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The latest in IR - spring book round up

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Welcome to our quarterly book round up. Each quarter we bring you updates on the latest International Studies releases by BISA members. To be included in the next update contact Communications Manager, Chrissie Duxson:

Non-State Actors and Foreign Policy Agency

Insights from Area Studies

Marianna Charountaki, Christos Kourtelis, Daniela Irrera

Non-State Actors and Foreign Policy Agency book jacket

Marianna Charountaki is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Lincoln (UK). She is a BRISMES and BISA Trustee as well as co-convenor of BISA Foreign Policy Working Group. Christos Kourtelis is a researcher at the Department of International, European and Area Studies at Panteion University (Greece). Daniela Irrera is Professor of International Relations at the School of Advanced Defense Studies, in Rome (Italy), and Visiting Professor of Political Violence and Terrorism at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek.


This edited volume discusses non-state actors as agents of foreign policy. It questions whether non-state actors can act as foreign policy makers and if the contemporary role of non-state actors constitutes a theoretical challenge to foreign policy. Chapters demonstrate the impact of non-state entities through the lenses of their direct role as decision-makers, with examples drawn from the African continent, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Arguing for the necessity of approaching foreign policy in a broader frame, beyond the scope of the state and the individual, the book fills a gap in the literature and creates a closer nexus between area studies and foreign policy. This volume will be of interest to both academics and practitioners across the fields of international relations, foreign policy analysis, and area studies.

Find out more and purchase the book via the Springer website.

The Concertation Impulse in World Politics

Contestation over Fundamental Institutions and the Constrictions of Institutionalist International Relations

Andrew F Cooper

The Concertation Impulse in World Politics

Andrew F Cooper is University Research Chair, Department of Political Science, and Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo.


This book unravels the centrality of contestation over international institutions under the shadow of crisis. Breaking with the widely accepted image in the mainstream, US-centric literature of an advance of global governance supported by pillars of institutionalized formality, Andrew Cooper points to the retention of a habitual impulse towards concertation related to informal institutionalism. Rather than endorsing the view that world politics is moving inexorably towards a multilateral, rules-based order, he places the onus on the resilience of a hierarchical self-selected concert model that combines a stigmatized legacy with the ability to reproduce in an array of associational formats.

Relying for conceptual guidance on the recovery of a valuable component in the intellectual contribution of Hedley Bull, a compelling case is made that concertation represents a fundamental institution as a peer competitor to multilateralism. In effect, the debate over institutional design is recast away from an emphasis on utilitarian maximization towards a wider set of cardinal - and highly contested - questions: the nature of rules at the global level, the salience of institutional clubs, and the meaning and impact of (in)equality and cooperation/coordination among states across the incumbent West/non-incumbent Global South divide.

Find out more and purchase the book via the Oxford University Press website.

Propaganda and Neutrality

Global Case Studies in the Twentieth Century

Edited by Edward Corse and Marta García Cabrera

Propaganda and Neutrality book jacket

Edward Corse is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of War, Media and Society, University of Kent, UK and at the Centre for the Study of Health, Ethics and Society, University of Hamburg, Germany. He is the author of A Battle for Neutral Europe: British cultural propaganda during the Second World War (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013)

Marta García Cabrera is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), Spain, and Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of War, Media and Society, University of Kent, UK. She is the author of Bajo las zarpas del león: la persuasion británica en España durante las guerras mundiales (2022).


This is the first broad-ranging, comprehensive and comparative study of the concepts of propaganda and neutrality. Bringing together world-leading and early career historians, this open access book explores case studies from the time of the First World War to the Cold War and beyond in countries such as the USA, Argentina, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Switzerland, Vichy France, Turkey, Sweden, Portuguese Macau, Yugoslavia, Egypt, India, Laos and South Africa.

The individual chapters analyse the methods and channels of propaganda utilised in neutral countries, including rumours, magazines, newspapers and films as well as radio broadcasts, official reports, cultural activities and soft power. They look to understand how these methods and channels have been deployed and how effective they have been in changing or reinforcing opinions and outcomes.

Finally the book highlights the interaction between the concepts of propaganda and neutrality as well as diplomacy, espionage, diasporic communities and trade. It considers whether neutrality is a form of propaganda in itself, whether it is possible to be truly neutral in any propaganda battle and how the different forms of neutrality, including projected strict neutrality, non-belligerency and non-alignment, have been utilised by neutrals and belligerents to achieve propaganda goals.

The ebook editions of this book are available to download Open Access under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence. Open access was funded by Knowledge Unlatched. Hardback editions can be purchased with the code GLR AR9 (which gives a 35% discount) from the Bloomsbury website.

Queer Conflict Research

New Approaches to the Study of Political Violence

Edited by Jamie J Hagen, Samuel Ritholtz and Andrew Delatolla

Queer Conflict Research book jacket

Jamie J Hagen is Lecturer in International Relations at Queen's University Belfast where she is also the founding Co-Director of the Centre for Gender in Politics. Samuel Ritholtz is Departmental Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford in association with St Hilda’s College. Andrew Delatolla is Lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Leeds.


Bringing together a team of international scholars, this volume provides a foundational guide to queer methodologies in the study of political violence and conflict.

Contributors provide illuminating discussions on why queer approaches are important, what they entail and how to utilise a queer approach to political violence and conflict. The chapters explore a variety of methodological approaches, including fieldwork, interviews, cultural analysis and archival research. They also engage with broader academic debates, such as how to work with research partners in an ethical manner.

Including valuable case studies from around the world, the book demonstrates how these methods can be used in practice. It is the first critical, in-depth discussion on queer methods and methodologies for research on political violence and conflict.

Find out more and purchase the book via the Bristol University Press website.

Radicalisation, counter-radicalisation, and Prevent

A vernacular approach

By Lee Jarvis, Andrew Whiting and Stuart Macdonald

Radicalisation, counter-radicalisation, and Prevent book jacket

Lee Jarvis is Professor of International Politics at Loughborough University. Stuart Macdonald is Professor of Law at Swansea University. Andrew Whiting is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Royal Holloway, University of London.


This book offers the first sustained investigation into non-elite understandings of radicalisation and counter-radicalisation policy. Drawing on original focus group research with students from universities across England and Wales, the book explores how 'ordinary' citizens understand radicalisation, how they make sense of counter-radicalisation initiatives like the UK Prevent Strategy, and how they evaluate its functioning and effects across society. Radicalisation, counter-radicalisation and Prevent demonstrates that these non-elite insights often contradict and diverge from traditional (elite) security knowledge and thus shed new light on wider questions around the politics of security. This has vitally important implications not only for counter-radicalisation and counter-terrorism policy but for the very study and practice of security.

Find out more and purchase the book via the Manchester University Press website.

The Politics of Antagonism

Populist Security Narratives and the Remaking of Political Identity

Georg Löfflmann

The Politics of Antagonism book jacket

Dr Georg Löfflmann is Lecturer in US Foreign Policy at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of American Grand Strategy Under Obama: Competing Discourses (2017) and co-editor, with Cora Lacatus and Gustav Meibauer, of Political Communication and Performative Leadership: Populism in International Politics (2023).


This book demonstrates how populist security narratives served as the driving force behind the mobilization of Republican voters and the legitimation of an ‘America First’ policy agenda under the Trump presidency. Going beyond existing research on both populism and security narratives, the author links insights from political psychology on collective narcissism, blame attribution and emotionalization with research in political communication on narrative and framing to explore the political and societal impact of a populist security imaginary. Drawing on a comprehensive range of sources including key interviews, campaign and policy speeches, presidential addresses, and posts on social media, it shows how progressives, political opponents, immigrants, racial justice activists, and key institutions of liberal democracy collectively became an internal Other, delegitimated as ‘enemies of the people’. Developing an innovative conceptual-analytical framework of nationalist populism that expands on established concepts of political identity and ontological security, the book will appeal to students of critical security studies, critical constructivist approaches in International Relations, and US politics.

Find out more and purchase the book via the Routledge website.

The United States and China in the Era of Global Transformations

Geographies of Rivalry

Edited by Salvador Santino F Regilme Jr

The United States and China in the Era of Global Transformations book jacket

Salvador Santino F Regilme Jr is tenured Associate Professor of International Relations at the History and International Studies Section, Institute for History, Leiden University. Born in the Philippines and educated in Germany and the United States, he is a Dutch scholar focusing on international human rights norms, North-South relations, global security issues, and contemporary United States foreign policy.


Over the last two decades, China has emerged as one of the most powerful state actors in the post-Cold War international system.

This book provides a multifaceted and spatially oriented analysis of how China’s re-emergence as a global power impacts the dominance of the United States as well as domestic state and non-state actors in various world-regions, including the Asia-Pacific, Africa, South America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Europe and the Arctic. Chapters reflect on how and under which conditions competition (and cooperation) between the United States and China vary across these regions and what such variations mean for the prospects of war and peace, universal human dignity and global cooperation.

Find out more and purchase the book via the Bristol University Press website.


If you're a BISA member and you'd like your book included in next quarter's round up, email Communications Manager, Chrissie Duxson: Please include the title, blurb and a link to where the book can be purchased. If you are able, you can also include details of any discount available, but of course this is not required. The book should have been published a maximum of six months prior to your email.

Top photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash