Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Structural Realism and Systemic Geopolitical Analysis: Convergences and Divergences

“This book summarizes the debate for the future and prospects of geopolitical issues, under the fields of International Relations and Political Studies. It identifies and examines relevant key research issues, building a conceptual framework drawing on the application of geopolitical issues, enabling a comparative analysis, explaining also any related socio-economic consequences. Moreover, this book explores and studies various dimensions of the interaction between geopolitical issues, along with links to socio-economic development. The important task is to relate social consequences to a number of factors that are likely to be determinants and measure the extent to which they affect economy and society. This book considers both international relations political studies and geopolitical analysis, in order to research struggles to explain the converging and diverging points between the neorealist approach of international relations theory and the systemic geopolitical analysis. Therefore, the crux of the matter in the subsequent analysis is related to the common theoretical legacy of the two fields on the basis of Thucydides’s magnum opus “History of the Peloponnesian War”. Derived from the epistemology of clear description, as it is reflected by modern realpolitik, the three authors’ analysis extents from the philosophical aspects of IR theory towards the methodological contribution of Systemic Geopolitical Analysis. Hence, it is considered a study of high innovation, a starting point of many fruitful discussions on the scholars’ struggle to measure international phenomena and proceed into relatively precise predictions of cause-and-effect linkages. The findings of this book aim to be of value for researchers, policy makers and academic community. For policy makers, the value stems for a better identification and understanding of the key elements and consequences of the current geopolitical analysis and socio-economic crisis. This will allow government entities to formulate and implement programs, which will leverage areas of social policy, which require further attainment. Last but not least, the value for the academic community mainly lies on an increased knowledge about the impacts of different determining factors on social consequences resulting from the economic crisis. Finally, at policy level, the findings of this book suggest the need to establish assistance programs to develop social policies and programs, at all levels, along with the limitations and suggestions for further research. Once more, I strongly think that this book will act as a platform for further theoretical and empirical research, rendering a creative source for scientific dialogue and knowledge diffusion.” – Professor. Dr. George M. Korres, Department of Geography University of the Aegean

Lake Water: Properties and Uses (Case Studies of Hydrochemistry and Hydrobiology of Lakes in Northwest Russia)

“The Arctic and Subarctic are the regions of special interest for ecologists, bio-geographers, and conservationists. Being one of the most pristine regions of the World, having retained much of their original biodiversity, the high latitudes and their biota are facing various challenges today, from the global ecosystem changes to invasions of alien species of plants and animals. The impact of human industrial activity is also prominent in this area. The book is a collection of papers focused on a single northern region (northwest of European Russia) and a single problem – the lake ecosystems of this territory under current conditions of changing climate. It brings a comprehensive and multidisciplinary account of the state of the aquatic environment of northwest Russia, including its both organic and inorganic components. The content of this many-authored book is based mainly on research made by the authors and provides the reader with first-hand information on the topic. Another importance of this edition is since many empirical data on the aquatic ecosystems of this territory have been published in Russian and, thus, are not easily accessible for the international audience. The authors are leading Russian experts in the field who have, for decades, been conducting field studies in the region. Without doubts, their empirical results presented in this volume would be of great interest to aquatic ecologists from other countries of Northern Europe as a material for comparative analyses. Lake Water: Properties and Uses is a timely and valuable edition, which can be of great interest for practitioners of various fields – hydrochemistry, limnology, aquatic zoology and botany, biogeography, ichthyology, etc. Though it consists of several case studies, each focused on a specific and sometimes narrow, subject, the book as a whole represents a more or less full picture of the freshwater environment of the northern part of European Russia.” – Maxim V. Vinarski, Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Macroecology & Biogeography of Invertebrates, Saint Petersburg State Univerity, Russia

Real-Time Cloud Computing and Machine Learning Applications

“The increasing adoption of cloud computing and machine learning for real-time applications makes this textbook very timely and valuable. Its contents are presented in an accessible form, enhanced by many clear and well-illustrated examples. Opening with a comprehensive coverage of the fundamentals of both topics, it goes on to explain how to integrate them into a real-time network analytics system. Real-time examples enable the reader to gain a clear understanding of the technology and its applications. It is highly recommended for practitioners and researchers alike.” – Peter J. Fleming, Emeritus Professor, Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, The University of Sheffield, UK

Developing Teacher Competences: Key Issues and Values

“Ilshat Gafurov, Aydar Kalimullin, Roza Valeeva, and Nick Rushby’s edited collection Developing Teacher Competences: Key Issues and Values includes various research works around better understanding the public education sector in the Russian Federation (Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) in a time of reform…This book offers a sense of the teacher’s need to subsume the self (and self-interests) to the child and the profession, to a degree that may be somewhat foreign in the U.S. Universally, teaching is a giving profession, but the well-being of the teacher is important, too, for the system to work. These works differentiate between “foreign” research and the implied “domestic,” which is an interesting differentiation given the international aspects of education (and research that suggests skepticism of the ideas not developed locally, wherever “local” may be)…READ MORE– Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2021), Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University

Advocacy in Education: Research-Based Strategies for Teachers, Administrators, and Teacher Educators

“Those who take on the myriad challenges of teaching are informed by, perhaps, idealist streaks and values. They can imagine a better world beyond the status quo and do not defend the present unthinkingly or uncritically. Many teachers play larger roles in their communities and engage socially and politically. They focus on ways to move society forward and to better the lives of people. Their positions are important ones socially, and they do not come with silencing although what teachers do on their own time does come under broad scrutiny and awareness. Teachers are people, and they have to be able to live with themselves and their actions and their advocacy.  Advocacy in Education: Research-Based Strategies for Teachers, Administrators, and Teacher Educators, edited by Elizabeth Ethridge, Jill M. Davis, Christian Winterbottom, and Amber H. Beisly, asks important questions about what issues are critical in the K12 education space and how to achieve better ends for teachers and learners, and the larger society. This collection also shows the importance of teachers recruiting allies to the issues, so as to achieve better outcomes…READ MORE– Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2021), Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University

A Comprehensive Guide to Neural Network Modeling

“Steffen Skaar’s edited collection A Comprehensive Guide to Neural Network Modeling presents four chapters around various practical applications of artificial neural networks to represent various aspects of the world for awareness, decision-making, research, and other applications. Modeling is representational and strives to offer insights with fidelity to the world, to inform people’s consciousness and actions. This book offers some fresh ideas to the general public about how artificial neural networks (ANNs) can and are being applied in a variety of contexts. If there is one quibble, the title smacks of over-reach in claiming comprehensiveness, given the four chapters from several disciplines. Well beyond, ANNs have been applied in various practical fields, such as finance, medicine, geology, physics, and other areas (Tušek, Valinger, Benković, Kljusurić, & Jurina, 2020, p. 58). This data analytics approach seems very cyborg-ian, combining human insights and machine capabilities…READ MORE– Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2021), Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University

Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators

“The book Creating the Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversation with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators describes the success story of Hong Kong, not only as an example of its transformation into a global leader in the creative industry and arts, but also describes the public’s involvement in the cocreation of the vibrant cultural and arts organism of Hong Kong. It is extremely interesting and thought provoking for readers from our region to read a book that describes this success story in a completely different institutional, social and administrative context. It is an interesting perspective on Hong Kong’s transformation into one of the world’s most important centres of the creative industry and visual arts.” To read the full review published in Cultural Management: Science and Education (CMSE) Journal (Vol. 5, No. 2, 2021), click here – Michal Plaček, Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic)

“The book features 22 brief personal and professional biographies of prominent leaders that help the reader to understand each career path to the current arts management position. Through open-ended questions and a conversational style, the interviews illuminate personal leadership styles, arts and culture sponsors and funding sources, staff sizes and  organizational structures, the biggest challenges and rewards facing the arts in Hong Kong today, and leaders’ hopes and plans for the future. Interwoven in the interviews are the current goals and strategies of many of the city’s professional, academic and community-based arts organizations. Through the interview subjects, the reader learns about many of the well-established arts organizations in the region, and the uniqueness and similarities of the arts administration profession in Hong Kong today compared to in the past, as well as with other regions in Asia, Europe and the United States. The book also makes a compelling argument for why Hong Kong is a global cultural city.” To read the full review published in the American Journal of Arts Management, click here – Diane Claussen, DePaul University, Co-Editor of the American Journal of Arts Management 

“After the anthology published in 2017 that introduced us to the world of Asian collections and archives, a new work has now been published. Creating a Global Cultural City contains interviews with some of Hong Kong’s most important cultural figures. And like the previous volume, this one is well worth reading, as the authors have once again managed to extract refreshing, stimulating and thought-provoking insights from the interviewees.” – Dr. Harald Peter Kraemer, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Rarely would a monograph offer such a panoramic view of Hong Kong’s art landscape as this one does. As readers open the chapters and read the “Creating a Global Cultural City”, they are rewarded with rich information about what representative cultural institutions in the city are doing, but the visions and characters of those cultural leaders, entrepreneurs, curators, directors, and administrators who are running the organisations. Writing in the style of a conversational narrative, Dr. Patrick Lo and his writing team have successfully made the city’s cultural map accessible reading.” – Dr. Patrick MOK Kin-Wai, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Design, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Interviews with these leading arts and cultural administrators offer useful insights and valuable sharings that mark an important oral history of the Hong Kong arts scene in their times. “Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators” is a must- read primer for anyone who is already, who aspires to be, or who wants to know more about the manager in a theatre, museum, dance company, or orchestra….You will gain useful insights and learn from the best.” – Heidi Lee Executive Director, Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong

“Hong Kong is a city full of diverse cultures, and its arts and cultural development have always been like an undiscovered treasure. This new book “Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators” brought by Dr. Patrick Lo and his writing team is bound to provide an in-depth look at them, bringing a comprehensive and enlightening reading experience for all art lovers.” – HO Ho-Tak Fashion Archivist, HKDI Knowledge Centres Hong Kong Design Institute, Hong Kong

“You know what university professors do when they have a question about their research? They ask librarians and archivists! This book is a compendium of what some super cool librarians have to say about the arts and cultural scene of Hong Kong.” – Professor Lian-Hee Wee, Department of English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

“Putting the final nail in the coffin surrounding the debate as to whether Hong Kong is a “cultural desert” or not, this collection concludes that debate through an extensive and thoroughly engaging selection of interviews, essays and other enlightenments. These readings not only highlight the diversity and extent of art and culture in Hong Kong but also bring to light the unique characters who provide the vision and leadership that has brought Hong Kong art and culture to its zenith today.” – Peter E. Sidorko, University Librarian, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“A rare look into the vital public engagement work of Hong Kong’s arts and cultural administrators, and an invaluable collection of texts for anyone considering a career in arts administration or leadership.” – Professor Ian Alden Russell Director, MA Programme in Cultural Management Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Cultural life in Hong Kong is enjoying a renaissance both in terms of the scope of its offerings as well as in the booming of community interest in the arts. This excellent volume of “Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators” provides must-read insights into this remarkable transformation from eminent cultural professionals who are pro-actively contributing to its momentum and success.” – Jeffrey Shaw Chair Professor of Media Art School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Dr. Patrick Lo’s book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the thriving arts and culture landscape of Hong Kong. Through insightful interviews with a wide range of leading figures, this book builds a unique picture through the shared experiences of the key players in the arts and culture sector.” – Professor Louis Nixon, Director, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

“A deftly curated range of interviews brilliantly surveying the well-oiled mechanisms at work within the realms of creative arts and culture in Hong Kong, and simultaneously conveying the pioneering passions, creativity and community spirit of those administrators at its beating heart. A valuable reference for those aspiring to, or travelling towards a career within the sector, and refreshingly relevant for anyone anywhere, already immersed within it.” – Professor Laurence Wood MA (RCA) Associate Head of Department (Visual Arts) Department of Cultural and Creative Arts, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“For anyone interested in the rich history and current realities of the arts and cultural infrastructure in Hong Kong, Dr. Patrick Lo provides a long-awaited resource. Drawing together interviews with key cultural practitioners, the book builds a detailed picture of the arts and cultural landscape in Hong Kong, its unique character, its challenges and its very particular opportunities. Giving overdue attention to Hong Kong’s vibrant arts ecosystem, this book is a ‘must-read’ for arts managers and students alike.” – Professor Suzanne MacLeod, University of Leicester, UK

“What an exciting snapshot of some of the key individuals and institutions comprising Hong Kong’s vibrant cultural sector! A valuable entry point for anyone seeking to understand the city’s cultural ecology.” – Alison M. Friedman, Former Artistic Director, Performing Arts, West Kowloon Cultural District

“How exciting to see the publication of Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators! The multi-faceted arts and culture in Hong Kong is a truly unique phenomenon, not seen elsewhere in the world. This book gives us a rare opportunity to peek inside the development of this great wonder.” – Bright Sheng, The Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Music, School of Music, Theater and Dance, University of Michigan, Helmut and Anna Pao Sohmen Professor-at-Large, Institute for the Advanced Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

“This book provides the most up-to-date, first-hand accounts of the best practices carried out by generations of art and cultural administrators in Hong Kong. A must-read publication for those who are interested in pursuing a career in this field.” – Dr. Desmond Wong, Acting Executive Director, The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage (CACHe)

“Hong Kong has long aspired to become a world leading creative and media city. Curiously, we have not heard the true voice of policymakers and major practitioners of the creative sectors on how the city has recently transformed itself into a thriving hub of arts and culture in East Asia. Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators has filled that void. A must read for anyone who wants to have a deeper knowledge of Hong Kong’s creative and cultural industries.” – Professor Emilie Yueh Yu Yeh, Lam Wong Yiu Wah Chair Professor of Visual Studies, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Director of Centre for Film and Creative Industries, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

“This is an important book for three reasons: Firstly, it is a collection of excellent conversations with senior people engaged in arts administration; secondly, the conversations are all about the same experiment to grow the arts communities in Hong Kong into world excellence and finally, the driving force behind this volume is Dr. Patrick Lo who is a leading proponent of this interview approach. So this is a unique and powerful book. It is so worthwhile to read or simply to dabble. It will reward you.” – Steve O’Connor, Adjunct Professor, Former University Librarian HKPolyU

“This book is certainly an intriguing, educational read from cover to cover, consisting of 22 semi-structured interviews featuring conversations with not only key decision makers in the arts and cultural industry including three executive administrators of governmental departments and committees and seven CEOs of major performing arts companies in Hong Kong, but also three academics of related disciplines, five organizers of museums and galleries, three managers from nonprofit local institutes and archives as well as one cultural critic. The educational background and working experiences of those interviewees exhibit a wide spectrum of training in related disciplines, managerial expertise and various skillsets including solving problems while thinking on their feet, business-related abilities such as marketing and lobbying for sponsorships just to name a few, as well as working collaboratively with artists and stakeholders while leading a team of colleagues for arts and cultural projects…Read more >>>– Ti-wei Chen, Independent Researcher, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“As with other key works by Patrick Lo, this book focuses on interviews with key people in the field, in this case 21 of Hong Kong’s most important cultural figures, with a 22nd contribution from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London (a partner with Hong Kong University in an MA in Arts and Cultural Enterprise). The result is a rich picture of what is going on there, and how the future is envisioned. The publication is described at various times as a ‘primer’, a ‘compendium’ and a ‘reference tool’; it is all these things and more, providing a series of case studies based on real-life experiences that will resonate internationally as well as nationally and be of particular value to leaders and managers in the field. I recommend Creating a Global Cultural City to all involved in the arts and, indeed, more broadly, for there is much in this title that is of central relevance to leaders and managers across all sectors…” To read the full review published in the Creative Industries Journal, click here. – David Baker, David Baker Consulting, Halifax Organ Academy, Riga Rose, Scout Close, Mytholmroyd, Near Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, UK

“This book fills a gap in current research: first, illustrating a recent image of Hong Kong arts and cultural landscape; and second, giving a glance at how to run arts organizations from a particular Asian context for future managers. For the theme-related books, there are a few books concerned with artists or cultural policy aspects, but, unfortunately, they are written in traditional Chinese, so English-language writing in this field is a much-needed one to building further dialogue.” To read the full review published in The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, click here. – Zexun Zhang, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Service Robots: Advances in Research and Applications

This book covers many issues of the design and applications of service robots from classification to new areas like collaborative service robots and advances in artificial intelligence. The presentations and given examples of the service robots applications in public relations and education, medicine, agriculture, logistics, inspection and maintenance, production processes as well as in other branches, offer enjoyable reading for the novice as well as advanced readers interested in service robotics.”
Professor Emeritus Nedjeljko Peric, PhD
Director of Innovation Centre Nikola Tesla, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Department of Control and Computer Engineering

“The editors of this book combine a collection of chapters from an international group of famous experts. The goal of this book is to combine materials that provide information for students, managers, engineers, and researchers to contribute and encourage the exploration and enhancement of the robot’s applications in medicine, agriculture, defense, logistics, construction and demolition, rescue and safety, underwater systems, inspection and maintenance, professional cleaning, production processes, as well as in other industries and the human environment. By describing their own research in the chapters, the authors of the chapters contribute to both the development of robotic technology and its applications in the latest research.”
Full Professor Avdo Voloder, PhD
Department of Mechanics and Robotics, Faculty of Engineering
University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Arctic: A Drifting Future

This book is extremely timely because it discusses the Arctic region at its climate and geopolitical tipping points: Global warming, melting arctic ice, ice-free shipping lanes connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, and changing alliances among Arctic and near-Arctic nations are converging and leading to increasing geopolitical competition for mineral and energy resources involving the US, Russia and China’s Polar Silk Road. Its future is yet to be charted.”
Michael H. Glantz, PhD
University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

“This monograph is a book about the Arctic incorporating factual material, filled with real events of the XXI century. Dr. Sergey Zhiltsov takes a close look at solutions to geopolitical, economic and social problems, ensuring national security in the region. An impressive rise of the Russian Arctic. Great job!”
Dr. Rustem Shagiev
Rector of Moscow Petroleum Institute

“The authors managed to fit the key challenges of the Arctic into one book. Hydrocarbon resources and extraction projects, the international legal regime and politics, shipping and militarization – all these topics allow for a new perspective into the Arctic region. Russian policy in the Arctic – its history and modernity – is of great interest.”
Dr. Oleg Grishin, PhD in Political Science
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

“This book reflects a balanced approach to the climatic matters of the Arctic. It thoroughly presents the problem of global warming and identifies both the risks and new opportunities for the development of the Arctic. The authors have not limited themselves to climate and ecology but have expanded the research field by linking these questions with issues of hydrocarbon extraction and shipping development.”
Dr. Kostyanoy Andrei, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Chief Researcher of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

New Studies on Anthropometry

“In this recent book, the editors have collected a diverse range of complimentary information applicable to a wide population related to both competitive sport, health and physical fitness, all written by experts in their area. This book will be of interest to those working in these fields as well as others both experienced and at the start of their careers, wanting to get a taste of the latest findings and points of interest in their area of study.”
Daniel Daly, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences
KU Leuven, Belgium

“I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the study of human movement. It is the product of several well-known scholars with an extensive history of studying human performance across a variety of subdisciplines. The importance of anthropometrics in the analysis of human movement cannot be overstated, and this book provides a relevant and thorough review of several aspects of the field that will be of interest to both the novice and the expert. The topics range in scope from basic theory to highly applied research across such diverse concepts like aging, amputation, podiatry and dentistry. Each chapter is concise, well-written and accessible with several high-quality figures and tables. The combination of historical and recent data, together with perspectives on future trends, make the book an excellent resource for the movement scientist.”
Jeff A. Nessler, PhD
Professor of Kinesiology
California State University, San Marcos, USA