Book reviews

Book review | Hate Speech  and Democratic Citizenship, by Eric Heinze

Book review | Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship, by Eric Heinze

In Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship, Eric Heinze argues for the unrestricted right to freedom of speech in contemporary democratic states, positioning it as one of the ‘legitimising expressive conditions’ of democratic citizenship. While some readers may take issue with Heinze’s particular conceptualisation of democracy and his account of the potential risks of hate speech, this […]

Book review | The Cabinet Office 1916-2016, by Anthony Seldon

Book review | The Cabinet Office 1916-2016, by Anthony Seldon

The Cabinet Office: 1916-2016, written by Anthony Seldon with Jonathan Meakin, offers a detailed history of the Cabinet Office from its creation during World War I up to the present as well as the 11 Cabinet Secretaries that have served as part of this constant, if somewhat hidden, presence in the otherwise changing political landscape of the UK. […]

Book Review | Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences by Geoffrey Craig

Book Review | Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences by Geoffrey Craig

In Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences, Geoffrey Craig examines media interactions between politicians and journalists as power struggles that have come to be seen as crucial in indicating the potential success and competence of political leaders. While the book understands politics through largely conventional terms that bypass the emergence of newer political […]

Book review | Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra

Book review | Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra

How can we explain the apparent rise in hatred in societies around the world? In Age of Anger: A History of the Present, Pankaj Mishra offers a take on our current predicament by tracing increased disaffection, disappointment and disillusionment back through to the eighteenth century. Packed with references drawn from various disciplines and eras, this is […]

Book review: The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, by Ian Davidson

Book review: The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, by Ian Davidson

In The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, Ian Davidson offers a new examination of the diverse factors that converged to spark and propel this crucial historical event. While the breadth of the book is occasionally overwhelming and characterised more by description than explanation, its rich detail highlights the intricacies of the French Revolution, finds Roberto […]

Book review | The Populist Radical Right: A Reader, edited by Cas Mudde

Book review | The Populist Radical Right: A Reader, edited by Cas Mudde

With The Populist Radical Right: A Reader, editor Cas Mudde brings together seminal social science scholarship on the radical or extreme right in Western democracies produced between the early 1990s to the present day. With a wealth of information that will be of particular use to scholars and students beginning research in this field, the […]

Book review: Theory of the Border by Thomas Nail

Book review: Theory of the Border by Thomas Nail

In Theory of the Border, Thomas Nail looks at the constitutive role played by different types of border regimes – fences, walls, cells and checkpoints – in constructing societies across history as part of his broader ‘kinopolitics’ centred on movement, with focus on the Mexico-US border. While this wide-ranging book offers less a theory of the border […]

Book review | Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government

Book review | Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government

In Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government, Christopher H. Achen and Larry M. Bartels challenge the ‘folk’ version of democracy that presumes that voting is undertaken by the ‘omnipotent, sovereign citizen’. Instead, they argue that voters tend to base their decision-making on partisan loyalties, leaving the current democratic system open to […]

Book review | Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J D Vance

Book review | Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J D Vance

In Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, former marine and Yale Law School graduate J.D. Vance offers a personal account of growing up in – and eventually leaving – an impoverished white working-class ‘hillbilly’ community experiencing social and economic crisis. While the book has been praised for offering insights into why […]

Book review | Transparency and the Open Society, by Roger Taylor and Tim Kelsey

Book review | Transparency and the Open Society, by Roger Taylor and Tim Kelsey

In Transparency and the Open Society: Practical Lessons for Effective Policy, Roger Taylor and Tim Kelsey offers a systematic framework for establishing greater transparency across government, and civil society more broadly. While the book does raise a number of further questions about the capacity to engender a more transparent society, Andrew Reid recommends it to those […]

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