Polity blog posts highlight new and recent books published by us, often with the comments and views of the authors themselves.

Harvey Weinstein has been convicted of sexual assault and rape and sentenced to 23 years in prison: in the case that fuelled the #MeToo movement, justice has now been done. 

But sexual harassment runs deep in our culture and touches on the most fundamental issues of power and desire. Who … Read More

By Barry Reay


Trans seems to be everywhere in American culture. Yet there is little understanding of how this came about. Are people aware that there were earlier times of gender flexibility and contestability in American history? How well-known is it, for instance, that a previous period of trans … Read More

By Thijs Van de Graaf

Written 10th April 2020

The videoconference meeting of oil producers on April 9 was in many respects historical. The OPEC countries led by Saudi Arabia and a host of non-OPEC oil producers led by Russia agreed to a deal to curb oil output by 10 … Read More

By Colin Crouch

Did I get things wrong, when I argued in Post-Democracy (Polity, 2004) that behind the façade of strong institutions, democracy in many advanced societies was being hollowed out, elections becoming empty rituals as power passed increasingly to circles of wealthy business elites and an increasingly isolated political … Read More

By Donatella della Porta

As huge waves of protest are developing in places as far apart as Lebanon and Chile, Hong Kong and Barcelona, it is important to think about the role that social movements can have in triggering democratization and deepening democracy. Social movements shine a light on existing … Read More

The success of right-wing populist parties across much of Western Europe and North America in recent years may constitute a crisis for liberalism, but it offers opportunities for social-democratic reforms. Yet what is social democracy?

In this book, I consider the answer that Michael Walzer – one of the world’s … Read More

By John Weeks

Our society faces many problems that require action by our government.  As much as we might wish to address climate change and reduce inequality, are the public finances able to fund achievement of these laudable goals? As I show in my new book, The Debt Delusion, … Read More

A new breed of anti-democrats are on the rise – and they’re not sporting swastika tattoos this time.

You’ll find these 21st-century anti-democrats lounging in professorial chairs, clinking glasses at intellectual soirées and delivering their opinions on the faults of the masses straight into camera on primetime.

Bolstered by recent … Read More

The far right has left the political margins for the political mainstream, blurring the distinction between the two. From Jerusalem to London to Washington, nowhere is immune to it. In the last year far right parties entered parliament in Germany and Spain and government in Estonia. In the US, President … Read More

Calling something a ‘conspiracy theory’ is a way to dismiss it as untrue. The term immediately calls to mind tin foil hats and UFOs. 

But this is unfair—history is full of examples of outlandish conspiracies that turned out to be real. Take the famous Zinoviev Letter. In 1924, four days … Read More

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