Our Book of the Month Choice for February

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Handbook on Gender and Social Policy

edited by Sheila Shaver

Edward Elgar, 2018

Shelfmark: HQ1075.HAN 2018

 

 

 

Our Book of the Month choice for February has been selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy & Intervention.

Why was it chosen?

It was chosen because it provides an essential introduction to current debates on the intersections of Gender and Social Policy.

Book Overview

This handbook gathers together a range of original contributions and research from leading researchers. It covers the theoretical perspectives of the field, the central policy terrain of gender inequalities of income, employment and care, and family policy.

It covers the key areas of social policy that relate to the inequalities between men and women in the developed and developing world such as income, employment, care and family policy, same-sex marriage and child protection. It features chapters on key perspectives on gender and policy and six original studies of the state of play in different global regions.

Overall this collection considers gender and social policy at both the regional and national level and serve as an excellent resource for scholars of sociology, political science, women’s studies, policy studies as well as practitioners seeking to understand how gender shapes the contours of social policy and politics.

Reviews:

“This is a sparkling and absorbing collection. The Handbook provides both case studies of specific countries and overviews of key policy areas.”

Jane Millar, University of Bath, and UK Social Policy Association

“…should be in the collection of every student of social policy – those who have specialized in gender issues and everyone else – for a key strength of the collection is the engagement across the multiple theoretical and empirical traditions of comparative welfare state research.”

Ann Shola Orloff, Northwestern University, USA

Where can I find it?

We have one Short Loan copy, which can be borrowed and an additional copy that is for Library Use Only. The Library Use Only copy is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display to have a look at it. The shelfmark for the title is HQ1075.HAN 2018

We also have an electronic legal deposit copy of the title. Online access for this material is restricted to library computers in any of the Bodleian Libraries. A link to it can be found on SOLO.

What would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

Our Book of the Month choice for January

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Against elections: the case for democracy

David Van Reybrouck

The Bodley Head, 2016

Shelfmark: JC423.VAN 2016

 

 

 

Our Book of the Month choice for January has been selected by Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian and Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations.

 

 

Why was it chosen?

The choice was inspired by the results of recent elections: These include the appointment of fear-mongering populists, distrust, and personality contests instead of reasoned debate.

Book Overview

In Against Elections, David Van Reybrouck argues that the original purpose of elections was to exclude the people from power by appointing an elite to govern over them. Yet for most of its 3000-year history, democracy did not involve elections at all; members of the public were appointed to positions in government through a combination of volunteering and lottery. The author references studies and cases from around the world to present a compelling case for ‘true’ democracy.

Reviews:

 ‘In compelling us to subject all our received ideas and deeply-held convictions to rigorous scrutiny, this fine iconoclastic work could not be more timely.’
Karen Armstrong

‘A sovereign remedy for the raging crypto-oligarchy of our turbulent times.’
Paul Cartledge, Emeritus Professor of Greek culture at Cambridge University and author of Democracy : A Life.

‘Cogently and persuasively, David Van Reybrouck pleads for a return to selection by lot, and outlines a range of well thought out plans for how sortitive democracy might be implemented.. it may well be an idea whose time has come.’
J. M. Coetzee

Where can I find it?

We have one copy, which can be borrowed. It is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and borrow it. The shelfmark for the title is JC423.VAN 2016

What would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

Our Book of the Month Choice for December

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Displacement, Development and Climate Change: international organizations moving beyond their mandates

Nina Hall

Routledge, 2016

Shelfmark: QC903.HAL 2016

 

 

 

Our Book of the Month choice for December has been selected by Sarah Rhodes, Subject Consultant for International Development, Forced Migration, African and Commonwealth Studies.

 

 

Why was it chosen?

It was chosen as the effects and issues of climate change are now of global and pressing concern.

Book Overview

This book focuses on one critical challenge: climate change. Climate change is predicted to lead to an increased intensity and frequency of natural disasters. An increase in extreme weather events, global temperatures and higher sea levels may lead to displacement and migration, and will affect many dimensions of the economy and society. Although scholars are examining the complexity and fragmentation of the climate change regime, they have not examined how our existing international development, migration and humanitarian organizations are dealing with climate change.

Focusing on three institutions: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Development Programme, the book asks: how have these inter-governmental organizations responded to climate change? And are they moving beyond their original mandates, given none were established with a mandate for climate change? It traces their responses to climate change in their rhetoric, policy, structure, operations and overall mandate change. Hall argues that international bureaucrats can play an important role in mandate expansion, often deciding whether and how to expand into a new issue-area and then lobbying states to endorse this expansion. They make changes in rhetoric, policy, structure and operations on the ground, and therefore forge, frame and internalize new issue-linkages.

Reviews:

‘Hall provides a perceptive critique of why and how mandates evolve within international organizations.  Her book is a must-read for all seeking to ensure that our global institutions remain fit for purpose.’

Sam Daws, Director, Project on UN Governance and Reform, Oxford University

‘This book provides fascinating insights into how international development, migration and humanitarian organizations are responding to the challenge of climate change.’

Professor Jane McAdam, Director, Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales.

Where can I find it?

We have one copy, which can be borrowed. It is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and borrow it. The shelfmark for the title is  QC903.HAL 2016

We also have an electronic legal deposit copy of the title. Online access for this material is restricted to library computers in any of the Bodleian Libraries. A link to it can be found on SOLO.

Our Book of the Month choice for November

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Portfolio society: on the capitalist mode of prediction

Ivan Ascher

Zone Books, 2016

Shelfmark: HG4523.ASC 2016

 

 

 

Our Book of the Month choice for November has been selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy and Intervention.

 

 

Why was it chosen?

It was chosen because of its engaging style and the way it argues for a transition from Marx’s wage relation to a post-industrial credit relation. One where alienation from work and consumption, while still experienced, becomes secondary to a more abstract form of financial alienation that offers another way of understanding financial events and more generally modern economies.

Book Overview

In this work Ascher explores how the abstraction and securitisation of risk in financial markets have had a profound influence on economic and social relations, with a particular focus on the aftermath of the global financial crisis. ‘Portfolio Society’ underscores the extent to which much of the ‘value’ generated by the contemporary economy results from financial engineering or extractive practices.

This compact book traces the historical development of portfolio theory by Economists such as Harry Markowitz, William Sharpe, Fischer Black and Myron Scholes and more widely adds to a growing body of critical literature from various disciplines  – including Mazzucato’s ‘The Value of Everything, Silver’s ‘Finance, Society’ and Cohen’s ‘The Infinite Desire for Growth’. This allows a closer examination of the 2008 global financial crisis, more recent developments and the contradictions revealed in the nature of our economies and financial systems.

Reviews:

“Portfolio Society is a ‘history of the present,’ rendered as a thick and yet pellucid description of financial crises.”

Frank Pasquale, author of The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information.

“An important contribution to theorising the contemporary economy, although it would benefit from greater attention to the detail of financialisation processes and how they are mediated through political and economic systems.”

Jenny McArthur, LSE Review of Books

Where can I find it?

We have one copy, which can be borrowed. It is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and borrow it. The shelfmark for the title is  HG4523.ASC 2016

What would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

Our Book of the Month choice for October

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Government by Referendum

Matt Qvortrup

Manchester University Press, 2018

Shelfmark: JF497.G7.QVO 2018

 

 

 

The Book of the Month for October has been selected by Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian and Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations. The choice was inspired by current political events in the UK.

 

Book Overview

This book asks why governments risk their position in the face of uncertain odds and whether referendums strengthen or weaken democracy. Covering the history of referendums since the Middle Ages, this book explains why politicians submit issues to the people and why they sometimes miscalculate the outcome. Government by Referendum questions if referendums, far from being a populist device, have actually performed the function of a democratic constitutional safeguard.

Reviews:

“Referendums are increasingly capturing the headlines. Not always for good reasons. While the referendum might have a place as a constitutional safe-guard, Professor Matt Qvortrup’s outstanding analysis shows that they can be dangerous when politicians call them for selfish and tactical reasons.”
Arend Lijphart, University of California, San Diego

“This concise book contains many thought-provoking observations and factual details that support its key message that referendums should be embraced by the public and demanded more regularly.”
Chris Stafford, University of Nottingham

Where can I find it?

We have one copy, which can be borrowed. It is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and borrow it. The shelfmark for the title is JF497.G7.QVO 2018

We also have an electronic legal deposit copy of the title. Online access for this material is restricted to library computers in any of the Bodleian Libraries. A link to it can be found on SOLO.

What would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

Our Book of the Month choice for September

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Understanding suicide: a sociological autopsy

Ben Fincham et al.

Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

Shelfmark: HV6545.UND 2011

 

 

The Book of the Month for September has been selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy & Intervention. It was chosen to tie in with World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September).

 

 

Book Overview

The theoretical treatment of suicide is one of the few classical subjects in Sociology. Indeed through the work of Durkheim and others it was of central importance in establishing Sociology as an independent academic discipline. Even now the subject continues to both attract and illustrate competing research paradigms.

In ‘Understanding Suicide: a social autopsy’, Fincham, Langer et al uncover a variety of neglected social and economic strains which contribute to suicide, such as indebtedness and stressful relationships at work. Their analysis signals a need for researchers and clinicians to look for clusters of both sociological and psychiatric causes in order to obtain a better understanding of the complexities of such events.

Reviews:

“A major contribution to the study of suicide, still one of the core topics in sociology. Introducing a novel methodology and an innovative approach to suicidal motivation, it will become a landmark study in the field.”

Anthony Giddens, former Director of the LSE and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge

“A wonderful example of what sociology can achieve: Being methodologically innovative and rigorous, theoretically rich and challenging, as well as maintaining direct relevance and utility to policy-makers and practitioners working in suicide prevention.”

Network Magazine

Where can I find it?

We have one copy, which is for library use only. It is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and take a look at it. The shelfmark for the title is HV6545.UND 2011

Our Book of the Month choice for August

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Imposing aid: emergency assistance to refugees

Barbara Harrell-Bond

Oxford University Press, 1986

Shelfmark: HV640.5.U35.HAR

 

 

 

The Book of the Month for August has been selected by Sarah Rhodes, Subject Consultant for Forced Migration, in memory of Professor Barbara Harrell-Bond who died on 11th July 2018.

 

 

 

Book Overview

Barbara Harrell-Bond’s seminal book Imposing Aid, was the first independent appraisal of an assistance programme mounted by international agencies in response to an emergency influx of refugees – in this case the Ugandans who spilled over the Sudanese border in the early months of 1982. Since its publication in 1986, it has been widely hailed as a key text in Anthropology and Refugee Studies, with far-reaching implications for policy and theory. Today the relevance of the themes raised in Imposing Aid, and its enduring influence on the shape of the discipline continue: the way humanitarian organisations work or do not work; the critical study of how such organisations may be paternalistic or unaccountable; the conflicts of interest and disparities of power which characterise the interactions between refugees and their ostensible helpers; and the place of refugees in the complex order of international emergency relief settings. Thirty years after the publication of Imposing Aid, these issues remain as urgent as ever. (Dr Will Jones, Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) Trinity Term Seminar Series, 2016).

Tribute:

Refugee rights were more than just an academic area of study for Barbara, keeping the issue at the centre of the humanitarianism agenda and at the forefront of public consciousness, was a life-long commitment that she advocated for until the day she died. Refugee rights continue to have increasing social resonance today, an age when asylum and protections for refugees are the subject of continuous, fierce debate.

Professor Matthew Gibney, current Director of the RSC, said: ‘The RSC mourns the loss of its founder, a visionary scholar and a guiding light for people across the world who strive for a securer world for refugees’.

Read the full tribute here.

Where can I find it?

We have 5 loanable copies of this book and an additional copy that is for library use only. One of our loanable copies is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and take a look at it. The shelfmark for the title is   HV640.5.U35.HAR

We also have an electronic copy of the title. This can be accessed directly from a library computer or if you are accessing the title remotely, sign in with your SSO.  A link to it can be found on SOLO.

What would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

Our Book of the Month choice for July

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Would the world be better without the UN?

Thomas G. Weiss

Polity Press, 2018

Shelfmark: JZ4984.5.WEI 2018

 

 

 

The Book of the Month for July has been selected by Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian and Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations.

The choice was inspired by the UN World Population Day on 11 July.

 

Book Overview

Do we need the United Nations? Two “what ifs” anchor this book: One, where would the contemporary world be without its largest intergovernmental organisation? Two, where could it be had the UN performed better? Thomas G. Weiss, a leading analyst of UN history and politics, explores these fundamental questions in Would the World be Better without the UN? He argues that the inward-looking and populist movements in electoral politics worldwide make multilateralism more, not less, compelling. There is a desperate need to reinvigorate rather than jettison the UN in responding to global threats from climate change to pandemics, from proliferation to terrorism. Weiss tells us why and how.

Reviews:

“I salute this book because it helps us to understand the crucial importance of the UN in tackling the considerable challenges facing the world today. Tom Weiss has engagingly and honestly asked a very tough question.. His negative reply is an indispensable guide for anyone worried about the future of the planet and of the UN.”
Kofi Annan

“If you can only read one book on the UN, this is it: Why the UN matters, what it needs to do better, and what we need to do to make that happen.”
Craig Murphy, Wellesley College and University of Massachusetts

Where can I find it?

We have one copy which is for library use only. It is currently displayed on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and take a look at it. The shelfmark for the title is  JZ4984.5.WEI 2018

What would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

Our Book of the Month choice for June

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

 

Syria: the making and unmaking of a refuge state

Dawn Chatty

Oxford University Press, 2018

Shelfmark:

HV640.5.S97. CHA 2018

 

 

 

 

The Book of the Month for June has been selected by Sarah Rhodes, Subject Consultant for International Development, Forced Migration, African and Commonwealth Studies.

It was chosen to tie in with Refugee Week (18-24 June).

Book Overview

The dispossession and forced migration of nearly 50 per cent of Syria’s population has produced the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. This new book places the current displacement within the context of the widespread migrations that have indelibly marked the region throughout the last 150 years. Syria itself has harboured millions from its neighbouring lands, and Syrian society has been shaped by these diasporas. Dawn Chatty explores how modern Syria came to be a refuge state, focusing first on the major forced migrations into Syria of Circassians, Armenians, Kurds, Palestinians, and Iraqis. Drawing heavily on individual narratives and stories of integration, adaptation, and compromise, she shows that a local cosmopolitanism came to be seen as intrinsic to Syrian society. She examines the current outflow of people from Syria to neighbouring states as individuals and families seek survival with dignity, arguing that though the future remains uncertain, the resilience and strength of Syrian society both displaced internally within Syria and externally across borders bodes well for successful return and reintegration. If there is any hope to be found in the Syrian civil war, it is in this history.

Reviews:

‘A very timely and insightful book. Tracing the arc of migration to and from Syria in the last 150 years. Dawn Chatty offers a layered portrait of a modern nation whose cultural hybridity was until recently the source of its openness.’   

Nasser Rabat, Aga Khan Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

‘Passionate and erudite, combining the intimacy of the anthropological eye with a broad historical sweep, Dawn Chatty tells the two-century story of Syria as a place of refuge. Beginning with Sultan Abdul Hamid’s creation of the muhajireen quarter of Damascus as a refuge for Muslims from Crete, Chatty further exposes the often-forgotten forced migrations of Muslims from the Balkans, Crimea, and the Caucasus; the story continues with the Armenians, Kurds, then the Palestinians and Iraqis. The last chapter recounts the tragedy of how Syrians have now become refugees from their own country.’ 

Raymond Hinnebusch, Professor, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews

‘Today half of the Syrian population is internally displaced or have fled, or left, for mainly neighbouring countries but also further afield. In this crisis we risk disregarding the rich humanitarian history of the country. Dawn Chatty’s timely book is devoted to that history when Bilad ash-Sham in the late Ottoman period, and Syria since World War I, received and welcomed refugees and uprooted people from within, as well as from without, the region. Based on long-term anthropological engagement in the region and with the people she writes about, this book is a very important contribution to regional ethnography and history and to the development of refugee studies.’ 

Annika Rabo, Professor of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Where can I find it?

We have one loanable copy which is available to borrow from our open shelves. We also have one copy which is for library use only. This second copy is currently on display on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). You are welcome to remove it from the display and take a look at it. The shelfmark for the title is HV640.5.S97. CHA 2018

 

What would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

Discover our New Books web page and see titles added to stock in April

We’ve recently revamped our New Books web page. It features print and e-book titles that have been added to stock in the past month.

The list of titles for April is now available to view here.

The list is divided according to the subject indicated by the classification of the book.

Here are just a few of our recent purchases:

    

    

To discover which shelfmarks are appropriate for your research and teaching interests, please see our subject browsing guide

 

The New Books web page also showcases one of our Subject Librarian’s choices for the SSL Book of the Month.