Polity
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Printed at: 09/02/2016  –  15:35:36


The New Russia The New Russia
Mikhail Gorbachev

In this new work, Russia’s elder statesman draws on his wealth of knowledge and experience to reveal the development of Putin’s regime and the intentions behind it. He argues that in order to further his own personal power, Putin has corrupted the achievements of perestroika and created a system which offers no future for Russia. Faced with this, Gorbachev advocates a radical reform of politics and new fostering of pluralism and social democracy.

"This is a testimony to Gorbachev’s contribution to world history, not just during his heyday of perestroika but over the last two decades of post-communism, offering unique insight into events. Gorbachev takes a critical view of the Yeltsin reforms, and above all he offers a nuanced and intelligent analysis of Putin’s rule. Anybody interested in the end of the Soviet Union, post-communist Russia and contemporary world politics should read this book."
Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, UK


Return to Cold War Return to Cold War
Robert Legvold

'Robert Legvold, one of the world’s leading authorities on Soviet and Russian foreign policy, paints a sombre picture of the dangerous state of US-Russian relations, but he also has constructive ideas on the way out of the current impasse which policy-makers would do well to heed.'
Archie Brown, author of The Rise and Fall of Communism

'Robert Legvold is a preeminent scholar and expert on the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia. Return to Cold War presents comprehensive analysis and penetrating insights into the current crisis in relations between Russia and the West. It is a ‘must read’ for anyone seeking to understand what has happened to this relationship and why. Most importantly, Legvold shares his ideas on how the two countries - with wise political leadership - can make the return to the Cold War short and shallow.'
Sam Nunn, Former U.S. Senator, Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative


Queer Wars Queer Wars
Dennis Altman and Jonathan Symons

The claim that "LGBT rights are human rights" encounters fierce opposition in many parts of the world, as governments and religious leaders have used resistance to 'LGBT rights' to cast themselves as defenders of traditional values against neo-colonial interference and moral corruption. Queer Wars explores the growing international polarisation over sexual rights, and the creative responses this is prompting among social movements and activists, some of whom face murder, imprisonment or rape because of their perceived sexuality or gender expression.

'Queer Wars is broad in its scope, engaging in its material, thorough in its conception, and passionate in its argument on how advocacy should build a consensus that protects sexual minorities globally from violence and discrimination. A book for strategists, activists, academics and international workers alike.'
Edwin Cameron, Constitutional Court of South Africa


Privacy: A Short History Privacy: A Short History
David Vincent

'Those who think privacy is a modern luxury, and those who predict its imminent extinction, will each have their certainties questioned by this wise, deft and well-referenced history.'
David Anderson QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation

'Forget what you think you know about privacy. In this vivid, discerning book ranging from the 14th century to yesterday, David Vincent knocks over much of the received wisdom about this hotly-debated concept. Privacy is not now ‘dead’ nor was it invented in the eighteenth century. An original and important synthesis.'
Deborah Cohen, Northwestern University


The Closing of the Net The Closing of the Net
Monica Horten

In this compelling account, Monica Horten confronts the deepening cooperation between large companies and the State. She looks at a number of case studies related to privacy, net neutrality, filtering and copyright. Corrupt political manoeuvrings, she argues, suggest that the original vision of a free and democratic internet is rapidly being eclipsed by a closed, market-led, heavily monitored online ecosystem. And the results are chilling.

'Today’s communications fabric relies on a layered connective space (the internet). The corporate power that underwrites that space generates an unprecedented power problem for democracy. Monica Horten’s sharply written book confronts that problem head-on, with striking case studies. Who really benefits from the "fingertap of desire" that drives our device use? Read this illuminating book to find out.'
Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science


Liquid Evil Liquid Evil
Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis

There is nothing new about evil; it has been with us since time immemorial. But there is something new about the kind of evil that characterizes our contemporary liquid-modern world. Evil has become altogether more pervasive and at the same time less visible. Liquid evil hides in the seams of the canvass woven daily by the liquid-modern mode of human interaction and commerce, conceals itself in the very tissue of human cohabitation and in the course of its routine and day-to-day reproduction. Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis guide the reader through this new terrain in which evil has become both more ordinary and more insidious, threatening to strip humanity of its dreams, alternative projects and powers of dissent at the very time when they are needed most.


Can the Welfare State Survive? Can the Welfare State Survive?
Andrew Gamble

In this incisive book, leading political economist Andrew Gamble explains why western societies still need generous inclusive welfare states for all their citizens, and are rich enough to provide them. Welfare states can survive, he argues, but only if there is the political will to reform them and to fund them.

'With his usual clarity and insight, Andrew Gamble makes a compelling case not just for the survival of the welfare state but for its necessity as a cornerstone of established and emerging democracies across the world. Elegantly written and admirably succinct, this book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of welfare provision in an era of austerity.'
Polly Toynbee


The Cunning of Uncertainty Babel
Zygmunt Bauman and Ezio Mauro

In this book, two leading thinkers reflect on a world characterized by deep and growing uncertainty. Out of the world that had promised us modernity, what Jean Paul Sartre had summarized with the sublime formula “le choix que je suis” (“the choice that I am”), we inhabit that flattened, mobile and dematerialized space, where as never before the principle of the heterogenesis of purposes is sovereign. This is Babel.


Philosophy of Nature Philosophy of Nature
Paul K. Feyerabend

‘Feyerabend famously quipped that the only rule of method is that anything goes. Philosophy of Nature sheds light on his transition from critical rationalist to epistemological anarchist. Ranging from Stonehenge and Homer to Bohr and Einstein, the book creatively explores the relations of mythological thought to philosophy and science.’
Howard Sankey, University of Melbourne


textbooks

China's Future China's Future
David Shambaugh

'David Shambaugh lays out some bold speculations about possible futures for China that will make even seasoned China hands rethink their assumptions. It is critical reading from one of our most astute observers of that country.'
Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University

'While it is not possible to predict China’s future, it is possible to assay the contradictory forces that are propelling it forward. Bringing his years of experience and deep insight to bear, David Shambaugh has met this daunting challenge with great perception, balance and concision.'
Orville Schell, Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society


The Metamorphosis of the World: How Climate Change is Transforming Our Concept of the World The Metamorphosis of the World: How Climate Change is Transforming Our Concept of the World
Ulrich Beck

'Amid crises, challenges, and startling innovations the world is taking on a new shape and character. Quantitative change gives way to qualitative on dimensions from inequality through climate change. The new reality is by definition not completely knowable, but we can know the path to it better by reading Ulrich Beck's sadly but somehow also aptly unfinished book, The Metamorphosis of the World.'
Craig Calhoun, Director, London School of Economics and Political Science


Should Rich Nations Help the Poor? Should Rich Nations Help the Poor?
David Hulme

In this short book, leading global poverty analyst David Hulme explains why helping the world’s neediest communities is both the right thing to do and the wise thing to do – if rich nations want to take care of their own citizens’ future welfare. The real question is how best to provide this help. The way forward, Hulme argues, is not conventional foreign aid but trade, finance and environmental policy reform. But this must happen alongside a change in international social norms so that we all recognize the collective benefits of a poverty-free world.


Is Technology Good for Education? Is Technology Good for Education?
Neil Selwyn

"A high-quality contribution to the field of educational writing. Quick and pleasurable to read: very engaging, and grappling with important ideas."
Chris Davies, University of Oxford

"Selwyn asks all the right critical questions, and he does so in a level-headed and reasonable way. He usefully politicizes the discussion, raising broader questions that are generally ignored in the mainstream debate. The text is fantastically well-informed and up-to-the-minute."
David Buckingham, formerly of Loughborough University


Can Science Resolve the Nature / Nurture Debate? Can Science Resolve the Nature / Nurture Debate?
Margaret Lock and Gisli Palsson

Anthropologists Margaret Lock and Gisli Palsson outline vituperative arguments from Classical times about the relationship between nature and nurture, furthered today by epigenetic findings and the demonstration of a “reactive genome.” The nature/nurture debate, they show, can never be put to rest, because these concepts are in constant flux in response to the new insights science continually offers.


Selected Exaggerations: Conversations and Interviews 1993 - 2012? Selected Exaggerations: Conversations and Interviews 1993 - 2012
Peter Sloterdijk

'Selected Exaggerations presents a blow-by-blow chronicle of an intellectual journey, one of the most remarkable of our time. In it, we follow Sloterdijk as he comments on his work in progress and current affairs over a twenty-year period. Often mischievous, sometimes maddening, always thought-provoking. Sloterdijk is a force to be reckoned with. With this publication, the English-speaking world finally has a one-volume introduction to this extraordinary thinker.'
Brian Massumi


The Method of Equality: Interviews with Laurent Jeanpierre and Dork Zabunyan The Method of Equality: Interviews with Laurent Jeanpierre and Dork Zabunyan
Jacques Rancière

‘In these interviews, against the background of informed and beautifully crafted questions, Jacques Rancière works through and articulates, forms and re-forms, the words that contour his thought and provide it with its depth and power: equality, speech, subjectification, stupidity, contradiction, possibility, event, scene, police, aesthetic regime, and on and on. The Method of Equality is, in reality, a Rancière lexicon in which each of his key words is returned to the political debates and living reality from which it arose. Essential reading for aficionados and newcomers to Rancière’s political philosophy.’
J.M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research