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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How Open Global Governance Divides and Rules
Author: Felix Anderl

Felix Anderl’s book is a stimulating analysis of the decline of the social movement against the World Bank and the rise of a new form of transnational rule.

Reflecting on the transnational mobilizations of the 1990s, the book examines activists’ struggles to sustain their momentum since then. It shows how the opening up of world economic institutions contributed to complex rule in global governance, creating access for some while weakening their critique and fragmenting the overall social movement.

The book bridges International Relations and Social Movement Studies to observe international organizations and social movements in their interaction, demonstrating how social movements are divided and ruled in the absence of a ruler.

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Crisis, Solidarity and Change in a Global Pandemic

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

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply shaken societies and lives around the world.

This powerful book reveals how the pandemic intensifies socio-economic problems and inequalities across the world, whilst offering visions for a better future informed by social movements and public sociology. Bringing together experts from 27 countries, the authors explore the global echoes of the pandemic and the different responses adopted by governments, policy makers and activists.

The new expressions of social action, and forms of solidarity and protest are discussed in detail, from the Black Lives Matters protests to the French Strike Movement and the Lebanese Uprising.

This is a unique global commentary on the current crisis and the contemporary world.

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An Ethnography of Resistance and Resources

This is a nuanced and compelling analysis of grassroots feminist activism in Russia in the politically turbulent 2010s.

Drawing on rich ethnographic data, the author illustrates how a new generation of activists chose feminism as their main political beacon, and how they negotiated the challenges of authoritarian and conservative trends.

As we witness a backlash against feminism on a global scale with the rise of neo-conservative governments, this highly relevant book decentres Western theory and concepts on feminism and social movements, offering significant insights into how resistance can mobilise and invent creative tactics to cope with an increasingly repressed space for independent political action.

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The Spirit of Political Participation
Author: Timothy Stacey

In the wake of populism, Timothy Stacey’s book critically reflects on what is missing from the liberal project with the aim of saving liberalism.

It explains that populists have harnessed myth, ritual, magic and tradition to advance their ambitions, and why opponents need to embrace rather than eschew them. Via examples of liberally-minded activists in Vancouver, it presents an accessible theorisation of these quasi-religious concepts in secular life.

The result is to provide both a new theoretical understanding of why liberalism fails to engage people, and a toolkit for campaigners, policymakers and academics seeking to bridge the gap between liberal aspirations and lived experiences, to promote political engagement and to create unity out of division.

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Ideas and Inspiration from the Zapatistas

This ambitious book offers radical alternatives to conventional ways of thinking about the planet’s most pressing challenges, ranging from alienation and exploitation to state violence and environmental injustice.

Bridging real-world examples of resistance and mutual aid in Zapatista territory with big-picture concepts like critical consciousness, social reproduction, and decolonisation, the authors encourage readers to view themselves as co-creators of the societies they are a part of - and ‘be Zapatistas wherever they are.’

Written by a diverse team of first-generation authors, this book offers an emancipatory set of anticolonial ideas related to both refusing liberal bystanding and collectively constructing better worlds and realities.

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Central Europe’s Illiberal Revolt
Author: Ivan Kalmar

Since the ‘migration crisis’ of 2016, long-simmering tensions between the Western members of the European Union and its ‘new’ Eastern members – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary – have proven to be fertile ground for rebellion against liberal values and policies.

In this startling and original book Ivan Kalmar argues that Central Europe illiberalism is a misguided response to the devastating effects of global neoliberalism which arose from the area’s brutal transition to capitalism in the 1990s.

Kalmar argues that dismissive attitudes towards ‘Eastern Europeans’ in the EU as incapable of real democracy are a form of racism, and connected to recent racist attacks on migrants from the area to the West.

He explores the close relation between racism towards Central Europeans and racism by Central Europeans: a people white, but not quite.

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Is transparency a necessary condition to build and restore citizen and civil society trust in governance and democracy?

Throughout Europe, there is a growing demand for effective forms of citizen engagement and decentralisation in policy-making to increase trust and engage increasingly diverse populations.

This volume addresses the relationship between trust and transparency in the context of multi-level governance. Drawing on fieldwork from the UK, France and Germany, this comparative analysis examines different efforts to build trust between key actors involved in decision-making at the sub-national level. It outlines the challenges of delivering this agenda and explores the paradox that trust might require transparency, yet in some instances transparency may undermine trust.

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Hope for Life
Author: John Foster

In the teeth of climate emergency, hope has to remain possible, because life insists on it. But hope also has to be realistic. And doesn’t realism about our plight point towards despair? Don’t the timid politicians, the failed summits and the locked-in consumerism all just mean that we have left things far too late to avoid catastrophe?

There is a deeper realism of transformation which can keep life powerful within us. It comes at the price of accepting that our condition is tragic. That, in turn, calls for a harsher, more revolutionary approach to the demands of the emergency than most activists have yet been prepared to adopt.

This is a book to think with, to argue and disagree with – and to hope with.

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Rethinking Collaboration in the Age of Austerity

This book presents the findings of a major Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project into urban austerity governance in eight cities across the world (Athens, Baltimore, Barcelona, Melbourne, Dublin, Leicester, Montréal and Nantes). It offers comparative reflections on the myriad experiences of collaborative governance and its limitations.

An international collaborative from across the social sciences, the book discusses ways that citizens, activists and local states collaborate and come into conflict in attempting to build just cities. It examines the development of egalitarian collaborative governance strategies, provides innovative ideas and tools to extend emancipatory governance practices and shows hopeful possibilities for cities beyond austerity and neoliberalism.

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