Book Reviews

  • Lester R. Brown
    W.W. Norton and Company, 2011
    ISBN: 978-0-393-33949-9

    Food-price stability depends on good harvests year after year, and extreme weather events increasingly test agriculture’s ability to meet demands of a growing population. In “World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse,” Earth Policy Institute President Lester R. Brown analyzes the interconnections of water, energy, food security, climate and failing states. Half the book addresses the challenges awaiting governments for the 21st century, and the other half provides a plan, with Brown optimistic that the world can reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent before 2020. The plan’s centerpiece: reducing income taxes and raising taxes on carbon. Reviewer Susan Froetschel recommends the book as an investment guide for the 21st century.

  • Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and Meera Balarajan
    Princeton University Press, 2011
    ISBN: 0691145725

    Those following political debates or media accounts in the wealthiest nations might assume that global migration brings more problems than benefits. Authors Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and Meera Balarajan set out to counter the prevailing negative narratives on migration in their book Exceptional People – How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future. After recounting the long history of migration and globalization over the last millennium and its crucial role in the progress of humanity, the book critiques current migration policies as fractured and shortsighted and provides policy recommendations for reform. In his review, Rasesh Mohan lauds the authors for providing sound evidence that policies discouraging migration represent lost opportunity.

  • Hakan Altinay, Editor
    Brookings Institution Press, 2011
    ISBN: 978-0-8157-2141-3

    Increasingly confounding nations are problems of global scale. To negotiate resolutions, citizens and leaders must delve into global civics lessons and understand the political processes, argues Hakan Altinay, Brookings Institution fellow and editor of Global Civics Responsibilities and Rights in an Interdependent World.  Citizens ignorant of World Bank, World Trade Organization or United Nations operations can’t debate or rally behind decisions. Altinay’s proposal addresses a pressing need, notes reviewer Susan Froetschel, and global civics could strengthen institutions of global governance. If educators develop global civics programs, then reasonable and coordinated policy may soon follow. 

  • Liza Tsaliki, Christos A. Frangonikolopoulos and Asteris Huliaras, Editors
    Intellect/University of Chicago, 2011
    ISBN: 978-1-84150-349-3

    Many facets of globalization have combined to spur intense celebrity activism at the global level. Transnational Celebrity Activism in Global Politics: Changing the World? scrutinizes the motivations, the public response, and influences over international relations and diplomacy.  The collection of essays, edited by Liza Tsaliki, Christos A. Frangonikolopoulos and Asteris Huliaras, suggests that celebrities and their dutiful fans could be unwitting pawns in global geopolitics, reinforcing power and inequality. In her review, Susan Froetschel points to the dangers of a piecemeal approach that delivers social benefits by lottery and argues that governments, better than a handful of individuals, can ensure policies that deliver justice and long-term relief. 

  • Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel, Editors
    Melville House Publishing, 2010
    ISBN: 978-1-935554-38-7

    “The People Reloaded” analyzes Iran’s Green Movement, its demand for reforms and the government’s insecure and brutal responses. Edited by Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel, the collection includes more than 50 essays, interviews and letters from the movement’s first year that highlight determination for specific reforms. In the book’s introduction, Postel concludes that “this book seeks to capture an important moment in Iran’s history.” The book meets that goal, confirms YaleGlobal reviewer Susan Froetschel, and could inspire others who seek democratic freedoms throughout the Greater Middle East. 

  • Edited by Richard Giulianotti and Roland Robertson
    Blackwell Publishing, 2009
    ISBN: 978-1-4051-6269-2

    The pace of globalization is intense for some sports like cricket and soccer, while other sports such as hockey or basketball are more parochial. Why some sports attract more attention than others is analyzed in a collection of essays, “Globalization and Sport,” edited by sociology professors Richard Giulianotti and Roland Robertson. The book reveals that the study of globalization of sport, like any other activity, is a rich and multidisciplinary affair, open to the analysis of historians, anthropologists, economists and many other specialists. In her review, Susan Froetschel expresses appreciation for how an understanding of sport’s mysterious ability to combine connection with competition could offer lessons in other areas of global governance.

  • Stephen R. Brown
    St. Martin’s Press, 2009
    ISBN: 0312616112

    Stephen R. Brown’s explores the history of six European merchants, dispatched by their governments to expand global trade in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. In separate expeditions to Asia, the Americas and Africa – the merchants essentially established their own private fiefdoms taking control over natural resources that belonged to others, dominating local economies and cultures. Governments encouraged the monopolies, yet also distanced themselves from brutal consequences. Francesca Trivellato, reviewer and Yale professor of history, suggests the tales offer lessons for government-corporate entanglements of the modern era.

  • Susan Moeller
    Blackwell Publishing, 2009
    ISBN:

    “Packaging Terrorism” investigates how American media have identified and covered international terrorism and violence since September 11, 2001.  It compares US coverage with that of British and Arab media and discusses the priorities, assumptions, political debates, deadline pressures and bottom-line considerations that will continue to influence coverage in the future. The author also suggests how terrorism could be better covered by the media in the future.

  • Benjamin K. Sovacool
    Praeger, 2009
    ISBN:978-0-313-35540-0

    Politicians, utility managers and corporations throughout the United States often insist that policies favoring renewable energies or conservation would disrupt job creation and economic growth. But with worldwide economic crisis and volatile price swings in energy costs, the public has become more skeptical. The impediments to new energy forms are social and political, based on greed, argues Benjamin Sovacool, research fellow for energy governance at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, in his book, “The Dirty Energy Dilemma.” In her review, Susan Froetschel lauds Sovacool’s analysis that points to a need for new public interest in energy science, delivery and politics - as essential as personal finance for the 21st century.

  • Olivier Roy
    New York: Columbia University Press, 2008
    ISBN:978-0-231-70032-0

    The vision of a Muslim world united under the banner of Islam and storming the West makes no sense, posits Olivier Roy, research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research, in his book “The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East.” And any policy that presumes such a plan is in play makes no sense either. By declaring a global war on terror, the West inadvertently raised the status of terrorists and failed to prioritize the Middle East’s many separate conflicts. Citizens of the West repeatedly fall prey to politicians who inflate enemies as a distraction for other problems or support groups that work against the long-term interests of democracy or stability - and in her review, Susan Froetschel notes that Roy must be more explicit in explaining the reasons behind the chaos of the Middle East for those readers.

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