BIN reviews

BIN members review a book they have just read, a play or film they have just seen, a new gadget or scientific development they have just got acquainted with, or indeed anything exciting that they have done in their life recently.

A book recommendation from Giorgy Arziani: “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them” by Joshua Greene.

It’s a wonderful piece of academic, but popular writing, which explains the very origins of human morale. The book is full of numerous social and psychological experiments, which show us the way our moral judgments work. The author also provides readers with deep insights into the issues of utilitarian philosophy. Here is a small piece from the dust jacket.. Continue reading → 

Review by Armenak Tokmajyan: Intermediaries and the Ottomans: Why Albert Hourani’s ideas remain relevant

Albert Hourani (1915-1993) is a much-celebrated historian born to Lebanese parents in Manchester. His writings on the middle east are priceless. One of these is “Ottoman Reform and Politics of Notables” first published in 1968. In this short review Armenak Tokmajyan says that the debate it started is still relevant and ongoing. Continue reading → 

Book review by Irene Katopodis (BIN member 2018): ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara

For the duration of time that I was reading this book, I referred to it as “800 pages of pain”. And it is exactly that, but with bouts of mania and happiness and friendship intensely woven into its narrative. It is written with such a beautiful rawness that 800 pages (albeit painful) passed very quickly (this is a good thing, although I found myself wanting more when it was over). Continue reading 

Nini Kvirikashvili (BIN member 2018) reviews ‘The Gronholm Method’ by Jordi Galceran

The play tells about an interview in a big company, which turns to be an experiment on a human mind, its abilities, skills and values. It highlights the blurred lines between rights and liberties on one hand, and power on the other. Continue reading 

Alexandre Mishvelidze (BIN member 2018) reviews article: ‘Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War’ by John Mearsheimer

‘Back to the Future’ is an article in three main parts. The first is a review of what Mearsheimer calls “the long peace” in Europe following the conclusion of World War Two. In this part Mearsheimer also outlines the reasons why this long peace was maintained, all of them related to precepts of realism such as the balance of power, stable bipolarity and nuclear deterrence. The second part of Mearsheimer’s article considers four possible scenarios for a post-Cold War Europe. Continue reading 

Armenak Tokmajyan (BIN member 2018) reviews Ernest Gellner’s book “Nations and Nationalism: New Perspectives on the Past” (1983)

Ernest Gellner’s work on nationalism is less known than Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities” but, as Benedict himself admits, it is an important one in the field of nationalism studies. This summary is not perfect so you should get the book and read it. He has a talent of explaining complex ideas with simple words. It is short, rich. Enjoy! Continue reading 

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