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.

 

Our Book of the Month choice for May

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.

 

Communicating your research with social media: a practical guide to using blogs, podcasts, visualisations and video

Amy Mollett et al.

Sage Publications, 2017

Shelfmark: HM742.MOL 2017

 

 

 

The Book of the Month for May has been selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy and Intervention. It was chosen because of the way it not only outlines effective use of social media tools available but also considers them as part of the overall research lifecycle and scholarly practice.

Book Overview

Drawing upon a variety of timely, real-world examples, the authors present a framework for fully incorporating social media within each step of the research process. This ranges from visualising data to tailoring particular social media to share or communicate your research. A companion website (https://study.sagepub.com/mollett) means the authors have produced a package which is an impressive guide to sharing research and promoting researchers. The book teaches you how to use social media to:

  • create and share images, audio, and video
  • connect and collaborate with other researchers
  • measure and quantify research communication efforts for funders
  • provide research evidence in innovative digital formats
  • reach wider audiences in academia and beyond

In an environment with the tendency to denigrate experts and research evidence, it has never been a more important for academics to learn and apply new digital skills.

Reviews:

“… chapters are brilliantly illustrated with informative and entertaining examples.  From the novice social media dabbler to the platform veteran who wishes to expand her repertoire, academics and other knowledge workers will benefit from this sharply-written book”. Ella McPherson – University of Cambridge

“The true value in this book is in providing a step-by-step breakdown of the strategic capabilities of this medium and highlighting the almost endless possibilities, as well as the pitfalls.” Brendan J. Keegan – Manchester Metropolitan University

 

Where can I find it?

We have one loanable copy of the title in stock. It 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 or borrow it. The shelfmark for the title is HM742.MOL 2017

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 April

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.

 

 

Slippery Slope: Brexit and Europe’s Trouble Future

Giles Merritt

Oxford University Press, 2017

Shelfmark: JN30.MER 2017

 

 

The Book of the Month for April has been selected by Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian and Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations. The choice was inspired by the certainty that Brexit will affect the lives of everyone in Britain, most people in the rest of Europe and many others around the world.

Book Overview

In Slippery Slope Giles Merritt argues that the steepness of Europe’s decline in the ‘Asian Century’ will depend on the actions we Europeans take. There are two key lessons that we need to face. Firstly, the ‘good times’ will not return without a massive effort on our part. Secondly, in a fast-developing world of 9-10 billion people, no single European country will survive and prosper on its own. In the final chapter Merritt proposes an ‘Urgent To-Do List’ for Europe’s policymakers if our comparatively privileged life styles are not to be threatened in the coming years.

Reviews:

‘Giles Merrit’s excellent and very readable book covers pretty comprehensively the issues which should be at the heart of the debate on Europe.’
Chris Patten (Lord Patten of Barnes), EU Commissioner for External Relations 1999-2004

‘Slippery Slope’s chief virtue is that, with chapters on Africa, Asia and the digital revolution, it places the EU’s challenges in broader global and technological contexts.’
Tony Barber, Financial Times Europe Editor

‘I strongly recommend the book not only to today’s readers with an interest in European issues, but also to the readers of tomorrow.’
Simeon Mitropolitski, LSE Review of Books

Where can I find it?

We have one Library Use Only copy of the title in stock. It 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 in the Library. The shelfmark for the title is JN30.MER 2017

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 March

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.

 

Women, Gender Equality, and Post-Conflict Transformation: Lessons Learned, Implications for the future

Edited by Joyce P. Kaufman and Kristen P. Williams

Routledge, 2017

Shelfmark: HQ1075.WOM 2017

 

 

The Book of the Month for March has been selected by Sarah Rhodes, Subject Consultant for International Development, Forced Migration, African and Commonwealth Studies.  It was chosen to tie in with International Women’s Day (8th March 2018).

Book Overview

The end of formal hostilities in any given conflict provides an opportunity to transform society in order to secure a stable peace. This book builds on the existing feminist international relations literature as well as lessons of past cases that reinforce the importance of including women in the post-conflict transition process. These are important to our general understanding of gender relations in the conflict and post-conflict periods. Post-conflict transformation processes, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs, transitional justice mechanisms, reconciliation measures, and legal and political reforms, demonstrate that war and peace impact, and are impacted by, women and men differently.

Reviews:

‘Kaufman and Williams have given us a richly contextualized gender analysis of post-war patriarchy’s stubborn “sustainability”. They and their knowledgeable contributors have also revealed what women, when organized and powered by feminist analytical curiosity, can do to expose that unjust and wasteful faux “peace”. This is a wonderfully valuable book.’

Cynthia Enloe, author of Globalization and Militarism (updated 2nd edition, 2016)

‘In the last fifteen years, enthusiasm over the United Nations Security Council resolution on women, peace, and security has turned to disappointment. This valuable collaborative study explains why. Theoretical chapters identify how policies failed to anticipate the role of gender in post-conflict situations. A return to “normal” expectations of masculinity and femininity has hindered post-war reconstruction in many ways. Women, whose behaviour and responsibilities were often transformed during the conflict, found their post-war opportunities limited, for example, by job training that focused on traditional activities, while neglecting their new abilities and needs.

Matthew Evangelista, author of Gender, Nationalism, and War: Conflict on the Movie Screen

Where can I find it?

We have one lending copy of the title in stock. It is currently on display on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk) but is available to be borrowed. The shelfmark for the title is HQ1075.WOM 2017 

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.