Book Reviews

We are currently accepting book reviews of titles both from our curated list from NIAS Press, and of books from other publishers.

Reviews should contextualise books within a field, approach their overall argument analytically, and/or provide concise treatment of the book’s contribution to state-of-the-art literature. Reviews that simply summarise contents without critical, in-depth reflection and discussion will not be accepted.

Authors interested in submitting a book review of a NIAS Press publication should write to, with in cc.  We send authors a copy of books to be reviewed if required, and we assign a deadline for the book review.

Book Review Guidelines
Please use the guide below to assist you with structuring your book review.

At the top of the first page of your review, give a complete bibliographic citation for the book. This includes full names of authors, complete book title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, number of pages, special features (such as illustrated/heavily illustrated, an enclosed DVD, foreword by a noteworthy individual etc.), ISBN number, and hardcover or paperback edition:

Brødsgaard, Kjeld Erik and Zheng, Yongnian (eds.). Bringing the Party Back In – How China is governed. Buffalo: Cavendish Square Publishing, 2004, 320 pp., ISBN: 978-9812102522 (paperback).

No abstract is needed

The introductory paragraphs should give the reader an understanding of the nature and scope of the book: introduce the author; give a short description of the book’s contents; describe the organization of the book; describe the contribution of the book to the literature etc.

Follow with an objective evaluation of the book’s contents by critically assessing the author’s central argument, the evidence, and the book’s contribution

Give full names of every person mentioned in the review

Acronyms and abbreviations should be spelled out the first time they are used

Do not use footnotes

When quoting from the book or citing examples, include the page number for reference

At the end of the review, include your name, title and institutional affiliation

Maximum length for a book review is 1,000 words

NIAS Press titles currently available for review:

UNESCO in Southeast Asia
World Heritage Sites in Comparative Perspective
Edited by Victor T. King
How UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites are selected, the consequences of inscription, and how tourists and locals relate to heritage are among the issues covered by this fascinating collection.
More details at:

Cultivating Gender
Meanings of Place and Work in Rural Vietnam
Cecilia Bergstedt
Explores the feminization of farming in Vietnam and the profound social changes this is bringing.
More details at:

Coping with Calamity
Environmental Change and Peasant Response in Central China, 1736-1949
Jiayan Zhang
Important contribution to the field of environmental history, offering unique insights from the author’s intimate knowledge of the region and extensive sources.
More details at:

China’s Contested Internet
Edited by Guobin Yang
Sophisticated analyses of multiple dimensions of the Chinese Internet, covering hackerspaces, online activism, diaosi, weiguan, censorship of Internet fiction, the government presence on Weibo, and much more.
More details at:’s-contested-internet

Doing Fieldwork in China … with Kids!
The Dynamics of Accompanied Fieldwork in the People’s Republic
Candice Cornet and Tami Blumenfield (eds)
An insightful and thought-provoking volume that explores the many issues raised for researchers undertaking fieldwork in China with children in tow.
More details at:

In the Land of the Pagodas
A Classic Account of Travel in Hong Kong, Macao, Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou
Alfred Raquez (Edited and translated by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux)
It takes readers on a vivid tour of fin-de-siècle China in the company of a Parisian boulevardier on the run and is a startlingly fresh voice from over 100 years ago. It the first English translation of a long out-of-print and sorely neglected work.
More details at:

Reinventing Social Democratic Development
Insights from Indian and Scandinavian Comparisons
Olle Törnquist and John Harriss (eds) (with Neera Chandhoke and Fredrik Engelstad)
Can social democratic developments be reinvented? This pioneering book by concerned scholars looks at experiences of social democratic development in Scandinavia and India.
More details at:

The Malayan Emergency
Essays on a Small, Distant War
Souchou Yao
This book examines the Malayan Emergency afresh and brings into focus issues not normally covered in other accounts. Furthermore, it explores the moral costs of modern counter-insurgency.
More details at:

Mobile Citizens
French Indians in Indochina, 1858-1954
Natasha Pairaudeau
This is the first in-depth study of the Indian presence in French Indochina. It provides a lively account of complexity and conflicts over citizenship within the French empire and offers a new perspective on the rise of inter-Asian migration from the late nineteenth century.
More details at:

War and Peace in the Borderlands of Myanmar
The Kachin Ceasefire, 1994-2011
Mandy Sadan (ed)
This volume offers important insights into Myanmar and its ethnic situation and is a must-read for anyone working with conflict issues.
More details at:

Charismatic Monks of Lanna Buddhism
Paul T. Cohen (ed)
Is the first scholarly book on the Lanna Buddhist tradition of charismatic monks. It explores the utopian visions of Lanna ‘holy men’ in relation to Buddhist cosmology and conceptions of time and examines how contemporary developments are transforming an ancient Buddhist tradition.
More details at:

A Meeting of Masks
Status, Power and Hierarchy in Bangkok
Sophorntavy Vorng
It investigates how urban Thai middle-class identity is shaped by conceptions of consumption, modernity and city life. Furthermore, it explores the challenges of everyday life in Bangkok and reveals the complex nature of privilege, hierarchy and inequality in contemporary Thailand.
More details at:

Governing Cambodia’s Forests
The International Politics of Policy Reform
Andrew Cock
It examines the loss of the last major area of pristine forest in SE Asia and offers an important contribution to the literature on aid donor-government interactions and the way these impinge upon the poor. Hereby it greatly contributes to understanding of the politics of forestry and foreign aid. 

More details at: 

Cambodia Votes
Democracy, Authority and International Supports for Elections 1993-2013
Michael Sullivan
It charts the evolution of internationally assisted elections manipulated and controlled by Hun Sen and the CCP. It exposes the complicity of various international actors supporting ‘authoritarian elections’ while promoting a more democratic and transparent electoral process.
More details at:

Caring for Strangers
Filipino Medical Workers in Asia
Megha Amrith
This is the first book-length ethnography of migrant medical workers in contemporary Southeast Asia. It recounts the personal narratives, experiences and aspirations of Filipino medical workers living and working in global Asia (especially Singapore).

More details at: