The New Scramble For Africa by Pádraig Carmody

The Blurb On The Back:

Once marginalized in the world economy, Africa today is a major global supplier of crucial raw materials like oil, uranium and coltan.  China’s part in this story has loomed particularly large in recent years, and the American military footprint on the continent has also expanded.  But a new scramble for resources, markets and territory is now taking place in Africa, involving not just state, but non-state actors, including Islamic fundamentalist and other rebel groups.

The second edition of Pádraig Carmody’s popular book explores the duamics of the new scramble for African resources, markets and territory, and the impact of current investment and competition on people, the environment, and political and economic development on the continent.  Fully revised and updated throughout its chapters explore old and new economic power interest in Africa; oil, minerals, timber, biofuels, land, food and fisheries; and the nature and impacts of Asian and South African investment in manufacturing and other sectors.

The New Scramble For Africa will be essential reading for students of African studies, international relations and resource politics, as well as anyone interested in current affairs.

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Can We Solve The Migration Crisis? by Jacqueline Bhabha

The Blurb On The Back:

Every minute 24 people are forced to leave their homes; currently, more than 65 million are displaced worldwide.  Small wonder that tackling the refugee and migration crisis has become a global political priority.

Can this crisis be resolved and, if so, how?  In this compelling essay, Jacqueline Bhabha explains why forced migration demands compassion, generosity, and a vigorous acknowledgement of our shared dependence on human mobility as a key element of global collaboration.  Unless we develop humane “win-win” strategies for tackling the inequalities and conflicts driving migration and for addressing the fears fuelling xenophobia, innocent lives and cardinal human rights principles will be squandered in the service of futile nationalism and oppressive border control.  

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Refuge: Transforming A Broken Refugee System by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier

The Blurb On The Back:

Europe is facing its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, yet the institutions responding to it remain virtually unchanged from those created in the post-war era.  As neighbouring countries continue to bear the brunt of the Syrian catastrophe, European governments have enacted a series of ill-considered and damaging gestures.  With a deepening crisis and a xenophobic backlash around the world, it is time for a new vision of refuge.

Going beyond the scenes of desperation that have become all too familiar in the past few years renowned development experts Alexander Betters and Paul Collier break new ground by showing how international policymakers can deliver humane, sustainable results that are better for refugees and host countries.  Drawing upon years of research in the field and original solutions that have already been successfully trialled, they outline a compelling vision that can empower refugees to help themselves, contribute to their host countries and even rebuild their countries of origin.

Refuge reveals how, despite the media focus on the minority of refugees trying to making it to Europe’s shores, 90 per cent of the world’s refugees live in developing countries, mostly in camps or in urban poverty.  In light of this, their eye-opening book situates Europe’s refugee crisis in a global framework, offering a concrete diagnosis for a system that has, for too long, been institutionally broken.

An urgent and essential work, Refuge shows how we can act for both moral and practical purposes in order to deal with the defining challenge of our time.  

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What Is Russia Up To In The Middle East? by Dmitri Trenin

The Blurb On The Back:

The eyes of the world are on the Middle East.  Today more than ever, this deeply troubled region is the center of power games between major global players vying or international influence.  Absent from this scene for the past quarter century, Russia is now back with gusto.  Yet its motivations, decision-making processes, and strategic objectives remain hard to pin down.

So just what is Russia up to in the Middle East?  In this hard-hitting essay, leading analyst of Russian affairs Dmitri Trenin cuts through the hyperbole to offer a clear and nuanced analysis of Russia’s involvement in the Middle East and its regional and global ramifications.  Russia, he argues, cannot and will not supplant the United States as the leading external power in the region, but its actions are accelerating changes that will fundamentally reshape the international system in the next two decades. 

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The Future Of Diplomacy by Philip Seib

The Blurb On The Back:

Never before has diplomacy evolved at such a rapid pace.  It is being transformed into a global participatory process by new media tools and new empowered publics.  “Public diplomacy” has taken center-stage as diplomats strive to reach and influence audiences that are better informed and more assertive than any in the past.

In this crisp and insightful analysis, Philip Seib, one of the world’s top experts on media and foreign policy, explores the future of diplomacy in our hyper-connected world.  He shows how the focus of diplomatic practice has shifted away from the closed-door, top-level negotiations of the past.  Today’s diplomats are obliged to respond instantly to the latest crisis fuelled by a YouTube video or Facebook post.  This has given rise to a more open and reactive approach to global problem-solving with consequences that are difficult to predict.  Drawing on examples from the Iran nuclear negotiations to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Seib argues persuasively for this versatile and flexible public-facing diplomacy; one that makes strategic use of both new media and traditional diplomatic processes to manage the increasingly complex relations between states and new non-state political actors in the twenty-first century.  

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Is Islam An Enemy Of The West? by Tamara Sonn

The Blurb On The Back:

New York, Washington, Madrid, London, Paris, and Brussels – the list of Western cities targeted by radical Islamic terrorists waging global jihad continues to grow.  Does this extreme violence committed in the name of Islam point to a fundamental enmity between the Muslim faith and the West?

In this compelling essay, leading authority on Islam Tamara Sonn argues that whilst the West has many enemies among Muslims, it is politics not religion that informs their grievances.  The longer these demands remain frustrated, the more violence has escalated and recruitment to groups like Islamic State has increased.  Far from fuelling the spread of Islamic extremism, Western military intervention has helped to turn nationalist movements into radical terrorist groups with international agendas.  Islam, Sonn concludes, is not the problem, just as war is not the solution.   

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Nothing But A Circus: Misadventures Among The Powerful by Daniel Levin

The Blurb On The Back:

In this eye-opening exploration of the human weakness for power, Daniel Levin takes us on a journey through the absurd world of our global elites, drawing unforgettable sketches of some of the puppets who stand guard, and the jugglers and conjurers employed within.  Most spectacular of all, however, are the astonishing contortions performed by those closest to the top in order to maintain the illusion of integrity, decency and public service.

Based on the author’s first hand experiences of dealing with governments and political institutions around the world, NOTHING BUT A CIRCUS offers a rare glimpse of the conversations that happen behind closed doors, observing the appalling lengths that people will go to in order to justify their unscrupulous choices, from Dubai to Luanda, Moscow to Beijing, and at the heart of the UN and the US government.  

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