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Recent Publications

Brexit
New Europe’s New Development Aid

New Europe’s New Development Aid

Balazs Szent-Ivanyi and Simon Lightfoot, Routledge, 2015.

This book examines the international development policies of five East Central European new EU member states, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. These countries turned from being aid recipients to donors after the turn of the Millennium in the run-up to EU accession. The book explains the post-2004 evolution and current state of foreign aid policies in the region and the reasons why these deviate from many of the internationally agreed best practices in development cooperation. It argues that after the turn of the Millennium, a ‘Global Consensus’ has emerged on how to make foreign aid more effective for development. A comparison between the elements of the Global Consensus and the performance of the five countries reveals that while they have generally implemented little of these recommendations, there are also emerging differences between the countries, with the Czech Republic and Slovenia clearly aspiring to become globally responsible donors. Building on the literatures on foreign policy analysis, international socialization and interest group influence, the book develops a model of foreign aid policy making in order to explain the general reluctance of the five countries in implementing international best practices, and also the differences in their relative performance.


Ethnic Conflict and War Crimes in the Balkans

Ethnic Conflict and War Crimes in the Balkans: The Narratives of Denial in Post- Conflict Serbia

Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik

The book considers the experience of knowing, witnessing and speaking about atrocities, and thus contributes to the debates on confronting the past in Serbia. Specifically, it considers how individuals of the “ordinary” public in Serbia reflect upon, understand and keep secrets about the 1991–1999 conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, and the atrocities, human rights abuses and war crimes which were committed there. Close attention is paid to the stories of individuals whose voices and experiences are generally excluded from the broader debate about the past. Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik explores how these narratives diverge from, resist and are invisible to the formal and civil society initiatives aimed at confronting the past in Serbia. In doing so, the book also explores silence about and denial of the violent past, and considers how and where these dynamics manifest and what they might mean. In addition, it covers themes such as narratives of self-victimhood, conspiracy theory and the perception of war-time leaders and combatants.

This is a detailed and considered investigation into how groups cope with knowledge and the witnessing of violent pasts. It is based on ethnographic research and interviews with a group of ‘ordinary’ individuals, in post-Milosevic Serbia. As such, it provides a unique perspective on the lived experience of the conflicts, and the ways in which stories of the 1990s emerge in everyday contexts.


The Presidence of the Fifth Republic

The Presidents of the French Fifth Republic

Edited by David S. Bell and John Gaffney, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 

This volume brings together French and British scholars of France to analyse one of French politics' most intellectually compelling phenomena, the presidency of the republic. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of that leadership as well as the way that executive power has been established in the Fifth Republic; how presidential power and the subsequent full scale development of 'personality politics' developed within an essentially party-driven, democratic and, most importantly, republican system. Hence the authors in this volume examine the phenomenon of a strong presidency in the French republican framework. The individual chapters focus on the presidency and upon the individual presidents and the way in which they have addressed their own relation to the presidencies they presided over on top of a range of other factors informing their terms of office. A conclusion sums up and appraises the contemporary role of the French presidency within the party system and the republic. The project has generated a great deal of interest in the French political studies community.


The Vulnerable Subject

The Vulnerable Subject

Edited by Amanda Russell Beattie and Kate Schick, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013

International Relations scholarship has typically engaged with vulnerability as a problem to be solved through 'rational' attempts to craft a global order marked by universality, predictability and stability. By recovering an awareness of the persistently vulnerable human subject, this book argues that we can re-engage with issues of emotion, relationality, community and history that are often excluded from the study of global politics. This collection proposes an agonistic approach to international ethics and politics, eschewing a rationalism that radically privileges white Western conceptions of the world and that actively oppresses alternative voices. The Vulnerable Subject addresses issues such as trust, judgement, climate change, identity, and post-colonial relations, allowing for a profound rethinking of one of the core driving assumptions at the heart of international politics.


Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review

Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review

Nathaniel Copsey and Tim Haughton, Wiley, 2013

The Aston Centre for Europe is also co-host to the Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review, which has been the leading journal of European studies since 1962. The Annual Review covers the key developments in the European Union, its member states, and acceding and/or applicant countries. It is co-edited by Tim Haughton (Birmingham University) and Nathaniel Copsey (Aston University). Click here for more information. 


Simon Green The Politics of New Germany Second Edition

The Politics of the New Germany

Simon Green (with Dan Hough and Alister Miskimmon), London: Routledge, 2011

The Politics of the New Germany continues to provide the most comprehensive, authoritative and up-to-date textbook on contemporary German Politics. The text takes a new approach to understanding politics in the post-unification Federal Republic. Assuming only elementary knowledge, it focuses on a series of the most important debates and issues in Germany today with the aim of helping students understand both the workings of the country's key institutions and some of the most important policy challenges facing German politicians.


Nat Copsey Public Opinion and the Making of Foreign Policy in the New Europe

Public Opinion and the Making of Foreign Policy in the 'New Europe' 

Nathaniel Copsey, Ashgate, 2009

Since 1989, by drawing a new boundary between the EU and its eastern neighbours, the European Union has created a frontier that has been popularly described in the frontier states as the new 'Berlin Wall'. This book is the first comparative study of the impact of public opinion on the making of foreign policy in two eastern European states that live on either side of the new European divide: Poland and Ukraine. Focusing on the vocal, informed segment of public opinion and drawing on results of both opinion polls and a series of innovative focus groups gathered since the Orange Revolution, Nathaniel Copsey unravels the mystery of how this crucial segment of the public impacts on foreign policy-makers in both states. In developing this argument, Copsey takes a closer look at the business community and how important economic factors are in forming public opinion. Filling a gap in the literature currently available on the topic, this book presents a fresh approach to our understanding of Polish-Ukrainian relations and how the public's view of the past influences contemporary politics.


Religion Politics

Religion, Politics and Law in the European Union

Lucian Leustean with John Madeley, London Routledge, 2009

EU enlargement - to countries in Central and Eastern Europe in 2004, the inclusion of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, and increasing debates on Turkey’s membership - has dramatically transformed the European Union into a multi-religious space. Religious communities are not only shaping identities but are also influential factors in political discourse. This edited volume examines the activities of religious actors in the context of supranational European institutions and the ways in which they have responded to the idea of Europe at local and international levels. By bringing together scholars working in political science, history, law and sociology, this volume analyses key religious factors in contemporary EU architecture, such as the transformation of religious identities, the role of political and religious leaders, EU legislation on religion, and, the activities of religious lobbies.


War Torture

War, Terrorism & Torture: Rethinking the Rules of International Security

Amanda Russell Beattie & Anthony F. Lang, Jr. (eds.) London, Routledge, 2008

This book seeks to demonstrate how rules not only guide a variety of practices within international politics but also contribute to the chaos and tension on the part of agents in light of the structures they sustain. Four central themes- practice, legitimacy, regulation, and responsibility- reflect different dimensions of a rule governed political order. The volume does not provide a single new set of rules for governing an increasingly chaotic international system. Instead, it provides reflections upon the way in which rules can and cannot deal with practices of violence. While many assume that "obeying the rules" will bring more peaceful outcomes, the chapters in this volume demonstrate that this may occur in some cases, but more often than not the very nature of a rule governed order will create tensions and stresses that require a constant attention to underlying political dynamics.


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