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From networks to hegemony

Theories heralding the rise of network governance have dominated for a generation. Yet, empirical research suggests that claims for the transformative potential of networks are exaggerated. This topical and timely book takes a critical look at contemporary governance theory, elaborating a Gramscian alternative. It argues that, although the ideology of networks has been a vital element in the neoliberal hegemonic project, there are major structural impediments to accomplishing it. While networking remains important, the hierarchical and coercive state is vital for the maintenance of social order and integral to the institutions of contemporary governance. Reconsidering it from Marxist and Gramscian perspectives, the book argues that the hegemonic ideology of networks is utopian and rejects the claim that there has been a transformation from 'government' to 'governance'. This important book has international appeal and will be essential reading for scholars and students of governance, public policy, human geography, public management, social policy and sociology.

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Making a difference

This topical book engages with a wide range of issues related to social work practice with people who have sexually offended. It addresses the emotional impacts of ‘facing the sex offender’, the importance of values and ethics in practice, and reviews popular and academic understandings of sex offenders and sex crimes. Its accessible style and use of practice based learning exercises will help readers to reflect on theory, practice and developing emotional resilience.

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In recent years, the academic study of ‘war’ has gained renewed popularity in criminology. This book illustrates its long-standing engagement with this social phenomenon within the discipline.

Foregrounding established criminological work addressing war and connecting it to a wide range of extant sociological literature, the authors present and further develop theoretical and conceptual ways of thinking critically about war. Providing a critique of mainstream criminology, the authors question whether a ‘criminology of war’ is possible, and if so, how this seemingly ‘new horizon’ of the discipline might be usefully informed by sociology.

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Laclau and Mouffe’s Project of Radical Democracy in the 21st Century
Editor: Stuart Sim

The world has changed dramatically since the emergence of post-Marxism, and a reassessment is needed to determine its significance in the modern world.

First published as a special issue of Global Discourse, this book explores the theoretical position of post-Marxism and investigates its significance in recent, global political developments such as Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right. With valuable insights from international contributors across a range of disciplines, the book puts forward a strong case for the continuing relevance of post-Marxism and particularly for Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s theory of radical democracy.

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Exploring Creativity in the Global North and South

This innovative book provides a critical analysis of diverse experiences of Co-creation in neighbourhood settings across the Global North and Global South.

A unique collection of international researchers, artists and activists explore how creative, arts-based methods of community engagement can help tackle marginalisation and stigmatisation, whilst empowering communities to effect positive change towards more socially just cities.

Focusing on community collaboration, arts practice, and knowledge sharing, this book proposes various methods of Co-Creation for community engagement and assesses the effectiveness of different practices in highlighting, challenging, and reversing issues that most affect urban cohesion in contemporary cities.

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Authors: Gemma M. Carney and Paul Nash

This myth-busting and question-focused textbook tackles the fascinating and important social and policy issues posed by the challenges and opportunities of ageing.

The unique pedagogical approach recognises the gap between the lives of students and older people, and equips students with the conceptual, analytical and critical tools to understand what it means to grow old and what it means to live in an ageing society.

Features include:

• Myth-busting boxes incorporated into each chapter that unpack the common assumptions and stereotypes about ageing and older people in a clear and striking way;

• A multidisciplinary and issue-focused approach, interspersed with lively examples and vignettes bringing the debates to life;

• Group and self-study activities;

• A comprehensive glossary of key terms.

Answering questions which have arisen over years of longitudinal and systematic research on the social implications of ageing, this lively and engaging textbook provides an essential foundation for students in gerontology, sociology, social policy and related fields.

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Developments in critical victimology
Editor: Marian Duggan

Nils Christie’s (1986) seminal work on the ‘Ideal Victim’ is reproduced in full in this edited collection of vibrant and provocative essays that respond to and update the concept from a range of thematic positions.

Each chapter celebrates and commemorates his work by analysing, evaluating and critiquing the current nature and impact of victim identity, experience, policy and practice. The collection expands the focus and remit of ‘victim studies’, addressing key themes around race, gender, faith, ability and age while encompassing new and diverse issues. Examples include sex workers as victims of hate crimes, victims’ experiences of online fraud, and recognising historic child sexual abuse victims in Ireland.

With contributions from an array of academics including Vicky Heap (Sheffield Hallam University), Hannah Mason-Bish (University of Sussex) and Pamela Davies (Northumbria University), as well as a Foreword by David Scott (The Open University), this book evaluates the contemporary relevance and applicability of Christie’s ‘Ideal Victim’ concept and creates an important platform for thinking differently about victimhood in the 21st century.

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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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An international perspective

This book uses a range of interpretive approaches to reveal the dynamics of service users’ and professionals’ individual experiences and life-worlds. From their research the contributors show how biographical methods can improve theoretical understanding of professional practice, as well as enrich the learning and development of professionals, and promote more meaningful and creative practitioner - service user relationships.

The book:

· reviews applications of biographical methods in both policy and practice in a range of professional contexts, from health and social care to education and employment;

· explores the impact of social change in three main arenas - transformation from Eastern to Western types of society in Europe, major shifts in social and welfare principles, experiences of immigration and of new cultural diversities - on professional practice;

· critically evaluates subjective and reflexive processes in interactions between researchers, practitioners and users of services;

· considers the institutional arrangements and cultural contexts which support effective and sensitive interventions;

· draws on actual projects and tracks reflection, progress and outcomes.

With contributions from leading international experts, it provides a valuable comparative perspective. Researchers, policy analysts and practitioners, postgraduate students, teachers and trainers will find this book a stimulating read.

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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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