Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Forced Migrations and Refugees in the Mediterranean Basin and the MENA Region

The book presents itself as an original and elegant response to the greatest “moral dilemma” characterizing the current century. This dilemma concerns the erosion of the living conditions of the human being, who – for several reasons – is forced to seek new life possibilities. The work presents a critical analysis of the legal, political and moral status of a “refugee” and also provides a solid epistemological context that sheds light on the increasingly heated conflict between ideologies, rights and interests. The style of the topic and the methodological approach confer an extraordinary ethical slant, where the moral dilemma mentioned above acquires different interpretative nuances.”
Marco Ettore Grasso, PhD

“The book addresses forced migration from multiple, contemporary perspectives, bringing new food for thought for all those involved with or interest in refugee and migration law, as well as human rights more generally.”
Irini Papanicolopulu, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

“A brilliant work that addresses the issue of migrants and their fundamental rights through the lens of past colonization and current imperialism, in a context aggravated by a world pandemic.”
Professor Alessandra Cordiano, Associata di Diritto privato, Università degli studi di Verona Italia, Italy

Arts Therapy in a Changing World: Creative Interdisciplinary Concepts and Methods for Group and Individual Development

“This is a pioneering book which enables us to safely cross several borders. Berger brings together a strong body of knowledge in the field of performance in dramatherapy and integrates nature therapy with a series of working models. It is important that we can take the bigger view of arts therapies through his lens, and not scramble around in a microscopic corner of protective territory. I warmly recommend this book for all therapists and educationalists.”
Professor Sue Jennings
Innovator of Neuro-Dramatic-Play, Dramatherapy Pioneer
Senior Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, England

Arts Therapy in a Changing World: Creative Interdisciplinary Concepts and Methods for Group and Individual Development makes a significant contribution to the arts as therapy model and materializes its rich potential. It presents novel and interdisciplinary approaches for group work intertwined with the arts including arts-based work in nature, arts-based supervision, performance-based therapy and virtual art based therapy.”
Professor Alexander Kopytin
Psychology Department
St. Petersburg Academy of Post-Graduate Pedagogical Education, Chair, Russian Art Therapy Association, Russia

The Rise of Domestic Terrorism and Decline of American Democracy: How Brexit and the Trump Presidency Influenced Populist Empowerment and the Intersection of Rights. Division, Derision, Decisions

The Rise of Domestic Terrorism and Decline of American Democracy is a very unique and important book of our time. Dr. Ramswell has provided us with a synopsis of recent worldwide transformation in several governments due to multiple factors influencing these changes such as populism, nationalism, immigration, Brexit, President Trump, and even social media practices. Many Americans are using social media as their primary source for news, which is often biased, incorrect, and likely does not cover international events. Some Americans still watch news on the major networks. With the exception of reporting dramatic worldwide events, these traditional news networks have devoted less and less time to international news over the last several decades. To find worldwide news, one must take the initiative and search for it on network websites, the BBC, or other sites. This can be time consuming, and the search is not likely to continue on a regular basis. Dr. Ramswell’s book fills this international news void by providing solid, eye-opening information on the impacts of recent events impacting us all. Her book also provides brilliant, in-depth research on perspective changes in worldwide governments in a relatively short time period. I highly recommend this book for those of us who have been focusing only on American politics and feel like they’re missing out on the happenings in the world around them.”
Joe Fournier, MA, International Affairs, The University of Oklahoma; USAFR, Oklahoma, 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

See No Evil: Secularity versus Sacred Scriptures

“The topic of the book is of great importance, yet there is no comprehensive book of this nature now available for use in classrooms or for the general reader. The influence of secularization has grown dramatically and there are now many criticisms of religion from a secular perspective but there are very few, if any, responses from a responsible religious perspective. Yet there are billions of people who are adherents of the major religious traditions in our world. Professor Leightner’s book fills this gap very well. Even people fully committed to the practice of secular thinking and analysis will benefit greatly from Professor Leightner’s insights into the deepest meaning of their own traditions of thought. Professor Leightner’s book will be a major contribution to modern insight.”
Daniel Quinn Mills
Professor Emeritus, Harvard University School of Business Administration, USA

“Leightner argues that secular culture has mislead economists and society more broadly into conflating counterfeit values (evil) with the wisdom found in Jewish, Islamic, Christian, Hindu and Theravada sacred texts, causing severe personal and social harm. Those like Pol Pot (responsible for the Khmer Rouge’s crimes against humanity) persuade themselves and many others that their actions are virtuously motivated, when they are intrinsically evil. People need to step back and appreciate that evil may be contaminating their ethics. This is a message that many professionals do not want to hear, but needs a fair hearing.”
Steven Rosefielde
Professor of Economics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Building a More Peaceful Society through Positive Intergroup Contact: An Ecologically Sustainable Approach to Community Wellness

“In Building a More Peaceful Society through Positive Intergroup Contact: An Ecologically Sustainable Approach to Community Wellness, Dr. Hoffman explores experiences of inequity in our society related to racism, racialized violence, access to healthy food, distribution of green spaces, and community empowerment. Dr. Hoffman provides evidence of the positive impact of specific interventions like community gardens, planting initiatives to improve access to healthy food, and community-based service projects which lead to feelings of connectedness and empowerment, positive intergroup relationships, and improved well-being among community members. The green space interventions described in this work provide a blueprint for building more equitable, allied, safe, and healthy communities.”
Amy Gort, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Metropolitan State University

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

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)

Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of College Students

Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of College Students, a book of edited chapters by Seungyeon Lee (2020), is a delightful volume, and allow me to tell you why. It is wonderfully diverse from several different perspectives. The broad topics that you expect to find in a volume about college student success are here, but there are also niche topics that many readers will find innovative. There are chapters about college student mental health, resiliency, achievement, career decision-making, procrastination, motivation, parental influence (including overparenting), substance use, and relationships – all topics that education professionals need to understand about college students. I also appreciated chapter authors who took a deeper dive into narrow topics – like the sophomore slump, how the campus physical environment exerts its own “ambient power,” the benefits to forming a book club for students, how college students struggle spelling difficult words, how on-campus animal-assisted activities influence final exam scores, and how students process grieving when a loved one dies during their college experience. This volume gives you the best of perspectives — the macro and the micro – and the chapters are expertly assembled. I also noticed and appreciated the diversity of methodological approaches used across the chapters. Some of the chapters serve as expert review chapters/updates on a particular topic, other chapters provide the literature review feature and also present new empirical data—quantitative, qualitative, case study, and mixed method approaches were utilized when new data were shared. When you have been in higher education as long as I have (32 years as I write this), there are times when you read a journal article or a book chapter and you are just as impressed by the curated reference citation list as you are by the prose of the text. That was true in many instances in reading this book, particularly for Chapters 5, 7, 13, and 15 – I’m not going to tell you the topics of those chapters in hopes of tempting you further to read the book. Let me also mention another feature of this book I really liked – every chapter has an abstract. I wish all edited books had an abstract or synopsis at the beginning of the chapter – I found that very useful. If you care about college students, you need to read this book. It will provide you with insights about the key areas surrounding college student success and stimulate new ideas about perspectives you may not have considered previously. Seventeen sets of chapter authors have provided you with up-to-date citations and conclusions in areas of importance. I am a fan of the “one good idea” (OGI) approach; that is, if I come away with truly one good idea from a conference, a journal article, a book – then that is a success because truly good ideas are hard to come by (in my opinion). So as I am reading Chapter 2 by Natalie Burick and Crystal Machado, not only do they report on the existing research on the “sophomore slump,” but they also conduct a qualitative study to better understand this phenomenon. They offer specific recommendations for sophomore student success based on the results of their study (presented on p. 29) – I’ve never this type of detailed, excellent recommendations before to specifically counter the sophomore slump. For me (at the very least) that’s my one good idea that I will take away from reading this edited book. What will be yours?”
R. Eric Landrum, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Psychological Science
Boise State University, Boise, ID