Book Reviews

Book Reviews

A Blood Border: Trieste between Mussolini and Tito

"Massacres deserve to be commemorated, even if they were carried out as a measure of revenge. Yet when commemorating the civilians brutally murdered in the context of larger wars, accusations have often been made that such commemorations serve the exculpation of similar acts by one’s own side. Of course two wrongs don’t make a right, and yet both during and after the Second World War in particular, the argument et tu has often been used as though it did. Historians thus walk a tightrope when they seek to commemorate the dead, as they need to avoid the impression that theirs is a unilateral account. Luisa Morettin does a magnificent job here: her research not only brings back into our conscience the many (mostly civilian) victims of the foibe killings in Yugoslav-occupied frontier areas of Italy at the end of World War II, but also contextualises them honestly in a much larger picture. This is not only one of preceding Italian atrocities committed in Yugoslavia during the war itself, but also a story of the brutalisation throughout the “Bloodlands” of Europe (Timothy Snyder). As this very detailed study demonstrates, these Bloodlands were not just confined to the East, but also spread to the Mediterranean, all the way to Venezia Giulia, Istria and Dalmatia." - Professor Beatrice Heuser, Chair of International Relations, University of Glasgow, UK, and author of Western Containment Policies in the Cold War. The Yugoslav Case, 1948-1953.

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Intelligence and Security Challenges of European Migrant Crisis: An Insight into an Innovative Forecasting Model

"The monograph “Intelligence and Security Challenges of European Migrant Crisis: An Insight into an Innovative Forecasting Model”, written by my respected colleagues Theodora Ivanuša, Dejan Dragan, Iztok Podbregar, Gašper Hribar, and Janez Žirovnik, resulted from their successfully conducted theoretical and empirical research on important and current topic: migrant crisis in Europe 2015 – 2016, with the emphasis on its security and intelligence aspects. A unique methodological approach to researching the phenomenon resulted in testing and presenting Innovative Forecasting Model, applicable in short-term and mid-term anticipation of occurrences and development of similar crises in the future.

“The reasons behind increased attention to illegal migration today in the world are not only implications of refugee waves on political, economic, and demographic situations for the transit and host countries of asylum seekers. Namely, in the masses of refugees and migrants, the presence of undercover terrorist and transnational criminal organizations is highly expected, that may affect the national security of the country they encounter with. Noticeable example of this claim is the peak of migrant crisis in 2015, when over one million persons from the Middle East arrived in the Member States of the European Union via transiting Balkan route from Turkey. Many asylum seekers who have entered the EU on the refugee wave, have been later identified as perpetrators or accomplices of terrorist acts done in several European cities.

In introductory chapter (pg. 1-44) the authors have provided a comprehensive overview of the background, causes, trends, features, including security and geopolitical consequences of European migrant crisis, on transit countries on the Balkan and Mediterranean route, as well as on the European Union and its Member States. In this regard, it was pointed out that the migrant crisis contributed to long-term breach of the values of the EU, weakening the internal cohesion and questioning the future of the European Union, boosting populism and xenophobia in many European countries, as well as worsening inter-state relations between fragile area of the Balkans.

Studying the activities of the intelligence institutions of European countries during the migrant crisis, the authors point out the lack of attentiveness, thus incompleteness and ineffectiveness of measures for the systematic collection of relevant data and information, mismatch between national databases, failure in applying corresponding methods of analyzing and modeling, therefore, the absence of an anticipating component. The monograph states that from the intelligence community in transit and reception countries it was not realistic to expect that these countries could keep the situation completely keep under control, given the lack of inter-state and multilateral cooperation, especially in terms of the possible political influence of the intelligence-security institutions, as well as the existence of different national interests in regards to this issue. In this context, the authors are questioning whether the migrant crisis imposed the need of establishing a new specific intelligence and counterintelligence methods?

Second chapter (pg. 45-122) offers the results of analysis of the migrant wave flow across Turkey and Greece into Europe during the period October 2015 to June 2016. For the purposes of research, conducted on the basis of statistical and other open source data, the authors have used a combined Monte Carlo Scenario-Playing Simulation-Based Mechanism, in addition to designing integrated ARIMA-Intervention Model. Researchers have, in the basic of ARIMA Model, added a component of intervention due to the fact that the European migrant crisis was greatly provoked and then stopped, by the unexpected effects of external factors.

In analyzing and modeling, daily frequencies of the movement of refugees on the Balkan route during 250 days of observations were tracked and recorded, periodic trends related to the activities of the network of human traffickers (approximately weekly cycles until February 2016), and effects of external factors; situation changing on the migrant route, after the signing of the EU-Turkey Agreement on March 20, 2016, sudden changes in policy of the participating countries towards migrants in the period before the Agreement (procedure stop-start), and other unexpected external events, in terms of its effect on the magnitude expression, i.e. increase and/or decrease of migrant wave intensity. All this have constituted a framework to the authors to generate future trends of situation development in similar circumstances, using the Monte Carlo Scenario-Playing Mechanism.

On the grounds of the results of analyzing and modeling, the readers and intelligence community in European countries, were presented with possibilities of applying the Innovative Forecasting Model – for the purpose of reaching a short-term and med-term anticipation of likelihood of the future migrant wave occurrence towards Europe, i.e. the establishment of an appropriate system of early warning. In this regard, it is important to point out that the quantitative modeling, testing of various generators of uncertainty and randomness, and predictive approach of this type by now was very rarely used in research related to security issues and terrorism battling.

The obtained results could be significantly important for the relevant institutions of the European Union and its Member States, as well as, for transit states, to plan appropriate measures of border protection, battling terrorism, and improvement of the asylum policy. Also, the proposed Innovative Forecasting Model can contribute to the improvement of the methodology of analyzing data within the intelligence community and be useful to researchers focused on security issues.

That being said, the monograph „Intelligence and Security Challenges of European Migrant Crisis: An Insight into an Innovative Forecasting Model” represents a valuable and innovative scientific achievement and its publication should be wholeheartedly supported.” - Dragan Trivan, PhD, Associate Professor, University “UNION – NIKOLA TESLA,” Belgrade, Serbia

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The Contemporary Caribbean: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities

“Dr. Beckford must be commended for this work in which scholars from English-Speaking Caribbean interrogate issues including energy sources, ethnicity and politics, climate change, the tourism industry, male academic underachievement, ecosystem management, among others. This text demands our attention because not only are these issues current and relevant and go to the very heart of the survival of these societies, they are dissected by some of the region’s most engaging minds.” - Livingston Smith, PhD, Professor, University College of the Cayman Islands

“This book provides a multidisciplinary look at some pressing Caribbean issues. The editor, and contributors are Caribbean experts and nationals whose authentic voices come through in their discussions. The Caribbean is an understudied region relatively speaking. This volume adds to the expanding literature about this fascinating and enigmatic world region. The perspectives presented in the ten chapters, will be of great interest to a wide cross-section of readers, both regionally and internationally. It is a timely discussion of aspects of contemporary Caribbean life and will be sought after by Caribbeanists. I look forward to using it in my own teaching and research.” - Dr. Donovan Campbell, Lecturer, Department of Geography and Geology, The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

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The European Union and its Debt Crises: The Deception of the Greeks

“This book explains why the European debt crisis, which started in 2009, continues until today. It argues, among others, that national identity and the large cultural differences among the European countries, do not allow them to work together for the common good. Dr. Kallianiotis presents the historical background of the European Union and explains the causes of the European debt crisis. The debate about the European debt crisis is a very interesting one and this book is an important contribution to this debate, useful for all social scientists (economists, political scientists, historians, and others).” - Dr. Christos Pargianas, Associate Professor of Economics, Economics/Finance Department, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, USA

“European Union and its Debt Crises: Deception of Greeks offers a thought-provoking heterodox view on the modern-day economic and debt crises in Europe with an emphasis on its implications for the Greeks. As an academic economist who has a strong interest in history, I found this volume particularly interesting as it offers a serious account of most important historical developments that starting from the Holy Roman Empire led up to the formation, evolution, and modern-day peril of the European Union. This is definitely a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the topic and who is also open to new ideas and opinions.”  -
Dr. Aram Balagyozyan, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Finance, Kania School of Management, The University of Scranton

“This book is an important contribution to the vast and growing literature on the debt crises that have been occurring in the European Union (EU), and especially in the Euro-Zone which represents the EU’s approximation to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Dr. Kallianiotis carefully and efficiently points out that what appears to be a singular debt crisis in the EU that has been in existence over the past several years is actually linked to several other crises, debt and otherwise, that have their basis not just in failure to recognize and understand basic concepts in economics and economic policy-making but, on a deeper level, in a lack of ethics and social responsibility. He pointedly and successfully argues that the various debt crises are tied to economic, financial, political, and social problems, issues, and inequities that the EU, the EMU, and the IMF all either ignored or took for granted. In that vein, his book makes valid, solid, and pertinent contributions to the political economy of the EU and the EMU and how the economic, political, and social systems in these organizations and their various institutions were tied together and how all were factors in the recent and current malaise that has inflicted and continues to inflict negative consequences on the citizens of the EU and EMU. I recommend his book highly for not just college and university courses related to international economics and finance, as well as the EU and EMU, but also for professionals who study and conduct research on the EU and EMU and all the consequences and issues and problems within each.” - Dr. Richard J. Torz, Associate Professor of Economics, St. Joseph’s College New York

“History helps the reader better understand the present and plan for the future. This book does just that. The author pays tremendous attention to historical detail. Economic analysis relates to public policy, calling attention to the potential that Greece would have sans EU and EMU. The last chapter draws worthy conclusions suggesting a strong position that needs to be taken for the country to thrive. This is the moment of truth for the author and his country. Readers will be enlightened by the plethora of examples of sovereign decisions making as parallels to use and abuse of corporate power for specific gain. The book can be used by economists and business educators as well as practitioners. I recommend this book to my colleagues, business contemporaries and students. Let us learn from the Greek experience.” -
Cathyann D. Tully, Professor of Finance, Nicolais School of Business, Wagner College, NY, USA

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Monetary Unions: Background, Advantages and Disadvantages

“The establishment of the euro area has been one of the most important events in the economic history of Europe. Almost 20-year lifetime of the Economic and Monetary Union leads to an in-depth reflection on the effects in practice of its mechanisms. Such reflection is found in this book, which is the result of the work of the international research team under the direction of Prof. Sławomir Bukowski. The book provides an original and valuable contribution to the researches and literature.

The starting point for analysis is characteristic of theoretical bases of functioning of Monetary Union and occurring within the adjustment mechanisms. Then in question is the issue of the functioning of the Monetary Union without fiscal Union, the ECB’s monetary policy and its consequences, and the importance of the process of real convergence of Member States ‘ economies. An important area of analysis are the problems of the European Banking Union, structural imbalances and the flow of capital in the euro area, as well as the financial market as a source of capital for companies.

The authors have presented the complex issues of monetary integration in such a way that allows the political and economic conditions and the implications of the monetary union in Europe to be understood by a wide range of readers.

This book can be an important reading not only for scientists, economists and students, but also for a wide range of people interested in the future of the European Union and especially euro area.” - Professor Leokadia Oręziak, Head of the Department of International Finance, Warsaw School of Economics, Poland

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Geopolitics of the South China Sea in the Coming Decades

“A well reasoned and timely study on burning security issues and policies of countries in East and Southeast Asia by political realist and military strategist from the region. The analysis includes assessment of capabilities and potential of rising China, declining America, struggling but fragmented ASEAN, and binding India, Japan, and other regional sea powers.” - Professor Radomir Compel, Nagasaki University

“General Aminul Karim’s new study, Geopolitics of the South China Sea in the Coming Decades, comes on the heels of his earlier work, 21st Century High Politics in the Indo-Pacific and the Bay of Bengal, is an attempt to understand the complex and complicated security issues confronting the region. With his masterly grasp, unrivaled understanding of the geopolitical dynamic of the area, and his inimitable ability to view the problems from a practical perspective, General Karim has made an invaluable contribution to the subject. Anyone interested in the region and the threats that it portends will find this book quite invaluable.” - Professor Gowher Rizvi, Former Director, Ash Institute, Kennedy School, Harvard University, Author of South Asia in the New Global Order

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