Holmes’ Social Unrest and American Military Bases is a comparative study of anti-American bases social movements that emerged in Turkey and Germany during the Cold War and continued after. The author explores the emergence and causes of these movements against U.S. military presence in two frontline NATO allies, how the U.S. responded to these movements, and which tactics these movements resorted to, in order to accomplish their objectives. In doing so she does a commendable job of blending international relations and social movements literature to better understand the domestic and international conditions under which the perception of an American military presence went from ‘legitimate protector’ to ‘giving harm’ to Turkish and German security and sovereignty, that it was initially supposed to protect.
A decade after 9/11, the Arab revolts gave a second impetus to scholarly interest in the Middle East. A plethora of books and other academic and popular pieces have been published in the last few years. McMillan’s book, Fathers and Sons, gives the reader a fine, bird’s eye view account of the Arab world’s journey in particular and the Muslim world in general from the time of the Prophet. McMillan’s work is a historical narrative of how and why the Arab world inherited a system of dynastic succession that is blatantly un-Islamic and how that path culminated in the Arab revolts. The book, more popular than academic, is unbiased in its perspective towards Muslims/Arabs and is especially easy to read and follow.
The quest to incorporate non-material factors into international relations has continued apace into the twenty-first century. After religion, culture and identity, now ‘civilization’ seems to be attracting a great deal of attention from international relations (IR) scholars.