Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Rediscovery of Society: A Post-Pandemic Reality

“Renowned scholar, Brij Mohan, is yet again at the forefront of contemporary issues in shaping a new society. Known for his critical and provocative thinking and outspokenness against injustices, he challenges the status quo of dysfunctional societies and institutional collapse. He proposes a new social contract and enlightenment that restore hope for a post-pandemic society where people have rediscovered their purpose in life. His wealth of knowledge and expertise is evident in his authoritative speaking on a new social contract that will contribute to a more just and sustainable society.” – Antoinette Lombard, Department of Social Work & Criminology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

“I always expect the best from Brij Mohan, and he always delivers. His prescient critique of the Great Society is a riveting reminder of our hubris and heresies. Search for a utopian civil society is a product of Brij Mohan’s Chekhovian imagination, which he finds globally shattered by ugly realities.” – Nayan Kanwal, Professor & Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Social Sciences and Artistic Innovations (IJSSAI), Singapore

“Social work’s philosophical maestro leads us through a sobering symphony of “institutional meltdown” of our social contract. While debilitating institutional dysfunctions in concert hit their notes to synchronize a broken society in the author’s acute unpacking of the historical erosion of American promises, he brilliantly brings readers out of despair with the post-pandemic hope of the rediscovery and reconstruction of society through social praxis and transformation. This book is a must-read for all contemporary critical thinkers and doers of social-human development who will lead our society to the “rediscovered” land of social, economic, and political freedom for all.” – Philip Hong, Professor, Loyola University Chicago

“It is clear that a reckoning is underway. After writing over twenty books on the topic, it is evident to [sic] Mohan that the current path of global social development is approaching a dead end. This book-length critique of the status quo opens a dialogue about the viability of alternate paths to sustainable and democratic models of social development that restore Enlightenment values.” – Mark W. Lusk, Professor Emeritus, IFSW Human Rights Commissioner, Department of Social Work, The University of Texas at El Paso

“Almost all political and social philosophers from Plato to Marx and beyond have dealt with various problems emanating from society in various countries with varied situations over centuries. Brij Mohan, a social analyst, theorist, and scientist has based his empirical work on two premises—that democracy is dying and there is an urgent need for a new social contract since our social institutions are faltering. The author has also used a political-historical approach to prove his point. He has discussed a case study of American and Indian societies and related them to various variables—state’s delivery of goods is the largesse trickling down to the poorest of poor, citizens facing xenophobia, oppression of various types, alienation, and so on. It is because of “fractured democratic institutions” that the post-pandemic issues began to threaten human survival. This led to economic drain at individual and state levels, fear of inequality, injustice, and a fall of economic freedom…The book was a wonderful read.” Read more here >>> – Priti Nath, Associate Professor of Political Science, Government Post Graduate College, Panchkula (affiliated to Kurukshetra University), India

The book is indeed a good piece of work which opens a dialogue about the possibility of alternate pathways to sustainable models of social development. In fact, this book is relevant and a ‘must read’ for all the educators, practitioners and scholars of social sciences who are interested to lead our society to bring about social change for social and human development in the post-pandemic situation.” Read more here >>> – Atul Pratap Singh, Professor, Department of Social Work, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Authoritarian Disaster: The Duterte Regime and the Prospects for a Marcos Presidency

Authoritarian Disaster: The Duterte Regime and the Prospects for a Marcos Presidency, a collection of scholarly but academically engaged essays on Duterte’s fascist rule and its continuing grip on Philippine society, is a long overdue book but is very timely. What makes the book different from other similar anthologies on Duterte’s regime, is that it embraces the polemical label of fascism with all its ideological ramifications while remaining historically faithful to the current Philippine class constellation. The essays of “engaged scholars” who contributed to this anthology will definitely be part of hauntological literature about Duterte’s so-called “authoritarian populism” and will provide a historical starting point to situate the past, present, and future fascist development in Philippine society from much needed class analysis. I would happily recommend this book as a primary reference for those who are teaching and studying the current prospects for the continuing persistence of Duterte’s fascist spectre under Marcos, Jr.’s regime of disinformation and historical denialism. But more than a reference, this book is a weapon of criticism, that if applied correctly to our current situation, will shed light on what is to be done.” – Dr. Gerardo Lanuza, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of the Philippines Diliman

“There are those who claimed that the ex-President, Rody Duterte, was the best President the Republic of the Philippines ever had. But, on the other hand, a segment of the country’s population vilified him as an authoritarian dictator with no regard for human rights, gender sensitivity and climate justice. Books written on Duterte have reflected this binary opposition. Comes now another book with, Authoritarian Disaster: The Duterte Regime and the Prospects for a Marcos Presidency, which is an anthology of essays written by Philosophy Professors of UP Diliman, UP Cebu, USC, VSU and Silliman U. Collectively, they challenge the product of the disinformation campaign to put Duterte on a pedestal. Through rigid research and comprehensive analysis using philosophical theories, they provide a profile of a fascist President ensconced in a populist mode of governance characterized by adopting a reign of impunity to wage a drug war, resorting to red-tagging to silence critics including media and church personnel, empowering the military to suppress the rights of indigenous communities, while protecting the interests of mining companies with no regard to protect the integrity of creation. This is a must-read book to debunk the Duterte mystique and place Duterte’s reign in its rightful place in our country’s history.” –Brother Karl Gaspar, CSsR, PhD, Author of Diwang Balaan/Banal: A Decolonial Discourse on Pinoy Spirituality

Genesis, Institutions, and Instruments of the European Union: A Concise Guide on Euro-Multilateralism

“A thoughtful, comprehensive but concise, multidisciplinary, accurate, timely and balanced analysis of the complex interplay between geopolitics, history and institutions building of a pivotal world region – Europe. We finally have an all-in reader that was otherwise chronically missing in international literature. Timely as it is, it will contribute to the revitalization of a very idea of multilateralism. Globally-known cross-continental settings such as the G-7 (which I architectured as a senior governmental minister) and OECD (which I helped shape as its Secretary) would have been unthinkable without the most comprehensive and through multilateral undertaking – that one that took root in post WWII Europe. Authors give a fair account to these less visited history (of peace and institutions building) chapters. Overall, this book undeniably features the unionistic Europe as a sine qua non for the Old Continent and its neighborhood, but also as a beacon of hope and vision for other continents. This is a must-read book for scholars and practitioners – all those wondering about the nature of social and state interaction through times and spaces. It is a concise chronicle of Europe’s presence and multilateralised future, of an unparallel alternative. Professor Bajrektarevic’s new book clearly reminds us that “Europe might (temporarily) get out of fashion, but its very idea remains uncontested.” – Honorable Donald J Johnston PC OC QC, Former Minister of the Canadian Government, Secretary General of the OECD (1996-2006)

“Many rooms can be filled with political and scientific literature about European integration and multilateralism. Notwithstanding this, Professor Anis H. Bajrektarevic has written an excellent, concise and easily accessible book that is of real added value and deserves a place on many bookshelves. During the high times of multilateralism, it was a strike of genius by then elder statesmen to bring together the core of the economies of France and Germany, joined by Italy and what later would be the Benelux countries. At times when multilateralism is under pressure and war has erupted again on the European continent, it is good to remind readers that European integration was the result of diplomatic creativity and political courage. It is good to describe the way it went and is now working. More than ever European integration and multilateralism needs new generations of well-informed and trained practictioners and of supporting citizens. This book by Professor Anis and Nora Wolf will help to unleash the support and interest of readers which European integration and multilateralism need and deserve.” – Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium (2008 – 2011)

Is China Encircling India?

“In this book, Aminul Karim has sought to analyze the recent Chinese advances in the Indian Ocean and their ramifications for India and the greater region. The book is a must read for scholars and researchers on China. Universities and research organizations should procure copies of the book for use by their members. The book will also be a useful read for the general readers who have interest in the phenomenon called China…” READ FULL REVIEW>>> Md. Touhid Hossain, Former Foreign Secretary

The Communitarian Nation-State Paradox in Lebanon

The Communitarian Nation-State Paradox in Lebanon presents itself as a comprehensive critical anthology of the Lebanese consociational model. Edited by political scientist Imad Salamey, who has made major contributions to the field of Middle East politics, this book comprises twelve high profile Lebanese scholars – from diverse political, social and academic backgrounds – providing heterogeneous, but coherent, perspectives on Lebanon’s power-sharing and its related tensions that brought the country towards periodical stalemates and conflicts. Written in a clear and accessible language, this is a thoroughly researched volume and suitable for academia but also non-experts interested in Lebanon and, more broadly, MENA politics. Overall, Imad Salamey, and the other scholars, provide a timely debate through Lebanese lenses that makes the book a distinguished and much-needed contribution in a field often dominated by Western scholarship.” To read the full review, click here – Vito Morisco, Doctoral Researcher, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), University of Exeter, UK

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

“The contributors to this important book recognize that (neo-)classical geopolitics remains the best prism through which to view and understand the global power shifts of the 21st century.” – Francis P. Sempa, Author of Geopolitics: From the Cold War to the 21st Century

“Sir Halford Mackinder, the founding father of classical geopolitics, articulated its purpose. Ultimately it was to “give judgement in practical conduct”. This insightful and well-researched book underscores his wisdom. Furthermore, it performs two additional functions. First, it provides a clear pathway out of the dark valley of critical geopolitics. Secondly, it places an emphasis on the importance of moving beyond the current misinterpretation of geopolitics as a mere synonym of international strategic rivalry. We are presented with a picture of the constellation of forces which exist at a particular time and within a particular geographical frame of reference. The analysis that is delivered enables an understanding of the emerging complexities of international relations. If you want to understand the geopolitical patterns that will dominate the rest of the 21st century then this book is an excellent place to start.” – Dr. Geoff Sloan, Associate Professor, University of Reading, England

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