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 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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Author: Myra J. Hird

Is it possible to tackle waste by recycling, reusing and reducing consumption on an individual level alone?

This provocative book critically analyses the widespread narrative around waste as a ‘household’ issue.

Expert scholar Myra J. Hird uncovers neoliberal capitalism’s fallacy of infinite growth as the real culprit and shows how industry and local governments work in tandem to deflect attention away from the real causes of our global waste crisis.

Hird offers crucial insights on the relations between waste and wider societal issues such as poverty, racism, sexism, Indigeneity, decolonisation and social justice, showcasing how sociology can contribute to a ‘public imagination’ of waste.

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Digital Data, Gene Technologies, and an Ethics of Transhumanism

The concept of transhumanism emerged in the middle of the 20th century, and has influenced discussions around AI, brain–computer interfaces, genetic technologies and life extension. Despite its enduring influence in the public imagination, a fully developed philosophy of transhumanism has not yet been presented.

In this new book, leading philosopher Stefan Lorenz Sorgner explores the critical issues that link transhumanism with digitalization, gene technologies and ethics. He examines the history and meaning of transhumanism and asks bold questions about human perfection, cyborgs, genetically enhanced entities, and uploaded minds.

Offering insightful reflections on values, norms and utopia, this will be an important guide for readers interested in contemporary digital culture, gene ethics, and policy making.

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The Urgent Need to Transform Society and Reverse Climate Change
Author: Richard Joy

This book is an urgent call to reimagine our social, political and economic systems so that we might transform to a sustainable society.

It considers whether an alternative economic model is possible and examines the factors needed to enable such a transition to occur. The scale and pace of change is unprecedented and the author examines the actions that have to be taken by governments, business and individuals if we are to address the environmental disaster that confronts us. Much needs to change but ultimately, this is a book of hope, believing that evolution to a better, more sustainable society is possible.

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Contradictions and Alternatives to Data Commodification

At a time when the practices of technology companies continue to attract fierce criticism, this book asks what it actually means to hold a 'monopoly' in the tech world and how it might affect the way in which an organization operates.

Combining new and traditional Marxian perspectives, the authors offer an in-depth analysis of how these technology giants are produced, financialized, and regulated.

As technology firms continue to shape our political and socio-economic landscape, this book will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students who seek to understand the function of technological monopolies in contemporary capitalism.

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A Thriving Life That Does Not Cost the Earth
Author: Orsolya Lelkes

How can we create a thriving life for us all that doesn’t come at the price of ecological destruction?

This book calls to explore our collective and personal convictions about success and good life. It challenges the mainstream worldview, rooted in economics, that equates happiness with pleasure, and encourages greed, materialism, egoism and disconnection.

Drawing on science and ancient Greek philosophers the author details how we can cultivate our skills for enjoying life without harming ourselves or others, and can live an autonomous, creative and connected life. Complementary to our intellectual understanding, the experiential method of role play and theatre can powerfully facilitate the exploration of the inner drivers and hindrances of a thriving life.

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Classification, Ranking and the Sorting of the Past
Authors: Ben Jacobsen and David Beer

Social media platforms hold vast amounts of biographical data about our lives. They repackage our past content as ‘memories’ and deliver them back to us. But how does that change the way we remember?

Drawing on original qualitative research as well as industry documents and reports, this book critically explores the process behind this new form of memory making. In asking how social media are beginning to change the way we remember, it will be essential reading for scholars and students who are interested in understanding the algorithmically defined spaces of our lives.

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How Technology Shapes 21st-Century American Life
Author: Scott Timcke

As the US contends with issues of populism and de-democratization, this timely study considers the impacts of digital technologies on the country’s politics and society.

Timcke provides a Marxist analysis of the rise of digital media, social networks and technology giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. He looks at the impact of these new platforms and technologies on their users who have made them among the most valuable firms in the world.

Offering bold new thinking across data politics and digital and economic sociology, this is a powerful demonstration of how algorithms have come to shape everyday life and political legitimacy in the US and beyond.

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How Data Are Made and Shape Our World
Author: Rob Kitchin

The word ‘data’ has entered everyday conversation, but do we really understand what it means? How can we begin to grasp the scope and scale of our new data-rich world, and can we truly comprehend what is at stake?

In Data Lives, renowned social scientist Rob Kitchin explores the intricacies of data creation and charts how data-driven technologies have become essential to how society, government and the economy work.

Creatively blending scholarly analysis, biography and fiction, he demonstrates how data are shaped by social and political forces, and the extent to which they influence our daily lives.

He reveals our data world to be one of potential danger, but also of hope.

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Towards a Technologically Sustainable Civilization

People often believe that we can overcome the profound environmental and climate crises we face by smart systems, green innovations and more recycling. However, the quest for complex technological solutions, which rely on increasingly exotic and scarce materials, makes this unlikely.

A best-seller in France, this English language edition introduces readers to an alternative perspective on how we should be marshalling our resources to preserve the planet and secure our future. Bihouix skilfully goes against the grain to argue that ‘high’ technology will not solve global problems and envisages a different approach to build a more resilient and sustainable society.

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