Book Reviews

This section offers reviews of books written on global politics, international relations, and Pakistan.

Islam, Ethnicity, and Power Politics: Constructing Pakistan’s National Identity by Rasul Bakhsh Rais

Written by Seher Intikhab 7:15 pm

Islam, Ethnicity, and Power Politics by Rasul Bakhsh Rais analyzes the relationship between the issue of identity, power politics and competing ideologies in Pakistan. Rais illustrates how Islam has been used to legitimize political power, how ethnic identities have been mobilized for political purposes, and how these dynamics have shaped the political landscape of Pakistan.
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Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India

Written by Fatima Mazhar 8:36 pm

Shashi Tharoor’s “Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India” is a provocative and insightful analysis of British colonial rule in India. Tharoor, the accomplished author, politician, and ex-diplomat, challenges popular narratives that romanticize and glorify colonialism by offering an honest assessment of the British Raj. He highlights the economic exploitation, deindustrialization, famines, and political manipulation that took place under British rule in India.
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Orientalism by Edward Said

Written by Khadija Kafeel 9:23 pm

Orientalism, a seminal book penned by eminent writer Edward W. Said, is renowned across the globe for its overwhelming and perceptive critique of Orientalist discourse. Edward Said has delineated the West’s contemptuous and disdainful depiction of the East (Orient) as irrational, credulous, and exotic. The book vehemently censures the prevalent stereotypes, biases, and essentializations that have sculpted the Western outlook on the Orient. He alleges that the imaginative construction of “we vs they” has fulfilled the interests of the West, providing a rationale for western imperialism, despoilment, and cultural preeminence.
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Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power

Written by Hira Shabir 7:00 pm

“Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power” by Robert Kaplan is a captivating exploration of the geopolitics, history, and culture of the Indian Ocean. Published in 2010, the book seamlessly weaves together Kaplan’s personal travel experiences with strategic analysis and geopolitical insights. The title cleverly draws parallels between the region’s unpredictability and the monsoon, underscoring its significance in global power dynamics. Overall, it serves as a concise guide to understanding the past, present, and future of this crucial region
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The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Written by Khawaja Arsalan 8:26 pm

John Perkins’ The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman was published in 2004 as an unofficial sequel to Confessions of an Economic Hitman. It is a thought-provoking and eye-opening autobiography that shares the writer’s personal experience as an economic hitman. It provides an in-depth understanding of world politics and international financial system manipulations to propagate the Super Powers’ hegemony across the globe. The book takes the readers through a journey, starting with the author’s childhood life, and how he grew into becoming an economic hitman during the ’70s and ’80s. Perkins later became a whistleblower, revealing the strategies used by the US and international organizations to lure underprivileged nations into debt traps to increase their influence across the globe.
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Armed Coexistence: The Dynamics of Intractable Sino-Indian Border Dispute

Written by Mehmoona Shahzad 7:32 pm

By applying neoclassical realism to the China-India border conflict, Stephen P. Westcott sets out on a path to provide a clear understanding of the issue. In his book “Armed Coexistence: The Dynamics of Intractable Sino-Indian Border Dispute,” he analyzes the two neighboring states’ approach to conflict resolution. Rather than escalating tensions or seeking a compromise, both China and India tenaciously cling to the status quo. Their persistence to uphold the status quo has ensured that the Sino-Indian conflict remains unresolved, despite periodic border clashes and numerous rounds of negotiations.
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The International Responsibility of International Organisations

Written by Memoona Nasir 8:30 pm

Moritz P. Moelle ponders the decades-old question of whether or not collective responsibility and accountability should exist in the peacekeeping missions of international organizations. His book, “The International Responsibility of International Organisations,” addresses the intricacies involved in the conduct of international organizations through a comprehensive analysis of both the UN Charter and the International Law Commission’s Articles on Responsibility of International Organizations (ARIO). The book further encompasses Moelle’s idea of normative control to foster joint responsibility of international and regional organizations.
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A History of Modern South Asia: Politics, States, Diasporas

Written by Saleem Abbas 7:00 pm

Ian Talbot’s “A History of Modern South Asia: Politics, States, Diasporas” provides a thorough analysis of the political, social, and cultural changes that have occurred in South Asia from the colonial period to the present. Through his extensive study and analysis of the region, Talbot highlights nationalism, border disputes, sectarian and ethnic violence, and economic development.
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The Pathan Unarmed

Written by Mishayam Jan Ayub 8:28 pm

Mukulika Banerjee’s “The Pathan Unarmed” is an enlightening book that dives into the captivating history of Pashtuns’ nonviolent resistance. It gives an in-depth history of the Khudai Khidmatgaar movement, which was started and steered by Abdul Ghaffar Khan, commonly known as Bacha Khan. His non-violent movement became a sincere instrument for the transformation of Pathans from a group with polemic and defiant nature to a non-violent one.
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The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al Qaeda

Written by Ayra Azhar 8:36 pm

Peter Bergen’s “The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al Qaeda” is a look into the conflict between Al Qaeda and the United States. It details the comprehensive history of the war from both sides as well as the strategies explored by the US government.
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Maritime Disputes and International Law: Disputed Waters and Seabed Resources in Asia and Europe

Written by Awais Habib Haider 9:09 pm

Constantinos Yiallourides’ Maritime Disputes and International Law: Disputed Waters and Seabed Resources in Asia and Europe provides an extensive analysis of maritime conflicts. Using international law, he recommends achieving joint development agreements. It examines the legal principles behind maritime disputes and provides a framework for cooperation in order to use disputed resources for mutual benefit.
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The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

Written by Muhammad Shehryar 9:01 pm

Published in 2009, “The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century”, by George Friedman offers a long-term projection for the world in the current century. These projections are based on historical trends and geopolitical analysis. The book is a forecast for the 21st century, and a thought-provoking examination of the current geopolitical environment. The author makes the bold claim that while the two devastating world wars characterized the 20th century, a new set of opportunities and challenges will define the current one.
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Universalizing Nuclear Nonproliferation Norms: A Regional Framework for the South Asian Nuclear Weapon States

Written by Warisha Rashid 8:34 pm

In “Universalizing Nuclear Nonproliferation Norms: A Regional Framework for the South Asian Nuclear Weapon States”, Dr. Adil Sultan carefully considers the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (or simply, the NPT). He examines the nuclear dynamics of South Asia in light of Pakistan and India’s approach toward disarmament and nonproliferation.
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Zaviya by Ashfaq Ahmed

Written by Adil Abbasi 8:11 pm

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life and forget the importance of introspection and self-discovery. However, Ashfaq Ahmed’s “Zaviya” offers a treasure trove of insights and life lessons that have the power to transform one’s perspective. Through the pages of “Zaviya”, Adil Abbasi, the reviewer, has learned valuable lessons about the importance of humility, the power of sharing, and the dangers of our ego. These are lessons that have made a profound impact on his life, helping him to grow as an individual and to see the world with a more compassionate and enlightened view.
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Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia

Written by Atiqa Tariq 4:57 pm

In “Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia”, Michael R. J. Vatikiotis focuses on the violent conflicts that have plagued Southeast Asia ever since it gained independence from colonial empires. Internal conflicts, political polarization, corruption, and economic disparity have halted the region’s progress. In fact, in 2015, Cambodia ranked 150 out of 168 on the corruption index, Thailand sat at 76, Vietnam at 112, and Indonesia at 88.
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The Pashtuns: A Contested History

Written by Sidra Ahad 7:56 pm

“The Pashtuns: A Contested History” is an account of the Pashtun ethnic group, their journey through history, their struggle with foreign invaders, and internal conflicts. Tilak Devasher highlights Pakistan’s role in the rise of the Taliban and in their endurance, especially during the American invasion in the post-9/11 era.
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The State During the British Raj: Imperial Governance in South Asia 1700-1947

Written by Azfar Khan Niazi 7:17 pm

Ilhan Niaz’s ‘The State During the British Raj: Imperial Governance in South Asia 1700-1947,’ takes upon itself to decipher the gradual evolution of institutionalism during the British Raj. The author also tries to divulge the pattern of impersonalized governance, constitutionalism, civilian supremacy, meritocracy, and bureaucratic administration in the Indian subcontinent.
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