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The PolSci Bookshelf: books released in 2023

The end of the year often means looking back with lists, overviews and stories. This combines nicely in a list of all the books published this year by various political scientists at Leiden University. Indeed, in terms of books, these scholars have certainly not been idle. A unique collection of stories, experiences and research has emerged, giving an impression of what has been going on at the Institute of Political Science this year.

Book cover The Politics of Immigration Beyond Liberal States

The Politics of Immigration Beyond Liberal States

By Katharina Natter

Immigration presents a fundamental challenge to the nation-state and is a key political priority for governments worldwide. However, knowledge of the politics of immigration remains largely limited to liberal states of the Global North. In this book, Katharina Natter draws on extensive fieldwork and archival research to compare immigration policymaking in authoritarian Morocco and democratizing Tunisia. Through this analysis, Natter advances theory-building on immigration beyond the liberal state and demonstrates how immigration politics – or how a state deals with 'the other' – can provide valuable insights into the inner workings of political regimes.

Click here for more info about the book.

Book cover Het Grafiekenboek

Het Grafiekenboek (The Graph Book)

By Jelke Bethlehem

Graphs are everywhere: in newspapers, on television, in scientific publications and government reports. A good graph is a powerful tool to bring out the message in data. But there are also many poorly designed graphs that can easily lead you astray.

This book will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. In 'Het Grafiekenboek' (The Graph Book), Jelke Bethlehem gives many examples of bad graphs, taken from all kinds of publications. For all these graphs, he presents improved versions. Not only does this teach you to view other people's graphs more critically, but you will soon be able to make better graphs yourself.

'Het Grafiekenboek' is only available in Dutch. Click here for more info about the book.

Book cover European Union Governance and Policy-Making

European Union Governance and Policy-Making, Second Edition: A Canadian Perspective

Edited by Amy Verdun, Achim Hurrelmann and Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly

European Union Governance and Policy-Making introduces the politics of the European Union (EU) to a student audience. The book is explicitly written for students enrolled in universities in Canada, or other non-EU countries, and builds on their academic background. Chapters cover the political and legal system of the EU, theories of European integration, core EU policies such as the Single Market, its single currency, migration policy, EU enlargement, as well as pressing issues facing the further development of European integration.

Click here for more info about the book.

Book cover The Picnic

The Picnic

By Matthew Longo

In August 1989, a group of Hungarian activists organized a picnic on the border of Hungary and Austria. But this was not an ordinary picnic―it was located on the dangerous militarized frontier known as the Iron Curtain. The Pan-European Picnic set the stage for the greatest border breach in Cold War: hundreds crossed from the Communist East to the longed-for freedom of the West. Drawing on dozens of original interviews―including Hungarian activists and border guards, East German refugees, Stasi secret police, and the last Communist prime minister of Hungary―Matthew Longo tells a gripping and revelatory tale of the unraveling of the Iron Curtain and the birth of a new world order.

Click here for more info about the book.

Civilian Protective Agency in Violent Settings: A Comparative Perspective

Civilian Protective Agency in Violent Settings: A Comparative Perspective

Edited by Juan Masullo Jimenez, Jana Krause, Emily Paddon Rhoads, Jennifer Welsh

Living exposed to diverse forms of violence, individuals and communities have found innovative—and sometimes counterintuitive—ways to protect themselves and others. This volume aims to establish the study of civilian agency and its protective dimension across various violent settings as a systematic and unified field of research. It brings together researchers spanning several social science disciplines to study civilian protective agency in different violent settings, including civil war, genocide, communal violence, and organized crime, and in various geographical locations, from Syria to Mozambique, Sri Lanka to Mexico, Iraq to Colombia, and Western Europe.

Click here for more info about the book.

Book Cover The Exclusion of Immigrants from Welfare Programs

The Exclusion of Immigrants from Welfare Programs: Cross-National Analysis and Contemporary Developments

Edited by Edward A. Koning

With the increase in cross-border mobility and the recent political climate surrounding immigration-related issues, understanding the politics and policies of immigrants’ access to welfare programs is more relevant than ever. This book fills this gap by taking advantage of a novel and original measure called the Immigrant Exclusion from Social Programs Index (IESPI), which includes twenty-five indicators regarding immigrants’ access to seven different social programs, for twenty-two countries, at four moments in time. 

Presenting a cross-national index to facilitate and encourage systematic cross-country comparisons, this book provides insights and data that will allow researchers to probe such questions as the degree to which countries include or exclude immigrants in developing public policies, why some countries are more exclusionary than others, and what the future consequences of this exclusion might be.

Click here for more info about the book.

Book cover Migration Politics across the World

Migration Politics across the World

Edited by Katharina Natter and Hélène Thiollet

This book breaks new ground in scholarship on the politics of migration. The edited volume brings together in-depth case studies from Argentina, Tunisia, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Australia, the Philippines, China, and Saudi Arabia to showcase the complex interplay between migration politics and broader dynamics of regime change, state formation, and nation-state ideology. Challenging conventional wisdom, we reveal that political systems—whether liberal or illiberal, democratic or authoritarian—do not rigidly dictate migration politics. Instead, migration politics and political regimes co-produce one another.

Click here for more info about the book.

Cover Peilingen in de praktijk

Peilingen in de Praktijk (Polls in Practice)

By Jelke Bethlehem

This book is about polls. A poll is a form of research where you collect data by asking questions to a large group of people. You do this to find out more about their behaviour or opinions. Asking a large group a series of questions can cost a lot of time and money. That is why researchers often work with a sample from a group. The question is then what you can do with the data from the sample. Can you use it to say something meaningful about the group as a whole? Yes, you can, but then you have to have conducted that sample correctly. It has to be a random sample. This booklet explains how to do that.

Polls in Practice is part of the Zebra series. This series introduces upper secondary school students to subjects in mathematics that fall outside the standard curriculum but are very worthwhile.

'Peilingen in de Praktijk' is only available in Dutch. Click here for more info about the book.

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