Book Review

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    California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader – Book Review

California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader – Book Review

California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader. David Vogel. Princeton University Press. 2018.

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Recoiling from our screens – battered and bruised by news of compounding horrors – we realise this is not a drill. We urgently need to tackle climate change, brutal xenophobia, resurgent authoritarianism and gutting austerity. Many of us are protesting, marching, publicly […]

August 12th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy – Book Review

Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy – Book Review

Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy. Richard E. Ocejo. Princeton University Press. 2018.

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Sam Mature, a Chicago barber, was one of the dozens of Americans that Studs Terkel interviewed for Working, his collection of oral histories published in 1974. Working (subtitled ‘people talk about what they do all day and how they feel […]

August 5th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

Economic Science Fictions – Book Review

Economic Science Fictions. William Davies (ed.). Goldsmiths Press. 2018.

Science fiction as an academic case study has long been interrogated in many humanities departments, with a genealogical approach seeming the most obvious or intuitive way to understand any given sci-fi narrative. That is, one may try to link the text to the turmoil around its year of publication and question […]

July 29th, 2018|Book Review|1 Comment|
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    Governing Compact Cities: How to Connect Planning, Design and Transport – Book Review

Governing Compact Cities: How to Connect Planning, Design and Transport – Book Review

Governing Compact Cities: How to Connect Planning, Design and Transport. Philipp Rode. Edward Elgar. 2018.

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Philipp Rode’s new book, Governing Compact Cities: How to Connect Planning, Design and Transport, looks at the institutional arrangements that enable sustainable cities. It starts with the recognition that in many cases, sustainable cities are also compact cities, characterised by mixed-use neighbourhoods and […]

July 22nd, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

Economics for the Common Good – Book Review

Economics for the Common Good. Jean Tirole (trans. by Stephen Randall). Princeton University Press. 2017.

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Economics – that seemingly impenetrable mix of mathematical wizardry and eye-glazing theorising – has long appeared wholly inaccessible to the majority of the public (and even, it might be added, many members of the intelligentsia). Its roots were remarkably readable – for […]

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    The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It) – Book Review

The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It) – Book Review

The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It). Jamie Bartlett. Ebury Press. 2018.

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Technology firms have long been run under a simple rule: scale fast, ask questions later. Over the last thirty years, giddy start-ups have transformed into multi-billion-dollar conglomerates, with the first ever trillion-dollar firm expected to be […]

July 8th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

The Market – Book Review

The Market. Matthew Watson. Agenda Publishing. 2018.

Our economic life is inextricably shaped by the stories we tell in order to make sense of the economy, from the ‘folk economics’ of ordinary people to the theories held dear by scholars. This is particularly true for the discipline of economics which—as a swathe of work on economic performativity suggests—does not just […]

July 1st, 2018|Book Review|1 Comment|
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    Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility – Book Review

Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility – Book Review

Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility. Jo Littler. Routledge. 2017.

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Modern life is shaped by a persistent and sinister narrative: that if you just work hard enough, you can improve yourself and so improve your situation in life. If you’re poor, miserable, unglamorous or unfulfilled, then you’ve simply not really applied yourself – you lack […]

June 24th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The Politics of Financial Risk, Audit and Regulation: A Case Study of HBOS – Book Review

The Politics of Financial Risk, Audit and Regulation: A Case Study of HBOS – Book Review

The Politics of Financial Risk, Audit and Regulation: A Case Study of HBOS. Atul K. Shah. Routledge. 2017.

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In The Politics of Financial Risk, Audit and Regulation: A Case Study of HBOS, Atul K. Shah examines the HBOS collapse of 2008, and uses it as a platform to more broadly critique the ways in which finance is regulated by […]

June 17th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe – Book Review

Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe – Book Review

Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe. Benjamin Martill and Uta Staiger (eds). UCL Press. 2018.

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With a deal on the post-Brexit transition period agreed in March, the UK and the European Union are getting closer towards building a framework for their new political, economic and security relationship. At the same time, both the process and consequences […]

June 10th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money – Book Review

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money – Book Review

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money. Bryan Caplan. Princeton University Press. 2018.

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If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time in classrooms. Ask yourself: how much of it was really worthwhile, and not just a necessary requirement for getting a useful bit of paper? […]

June 3rd, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    How to be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software – Book Review

How to be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software – Book Review

How to be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software. Matthew Fuller. Polity Press. 2017.

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Software is eating the world more than ever before, and we’re all facing the consequences. Airbnb is raising house prices in cities around the world; Uber and Deliveroo are preying on a pool of un- and under-employed workers to create precarious […]

May 27th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World – Book Review

News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World – Book Review

News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World. An Nguyen (ed.). Bloomsbury. 2018.

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In 1954, Darrell Huff published How to Lie with Statistics, a tongue-in-cheek guide for those wanting to use numbers to deceive. The book, now widely distributed to first-year university statistics students, outlines how statistics can confuse and muddle both writers and readers. The […]

May 20th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas – Book Review

Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas – Book Review

Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas. Laura Empson. Oxford University Press. 2017.

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Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas casts light upon leadership, its impact on the trajectory of professional organisations and, most importantly, the power and politics within them. The book has two interlinked strengths. Firstly, Laura Empson, the author, was an investment banker and a […]

May 13th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors: Key Concepts and Current Research – Book Review

Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors: Key Concepts and Current Research – Book Review

Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors: Key Concepts and Current Research. Yaniv Hanoch, Andrew J. Barnes and Thomas Rice (eds). Routledge. 2017.

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If there is an area where behavioural economics can have an impact on individual wellbeing, it is health. Traditional economic concepts – spanning from consumption and investment reasons for a ‘demand for health’, the assumption that […]

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    Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It – Book Review

Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It – Book Review

If you are interested in this book, you may like to listen to a podcast of Evan Davis’s lecture, ‘Post-Truth: How We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It’, recorded at LSE on 18 October 2017. 

Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It. Evan Davis. Little, Brown. 2017.

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Over […]

April 29th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Rules Without Rights: Land, Labor and Private Authority in the Global Economy – Book Review

Rules Without Rights: Land, Labor and Private Authority in the Global Economy – Book Review

Rules Without Rights: Land, Labor and Private Authority in the Global Economy. Tim Bartley. Oxford University Press. 2018.

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Campaigners have long pushed for legally binding, transnational rules to prevent human rights violations and environmental damage in global supply chains. But they have struggled in vain. While trade agreements increasingly incorporate labour standards, they are rarely enforced. Even […]

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    Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality – Book Review

Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality – Book Review

Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality. F.C. Simon. Routledge. 2017.

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Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality has a misleading title!  It suggests an in-depth examination of regulatory theory explained using complex and specialised analytical language resting on wider theories of the world. It is, however, a clearly written book […]

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    Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes – Book Review

Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes – Book Review

This review was published as part of a March 2018 endeavour, ‘A Month of Our Own: Amplifying Women’s Voices on LSE Review of Books’. 

Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes. Diane Reay. Policy Press. 2018.

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Fees for state secondary education were abolished in 1944, over 70 years ago; however, class inequalities in UK education persist to this day. […]

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    The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education – Book Review

The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education – Book Review

The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education. Deborah Lupton, Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson (eds). Routledge. 2018.

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In 2016 a contributor to The Guardian’s ‘Academics Anonymous’ section wrote a post entitled: ‘I’m a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer’. In it, the anonymous author criticised and bemoaned the increasing expectation that academics should use […]