Top 5 books: September 2021

Krisztina Csortea

International Affairs
International Affairs Blog

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Every issue of International Affairs features a comprehensive book review section which assesses the latest writing in international studies. In this, the latest in our Top 5 Books series, Book Reviews Editor Krisztina Csortea presents her picks from the September 2021 issue. Join the conversation and share your favourite new books on international politics in the response section below.

1) Climate change and biodiversity governance in the Amazon

Written by Joana Castro Pereira and Eduardo Viola. Published in New York by Routledge.

In their excellent book Joanna Castro Pereira and Eduardo Vila skilfully illuminate the politics of the Amazon’s destruction. Highlighting the numerous actors and political forces driving events in Brazil Colombia, Peru and Bolivia Castro Pereira and Viola demystify the international power relations that pervade the governance of the Amazon. A pertinent reminder of the political causes and consequences of environmental catastrophe.

Read the full review here.

2) Rethinking Sino-Japanese alienation

Written by Barry Buzan and Evelyn Goh. Published in Oxford by Oxford University Press.

In this ambitious book Buzan and Goh provide a fascinating analysis of how nationalists approach history in the context of contemporary Chinese and Japanese politics. At once theoretically rich and directly engaged in contemporary debates about the politics of history, this thought-provoking book is essential reading for anyone looking to understand contemporary Sino-Japanese relations.

Read the full review here.

3) The ironic state: British comedy and the everyday politics of globalization

Written by James Brassett. Published in Bristol by Bristol University Press.

That The Ironic state manages to not only investigate the wider politics of British comedy but do so in a genuinely entertaining way makes the book a notable achievement. Charting various movements in British comedy since the end of the second world war, Brasset skilfully moves discussions of comedy and politics beyond the parliamentary level to discuss the everyday political realities comedy is enmeshed in.

Read the full review here.

4) I, warbot: the dawn of artificially intelligent conflict

Written by Kenneth Payne, pulished in London by Hurst.

I, Warbot is a highly thought-provoking book which approaches the ethics and politics of AI in warfare with a powerful combination of philosophical depth and a strong empirical grounding. In an account that spans from in-depth engagements with Clausewitz and Sun Tzu to science fiction, Payne clarifies what can often be a highly technical subject and poses impactful questions for the future of armed conflict.

Read the full review here.

5) United Nations peace operations and international relations theory

Edited by Kseniya Oksamytna and John Karlsrud. Published in Manchester by Manchester University Press.

United Nations peace operations and international relations theory manages to be both accessible and insightful in a way that makes this edited volume an invaluable resource for researchers and students alike. Bringing a range of theoretical perspectives to bear on UN peace operations including many excluded from more conventional analyses, the book ultimately stands as a testament to how novel theoretical engagement can provide genuine insight into the practical realities of peacekeeping.

Read the full review here.

Krisztina Csortea is the Deputy Editor of International Affairs.

This blog features her picks from the book reviews section of our September 2021 issue. 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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International Affairs
International Affairs Blog

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