Books published by Polity


Critique of Rights

Polity | March 18, 2019 | 350 pages
Modern political revolutions since the 18th century have swept away traditional systems of domination by declaring that ‘all men are created equal’. This declaration of equal rights is a fundamental political act – it is the political act in which the political community creates itself in... More Info

The Case for Community Wealth Building

Polity | December 31, 2019 | 140 pages
Our broken economic model drives inequality and disempowerment, lining the pockets of corporations while extracting wealth from local communities. How can we reverse this? Joe Guinan and Martin O’Neill argue for an approach that uses the power of democratic participation to drive equitable... More Info

The Debt Delusion

Polity | January 13, 2020 | 216 pages
‘Governments should spend no more than their tax income.’ Most people in Europe and North America accept this statement as simple common sense. It resonates with the deeply engrained economic metaphors that dominate public discourse, from ‘living within your means’ to ‘balancing the... More Info

History and Imperialism

Polity | December 4, 2019 | 70 pages
Writings on History brings together a selection of texts by Louis Althusser dating from 1963 to 1986, including essays, a lecture, notes to his collaborators, and the transcript of an informal 1963 discussion of literary history. The centrepiece of this collection is Althusser’s previously... More Info

How Green is Your Smartphone?

Polity | January 13, 2020 | 160 pages
Every day we are inundated by propaganda that claims life will be better once we are connected to digital technology. Poverty, famine, and injustice will end, and the economy will be “green.” All anyone needs is the latest smartphone. In this succinct and lively book, Maxwell and Miller take a... More Info


Polity | March 11, 2019 | 160 pages
‘Facts alone are wanted in life,’ exclaims Mr Gradgrind at the beginning of Dickens’ Hard Times. Literature is not about facts alone, and – despite two and a half thousand years of arguments – no one can agree on what it is, or how to study it. But, argues Robert Eaglestone, it is... More Info


Polity | September 16, 2019 | 240 pages
Professor:  Christopher Webb
Course Codes:  GEOG 3024
Semester:  Winter-20
Waste is one of the planet’s last great resource frontiers. From furniture made from up-cycled wood to gold extracted from computer circuit boards, artisans and multinational corporations alike are finding ways to profit from waste while diverting materials from overcrowded landfills. Yet beyond... More Info

Seeing Like a City

Polity | December 12, 2016 | 216 pages
Professor:  David Jackson
Course Codes:  COMS 4311A
Seeing like a city means recognizing that cities are living things made up of a tangle of networks, built up from the agency of countless actors. Cities must not be considered as expressions of larger paradigms or sites of human effort and organization alone. Within their density, size and sprawl... More Info

The Welfare State Reader

Polity | December 31, 2013 | 504 pages
Professor:  Marc-Andre Gagnon
Course Codes:  PADM 5228
The Welfare State Reader has established itself as a vital source of outstanding original research since its original appearance in 2000. In the third edition, Pierson, Castles and Naumann have comprehensively overhauled the content, bringing it wholly up to date with contemporary discussions about... More Info

Gender and the Political Economy of Development

Polity | February 1, 2002 | 272 pages
Professor:  Ryan Katz-Rosene
Course Codes:  POL 7110
"Rai subjects the projects of both national development and globalization to searching scrutiny through a gender lens. Her emphasis on the intersection of gender and other forms of inequality is very timely. An excellent text for a wide range of courses in politics, sociology and development... More Info


Polity | May 14, 2019 | 180 pages
Much of our life involves working, preparing for work, searching for work, or thinking and worrying about work. Whether paid or unpaid, free or coerced, full-time, part-time, or zero-hours, work defines us and helps shape our behavior both on and off the job. In this accessible book, leading labor... More Info

Can Political Violence Ever Be Justified?

Polity | April 2, 2019 | 140 pages
Violence – from state coercion to wars and revolutions – remains an enduring global reality. But whereas it is often believed that the point of constitutional politics is to make violence unnecessary, others argue that it is an unavoidable element of politics. In this lucid and erudite book,... More Info

The Welfare State Reader

Polity | December 31, 2013 | 504 pages
The Welfare State Reader has established itself as a vital source of outstanding original research since its original appearance in 2000. In the third edition, Pierson, Castles and Naumann have comprehensively overhauled the content, bringing it wholly up to date with contemporary discussions about... More Info

Why Austerity Persists

Polity | December 9, 2019 | 208 pages
In the wake of the 2008 crisis, many nations in the Global North turned to austerity policies in an effort to resolve financial ills. What many failed to recognize is the longer history and varied pattern of such policies in the Global South over the preceding decades – policies which had largely... More Info

Politics and Negation

Polity | December 4, 2019 | 200 pages
For some while we have been witnessing a series of destructive phenomena which seem to indicate a full-fledged return to the negative on the world stage – from terrorism and armed conflict to the threat of environmental catastrophe. At the same time, politics seems increasingly impotent in the... More Info

Feminist Media Studies

Polity | December 4, 2019 | 304 pages
Feminist Media Studies investigates the core theories, methods, and approaches in a field that has blossomed over the past twenty-five years. Alison Harvey provides an accessible introduction to classical and contemporary issues in media culture by exploring the past, present, and future of... More Info

Future Metaphysics

Polity | November 25, 2019 | 140 pages
The triumph of technological rationality and of the sciences as a whole has by no means provided answers to humanity’s great questions. Instead, it has raised new and old questions and problems. To orient ourselves in the twenty-first century, we must take a new look at the central categories of... More Info

The Communication Manifesto

Polity | November 18, 2019 | 112 pages
Contemporary societies demand clear-minded, evidence-based ideas to address complex social issues. Communication scholarship has a rich trove of knowledge and experiences to help address such problems. In this passionately argued manifesto, Silvio Waisbord examines public scholarship in... More Info

Is Globalization Over?

Polity | November 25, 2019 | 154 pages
Looming trade wars and rising nationalism have stirred troubling memories of the 1930s. Will history repeat itself? Do we face the chaotic breakdown of the global economic system in face of stagnation, protectionism and political tumult? Jeremy Green argues that, although we face grave problems,... More Info


Polity | November 11, 2019 | 160 pages
This book argues that, as industrial capitalism enters a period of prolonged crisis, a new paradigm of ‘industrious modernity’ is emerging. Based on small-scale, commons-based and market-oriented entrepreneurship, this industrious modernity is being pioneered by the many outcasts that no longer... More Info

What Makes a Social Crisis?

Polity | November 4, 2019 | 180 pages
In this book, Jeffrey Alexander develops a new sociological theory of social crisis, which he calls societalization. He argues that crises are triggered not by objective social strains but by the discourse and institutions of the civil sphere. In the steady state, reactions to strains unfold within... More Info

The Far Right Today

Polity | November 11, 2019 | 160 pages
The far right is back with a vengeance. After several decades at the political margins, far right politics has again taken center-stage. Three of the world’s largest democracies – Brazil, India and the United States - now have a radical right leader, while far right parties continue to increase... More Info

The Crisis of Expertise

Polity | November 4, 2019 | 208 pages
In recent political debates there has been a significant change in the valence of the word “experts” from a superlative to a near pejorative, typically accompanied by a recitation of experts’ many failures and misdeeds. In topics as varied as Brexit, climate change and vaccinations there is a... More Info

For a Politics of the Common Good

Polity | November 4, 2019 | 256 pages
This volume of conversations between Alain Badiou and Peter Engelmann focuses on the concrete political situation in the world of today. Here the validity and applicability of Badiou’s ideas are tested in relation to the great social and political problems of our time, including terrorism,... More Info

In Defence of Democracy

Polity | October 28, 2019 | 216 pages
Should Brexit or the election of Trump cause us to doubt our faith in democracy? Are ‘the people’ too ignorant or stupid to rule? Numerous commentators are beginning to seriously argue that the answer to these questions might be ‘yes’. In this humorous, take-no-prisoners book,... More Info

White Privilege

Polity | October 28, 2019 | 140 pages
Some embrace the idea of white privilege as an important concept that helps us to make sense of the connection between race and social and political disadvantages, while others are critical or even hostile. Regardless of personal views, it can be difficult to agree on what 'white privilege' even... More Info


Polity | November 4, 2019 | 120 pages
Failure explores the deeply troubling paradox by which the more technological and financial systems fail us, the more dependent on them we become. Wall Street and Silicon Valley—the two worlds this book examines—promote the illusion that scarcity can and should be eliminated in the age of... More Info


Polity | October 28, 2019 | 120 pages
Man’s best friend, domesticated since prehistoric times, a travelling companion for explorers and artists, thinkers and walkers, equally happy curled up by the fire and bounding through the great outdoors—dogs matter to us because we love them. But is that all there is to the canine’s... More Info

Globalization / Anti-Globalization

Polity | November 19, 2007 | 283 pages
Is globalization being eclipsed by a resurgent geopolitics? Does the war on terror denote the end of globalization or a new phase of militarized globalization? Empire or globalization – are these the right terms to describe the current global order? The second edition of this highly successful... More Info

The Media Education Manifesto

Polity | August 19, 2019 | 140 pages
In the age of social media, fake news and data-driven capitalism, the need for critical understanding is more urgent than ever. Half-baked ideas about ‘media literacy’ will lead us nowhere: we need a comprehensive and coherent educational approach. We all need to think critically about how... More Info

Europe's Crises

Polity | January 3, 2018 | 476 pages
Today, the European Union is facing a crisis as serious as anything it has experienced since its origins more than half a century ago. What makes this so serious is that it is not a single crisis but rather multiple crises – the euro crisis, the migration/refugee crisis, Brexit, etc. – that... 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

Politics and the Anthropocene

Polity | October 14, 2019 | 185 pages
The Anthropocene has become central to understanding the intimate connections between human life and the natural environment, but it has fractured our sense of time and possibility. What implications does that fracturing have for how we should think about politics in these new times? In this... More Info

Defending Freedom

Polity | October 14, 2019 | 240 pages
We are witnessing a crisis of liberal democracy. A widespread fear of social decline, rapid globalization and uncontrolled immigration have culminated in a prevailing mood of hostility towards the established order. Confidence in democratic institutions and mainstream political parties is fast... More Info


Polity | September 23, 2019 | 224 pages
No economist has written more incisively and provocatively on financial crisis than Hyman Minsky. Minsky is best known for his claim that "stability is destabilizing" – that the seeds of the bust are sown in the boom. This financial instability hypothesis received renewed attention – and... More Info

Whose Crisis, Whose Future

Polity | December 6, 2010 | 307 pages
POLITICAL SCIENCE & THEORY. Crisis? Whose crisis? Today we are in the midst of a multifaceted crisis which touches the lives of everyone on the planet.  More Info

The Network Society

Polity | September 13, 2004 | 198 pages
"In The Network Society, Darin Barney provides an examination of the social, political and economic implications of network technologies and their application across a wide range of practices and institutions." "Using a sophisticated model of the relationship between technology and society, Barney... More Info

The End

Polity | September 10, 2019 | 160 pages
The notion of the ‘end’ has long occupied philosophical thought. In light of the horrors of the 20th century, some writers have gone so far as to declare the end of philosophy itself, emphasising the impossibility of thinking after Auschwitz. In this book the distinguished philosopher Alain... More Info

An Anti-Capitalist Manifesto

Polity | April 2, 2003 | 192 pages
The great demonstrations at Seattle and Genoa have shown that we are in a new era of protest. The neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the Group of Seven leading industrial countries and the international institutions they control are provoking widespread resistance. Growing numbers of people... 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

Why Cities Look the Way They Do

Polity | June 17, 2019 | 192 pages
We tend to think cities look the way they do because of the conscious work of architects, planners and builders. But what if the look of cities had less to do with design, and more to do with social, cultural, financial and political processes, and the way ordinary citizens interact with them? What... More Info

Is Racism an Environmental Threat?

Polity | May 30, 2017 | 140 pages
The ecological crisis is the most overwhelming to have ever faced humanity and its consequences permeate every domain of life. This trenchant book examines its relation to Islamophobia as the dominant form of racism today, showing how both share roots in domination, colonialism, and the logics of... 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

Critical Approaches to International Security

Polity | March 9, 2015 | 320 pages
During the Cold War the concept of international security was understood in military terms as the threat or use of force by states. The end of EastÐWest hostilities, however, brought ‘critical’ perspectives to the fore as scholars sought to explain the emergence of new challenges to... 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

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 Metamorphosis of the World

Polity | April 10, 2017 | 240 pages
We live in a world that is increasingly difficult to understand. It is not just changing: it is metamorphosing. Change implies that some things change but other things remain the same capitalism changes, but some aspects of capitalism remain as they always were. Metamorphosis implies a much more... More Info

Amartya Sen

Polity | June 4, 2019 | 240 pages
Amartya Sen is one of the world’s best-known voices for the poor, the destitute and the downtrodden and an inspiration for policy makers and activists across the globe. He has also contributed almost without peer to the study of economics, philosophy and politics, transforming social choice... 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

Prison Worlds

Polity | November 30, 2016 | 416 pages
The prison is a recent invention, hardly more than two centuries old, yet it has become the universal system of punishment. How can we understand the place that the correctional system occupies in contemporary societies? What are the experiences of those who are incarcerated as well as those who... More Info