Recent Books

Gearoid Millar (2014) An Ethnographic Approach to Evaluation: Understanding Local Experiences in Transitional States. London: Routledge.

This book outlines an ethnographic approach to evaluating peacebuilding processes which focuses on local experiences, and the value of this new approach is illustrated with examples from two large evaluations of international projects in Sierra Leone. The ethnographic approach proposed recognizes diversity in ideas of peace, justice, development and reconciliation and takes local perceptions, understandings, experiences, and opinions seriously. Such an approach can help to empower local actors, hold the peacebuilding industry accountable, and challenge hegemonic norms and dominant practice.

Bernadette C. Hayes and Ian McAllister (2013) Conflict to Peace: Politics and Society in Northern Ireland Over Half a Century. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Throughout the twentieth century Northern Ireland was a byword for conflict. Since the 1998 Belfast Agreement, Northern Ireland has experienced a level of peace unknown since the 1960s. Conflict to Peace examines how and why the conflict was resolved from the perspective of those most affected by it—the people of Northern Ireland themselves. Using dozens of public opinion surveys collected since 1968, the book covers changes in public opinion across all areas of society and politics, including elections, education, community relations and national identity.

Zalewski, Marysia (2013) Feminist International Relations: Exquisite Corpse. London: Routledge.

This book offers a contemporary intervention in the field of feminism/international relations. Partly inspired by Surrealism, the book is written in a series of vignettes and draws on a variety of approaches inviting readers in to inhabit the text. It is a politically engaged book, though one which does not direct readers in conventional ways, visiting global politics, the classroom, poetry, institutional violence, cartoons, feminist violence, films, violent white men, angry black women, blood and ‘English’ puddings. the book can be considered part of the current genre of scholarship which attends to complexity, uncertainty, disruption, affect and the creative possibilities of randomness.

McEvoy, Joanne and Brendan O’Leary. eds (2013) Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places. Philadelphia: P.A.: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places features fifteen analytical studies of power-sharing systems, as well as critical evaluations of the role of electoral systems and courts in their implementation. Interdisciplinary and international in formation and execution, the book considers the merits and defects of an array of variant systems and provides explanations of their emergence, maintenance, and failings. While this volume does not presume that power sharing is a panacea for social reconciliation, it does suggest how it can help foster peace and democracy in conflict-torn countries.

Bain, Mervyn J. (2013) From Lenin to Castro, 1917-1959. Early Encounters between Moscow and Havana. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

This book addresses the relationship between Moscow and Havana in the period between November 1917 to January 1959. It analyzes the reasons why a relationship existed between the two countries at a variety of different levels. The primary conclusion is that prior to January 1959, the Kremlin took considerable interest in Cuba and did not suffer from “geographical fatalism,” as has traditionally been thought. This is significant in light of the relationship that rapidly developed between Moscow and Havana in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution, as a number of factors that were important in the pre-1959 relationship would also be significant after 1959.

Galbreath, David and Joanne McEvoy (2012) The European Minority Rights Regime: Towards a Theory of Regime Effectiveness. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

The European Minority Rights Regime investigates the cooperation between the EU, OSCE and Council of Europe on minority rights in Europe. It tracks the formation and transformation of this international regime and questions its effectiveness in securing minority rights. The book demonstrates how the three organizations have formalized their linkages and managed their respective mandates in the context of EU enlargement. This book links two key research areas – international regimes and EU integration – to determine why ethnic politics remain a source of contention for the European project.

Smith, Michael E. (2012) International Security: Politics, Policy, Prospects. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

The twenty-first century world seems beset by a daunting range of international security problems. At the same time, the academic study of security has become more fragmented and contested than ever before. This innovative new text focuses on the politics of international security: how and why issues are interpreted as threats to international security and how such threats are managed. After a brief introduction to the field and its major theories and approaches, the core chapters systematically analyze the major issues on the contemporary international security agenda. Each is examined according to a common framework that brings out the nature of the threat and the responses open to policy makers.

Gandolfo, Luisa (2012) Palestinians in Jordan: The Politics of Identity. I.B Tauris.

Exploring Jordan's diverse Palestinian communities, this book illustrates how the Palestinian majority has been subject to discrimination while also playing a defining role in shaping Jordanian politics, legal frameworks and national identity. Gandolfo describes how policies put in place over the last century have created a society that is marked by high levels of inter-faith cohesion, while society is divided along lines of ethnic and nationalist loyalty, between Jordanians and Palestinians. She further argues that domestic politics has become increasingly fractious with the growth of Islamist groups that have gained grassroots appeal, especially in the refugee camps.

Mitchell, James, Lynn Bennie, and Rob Johns (2011) The Scotish National Party: Transition to Power. New York, NY: Oxford Universeity Press.

This book is a study of the Scottish National Party (SNP) immediately after it came to power in May 2007, based on a survey of the entire membership and elite interviews with over eighty senior party figures. The image of the SNP as a youthful and decentralized organization, is challenged and the study questions the value of the civic–ethnic dichotomy in understanding nationalism with SNP members. The picture that emerges is of a reasonably coherent left of centre party that accepts the pragmatism of its leadership. While independence remains the key motivation for joining and being active, a sizeable minority see the party as a means of furthering Scottish interests.

Nagle, John and Mary-Alice Clancy (2010) Shared society or benign apartheid?: understanding peace-building in divided societies. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Integrating a vast range of original research, this book gives a holistic analysis of power sharing, social movements, economic regeneration, urban space, memorialization and the symbols associated with the process of transforming divided societies into shared peaceful ones. The authors posit critical suggestions as to why some projects are counter–productive, while others assist with peace–building. Focussing on the case of Northern Ireland, the book also has a strong international dimension for those wishing to engage more generally with the peace-building process.