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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An Introduction to Prefigurative Politics
Editor: Lara Monticelli

With the rise of urban gardens, worker-owned coops, ecological communities, and occupied factories, we are witnessing the emergence of a new wave of social movements.

Bringing together an international group of scholars, this edited collection covers theory, empirical case studies and methodology to analyse the unique characteristics of these movements which differ greatly from their precedents. The contributors demonstrate what we can learn from these movements to rethink our economies and societies.

This is a comprehensive and timely resource which will illuminate how prefigurative politics can help us envision a post pandemic, fairer and more sustainable society.

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A Perspective from the Global South

The idea of public sociology, as introduced by Michael Burawoy, was inspired by the sociological practice in South Africa known as ‘critical engagement’. This volume explores the evolution of critical engagement before and after Burawoy’s visit to South Africa in the 1990s and offers a Southern critique of his model of public sociology.

Involving four generations of researchers from the Global South, the authors provide a multifaceted exploration of the formation of new knowledge through research practices of co-production.

Tracing the historical development of ‘critical engagement’ from a Global South perspective, the book deftly weaves a bridge between the debates on public sociology and decolonial frameworks.

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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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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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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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Making Sense of Religious Lives

This edited collection harnesses a diversity of interpretivist perspectives to provide a panoramic view of the production, experiences, contexts, and meanings of religion.

Scholars from the US, South Asia and Europe explore religious phenomena using ethnographic, comparative historical, psychosocial, and critical theoretical approaches. Each chapter addresses foundational themes in the study of religion – from identity, discourse and power to ritual, emotion, and embodiment. Authors examine dynamic intersections of race, gender, history, and the present within the religious traditions of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, as well as among the non-religious.

Cutting boldly across religious traditions and paradigms, the book investigates areas of harmony and contradiction across different interpretive lenses to achieve a richer understanding of the meanings of religion.

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Beyond Tragedy and Utopianism

Bringing together an international team of contributors, this volume draws on international political theory and intellectual history to rethink the problem of a pluralistic world order.

Inspired by the work of international political theorist Nicholas Rengger, the book focuses on three main areas of Rengger’s contribution to the political theory of international relations: his Augustine-inspired idea of an ‘Anti-Pelagian Imagination’; his Oakeshottian argument for a pluralist ‘conversation of mankind’; and his ruminations on war as the uncivil condition in world politics. Through a critical engagement with his work, the book illuminates the promises and limitations of civility as a sceptical, non-utopian, anti-perfectionist approach to theorizing world order that transcends both realist pessimism and liberal utopianism.

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In this engaging book, David M. McCourt makes the case for New Constructivist approaches to international relations scholarship.

The book traces constructivist work on culture, identity, and norms within the historical, geographical, and professional contexts of world politics, and reflects on recent innovations in fields including practice theory, relationalism, and network analysis. Copiously illustrated with real-world examples from the rise of China and US foreign policy, it illuminates the processes by which international politics are built. This is both an accessible tour of Constructivism to date and a persuasive declaration for its continuing application and value.

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Emotional Landscapes and Dark Futures

As nations reel from the effects of poverty, inequality, climate change and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it feels as though the world has entered a period characterized by pessimism, cynicism and anxiety.

This edited collection challenges individualized understandings of emotion, revealing how they relate to cultural, economic and political realities in difficult times.

Combining numerous empirical studies and theoretical developments from around the world, the diverse contributors explore how dystopian visions of the future influence, and are influenced by, the emotions of an anxious and precarious present.

This is an original investigation into the changing landscape of emotion in dark and uncertain times.

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Multidisciplinary Explorations of an Enduring Emotion

Nostalgia, a complex and multi-layered emotion, has gained interest since the turn of the century in both society and academic circles.

Written by an international group of scholars, this volume investigates the relationship between nostalgia and contemporary social issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. From history and political theory to marketing and media, each chapter discusses the way nostalgia has been presented within a disciplinary context and shows how it has evolved over time as a topic of research.

Casting light on many recent changes in society and culture, this is an important contribution to the study of nostalgia and emotions.

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