Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Editors: Sarah Smith and Keina Yoshida

EPUB and EPDF available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

What is feminist peace? How can we advocate for peace from patriarchy? What do women, globally, advocate for when they use the term 'peace'? This edited collection brings together conversations across borders and boundaries to explore plural, intersectional and interdisciplinary concepts of feminist peace.

The book includes contributions from a geographically diverse range of scholars, judges, practitioners and activists, and the chapters cut across themes of movement building and resistance and explore the limits of institutionalised peacebuilding. The chapters deal with a range of issues, such as environmental degradation, militarization, online violence and arms spending.

Offering a resource to advance theoretical development and to advocate for policy change, this book transcends traditional approaches to the study of peace and security and embraces diverse voices and perspectives which are absent in both academic and policy spaces.

Open access
Creating a Global Future
Author: Mark Henrickson

European and North American notions of helping - or managing - poor and marginalised people have deep roots in religious texts and traditions which continue to influence contemporary social policy and social work practice in ways which many do not realise.

Bringing together interdisciplinary scholarship, Mark Henrickson argues that it is essential to understand and critique social work’s origins in order to work out what to retain and what must change if we are to achieve the vision of a truly global profession.

Addressing current debates in international social work about social justice, professionalisation, and the legacy of colonisation, this thought-provoking book will allow practitioners and scholars to consider and create a global future for social work.

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Care and Cruelty in Australia’s Asylum Seeker Prisons

Michelle Peterie’s revealing research offers a fresh angle on the human costs of immigration detention.

Drawing on over 70 interviews with regular visitors to Australia’s onshore immigration detention facilities, Peterie paints a unique and vivid picture of these carceral spaces. The book contrasts the care and friendship exchanged between detainees and visitors with the isolation and despair that is generated and weaponised through institutional life. It shows how visitors become targets of institutional control, and theorises the harm detention imposes beyond the detainee.

As the first research in this area, this book bears important witness to Australia’s onshore immigration detention system, and offers internationally relevant insights on immigration, deterrence and the politics of solidarity.

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Critical Theory for Contemporary Times

This fresh appraisal of philosopher Herbert Marcuse’s work foregrounds the geographical aspects of one of the leading social and political theorists of the 20th century.

Margath A. Walker considers how Marcusean philosophies might challenge the way we think about space and politics and create new sensibilities. Applying them to contemporary geopolitics, digital infrastructure and issues like resistance and immigration, the book shows how social change has been stifled, and how Marcuse’s philosophies could provide the tools to overturn the status quo.

She demonstrates Marcuse’s relevance to individuals and society, and finds this important theorist of opposition can point the way to resisting oppressive forces within contemporary capitalism.

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A New Approach to Care

Deficiencies in old age care are some of the most pressing human rights concerns in mature welfare states.

This book radically challenges the ethics of viewing care as a tradeable commodity and introduces a novel framework for understanding and analysing social care through the concept of ailment. Providing examples from the British and Finnish welfare states, it demonstrates how ailment shapes societies from the micro to the macro level. Addressing the marketisation and financialisation of care, the authors bring to light increasing inequalities in care.

This book argues that ailment is part of human life and society, and therefore the politics of care should begin with a politics of ailment.

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Rethinking Global Ethics

A perennial debate in the field of global ethics revolves around the possibility of a universalist ethics, as well as arguments over the nature, and significance, of difference for moral deliberation. Decolonial literature, in particular, increasingly signifies a pluriverse, one with radical ontological and epistemological differences.

This book examines the concept of the pluriverse alongside global ethics and the ethics of care in order to contemplate new ethical horizons for engaging across difference. Offering a challenge to the current state of the field, this book argues for a rethinking of global ethics as it has been conceived thus far.

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Author: James Gregory

The growing demand for social housing is one of the most pressing public issues in Britain today, and this book analyses its role and value.

Anchored in a discussion of different approaches to the meaning and measurement of wellbeing, the author explores how these perspectives influence our views of the meaning, value and purpose of social housing in today’s welfare state. The closing arguments of the book suggest a more universalist approach to social housing, designed to meet the common needs of a wide range of households, with diverse socioeconomic characteristics, but all sharing the same equality of social status.

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Author: Jonathan Wistow

In this challenging and original study, Wistow positions social policy within political economy and social contract debates.

Focusing on individual, intergenerational and societal outcomes related to health, place and social mobility in England, he draws on empirical evidence to show how the social contract produces longstanding, highly patterned and inequitable consequences in these areas. Globalisation and the political economy simultaneously contribute to the extent and nature of social problems and to social policy’s capacity to address them effectively.

Applying social contract theory, this book shows that society needs to take ownership of the outcomes it produces and critically interrogates the individualism inherent within the political economy.

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Staying Together at the End of the World
Author: David W. Hill

Thinking about climate change can create a paralyzing sense of hopelessness. But what about the idea of a planetary exodus? Are high tech solutions like colonizing other planets just another distraction from taking real action?

This radical book unsettles how we think about taking responsibility for environmental catastrophe.

Going beyond both hopelessness and false hope in his development of a ‘sociology of the very worst’, Hill debunks the idea of a society that centres human beings and calls for us to take responsibility for sustaining a coexistence of animals, plants and minerals bound by one planet.

We would then find the centre of our moral gravity here together on earth.

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An Anti-fascist Approach to Artificial Intelligence
Author: Dan McQuillan

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, yet it causes damage to society in ways that can’t be fixed. Instead of helping to address our current crises, AI causes divisions that limit people’s life chances, and even suggests fascistic solutions to social problems. This book provides an analysis of AI’s deep learning technology and its political effects and traces the ways that it resonates with contemporary political and social currents, from global austerity to the rise of the far right.

Dan McQuillan calls for us to resist AI as we know it and restructure it by prioritising the common good over algorithmic optimisation. He sets out an anti-fascist approach to AI that replaces exclusions with caring, proposes people’s councils as a way to restructure AI through mutual aid and outlines new mechanisms that would adapt to changing times by supporting collective freedom.

Academically rigorous, yet accessible to a socially engaged readership, this unique book will be of interest to all who wish to challenge the social logic of AI by reasserting the importance of the common good.

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