Books published by Polity

The Politics of Global Supply Chains

Polity | January 13, 2014 | 224 pages
The Politics of Global Supply Chains analyses the changing politics of power and distribution within contemporary global supply chains. Drawing on over 300 interviews with farmers, workers, activists, businesses and government officials in garment and coffee sector supply chains, the book shows how... More Info


Polity | February 3, 2014 | 288 pages
Once deemed a “dysfunctional” democracy with a “feckless” set of political institutions and a “drunk” economy, today’s Brazil has undergone a complete reversal of fortune. Now in its third decade of democracy, the economy is blossoming and large-scale development projects are... More Info

What is a Social Movement

Polity | April 21, 2014 | 176 pages
Social movements play a central role in the scope and direction of social change. They were instrumental in the creation of the modern state and, today, are major forces in politics and culture. Environmentalism, gay rights, alterglobalization, and Islamic fundamentalism are all movements with... More Info


Polity | March 31, 2014 | 288 pages
Jacques Lacan is widely recognized as a key figure in the history of psychoanalysis and one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th Century. In Anxiety, now available for the first time in English, he explores the nature of anxiety, suggesting that it is not nostalgia for the object that... More Info

Turbulent and Mighty Continent

Polity | November 25, 2013 | 224 pages
The author argues that "it is a mistake to see the misfortunes of the euro as the sole source of Europe's malaise. The Union faces problems shared by most or all of the developed states of the world. Reform in Europe must go far beyond stabilizing the euro--this is the time for a far-reaching... More Info

The Global Development Crisis

Polity | February 17, 2014 | 224 pages
The central paradox of the contemporary world is the simultaneous presence of wealth on an unprecedented scale, and mass poverty. Liberal theory explains the relationship between capitalism and poverty as one based around the dichotomy of inclusion (into capitalism) vs exclusion (from capitalism).... More Info


Polity | April 7, 2014 | 204 pages
Diamonds are a multi-billion dollar business involving some of the world’s largest mining companies, a million and a half artisanal diggers, more than a million cutters and polishers and a huge retail jewellery sector. But behind the sparkle of the diamond lies a murkier story, in which rebel... More Info

Documentary in Practice

Polity | February 5, 2007 | 184 pages
Documentary in Practice provides a unique approach to practical documentary-making. Through fascinating analysis of real-life production situations, Jane Chapman shows the challenges and issues faced during the filmmaking process by a range of both well-known and up-and-coming documentary-makers.... More Info

Enforcing Order

Polity | October 7, 2013 | 320 pages
Most incidents of urban unrest in recent decades - including the riots in France, Britain and other Western countries - have followed lethal interactions between the youth and the police. Usually these take place in disadvantaged neighborhoods composed of working-class families of immigrant origin... More Info

Cultures of Mediatization

Polity | November 5, 2012 | 180 pages
What does it mean that we can be reached on our mobile phones wherever we are and at all times? What are the cultural consequences if we are informed about ‘everything and anything important’ via television? How are our political, religious and ethnic belongings impacted through being... More Info

Confronting Equality

Polity | November 15, 2011 | 200 pages
What does social equality mean now, in a world of markets, global power and new forms of knowledge? In this new book, Raewyn Connell combines vivid research with theoretical insight and radical politics to address this question. The focus moves across gender equality struggles, family change, class... More Info

Work Time

Polity | May 8, 2012 | 200 pages
Work Time is a sociological overview of a complex web of relations that shapes much of our experience of work and life yet often goes without critical examination. Cynthia Negrey examines work time past and present, exploring structural economic change and the gender division of labor to ask: what... More Info

States of Denial

Polity | March 5, 2001 | 344 pages
Do these phenomena have anything in common? When we deny, are we aware of what we are doing or is this an unconscious defence mechanism to protect us from unwelcome truths? How do organizations like Amnesty and Oxfam try to overcome the public's apparent indifference to distant suffering and... More Info

Science in the 20th Century and Beyond

Polity | April 17, 2012 | 256 pages
Surveying modern developments in science from 1900 to the present day, this fascinating volume explores Einstein's new physics, the Manhattan Project, eugenics, biotechnology, the Human Genome Project and much more.  More Info

Global Transformations

Polity | August 8, 2003 | 624 pages
The world is changing dramatically and a vigorous public debate is under way about the nature and historical significance of these changes. At the centre of this debate lie conflicting claims about the extent, form and consequences of contemporary globalization. On the one hand there are the... More Info

Dignity in Adversity

Polity | November 15, 2011 | 288 pages
The language of human rights has become the public vocabulary of our contemporary world. Ironically, as the political influence of human rights has grown, their philosophical justification has become ever more controversial. Building on a theory of discourse ethics and communicative rationality,... More Info

Media Representation and the Global Imagination

Polity | October 23, 2012 | 296 pages
This book is a clear, systematic, original and lively account of how media representations shape the way we see our and others’ lives in a global age. It provides in-depth analysis of a range of international media representations of disaster, war, conflict, migration and celebration. The book... 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

Virilio and the Media

Polity | September 21, 2010 | 160 pages
In books such as The Aesthetics of Disappearance, War and Cinema, The Lost Dimension, and The Vision Machine, Paul Virilio has fundamentally changed how we think about contemporary media culture. Virilio’s examinations of the connections between perception, logistics, the city, and new media... 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

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

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

Travels in China

Polity | January 24, 2012 | 240 pages
In 1974 Roland Barthes travelled in China as part of a small delegation of distinguished French philosophers and literary figures. They arrived in China just as the last stage of the Cultural Revolution was getting underway - the campaign to criticize Lin Biao and Confucius. While they were... 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

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

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

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

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

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


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 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


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

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

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

Scandal and Silence

Polity | May 22, 2012 | 280 pages
This timely and engaging book challenges the conventional wisdom on media and scandal in the United States. The common view holds that media crave and actively pursue scandals whenever they sense corruption. Scandal and Silence argues for a different perspective.  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


Polity | June 5, 2012 | 224 pages
Pragmatism: An Introduction provides an account of the arguments of the central figures of the most important philosophical tradition in the American history of ideas, pragmatism. This wide-ranging and accessible study explores the work of the classical pragmatists Charles Sanders Peirce, William... 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

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

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

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

Consumption and Its Consequences

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

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

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

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

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

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