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Tag: Book review

Countering the realists on Russia and Ukraine

A review of The Sources of Russia’s Great Power Politics: Ukraine and the Challenge to the European Order. By: Taras Kuzio and Paul D’Anieri. Publisher: E-International Relations, Bristol, England, 2018.

Since the onset of Russian aggression in Ukraine in early 2014, there has been a plethora of works dedicated to the conflict, its impact on the West and the liberal world order, and Russia’s motives in pursuing such a bold strategy. Ukraine Crisis: What it Means for the West by Andrew Wilson and Russia and the New World Disorder by Bobo Lo are just a few (excellent) examples that seek to bring light to the ways in which the conflict in Ukraine is affecting international politics.

November 5, 2018 - Daniel Jarosak

A welcome addition to North Caucasus scholarship

A review of From Conquest to Deportation: The North Caucasus under Russian Rule. By: Jeronim Perovic. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Oxford, United Kingdom, 2018.

September 1, 2018 - Neil Hauer

A portrait of Jobbik

A review of The Hungarian Far Right. Social Demand, Political Supply and International Context. By: Péter Krekó and Attila Juhász. Publisher: Ibidem-Verlag, Hanover, Germany, 2017.

August 23, 2018 - Adam Balcer

A pioneer in St Petersburg

A review of Nieprzetartym szlakiem. Wspomnienia pionierskiej farmaceutki Antoniny Leśniewskiej (An Unexplored Track. The Memoirs of Antonina Leśniewska, the Pioneer Pharmacist). Publisher: The Polish Consulate General in St Petersburg, 2017.

August 23, 2018 - Margarita Vladimirova

Following a grandmother’s life

A review of Babushka's Journey: The Dark Road to Stalin's Wartime Camps. By: Marcel Krueger. Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd., London, 2017.

August 23, 2018 - Zofia Bluszcz

Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder

A review of Amy Knight's book on the circumstantial evidence linking the Kremlin to a number of high profile murders.

June 6, 2018 - Artem Patalakh

Feeling history, 70 years on

A review of Kriegsgedenken als Event. Der 9. Mai 2015 im postsozialistischen Europa (War memory as an event. May 9th 2015 in post-socialist Europe). Edited by: Mischa Gabowitsch, Cordula Gdaniec, and Ekaterina Makhotina. Publisher: Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn, Germany, 2017.

May 9, 2018 - Paul Toetzke

Between an axis of convenience and a return to the past

A review of A Wary Embrace: What the China-Russia relationship means for the world. By: Bobo Lo. Published jointly by: Penguin Books / Lowy Institute, London/Sydney, 2017. and Russia and China: A Political Marriage of Convenience – Stable and Successful. By: Michal Lubina. Publisher: Barbara Budrich Publishers, Leverkusen Germany, 2017.

The Chinese-Russian relationship has become a contemporary issue these days. For the last two years analysts and scholars have produced volumes of publications that scrutinised recent developments taking place between Beijing and Moscow. Prior to the conflict over Ukraine, relations between Russia and China were of interest only to a handful of specialists. The multi-billion dollar gas deal, a revived arms trade and high-level summits have brought the Sino-Russian relationship into the spotlight while observers of international politics began to discuss prospects for emergence of an anti-western bloc. Two books stand out against this background. At first glance, they could not be more different.

April 25, 2018 - Marcin Kaczmarski

Eurasia and geopolitical thought

A review of The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order. By: Bruno Macaes. Publisher: Allen Lane, London, 2018.

The notion of civilisational entities and grand, sweeping analytical concepts such as “Europe”, “the East”, “Africa”, etc., has been under sustained attack by social scientists for over two and a half decades. Indeed, within the humanities it is seemingly a sine qua non for any commentator on the “non-European” to provide a pre-emptive preface outlining why what they have written is not Orientalism (broadly, the study of the non-West, as essentialist and as a means to domination).

April 25, 2018 - Emre Kazim

Russia’s wars on Ukraine

A Review of Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. By: Anne Applebaum. Publisher: Penguin Random House, 2017.

When looking through Anne Applebaum’s most recent book Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, readers interested in Soviet crimes will probably refer back to Robert Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow. This 1986 landmark book by Conquest, a British historian, was the first to analyse the collectivisation of agriculture in 1929-31 in Ukraine and the subsequent 1932-33 famine, known as Holodomor. The Harvest of Sorrow was based on the limited historical data that was becoming available to western researchers at the time.

April 25, 2018 - Wojciech Siegień

Confronting the Romanian church’s cumbersome past

A review of The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Holocaust. By: Ion Popa. Publisher: Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana USA, 2017.

In the summer of 2017, the Romanian media was rocked by a series of scandals relating to the Orthodox Church. These scandals, which were a stroke of luck for journalists who would normally be reporting on how Romanians spend their holidays, centred on acts of sexual impropriety perpetrated by figures in the upper echelons of the Orthodox Church, including one celebrity priest-cum-musical superstar. The Bishop of Huşi and Father Celestin of the Prislop Monastery of Maramureş were discovered to have engaged in same-sex sexual activities; the bishop was even caught on video being intimate with a theology student. These revelations were compounded by the fact that the musical superstar and priest Cristian Pomohaci was accused of having abused young boys who worked on his farm. Several young men came forward testifying that they were abused at the hands of Pomohaci. The journalist who broke the story first contacted officials within the church in reference to Pomohaci but received no response. Confronted with the church’s inaction, he finally went public.

April 25, 2018 - Alin Constantin

Russia and the Balkans: Navigating a minefield of opportunities

A review of Rival Power: Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe. By: Dimitar Bechev. Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven, USA, 2017.

“Russia re-enacts the Great Game in the Balkans,” wrote columnist Leonid Bershidsky for Bloomberg in 2017. Comparing the Balkans to a geopolitical playground for great powers, like infamously Central Asia in the 19th century, Bershindsky insinuated that Russia has developed renewed interests and influence in the region. It is in this context that one should consider Dimitar Bechev’s recent Rival Power: Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe, as he undertakes the task of explaining Russia’s role in this “Great Game”.

April 25, 2018 - Millie Radović

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