Monthly Archives: October 2012

Book: “Croatia: Between Europe and the Balkans (Postcommunist States and Nations)”

review15Croatia, Between Europe and the Balkans addresses the key developments in economics, politics, international relations and social policy in the state over the last decade. It places these developments in their historical context, and shows how current policy dilemmas are structured within the conflicting pressures which historically have pulled Croatia between a European, a Mediterranean and a Balkan orientation. In the new context of European integration however, Croatia may now find a new role in her pivotal position as a bridge between the unruly Balkans and an impatient Europe. This book will be of particular use for courses on Eastern Europe. Its thorough, up-to-date analysis will also be of interest to students and researchers in politics and international relations, but with a broader appeal to diplomats, policy makers, trade officials, the business community and consultants expanding their trading links with the region.

Book: “The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know”

review14For nearly 60 years–from its uprising against British rule in the 1950s, to the bloody civil war between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the 1960s, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the 1970s, and the United Nation’s ongoing 30-year effort to reunite the island–the tiny Mediterranean nation of Cyprus has taken a disproportionate share of the international spotlight. And while it has been often in the news, accurate and impartial information on the conflict has been nearly impossible to obtain. In The Cyprus Problem, James Ker-Lindsay–recently appointed as expert advisor to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus–offers an incisive, even-handed account of the conflict. Ker-Lindsay covers all aspects of the Cyprus problem, placing it in historical context, addressing the situation as it now stands, and looking toward its possible resolution. The book begins with the origins of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities as well as the other indigenous communities on the island (Maronites, Latin, Armenians, and Gypsies). Ker-Lindsay then examines the tensions that emerged between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots after independence in 1960 and the complex constitutional provisions and international treaties designed to safeguard the new state. He pays special attention to the Turkish invasion in 1974 and the subsequent efforts by the UN and the international community to reunite Cyprus. The book’s final two chapters address a host of pressing issues that divide the two Cypriot communities, including key concerns over property, refugee returns, and the repatriation of settlers. Ker-Lindsay concludes by considering whether partition really is the best solution, as many observers increasingly suggest. Written by a leading expert, The Cyprus Problem brings much needed clarity and understanding to a conflict that has confounded observers and participants alike for decades.

Book: “Albania: From Anarchy to Balkan Identity”

review13Situated between Greece on the south, the former Yugoslavia on the north and east, and the Adriatic Sea on the west, Albania is the country the world forgot. Throughout this century, Albania has been perceived as primitive and isolationist by its neighbors to the west. When the country ended fifty years of communist rule in 1992, few outsiders took interest. Deemed unworthy of membership in the European Union and overlooked by multinational corporations, Albania stands today as one of the poorest and most ignored countries in Europe. Miranda Vickers and James Pettifer take us behind the veil of former President Enver Hoxha’s isolationist policies to examine the historic events leading up to Albania’s transition to a parliamentary government. Beginning with Hoxha’s death in 1985, Albania traces the last decade of Albania’s shaky existence, from the anarchy and chaos of the early nineties to the victory of the Democratic Alliance in 1992 and the programs of the current government. The authors provide us with an analysis of how the moral, religious, economic, political and cultural identity of the Albanian people is being redefined, and leave no question that the future of Albania is inextricably linked to the future of the Balkans as a whole. In short, they tell us why Albania matters.

The book is available on Amazon