Books published by Polity

The I in We

Polity | October 23, 2012 | 240 pages
In this volume Axel Honneth deepens and develops his highly influential theory of recognition, showing how it enables us both to rethink the concept of justice and to offer a compelling account of the relationship between social reproduction and individual identity formation. Drawing on his... More Info


Polity | June 28, 2011 | 296 pages
Fishing has played a vital role in human history and culture. But today this key resource faces a serious crisis as most species are being overfished or fished to their very limit. Governments have tried to tackle the problem with limited success. Many of their actions have been counterproductive... More Info

Eve Escapes

Polity | September 25, 2012 | 208 pages
"I get up every day with one day more," says Eve, the writer's 97-year-old mother. She is escaping into the New Life and the writer must race to catch up. As things slip away and fall into oblivion, as her mother's world and thus her own relentlessly shrinks, the writer is stunned to see for the... More Info

Joining the Resistance

Polity | May 31, 2011 | 140 pages
Since the publication of her landmark book In a Different Voice, Carol Gilligan has transformed the way we think about women and men and the relations between them. It was ‘the little book that started a revolution’, and with more than 800,000 copies in print it has become one of the most... More Info

Global Health Governance

Polity | June 19, 2012 | 240 pages
In recent years the spread of diseases such as AIDS, SARS and avian flu has pushed health issues towards the top of the international agenda. Such outbreaks have serious political, economic, and social consequences and remind the world of the necessity of global cooperation in order to deal... More Info

Moscow, 1937

Polity | September 4, 2012 | 650 pages
Moscow, 1937: the soviet metropolis at the zenith of Stalin’s dictatorship. A society utterly wrecked by a hurricane of violence. In this compelling book, the renowned historian Karl Schlögel reconstructs with meticulous care the process through which, month by month, the terrorism of a... More Info

A Sociology of Family Life

Polity | June 19, 2012 | 256 pages
New kinds of intimate relationships such as post-divorce families, co-habiting couples, 'friends as family' and same-sex unions are now commonplace. This book explores the growing diversity of family life by presenting a comprehensive assessment of recent research and theory, and foregrounds new... More Info

Contemporary Health Studies

Polity | July 31, 2012 | 320 pages
Contemporary Health Studies: An Introduction provides a lively and accessible introduction to the current issues and key debates in this area. It contains a strong, up-to-date, global, social-scientific focus examining the human experience of health particularly emphasizing its social, political... More Info


Polity | November 13, 2012 | 200 pages
Oil pulses through our daily lives. It is the plastic we touch, the food we eat, and the way we move. Oil politics in the twentieth century was about the management of abundance, state power and market growth. The legacy of this age of plenty includes declining conventional oil reserves, volatile... More Info


Polity | June 26, 2012 | 180 pages
In this book Jeffrey C. Alexander develops an original social theory of trauma and uses it to carry out a series of empirical investigations into social suffering around the globe. Alexander argues that traumas are not merely psychological but collective experiences, and that trauma work plays a... More Info

On Society

Polity | May 15, 2012 | 208 pages
'Society' is one of the most frequently used words in public life; it is also a foundational term in the social sciences. In our own time, however, the idea has never been so much in dispute and so little understood. For some critics, society is simply too consensual for a world of intensive... More Info

Social Policy

Polity | June 19, 2012 | 176 pages
How do human societies provide for the wellbeing of their members? How far can we organise the ways in which we care for and about each other? And who should take responsibility for providing the support we all need? These are some of the fundamental questions addressed by social policy today. In... More Info

Demobilizing Irregular Forces

Polity | July 24, 2012 | 208 pages
From Afghanistan and Sierra Leone to East Timor, the aftermath of any armed conflict presents a complex set of challenges. Whatever political agreements may have been reached, conflicts are often at risk of reigniting, and the fates of their former participants remain uncertain. Armed groups may... More Info

Institutions and the Economy

Polity | October 4, 2011 | 180 pages
Clear and concise book that explains how the functioning and shape of the economy depend upon social institutions. Reveals the crucial role formal and informal institutions in everyday life play in how the economy works.  More Info

Letters to Hitler

Polity | July 17, 2012 | 240 pages
Between 1925 and 1945 thousands of ordinary Germans of both sexes and all ages wrote letters to Hitler. Lost for decades, a large cache of these letters was recently discovered in the KGB Special Archive in Moscow, having been carted off to Russia by the Soviet Secret Police at the end of the war.... More Info

Power in the Changing Global Order

Polity | May 22, 2012 | 224 pages
Power has been compared to the weather: people discuss it all the time, but very few really understand it. This book seeks to demystify this complex concept by providing students with an incisive and engaging introduction to the shifting configurations of power in the contemporary global order.... More Info

The Dark Side of Family Communication

Polity | July 24, 2012 | 216 pages
This text provides for the first time in book form an exploration of the communicative aspects of the darker side of family life, ranging from, for example, severe acts of violence to more subtle forms of conflict. In addition to offering a working definition of the concept of the "dark side" in... More Info

Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy

Polity | July 31, 2012 | 220 pages
Confucian political philosophy has recently emerged as a vibrant area of thought both in China and around the globe. This book provides an accessible introduction to the main perspectives and topics being debated today, and shows why Progressive Confucianism is a particularly promising approach.... More Info

On Psychoanalysis

Polity | September 4, 2012 | 240 pages
Paul Ricoeur's Freud and Philosophy was a major reinterpretation of psychoanalysis and its philosophical significance, but Ricoeur also wrote many important articles on similar themes. This volume makes available some of his key writings on Freud and psychoanalysis: together with Freud and... More Info

Whats Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix It

Polity | July 31, 2012 | 288 pages
Six decades after its establishment, the United Nations and its system of related agencies and programs are perpetually in crisis. While the twentieth-century's world wars gave rise to ground-breaking efforts at international organization in 1919 and 1945, today's UN is ill-equipped to deal with... More Info

Why Love Hurts

Polity | June 26, 2012 | 300 pages
This book argues that the modern romantic experience and the selection of a partner is shaped by a fundamental transformation in the ecology and architecture of romantic choice.  More Info

Israel / Palestine

Polity | July 3, 2012 | 280 pages
What explains the peculiar intensity and evident intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Of all the "hot spots" in the world today, the apparently endless clash between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East seems unique in its longevity and resistance to resolution. Is this conflict really... More Info

Humanitarian Intervention

Polity | April 10, 2012 | 240 pages
A singular development of the post Cold-War era is the use of military force to protect human beings. From Rwanda to Kosovo, Sierra Leone to East Timor, and more recently Libya to Côte d'Ivoire, soldiers have rescued some civilians in some of the world's most notorious war zones. Could more be... More Info

Consumption and Its Consequences

Polity Press | June 22, 2012 | 200 pages
No summary available.

Media, Society, World

Polity Press | June 22, 2012 | 242 pages
No summary available.


Polity | June 26, 2012 | 224 pages
Introductions to the theory of knowledge are plentiful, but none introduce students to the most recent debates that exercise contemporary philosophers. Ian Evans and Nicholas D. Smith aim to change that. Their book guides the reader through the standard theories of knowledge while simultaneously... More Info

Marital Communication

Polity | December 20, 2011 | 208 pages
Marital Communication provides insight into healthy relationships for those who want to better understand key communication processes between long-term, committed, romantic partners. Writing with students, teachers, researchers, practitioners, and couples in mind, this book uses marriage as a... More Info

Handbook of Transnational Governance

Polity | July 20, 2011 | 296 pages
When we speak of global governance today, we no longer mean simply state-to-state diplomacy, international treaties, or intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations. Alongside these ‘traditional' elements of global politics are a host of new institutions ranging from global networks of... More Info

The Material Child

Polity | November 1, 2011 | 256 pages
Children today are growing up in an increasingly commercialised world. But should we see them as victims of manipulative marketing, or as competent participants in consumer culture? The Material Child provides a comprehensive critical overview of debates about children’s changing engagement with... More Info

Climate Change and Society

Polity | July 12, 2011 | 200 pages
This book explores the significance of human behaviour for understanding the causes and impacts of changing climates and for assessing varied ways of responding to such changes. So far the discipline that has represented and modelled such human behaviour is economics.  More Info

Communication in Health Organizations

Polity | November 15, 2011 | 208 pages
Only book to date focusing on communication occurring in health organizations. Flexibility for use in different health communication courses and class formats. Breadth of research reviewed applies to exploring communication in multiple health-related disciplines.  More Info

Health Justice

Polity | October 14, 2011 | 288 pages
Social factors have a powerful influence on human health and longevity. Yet the social dimensions of health are often obscured in public discussions due to the overwhelming focus in health policy on medical care, individual-level risk factor research, and changing individual behaviours. Likewise,... More Info

The Triumph of Politics

Polity | November 15, 2011 | 200 pages
The Triumph of Politics offers a comparative and historical interpretation of Venezuela's Chavez, Bolivia's Morales and Ecuador's Correa - South America's most prominent ‘21st century socialists'. It argues that the claims of these 21st century socialists should be taken seriously even though not... More Info

Free Will

Polity | April 19, 2011 | 200 pages
These are just some of the questions considered by Joseph Keim Campbell in this lively and accessible introduction to the concept of free will. Using a range of engaging examples, the book introduces the problems, arguments, and theories surrounding free will. Beginning with a discussion of... More Info

Hayden White

Polity Press | August 16, 2011 | 224 pages
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Reinventing Political Culture

Polity | December 13, 2011 | 200 pages
The way people think and act politically is not set in stone. People can and do change the fundamental cultural contours of their political situation. Their political culture does not only restrict imagination and action - it is also a resource for political creativity and invention. In Reinventing... More Info


Polity | July 26, 2011 | 216 pages
Journalism, what happened? In the last decade, the industry and the profession have been rocked to the core. Newspapers as consumer product are as ripe for comic mocking and satire as are the techniques of the journalism profession. The contemporary death and life of journalism is the story of an... More Info

War and Conflict in Africa

Polity | October 18, 2011 | 320 pages
After the Cold War, Africa earned the dubious distinction of being the world's most bloody continent. But how can we explain this proliferation of armed conflicts? What caused them and what were their main characteristics? And what did the world's governments do to stop them?  More Info


Polity | November 29, 2011 | 200 pages
This book by Roberto Esposito - a leading Italian political philosopher - is a highly original exploration of the relationship between human bodies and societies. The original function of law, even before it was codified, was to preserve peaceful cohabitation between people who were exposed to the... More Info

The News and Public Opinion

Polity | October 18, 2011 | 272 pages
The daily news plays a major role in the continuously changing mix of thoughts, feelings and behavior that defines public opinion. The News & Public Opinion details these effects of the news media on the sequence of outcomes that collectively shape public opinion, beginning with initial... More Info

Communicating Emotion at Work

Polity | December 13, 2011 | 200 pages
Emotional communication is a crucial but often underappreciated force in our working lives - it enhances or impedes occupational success, forges meaningful bonds among co-workers, and shapes the moral character of our workplaces. Collective performances of emotion define an organization's culture.... More Info

Hitler, Mussolini and the Vatican

Polity | November 8, 2011 | 220 pages
The Vatican against Nazism and Fascism on the eve of the Second World War. A tired pope watching the crisis unfold and considering what action to take against the new enemies of Christianity. Pius XI died on February 10th, 1939, just after finishing the address he hoped to deliver to the Italian... More Info

European Media

Polity | July 5, 2011 | 244 pages
European Media provides a clear, concise account of the structures, dynamics and realities of the changing face of media in Europe. It offers a timely and illuminating appraisal of the issues surrounding the development of new media in Europe and explores debates about the role of the media in the... More Info

Ecological Ethics

Polity | September 6, 2011 | 280 pages
In this thoroughly revised and updated second edition of the highly successful Ecological Ethics, Patrick Curry shows that a new and truly ecological ethic is both possible and urgently needed. With this distinctive proposition in mind, Curry introduces and discusses all the major concepts needed... More Info

Understanding Inequalities

Polity | August 16, 2011 | 204 pages
Bringing together the latest empirical evidence with a discussion of sociological debates surrounding inequality, this book explores a broad range of inequalities in people's lives. As well as treating the core sociological topics of class, ethnicity and gender, it examines how inequalities are... More Info

The End of Finance

Polity | December 13, 2011 | 300 pages
This new book by two distinguished Italian economists is a highly original contribution to our understanding of the origins and aftermath of the financial crisis. The authors show that the recent financial crisis cannot be understood simply as a malfunctioning in the subprime mortgage market:... More Info

Performance and Power

Polity | November 15, 2011 | 232 pages
Performativity has emerged as a critical new idea across the humanities and social sciences, from literary and cultural studies to the study of gender and the philosophy of action. In this volume, Jeffrey Alexander demonstrates how performance can reorient our study of politics and society.... More Info


Polity | November 15, 2011 | 224 pages
Islamism has emerged as one of the most significant political ideologies of the 21st century. From the Islamic Revolution in Iran to the grinding struggle of Hizballah in Lebanon and the devastating 9/11 attacks by al-Qa'ida, Islam has become both a critical discourse and a framework for active... More Info

Changing Difference

Polity | September 16, 2011 | 180 pages
Translated by CAROLYN SHREAD In the post-feminist age the fact that 'woman' finds herself deprived of her 'essence' only confirms, paradoxically, a very ancient state of affairs: 'woman' has never been able to define herself in any other way than in terms of the violence done to her. Violence alone... More Info

Decadence of Industrial Democracies

Polity | October 11, 2011 | 200 pages
Translated by Daniel Ross Bernard Stiegler is one of the most original philosophers writing today about new technologies and their implications for social, political and personal life. Drawing on sources ranging from Plato and Marx to Freud, Heidegger and Derrida, he develops a highly original... More Info