Books published by Polity


Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?

Polity | January 14, 2019 | 136 pages
Nearly a third of the world’s population suffers from hunger or malnutrition. Feeding them – and the projected population of 10 billion people by 2050 – has become a high-profile challenge for states, philanthropists, and even the Fortune 500. This has unleashed a steady march of initiatives... More Info

Rape and Resistance

Polity | June 6, 2018 | 264 pages
Sexual violence has become a topic of intense media scrutiny, thanks to the bravery of survivors coming forward to tell their stories. But, unfortunately, mainstream public spheres too often echo reports in a way that inhibits proper understanding of its causes, placing too much emphasis on... More Info

Why Can't You Afford a Home?

Polity | December 10, 2018 | 140 pages
Throughout the Western world, a whole generation is being priced out of the housing market. For millions of people, particularly millennials, the basic goal of acquiring decent, affordable accommodation is a distant dream. Leading economist Josh Ryan-Collins argues that to understand this crisis,... More Info

Race and the Cultural Industries

Polity | January 23, 2018 | 240 pages
Studies of race and media are dominated by textual approaches that explore the politics of representation. But there is little understanding of how and why representations of race in the media take the shape that they do. How, one might ask, is race created by cultural industries? In this important... More Info


Polity | August 20, 2018 | 304 pages
With more than 500,000 people killed and at least half the population displaced, Syria’s conflict is the most deadly of the twenty-first century. Russia’s decision to join the war has broken the long military and political stalemate but it looks unlikely to deliver any of the core demands that... More Info

Introducing Social Theory

Polity | January 3, 2018 | 280 pages
This revised edition of this extremely popular introduction to social theory has been carefully and thoroughly updated with the latest developments in this continually changing field. Written in a refreshingly lucid and engaging style, Introducing Social Theory provides readers with a wide-ranging,... More Info

Can Government Do Anything Right?

Polity | April 10, 2018 | 144 pages
Across the Western world, people are angry about the inability of government to perform basic functions competently. With widespread evidence of policy failures at home and ill-conceived wars and interventions abroad, it is hardly surprising that politicians are distrusted and government is derided... More Info

Are Chief Executives Overpaid?

Polity | November 19, 2018 | 140 pages
Wages for the majority have been stagnant for decades, but a lucky few have enjoyed a pay bonanza. Top company bosses take home in several days as much as most people earn in a whole year. In this hard-hitting book, Deborah Hargreaves explains why pay for the top 0.1% has sky-rocketed in the past... More Info

We, the Sovereign

Polity | September 11, 2018 | 140 pages
What does it mean for the people to actually rule? Formal democracy is an empty and cynical shell, while the nationalist Right claims to advance its anti-democratic project in the name of ‘the People’. How can the Left respond in a way that is true to both its radical egalitarianism and its... More Info

The Tragedy of Property

Polity | July 30, 2018 | 220 pages
Russian novels, poetry and ballet put the country squarely in the European family of cultures and yet there is something different about Russia, especially in terms of its political culture. What makes Russia different? Maxim Trudolyubov uses private property as a lens to highlight the most... More Info

Speculative Realism

Polity | September 24, 2018 | 190 pages
On April 27, 2007, the first Speculative Realism (SR) workshop was held at Goldsmiths, University of London, featuring four young philosophers whose ideas were loosely allied. Over the ensuing decade, the ideas of SR spread from philosophy to the arts, architecture, and numerous disciplines in the... More Info

Do Central Banks Serve the People?

Polity | September 11, 2018 | 140 pages
Central banks have become the go-to institution of modern economies. In the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, they injected trillions of dollars of liquidity – through a process known as quantitative easing – first to prevent financial meltdown and later to stimulate the economy. The untold... More Info

The Digital Condition

Polity | February 21, 2018 | 220 pages
Our daily lives, our culture and our politics are now shaped by the digital condition as large numbers of people involve themselves in contentious negotiations of meaning in ever more dimensions of life, from the trivial to the profound. They are making use of the capacities of complex... More Info

Life With Lacan

Polity | April 30, 2018 | 128 pages
‘There was a time when I felt that I had grasped Lacan’s essential being from within – that I had gained, as it were, an apperception of his relation to the world, a mysterious access to that intimate place from which sprang his relation to people and things, and even to himself. It was as if... More Info


Polity | August 13, 2018 | 256 pages
Libya is teetering on the edge of collapse, having become a new safe haven for transnational terrorist organizations and an epicenter of the Mediterranean refugee crisis. Few could have imagined that Libya's 2011 uprising against the longstanding regime of Mu'ammar Al-Gaddafi would expose a polity... More Info

The Case for a Maximum Wage

Polity | July 23, 2018 | 140 pages
Modern societies set limits, on everything from how fast motorists can drive to how much waste factory owners can dump in our rivers. But incomes in our deeply unequal world have no limits. Could capping top incomes tackle rising inequality more effectively than conventional approaches? In this... More Info


Polity | January 16, 2018 | 204 pages
Karl Marx was the first theorist of global capitalism and remains perhaps its most trenchant critic. This clear and innovative book, from one of the leading contemporary experts on Marx's thought, gives us a fresh overview of his ideas by framing them within concepts that remain topical and alive... More Info


Polity | November 5, 2018 | 180 pages
Torture is not as universally condemned as it once was. From Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib prisons to the death of Giulio Regeni, countless recent cases have shocked public opinion. But if we want to defend the human dignity that torture violates, simple indignation is not enough. In this important... More Info

What is Power?

Polity | November 28, 2018 | 120 pages
Power is a pervasive phenomenon yet there is little consensus on what it is and how it should be understood. In this book the cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han develops a fresh and original perspective on the nature of power, shedding new light on this key feature of social and political life. Power... More Info

Can Democracy Handle Climate Change?

Polity | July 23, 2018 | 160 pages
Global climate change poses an unprecedented challenge for governments across the world. Small wonder that many experts question whether democracies have the ability to cope with the causes and long-term consequences of a changing climate. Some even argue that authoritarian regimes are better... More Info

Crime and Global Justice

Polity | April 24, 2018 | 288 pages
Over the last quarter of a century a new system of global criminal justice has emerged. But how successful has it been? Are we witnessing a new era of cosmopolitan justice or are the old principles of victors’ justice still in play? In this book, Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease offer a vibrant... More Info

Economy and Society: Selected Writings

Polity | July 16, 2018 | 280 pages
Few figures are more crucial to understanding the upheavals of our contemporary era than Karl Polanyi. In a world riven by social and economic crises, from rising inequality to the decay of democratic institutions and profound technological disruption, Polanyi’s path-breaking account of the... More Info

Global Security Cultures

Polity | June 6, 2018 | 224 pages
Why do politicians think that war is the answer to terror when military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Mali, Somalia and elsewhere has made things worse? Why do some conflicts never end? And how is it that practices like beheadings, extra-judicial killings, the bombing of... More Info

Why Does Patriarchy Persist?

Polity | October 22, 2018 | 120 pages
The election of an unabashedly patriarchal man as US President was a shock for many—despite decades of activism on gender inequalities and equal rights, how could it come to this? What is it about patriarchy that seems to make it so resilient and resistant to change? Undoubtedly it endures in... More Info

The Globalization Backlash

Polity | December 3, 2018 | 120 pages
Globalization, heralded for decades as a harbinger of prosperity, faces a huge backlash. Derided by right-wing nationalists as a ‘globalist’ plot to undermine traditional communities, and by left-wing critics as the rule of rampaging corporations, it’s become a political punching bag around... More Info

Why Read Hannah Arendt Now?

Polity | June 18, 2018 | 120 pages
Recently there has been an extraordinary international revival of interest in Hannah Arendt. She was extremely perceptive about the dark tendencies in contemporary life that continue to plague us. She developed a concept of politics and public freedom that serves as a critical standard for judging... More Info

The Will of the People

Polity | October 29, 2018 | 120 pages
Democracies today are in the grip of a myth – the myth of the will of the people. Populist movements use the idea to challenge elected representatives. Politicians, content to invoke the will of the people, fail in their duty to make responsible and accountable decisions. And public contest over... More Info

Sketches in the Theory of Culture

Polity | November 12, 2018 | 300 pages
Sketches in the Theory of Culture is a remarkable work by all measures. Written by Zygmunt Bauman when he was still a professor in Poland, and originally intended for publication in 1968, it was suppressed by the Polish government in the wave of repression following the protests in March of that... More Info

The New Authoritarianism

Polity | October 30, 2018 | 120 pages
The election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote in the UK have caused fear and panic among liberals worldwide. They argue that the populist backlash represents a dangerous new authoritarianism. But what if the really dangerous authoritarianism is in fact their own? In this provocative and highly... More Info

Will China Save the Planet?

Polity | December 3, 2018 | 200 pages
Now that Trump has turned the United States into a global climate outcast, will China take the lead in saving our planet from environmental catastrophe? Many signs point to yes. China, the world's largest carbon emitter, is leading a global clean energy revolution, phasing out coal consumption and... More Info

I Know There Are So Many of You

Polity | November 19, 2018 | 80 pages
The history of humanity has only just begun. The Neolithic Revolution may have endowed us with unparalleled means of communication, subsistence and knowledge acquisition. However, it is clear in today’s world that inequality, power hierarchies and violence persist on a greater scale than ever... More Info


Polity | January 4, 2019 | 140 pages
In this highly original book, Markus Gabriel offers an account of the human self that overcomes the deadlocks inherent in the standard positions of contemporary philosophy of mind. His view, Neo-Existentialism, is thoroughly anti-naturalist in that it repudiates any theory according to which the... More Info


Polity | December 3, 2018 | 176 pages
The majority of citizens in the world today do not trust their political representatives, the mainstream political parties, the established political institutions or their governments.  More Info

Born Liquid

Polity | November 28, 2018 | 100 pages
Born Liquid is the last work by the great sociologist and social theorist Zygmunt Bauman, whose brilliant analyses of liquid modernity changed the way we think about our world today. At the time of his death, Bauman was working on this short book, a conversation with the Italian journalist Thomas... More Info

An Imaginary Racism

Polity | October 22, 2018 | 204 pages
‘Islamophobia’ is a term that has existed since the nineteenth century. But in recent decades, argues Pascal Bruckner in his controversial new book, it has become a weapon used to silence criticism of Islam. The term allows those who brandish it in the name of Islam to ‘freeze’ the latter,... More Info

Down to Earth, Politics in the New Climatic Regime

Polity | December 3, 2018 | 140 pages
The present ecological mutation has organized the whole political landscape for the last thirty years. This could explain the deadly cocktail of exploding inequalities, massive deregulation, and conversion of the dream of globalization into a nightmare for most people. What holds these three... More Info

Global Labour Studies

Polity | November 29, 2017 | 248 pages
From the rise of fully automated factories to the creation of new migrant workforces, the world of work, employment and production is rapidly changing. By reshaping the global distribution of wealth, jobs and opportunities, these processes are unleashing profound social and environmental tensions,... More Info

From the Factory to the Metropolis

Polity | February 21, 2018 | 220 pages
This second volume of a new three-part series of Antonio Negri's work is focussed on the consequences of the rapid process of deindustrialisation that has occurred across the West in recent years. In this volume Negri investigates exactly what happens when the class subjects of industrial... More Info

The Political Power of Global Corporations

Polity | May 7, 2018 | 256 pages
We have long been told that corporations rule the world, their interests seemingly taking precedence over states and their citizens. Yet, while states, civil society, and international organizations are well drawn in terms of their institutions, ideologies, and functions, the world's global... More Info

Abortion Politics

Polity | May 1, 2018 | 200 pages
Abortion has remained one of the most volatile and polarizing issues in the United States for over four decades. Americans are more divided today than ever over abortion, and this debate colors the political, economic, and social dynamics of the country. This book provides a balanced, clear-eyed... More Info

The Culture of Surveillance

Polity | June 6, 2018 | 172 pages
From 9/11 to the Snowden leaks, stories about surveillance increasingly dominate the headlines. But surveillance is not only 'done to us' – it is something we do in everyday life. We submit to surveillance, believing we have nothing to hide. Or we try to protect our privacy or negotiate the terms... More Info


Polity | July 3, 2018 | 224 pages
In this important new book, Nancy Fraser and Rahel Jaeggi take a fresh look at the big questions surrounding the peculiar social form known as “capitalism,” upending many of our commonly held assumptions about what capitalism is and how to subject it to critique. They show how, throughout its... More Info

Introducing Intersectionality

Polity | December 18, 2017 | 200 pages
How can we hope to understand social inequality without considering race, class, and gender in tandem? How do they interact with other categories such as sexuality, citizenship, and ableism? How does an inclusive analysis of domination and privilege move us closer to solutions touching the lives of... More Info

LGBTQ Social Movements

Polity | February 28, 2018 | 210 pages
In recent years, there has been substantial progress on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights in the United States. We are now, though, in a time of incredible political uncertainty for queer people. LGBTQ Social Movements provides an accessible introduction to... More Info

The Last Interview

Polity | July 10, 2018 | 160 pages
At the start of 1987, Primo Levi took part in a remarkable series of conversations about his early life with a friend and fellow writer, Giovanni Tesio. This book is the result of those meetings, originally intended to be the basis for an authorized biography and published here in English for the... More Info

Understanding Development

Polity | April 10, 2018 | 246 pages
Understanding Development offers a comprehensive introduction to the multidimensional and evolving nature of international development in the contemporary world. This new edition has been fully revised and expanded to incorporate the key events, trends and debates that are shaping development... More Info


Polity | April 17, 2018 | 160 pages
Self-help gurus, life coaches and business consultants love to tell us that we must strive for constant self-improvement to realize our full potential and become truly happy. But it doesn't seem to work - for many of us, life still seems hollow and meaningless. So focused are we on personal... More Info

Society of Fear

Polity | January 9, 2018 | 160 pages
From the rise of terrorism to the uncertainties associated with economic crisis and recession, our age is characterized by fear. Fear is the expression of a society on unstable foundations. Most of us feel that our social status is under threat and our future prospects in jeopardy. We are... More Info

Philosophical Introductions

Polity | August 6, 2018 | 200 pages
On the occasion of Habermas’s 80th birthday, the German publisher Suhrkamp brought out five volumes of Habermas’s papers that spanned the full range of his philosophical thought, from the theory of rationality to the critique of metaphysics. For each of these volumes, Habermas wrote an... More Info

A New Politics from the Left

Polity | March 26, 2018 | 140 pages
Millions passionately desire a viable alternative to austerity and neoliberalism, but they are sceptical of traditional leftist top-down state solutions. In this urgent polemic, Hilary Wainwright argues that this requires a new politics for the left that comes from the bottom up, based on... More Info