OxPol is launching a new series in which contributors are invited to review recent books written by Oxford academics. This series hopes to encourage greater cross-divisional engagement of the Oxford graduate community with the work of the university’s top academics.

This month, which sees the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, is a time of reflection and remembrance for Europe. It is therefore an appropriate time for Politics in Spires to review Professor MacMillan’s recent book on this origins of the First World War, The War that Ended Peace. Below is an interview with Margaret Macmillan and a review by her interviewer, Katharine Brooks. The War that Ended Peace can truly be termed a masterful work of scholarship, detailing the origins of the war in both outstanding breadth and depth. The book does not tell a new story of the origins …

Richard Caplan’s new book, Exit Strategies and State Building, fills a noticeable void in the otherwise rapidly expanding literature on international state-building. Despite the volume of scholarly attention dedicated to issues of peace- and state-building of recent decades, relatively little consideration has hitherto been given to questions regarding the “end game” of post-conflict state-building operations. This book seeks to address that gap and, therein, examine one of the most contentious issues for any state-building operation; the decision of when and how to leave. Exit Strategies and State Building comprises a collection of chapters written by expert academics in the field and high-level practitioners with extensive experience on the ground during these missions. It is therefore both a well-informed and rounded contribution to the literature and essential reading both for scholars of post-conflict state-building and policymakers alike.

Politics in Spires is launching a new series in which contributers are invited review books written by Oxford academics. If you know of a recent (last 24 months) book by anyone at Oxford please submit it to katharine.brooks@politics.ox.ac.uk. Here is a provisional list of books for review: