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

Power Imbalance, Bullying and Harassment in Academia and the Glocal (Local and Global) Workplace

This book provides a much needed perspective and voice for those for whom victimization within the sphere of academia and the glocal workplace is commonplace. This topic would be of interest to those at both a national and international level given that while each case study presented is situated in a specific geopolitical context, the message conveyed has universal undertones illustrating the power and devastation caused by systemic and pervasive bullying and oppression.” READ MORE >>> – Dr. Karen Roland, Experiential Learning Specialist, University of Windsor (retired)

Power Imbalance, Bullying and Harassment in Academia and the Glocal (Local and Global) Workplace by Fay Patel provides a much needed perspective and voice for those targeted victims of bullying and harassment in academia and the global and local workplace through literature review and real-life case studies situated in a specific geopolitical and cultural context. Power imbalance, systemic and structural racism nurture the unethical organisational context and shape the experience and life of those working in the organization. It is important to break the ‘code of silence’ to tackle this universal reality, protect vulnerable employees from harms, and call out perpetrators who demonstrate incivility in their leadership roles.” – Mingsheng Li, PhD, School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing Massey University, Mt Cook, Wellington, New Zealand

Instructional Leadership and Effective Teaching and Learning

The monograph is a very well-argued case for giving even more attention to the school leadership, especially instructional leadership since it is identified as a key function in assuring quality in children’s education. Using a constructivist approach the author seeks to show how instructional leadership is a key tool in the creation of learning experiences that will enhance students to achieve knowledge, skills, and competencies to contribute to the development of society.” READ MORE >>> – Dr. Lazar Stošić, Research Associate, Institute of management and knowledge, Regional coordinator for Republic of Serbia, Senior Researcher, Skopje, Macedonia

“I rate the book very highly. It is a valuable publication, based on a review of the literature and the author’s own research. Nazmi Xhomara has demonstrated a high level of scientific integrity. The monograph may be particularly useful for researchers of educational policy, as well as in the training of educational managers. The publication may also become an item of obligatory literature in academic courses related to the training of teaching staff. I congratulate the author on a valuable book and at the same time recommend the manuscript for publication.” READ MORE >>> – PhDr inż. Łukasz Tomczyk PhD, Institute of Educational Studies, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland

Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness

This elegant treatise examines the nature of kindness through the fascinating lenses and contexts of ancient, medieval and contemporary philosophy, natural history, theories of mind, of natural selection, eco-psychology and sociobiology. It challenges the reader to consider the myriad potential consequences of human behavior, examining various iconographic moments from the history of art and science as a precursor to the concept and vital potentials for ecological conversion.” READ MORE>>> – Michael Pastore, Editorial Director, BookLovers Review, August 2021

“Ecological Reciprocity is a profound reminder of the fragile life support systems we receive from every ecosystem in this anthropogenic epoch of the planet. In their lifetime epic journey of ecological protection of nature, the Authors wonderfully portray their unparalleled creative conscience and emotional intelligence.” – Ugyen Tshewang, PhD, Bhutan’s Ministry of Agriculture, former Governor of Trashiyangtse and Secretary of the National Environment Commission

“Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison are well known around the world as outstanding scientists, researchers and educators in the field of ecology and environmental protection. They are not only theorists and authors of many books, articles and films on ecology, but also the founders of the Dancing Star International Ecological Foundation, whose main goal is to preserve biological diversity and develop ecological education around the world. The next new book by M. Tobias and J. Morrison, Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness, is precisely aimed at solving just such problems. It is a logical continuation of the enormous research and educational activity to which the authors of the book have devoted their entire life. It is quite obvious that most people live, as a rule, “for today” and think, as a rule, “for short distances.” And only a small percentage of the world’s population is able to think in global categories. But even fewer are those who correlate their interests with the general tasks of social development. It is not surprising, therefore, that practically all over the world people have a poor idea of the real state of affairs with their environment, and, as a result, do not pay due attention to it. As a result, it is difficult to convey the humanistic ideas of ecological and nature protection content to the wide public consciousness. However, this must be done by all available means. At the same time, among the many publications on ecology, there are not so many books that can capture the attention of a wide audience regardless of countries and continents. The book, Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness, which is written in an interesting and exciting way, is just such a generous gift to all of us, which makes a valuable contribution to the cause of universal environmental education and enlightenment.” – Alexander N. Chumakov, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of the Faculty of Global Processes of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, First Vice-President of the Russian Philosophical Society, Full member of the Russian Ecological Academy, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Age of Globalization

“Of the books I’ve read by Michael Tobias and Jane Morrison, all of which are as rich in detail as they are broad in scope, Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness may be the most touching and rewarding. I say that because A Treatise on Kindness is like a Boléro of empathy — one contiguous crescendo of cognitive, emotional and compassionate empathy — from beginning to end, swirling the reader through time and space, emotion and reason — to join the authors in their forgone conclusion, that “the whole biological world functions in one symphonic unison,” and “that we, like every other organism, have a noble calling that is, generally speaking, in tune with all others.” Who could argue with that? Who wouldn’t feel touched? I certainly was.” – David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Author, Curator

“With their everpresent protean energy and optimism, even in the face of our dire planetary situation, Tobias and Morrison convincingly show that kindness has always been possible for humanity. Today we need this idea more than ever, and they teach us its beautiful history.” – David Rothenberg, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Music, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Author of Nightingales in Berlin and Survival of the Beautiful

“This is a very important book and should be read by everyone. Humans have gotten out of balance with the Natural World, and we see this lack of balance reflected everywhere in our efforts to destroy Nature. But as Tobias and Morrison elegantly point out, Nature works best through harmony, kindness, and reciprocity. We need to learn this lesson before it becomes too late for us to avoid our own destruction.” – Con Slobodchikoff, PhD, Author of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals

Effective Use of Creative Writing in the Treatment of Addiction to Chemical Substances

“I love this book which uses writing to honestly explore self-knowledge, to achieve optimal treatment for addictions. The spiritual component of honesty is key to the process of overcoming subconscious, involuntary, and defensive responses to addictive momentary euphoric experiences. We need to look beyond the (often genetically predisposed) self-deluding brain conditions. Statistically, 10-20% of our population is unknowingly predisposed to chronic, progressive, and eventually fatal addictions. The steepening of the slope of this progression varies, but on crossing the invisible line, symptoms become obsessive-compulsive, the brain deluding itself in its desperation for the substance. Addictions became treatable, as the pioneers developed the effective structure of AA and, later, the Minnesota Model. Carl Jung (1931), through his patient, Rowland H., first realized that psychiatry by itself, cannot help a person stop the perpetual relapses: ‘Align yourself with some spiritual movement! The structured choice of spiritual principles is the only way to heal these behaviors.’ Rowland H. and Bill W., later the founder of AA (1935), inspired the organization’s 12 Steps suggestions. Amazed, Jung received a letter from Bill (1961) thanking him for that advice. Jung responded: ‘Spiritus [alcohol]contra spiritum [genuine spirituality].’ As the brain of an addict causes loss of touch with truth, often due to shame in the conscious or subconscious, treatment needs to be at the earliest opportunity and be objective about the deluding condition. When an addict becomes ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’ of themselves and the consequences of their behavior, the choice is to surrender or die in self-delusion. Through group validation, self-revelatory writing becomes an effective tool towards truth in treatment.” – Monica Getz, Founder of SCAA (Swedish Council on Alcoholism) and The Coalition for Family Justice, Irvington, NY

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

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

“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

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