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 1,500 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

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 22,954 items

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This chapter explores the unpaid digital labour of moderators and how moderation style encourages or discourages a reader’s visible participation. This chapter examines three specific case studies – affinity groups (online communities where members share in a common goal), health communities, and neighbourhood groups – and introduces sensemaking to the discussion of lurker literacies. The chapter also offers critical content analysis of the evolution of Facebook group features and the corporation’s community management training programme to offer insights into the challenges of active Facebook moderation.

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This chapter considers the connection between “arbitrariness” and harm, positing that the “arbitrariness” of arbitrary detention results in harms that can, in certain circumstances, amount to torture or other prohibited ill-treatment. To arrive at this conclusion, the chapter reviews the findings of scientific studies of harms experienced by current and former detainees in arbitrary situations of detention undertaken by psychologists and others. By attaching arbitrary detention to the torture taboo, the chapter undermines the argument that the industrial-scale arbitrary detentions that have become commonplace in the name of controlling borders and strengthening national security are somehow justifiable, because some of these detentions may constitute torture, and torture is never justifiable.

Open access
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The Great Decline is an ambitious work offering a wholly fresh take on the multiple crises we face, both individually and collectively, in the 21st century. The central argument is that, after a period of qualified social progress in the mid-20th century, recent decades have resurrected social and economic arrangements that are toxic in terms of our fundamental needs, undermining the social and political stability of our societies as well as our individual mental and physical health in ways that have been poorly understood and which have now reached a crisis point. Across numerous established democracies, including the UK and the US, the neoliberal consensus principally advanced in the 1980s continues to tear apart the social fabric and destroy countless individual lives amid a growing climate of fear, anger and uncertainty. Amongst a range of consequences, we have witnessed the rise of populist politicians exploiting and further sowing social distress and division, while the ensuing polarization and undermining of established democracies has left us ill-equipped to deal with the huge challenges being presented by climate breakdown and rapid advances in digital technologies. While addressing these troubles of the present, this is also approached from a broad historical and to an extent evolutionary context advancing an original biosocial perspective, the social map, drawing on social science, political economy, neuroscience and epigenetics to present a radical reframing of where we are, how we understand our relationship to the social, economic and political environment, and how we relate to each other.

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This chapter considers the potential impact of climate change and environmental degradation on the economy and society, as well as how this is perceived by the public. A key argument here rests on the perceived incompatibility between the current global neoliberal economic growth model and environmental sustainability. Of particular interest is the growing gulf between those preoccupied by and active on environmental issues, and the large constituencies who appear to either deny that there is an issue or that it is particularly relevant to their everyday lives. Questions on the influence of the fossil fuel industry, neoliberal politicians, and the wide range of commercial and financial interests that have employed a range of strategies to forestall climate action, putting profit before people and the planet, are addressed. This includes a discussion of the way in which the neoliberal right has established climate concerns as a wedge issue in the so-called ‘culture wars’. Finally, there is a focus on the broader question as to how we might respond to substantial shifts in climatic conditions over the longer term, including potential echoes of pre-Holocene patterns of forced migration in a world where rising nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment is a growing phenomenon.

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Power, Punishment and Control
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Available Open Access digitally under CC-BY-NC-ND licence

This book examines what happens when states and other authorities use detention to abuse their power, deter dissent and maintain social hierarchies.

Written by an author with decades of practical experience in the human rights field, the book examines a variety of scenarios where individuals are unlawfully detained in violation of their most basic rights to personal liberty and exposes the many fallacies associated with arbitrary detention.

Proposing solutions for future policy to scrutinise processes, this is a call for greater respect for the rule of law and human rights.

Open access

This chapter brings together all the main arguments and findings discussed throughout the key chapters, highlighting the key constituents and the nature of the ‘belonging-assemblage’ of unaccompanied young people living under the constraints of the UK asylum and immigration structures. Reiterating the key findings and arguments of previous chapters, it emphasizes the main argument of the book, which is that unaccompanied migrants’ belonging is also understood as an ‘assemblage’, taking place in-between and in the middle and is always in the making; therefore, it is nomadic and rhizomatic in its nature and exists in its potentiality and actuality.

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This concluding chapter explores the question: can lurking be valuable if participation is not publicly (and easily) measurable? This chapter unpacks value as a social and economic construct and discusses the impact lurking has for platforms, companies, society, and ourselves. Rather than disband the use of the term lurker, the author argues that understanding ourselves as lurkers offers the possibility of more sustainable community relationships on- and offline.

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The concluding chapter pulls together the threads that run throughout the book, highlighting the multiple problems that have emerged from current socioeconomic arrangements, while addressing where we might go next, particularly given ever more evident climate breakdown and the potentially epochal changes and challenges posed by AI. On the one hand, we will likely be influenced to press on with business as usual as we deal with the latter, courting a deepening of our current troubles and a potentially more oppressive response from elites defending the status quo and seeking further advantage. Alternatively, we have the option of reining in our overuse of resources that threatens the planet while harnessing technological change to reduce the burden of overwork and share its benefits more evenly and cooperatively. Reduced working time, greater freedom, revived communities and real relationships and, critically, a lessening of the insecurities, injustices, pressures and demands that pervade our societies is possible. Moreover, as both history and current experience indicate, the ramifications of inaction in this regard go much further than the grassroots level, given that fractious peoples tend to turn to autocratic leaders offering hollow nationalistic and bellicose visions of national renewal that, in turn, may threaten to undermine peaceful international relations. Despite these being evident the numerous dilemmas that currently confront us, the chapter concludes on a qualified hopeful note. This reflects the view that crisis points are often turning points and that there is clearly a measured optimism and desire for something better among the young, a window at least before the pessimism, angst and anger that is inherent in our current way of life intrudes.

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This chapter provides the overall conclusions for the book.

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From the mid-19th century, consumer culture emerged as a major feature of contemporary market societies, shaping modern peoples’ identities, relationships, worldviews and communities. This chapter addresses the way in which consumer organizations, advertisers and mass media have attempted to maximize consumption and profit since that time by appealing to and, often, manipulating the public in terms of many of the fundamental human needs discussed in earlier chapters. The role of modern media and now social media in consumer societies is also explored in relation to the proliferation of consumerist values as well as the commodification, monetization and overwhelming of our attention in pursuit of the aggressive marketing of products and services. Consumerism within our highly mediated culture, it is argued, has entailed a distortion of ideas, values and relationships together with the cultivation of a range of increasingly recognized personal, social, political and environmental ills, exerting a profound effect on societies as a whole. The chapter also acknowledges the impact of online shopping and the ensuing so-called ‘retail apocalypse’, considering whether this might lead to a necessary contraction in consumer activity over time, given the latter’s contribution to climate change and environmental degradation.

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