Top 5 Books: April
‘International Affairs has the best book review section of any journal in the field. Many people subscribe to it for that reason alone.’
Professor Sir Michael Howard
Every issue of International Affairs features a comprehensive book review section which assesses the latest writing on all facets of international studies. In the first in a new blog series, our Book Reviews Editor Krisztina Csortea presents her picks from the latest issue. Join the conversation and share your must-read new books on global politics and international relations in the response section below. Enjoy!
1) Post-western world: how emerging powers are remaking global order
Written by Oliver Stuenkel. Published in Cambridge by Polity Press. Available here.
Krisztina says: Oliver Stuenkel has been very prolific in recent years, producing some excellent work on the BRICS and Brazilian foreign policy in particular, which we have reviewed in the journal. In his new book, he looks at the rise on non-western powers and what this means for global order. This has become an increasingly popular topic, but Stuenkel is able to adopt new approaches and provides readers with some interesting insights.
2) Ebola: how a people’s sciences helped end an epidemic
Written by Paul Richards. Published in London by Zed Books. Available here.
Krisztina says: Now that the 2015 Ebola epidemic is behind us, a few book-length treatments of the crisis have started appearing (and I hope there are more in the press). The key to the originality of Paul Richards’s work is in the subtitle: he questions the image of the Ebola epidemic, having been halted by external, mainly western, intervention. Local communities were often blamed in the media for the spread of the virus, but Richards chooses to focus on how they learned and adapted in the face of the crisis.
3) The Euro and its threat to the future of Europe
Written by Joseph E. Stiglitz. Published in London by Allen Lane. Available here.
Krisztina says: Questions about the future of the Eurozone pop up in the news with some predictability, whether due to Greek debt crisis, elections in Germany and France, or Brexit. So we could not omit to review a book on the subject by one of the most famous economists writing today. Stiglitz’s book is by no means heart-warming for fans of the euro — as the title already hints at. He blames most of Europe’s economic woes on the euro project and his two suggestions for reform would both fundamentally change the status quo.
4) Medieval foundations of international relations
Edited by William Bain. Published in London by Routledge. Available here.
Krisztina says: Medieval foundations of International Relations stood out for me — perhaps counterintuitively for a book that has ‘medieval’ in its title — for how relevant it seems to understanding the changes in international relations we are facing today. Contributors look at questions such as the extension of international society, just war theory and humanitarian intervention.
5) Journalism in an age of terror: covering and uncovering the secret state
Written by John Lloyd. Published in London by I. B. Tauris and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Available here.
Krisztina says: Given that it seems like anything from an outright fabrication to an article someone in power disagrees with can be called ‘fake news’ at the moment, this book is very timely. Co-published by the Reuters Institute in Oxford and IB Tauris, it takes a wider look at how journalism has evolved in the post-9/11 age, raising questions about who has access to what information, the right to privacy and accountability versus security.