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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A Critical Feminist Analysis

Slaves, mistresses, concubines – the English courts have used these terms to describe polygamous wives in the past, but are they still seen this way today?

Using a critical postcolonial feminist lens, this book provides a contextualised exploration of English legal responses to polygamy. Through the legacies of British imperialism, the book shows how attitudes to polygamy are shaped by indifference and hostility towards its participants. This goes beyond the law, as shown by the stories of women shared throughout the book negotiating their identities and relationships in the UK today.

Through its analysis, the book demonstrates how polygamy and polygamous wives are subjected to imperialist and orientalist discourses which dehumanise them for practising a relationship that has existed for millennia.

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Secretary-General Trygve Lie and the Establishment of the United Nations

This book reviews the formative years of the United Nations (UN) under its first Secretary-General Trygve Lie.

This welcome appraisal shows how the foundations for an expanded secretary-general role were laid during this period, and that Lie’s contribution was greater than has later been acknowledged. The interplay of crisis decision-making, institutional constraints and the individuals involved thus built the foundations for the UN organization we know today.

Addressing important wider questions of IGO creation, governance and autonomy, this is an incisive account of how the UN moved from paper to practice under Lie.

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Neglected Essays, Recurring Themes

This book brings together thirteen of Nicholas Greenwood Onuf’s previously published yet rarely cited essays. They address topics that Onuf, a celebrated international theorist, has puzzled over for decades, prompting him to develop a distinctive perspective on international theory as social theory. Among these topics are the problem of materiality in social construction, epochal change in the modern world and the power of language.

Building on the work of giants, from Aristotle and Cicero, Hume and Kant, to Derrida and Foucault, and drawing on diverse contemporary theorists, including Seyla Benhabib, James Der Derian, Johan Galtung, Morton Kaplan, Joseph Nye, James Rosenau, Elaine Scarry and Kenneth Waltz, the book ranges over the margins of the field and settles on issues that have never been put to rest.

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Displacement, Belonging and the Reconstruction of Somali Cities

This book explores relationships between war, displacement and city-making. Focusing on people seeking refuge in Somali cities after being forced to migrate by violence, environmental shocks or economic pressures, it highlights how these populations are actively transforming urban space.

Using first-hand testimonies and participatory photography by urban in-migrants, the book documents and analyses the micropolitics of urban camp management, evictions and gentrification, and the networked labour of displaced populations that underpins growing urban economies. Central throughout is a critical analysis of how the discursive figure of the ‘internally displaced person’ is co-produced by various actors. The book argues that this label exerts significant power in structuring socio-economic inequalities and the politics of group belonging within different Somali cities connected through protracted histories of conflict-related migration.

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Voices from Multicultural Sydney
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We are often told that mean welfare is what the public wants. Whether or not that's true, this book encourages us all to at least be honest about what that entails.

It explores how diverse welfare users navigate the personal and practical hurdles of Australia’s so-called social security system where benefits are deliberately meagre and come with strings attached. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a region of Sydney known for ethnic diversity and socio-economic disadvantage, Emma Mitchell brings her own experience belonging to a poor family long reliant on welfare to her research.

This book shows the different cultural resources that people bring to welfare encounters with a sensitivity and subtly that are often missing in both sympathetic and cynical accounts of life on welfare.

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The Victim Journey

Throughout the world, vulnerable subjects are being deceived into entering an abusive journey, in the organ trade, exploitative labour business, and forced criminality – and their lives will never be the same.

This book traces the journey of victims/survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking into and within the UK, from recruitment to representation to (re)integration. Using global comparative case studies, it discusses recruitment tactics and demand, prevention in supply chains, issues with effective legal protection and care services, vulnerability to re-trafficking and the ideological misrepresentation of vulnerable migrants and victims/survivors in media, the film industry, legislation, and more.

Rooted in diverse practitioner experience, disciplines and empirical research, this book bridges the experience-research-practice-policy gap by bringing to the fore survivors’ voices. In doing so, it offers crucial suggestions for better public awareness, policies and practices that will impact interventions in the UK and beyond.

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A Differential Framework
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Drawing on insights from differentiation theory, this book examines the participation of middle powers in multilateralism.

Taking Australia, Indonesia and South Korea as examples, the book examines these countries’ roles in regional organizations, and particularly their creation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and East Asia Summit. Through its analysis, the book argues that middle powers pursue a weakening of ‘stratificatory differentiation’, targeted in particular at major powers, and a strengthening of ‘functional differentiation’ in which middle powers can assume key roles.

The book sets out a valuable new framework to explain and understand the behaviour of middle powers in multilateralism.

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From Strategy to Decision

Between 2021 and 2031, the UK government is set to spend over £230 billion on its military. Who decides how to use these funds, and how can we be sure that the UK’s armed forces can meet the threats of tomorrow?

This book provides the answers to these crucial questions. Concentrating on decisions taken below the political level, it uncovers the factors that underpin the translation of strategic direction into military capability. In a series of interviews, over 30 top admirals, generals and air marshals give their own views on the procurement and maintenance of the nation’s current and future military capability. Their unrivalled professional knowledge and experience affords a fascinating insight into the higher management of national defence.

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Legal Frameworks beyond Identity and Disorder

This book examines the divergent medical, political and legal constructions of intersex. The authors use empirical data to explore how intersex people are embodied through these frameworks which in turn influence their lived experiences.

Through their analysis, the authors reveal the factors that motivate and influence the way in which policy makers and legislators approach the area of intersex rights. They reflect on the limitations of law as the primary vehicle in challenging healthcare’s framing of intersex as a ‘disorder’ in need of fixing. Finally, they offer a more holistic account of intersex justice which is underpinned by psychosocial support and bodily integrity.

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A Practical Handbook for Public Service Organisations
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Why is it hard to know if you are making a difference in public services? What can you do about it?

Public services throughout the world face the challenge of tackling complex issues where multiple factors influence change. This book sets out practical and theoretically robust, tried and tested approaches to understanding and tracking change that any organisation can use to ensure it makes a difference to the people it cares about.

With case studies from health, community, research, international development and social care, this book shows that with the right tools and techniques, public services can track their contribution to social change and become more efficient and effective.

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