Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Mining and Community in the South African Platinum Belt: A Decade after Marikana

This book is excellent in describing and analysing the mining and post-mining economics and challenges of Rustenburg and the Platinum Belt of South Africa.” – Professor Lucius Botes, North West University, South Africa

“This book by Lochner Marais and his colleagues is important in several ways. Not only does it highlight, through the in-depth analysis of the platinum mining town Rustenburg, the dilemmas of large-scale mining and dependent communities. It also reveals the complexities of the South African post-apartheid transition, which in turn can serve as inspiration for many other places going through or aspiring to a democratic reinvention and economic redistribution. In addition, the book reveals the often nefarious effects of globalisation and neoliberal reform on mining communities. Marais and his colleagues took great pains to demonstrate how old injustices can endure under new conditions, how new injustices can be the unintended consequence of seemingly benevolent decisions by governments and companies alike, and how every new and appealing rhetoric can be deployed to serve other purposes. Some of the examples are revealing about South Africa, others are recognisable in resource towns across the world: dismantling of exploitative structures such as company towns, and increased local autonomy and democracy can hide neglect and disinvestment by companies and governments alike. Nevertheless, the authors find not one but many sparkles of hope in their Rustenburg study, hope which will be welcomed in other resource-dependent regions.” – Professor Kristoff van Ache, University of Alberta, Canada

“A much-needed new understanding that is relevant for South Africa and its regional neighbours. Some of the results and insight are universal and can potentially be applied much wider.” – Professor Ernst Drewes, North West University, South Africa

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

Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century: Territories, Identities, and Foreign Policies

“The cumulative result of the essays in this book are insightful assessments of how classical geopolitics remains a vital means for understanding historic, contemporary, and emerging geopolitical trends and developments as we chronologically progress through the 2020s. They provide detailed background on a geopolitical trends and developments in a wide variety of global regions and can be used as a compass to forecast potentially emerging geopolitical factors such as national and international responses to aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, emerging technological developments such as autonomous weapons and precision guided munitions, the acute financial and human costs of adapting to a post-Covid-19 global environment, and the increasing reluctance of many countries and public opinion in these countries to accept the levels of global integration producing the pandemic…READ MORE HERE
Professor Bert Chapman
Purdue University, Indiana, USA

Challenges of Law and Governance in Indonesia in the Disruptive Era I

“ICLAVE 2018 in Bali, Indonesia, is a great conference. I was lucky to be one of the plenary speakers at that conference. A lot of foreign and national participants came and contributed their valuable knowledge and share their articles. Therefore, I believe these books, a product of that conference, will benefit the readers.”
Dr. Edmon Makarim, SH, S.Kom. LL.M., Dean of Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia

“As a former participant of ICLAVE 2018 conference in Bali and also Associate Professor at Faculty of Law Universitas Surabaya, I found that this conference is rewarding and I believe that the articles from that conference, which is published by Nova Publishers, will work as significant future references for our intellectual discourse.”
Dr. Elfina Lebrine Sahetapy, Associate Professor Faculty of Law Universitas Surab

Challenges of Law and Governance in Indonesia in the Disruptive Era II

“This ICLAVE conference was first conducted in 2017 during my period as a Dean at Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia to exchange ideas, knowledge, skills, and experience in dealing with laws and policies in the 4.0 industrial revolution and 5.0 society. I am delighted that this conference continued to annually every year. And I believe that the books originated from the 2nd ICLAVE conference 2018 that published by Nova Publisher will be an excellent resource for legal scholars and the Indonesian community at large.”
Professor Topo Santoso, Dean of Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia

“Thank you so much for all participants of ICLAVE 2018 in Bali, Indonesia, 2018. I always remember this memorable conference not just because it attracted many participants from Indonesia and abroad, but also because it was the last conference presided and attended by the late Professor Melda Kamil, the Dean of Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia at that time. Four months after the conference, she passed away. I am also grateful to Nova Publishers for making our memory about the participants, discussion and our lovely Dean, alive through these books.”
Dr. Ismala Dewi, Acting Dean Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia, 2018

Emerging Trends in Global Organizational Science Phenomena: Critical Roles of Politics, Leadership, Stress, and Context

“Early organizational research was rooted in studies in Great Britain and the U.S. In a short time, we found our knowledge base regarding organizations was rooted almost entirely in US culture and organizations. This led to a sense that our understanding of organizations was very much culture bound. While the world kept getting smaller, our foundations remained the same with little to inform us regarding the viability of our understanding outside U.S. borders. Indeed, there has been an increasing effort in recent times to rectify the issue, however global organizational research is extremely difficult. Language, cultural, economic, and legal differences can create substantial hurdles. This can easily produce contrasts of phenomena that may be labelled the same but are substantively different. Although a useful starting place, global research was often reduced to comparative studies across national boundaries. It is encouraging to witness scholars’ persistence in chipping away at the obstacles and boundaries, and now we find more editions such as this volume that are increasingly digging deeper into basic human, cultural, and organizational characteristics, and presenting them in a fashion that has potential to exert a lasting and indelible effect on global organizational theory, research, and practice. This volume (Emerging Trends in Global Organizational Science Phenomena: Critical Roles of Politics, Leadership, Stress, and Context, edited by Ferris, Perrewé, & Akande) includes 32 original chapters designed to expand our understanding of global organizational science research. Indeed, this volume identifies some critically important issues and results, and leads scholars in some useful and productive new directions for the future. I congratulate the host of global contributors on a notable effort.”
Dwight D. Frink
Professor of Management, University of Mississippi, USA

“General readers, managers, practitioners, students, and academics around the world need to see “Emerging Trends In Global Organizational Science Phenomena:  Critical Roles of Politics, Leadership, Stress, and Context”. With several dozen contributors from many nations, peoples and places, this book will become a classic that unites several emerging trends in global organizational sciences. Politics and leadership stand out as vital subjects that will be capturing more attention as the 21st century continues. Personal reflections are especially welcome because we all share these experiences.”
Dr. Bruce E. Johansen
Frederick W. Kayser University Research Professor, Emeritus
Communication and Native American Studies
University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA

Smart Development: The Political Economy in a Post-COVID-19 World

“Arno Tausch is one of those intellectuals, rare in the modern age, who sees the big picture. He is also a polymath who combines insights from different disciplines in a theoretically rigorous manner, with the potential to contribute to wiser policy at the highest level and on a global scale, were the powers-that-be less short-sighted and (all too frequently) venal. His latest book, as is customary with his work, uses ambitious statistical models to draw correlations between a host of political, social, economic and cultural factors, on one hand, and ‘smart development’ which is environmentally sustainable, on the other. In a world rendered chronically unequal and economically fragile respectively by the underlying cause of naive capitalist globalization and the immediate disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need thought and research of this nature more than ever.”
Calum Paton, Professor Emeritus of Health Policy, Keele University, United Kingdom. Calum Paton holds an MA (PPE) and D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University and a MPP (Master’s in Public Policy) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has taught in Dundee and Oxford Universities and has been Assistant Secretary (Director) of the Nuffield Trust, London, before coming to Keele in 1986, becoming Professor of Health Policy in 1993 until his retirement in 2015.

The Cosmopolitan Businessman: World and Worldview of Greek Merchant-Entrepreneurs

“Prof. Ariadni Moutafidou, a renowned historian and expert in the field of Modern Greek socio-economic history, explores in her innovative superb and sophisticated book on the Greek ‘big’ merchant-entrepreneurs, not only their mercantile operations, but mainly their thoughts, views, ideas, notions and beliefs within their own and the ‘outer’ world. Her broadened research encompasses the remarkable rise of Greek long-distance trade and shipping in the Mediterranean followed by their significant entrance into the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans during their golden era from the mid-eighteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. Based on various rare autobiographical accounts, ego documents and commercial guidebooks as well as complementary archival documents and oral history preserved in second and third generation family accounts, the author firstly outlines the commercial culture of these businessmen. Ariadni Moutafidou then argues that the Greek merchant-entrepreneurs’ world and operations with extended international, economic and socio-economic networks, serve not only as a paradigm, but also constitute an integral, constitutive part of the merchant-entrepreneurs’ cosmopolitan world within the broader European-Mediterranean milieu during the nineteenth century. The Cosmopolitan Businessman broadened the research on the economic, social and cultural worldview of merchant-entrepreneurs, as well as on the interrelations between the ethnic mercantile communities. This rich, in-depth oeuvre offers a welcome challenge and contribution to the cultural, social and economic history of trading Diasporas including the interaction between them and their Jewish counterparts as described by the Greek merchants. Therefore, I strongly recommend publication of the manuscript.”
Orly C. Meron, Associate Professor, Former Head of the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Israel;  Author of Jewish Entrepreneurship in Salonica, 1912-1940: An Ethnic Economy in Transition, Sussex Academic Press, 2011/2013

“I have been acquainted with Dr. Ariadni Moutafidou’s research for many years and am delighted to recommend her book for publication. Dr. Moutafidou is a highly regarded historian whose research presents a fine combination of substantial use of archival material and behavioral theories and models. Her articles have been published in respected journals and in collected volumes. The present book is an original investigation of the social and cultural world of Greek big merchant-entrepreneurs of the nineteenth century. It is the product of an exhaustive and wide-ranging research, based on an impressive collection of primary sources, autobiographical accounts of businessmen, personal papers and commercial reports and other relevant archival documents. This group of businessmen had a great impact in various areas on the development of Greek economy and society. The results of their activities were felt in many important urban centers in the Near and Middle East. This research is a significant contribution to Greek economic history in particular and to nineteenth century history of entrepreneurship in general. It will constitute an important source of documentation for historians in this field as well as for economists specializing in international trade and business networks. On these grounds, I warmly recommend the publication of this excellent manuscript.”
Prof. Jeannine Horowitz, Head Program of Hellenic Studies, University of Haifa

“I have known Dr. Ariadni Moutafidou for almost two decades and held her and her historical research in great esteem. I have read the manuscript of her latest work, The Cosmopolitan Businessman, with interest and I think it is minutely researched, carefully argued, and elegantly presented. It brings to life the complex world of Greek merchant entrepreneurs in the nineteenth century, seen in the broader context of historical developments in the Near and Middle East. It will definitely be of interest to specialists in the field but its informative and narrative virtues will also be appreciated by any reader with broader historical interests. I therefore have no hesitation in recommending its publication.”
Pantelis Lekkas BA (Sussex) PhD (Cantab), Professor of Political Sociology, Faculty of Political Science & Public Administration, University of Athens, Greece

“Building upon a profound historical knowledge, from which my own studies on European Philhellenism have very much profited, Moutafidou’s scholarship embarks on new explorations of the factors shaping the physiognomy of the 19th century Mediterranean world. The cosmopolitan Businessman offers a vivid account of and an erudite study on the trajectories of entrepreneurial action in intercultural spirit. The book maps persuasively the contribution of Greek merchants to the formation of the First Globalisation. An indispensable reading.”
Dr. Dr. Konstadinos Maras, Research Fellow Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), Essen University of Duisburg-Essen

“This original study opens new avenues to our understanding of the social and cultural world of Greek entrepreneurs of the modern era. It offers fascinating insights into the ideas and concepts of rising entrepreneurs in a traditional economy that has undergone processes of modernization. Historians of Greek economic and social history as well as economists specializing in international trade and business networks will certainly be delighted to read this book.”
Prof. Gad Gilbar, University of Haifa

Nationalism: Past as Prologue

“No-one writes, or thinks, with the same passion, fearlessness and accessibility as Bruce Johansen and Ad Akande, figures who have been speaking truth to power on global environmental and indigenous issues for over forty years. You’re going to scream at this work that nationalism is not all bad, but you’ll also learn much more than you ever expected and finish it determined to make changes and learn more. Enjoy!”
Professor Joy Porter, PI Treatiedspaces.com, Leverhulme Major Research Fellow, Professor of Indigenous History, United Kingdom;
Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series, Elements in Indigenous Environmental Research

Genocide and Geopolitics of the Rohingya Crisis

“In his book, Genocide and Geopolitics of the Rohingya Crisis, the scholar General Aminul Karim uncovers the broader canvas of the topic, painstakingly consulting the plethora of existing literature, interviewing various experts, and offering his own analysis and conclusions. General Karim begins with a background of the Rohingyas in Arakan and of modern Burma including its various insurgencies. He then moves on to the strategic importance of the area. Being resource rich, the oil and gas fields are controlled by an enterprise, in which the senior military officers who run the country have economic interests. Major world powers and big corporations have their eyes on these resources. Added to this is the location along the Bay of Bengal, which is vital for Chinese access to the Indian Ocean. Removing Rohingyas strengthens the control of these forces on the area and consequently, upon the resources. Examining the legal issues in subsequent chapters, the author concludes that the Myanmar regime is certainly guilty of committing genocide, but because Myanmar is not a member of ICC and because implementation of the ICJ decision depends largely on the UNSC, punishment of the perpetrators cannot be guaranteed. Chapters 11 and 12 enter into the main theme of the book—geopolitics, and the possibility of a local Muslim insurgency…In his concluding chapters, through interviews, the author suggests some solutions. Sadiqul Islam of Laurentian University, Canada, considers the expulsion of the Rohingyas into Bangladesh an act of war. Professor Delwar Hossain of Dhaka University thinks even a limited war on this issue is quite unlikely. This reviewer has looked into history, and seen that no such problem involving a crime of genocide has been resolved peacefully. The issue is likely to be prolonged and in such a case, the growth of an insurgency and recruitment of young zealots by international terror groups is a distinct possibility. To resolve the problem, General Karim suggests that great powers like China, Russia, the US, and the UN and other international organizations work together to ensure citizenship for Rohingyas and their repatriation, and federalism and autonomy in Myanmar. Alas, the Myanmar state looks unlikely to proceed this way; nor are the great powers showing any such inclination. The author agrees that this sounds like tall-talks, but he would still like to be optimistic. Unfortunately, going by the proceedings so far, there seems little space for such optimism. All said and done, this book is unique in as much as it has the intellectual dimension of an academic. It also reflects the strategic perspective of a professional who has had a decades-old career in military and security matters. A remarkable work, this book would be useful both for researchers as well as policymakers who can devise strategies to handle the issue in the years to come…READ MORE
Reviewed by Md Touhid Hossain, Former Foreign Secretary, published in The Daily Star (December 24, 2020)