf series, click here.

If you are interested in reviewing a book for the journal or registering as a book reviewer with International Affairs you can find our book review application form here.

All views expressed are individual not institutional.

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