Book Review

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    Pharmocracy: Value, Politics and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine – Book Review

Pharmocracy: Value, Politics and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine – Book Review

Pharmocracy: Value, Politics and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine. Kaushik Sunder Rajan. Duke University Press. 2017.  

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Big pharma abusing poor girls in the developing world? Governments beholden to the global pharmaceutical market? These sorts of conjectures are commonplace in contemporary discourse in global health and political economy, and this book illustrates and explores another example. In Pharmocracy: Value, […]

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    Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change – Book Review

Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change – Book Review

Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change. Lee J. Alston, Marcus André Melo, Bernardo Mueller and Carlos Pereira. Princeton University Press. 2016.

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Do beliefs create fiscally sound social inclusion in Brazil? Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change contributes to the modernisation ‘transition’ literature by offering a case study of Brazil’s economic and social development since […]

Reading List: A Brexit Summer Reading Guide

Summer brings with it a host of reading lists on what to take away with you to while away the hours by the poolside or on the beach. The thought of a guide on what books to take away to read on Brexit might fill most people with horror. Even though Brexit negotiations are now underway, ‘banging on about […]

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    The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable – Book Review

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable – Book Review

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. Amitav Ghosh. University of Chicago Press. 2016.

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It is difficult to confront the spectre of climate change without a sense of incipient doom. At times this existential malady seems best personified in Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis Clos (No Exit), in which three condemned characters, incarcerated in hell, face an […]

50 Economics Classics – Book Review

50 Economics Classics. Tom Butler-Bowdon. Nicholas Brealey. 2017.

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As Tom Butler-Bowdon writes in his new book, 50 Economics Classics, students of economics, unlike those studying philosophy or literature, rarely read further than a few decades back. Economics education suffers from a tyranny of the present: learning is pretty much monopolised by the selective distillations of past economic thought […]

Hackerspaces: Making the Maker Movement – Book Review

Hackerspaces: Making the Maker Movement. Sarah R. Davies. Wiley. 2017.

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In Hackerspaces: Making the Maker Movement, Sarah R. Davies looks beyond the hype about ‘the New Industrial Revolution’ to address what happens in real-life hackerspaces and why hacking and making – terms Davies and many of her respondents use interchangeably – are having such a high profile moment. […]

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    Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming – Book Review

Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming – Book Review

Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming. Andreas Malm. Verso. 2016.

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In this bold, original and provocative book, Andreas Malm offers a radical reinterpretation of the origins of the steam age as means to challenge conventional analyses of global warming. He aims to develop a Marxist account of climate change that emphasises […]

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    U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life) – Book Review

U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life) – Book Review

U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life). Daniel Lerner and Alan Schlechter. Little, Brown. 2017.

Should universities promote flourishing?

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Earlier this year, Anthony Seldon, the new vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, announced he was making Buckingham into the UK’s first ‘positive university’. All students will take a course in Positive Psychology and all tutors will […]

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    The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World’s Most Important Number – Book Review

The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World’s Most Important Number – Book Review

The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World’s Most Important Number. Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch. Wiley. 2017. 

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The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World’s Most Important Number, written like an engagingly unravelling detective story, is definitely worth the read. It offers a multidimensional journalistic account of the Libor […]

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    The Equality Effect: Improving Life for Everyone – Book Review

The Equality Effect: Improving Life for Everyone – Book Review

The Equality Effect: Improving Life for Everyone. Danny Dorling. New Internationalist. 2017.

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In The Equality Effect: Improving Life for Everyone, Danny Dorling takes a renewed look at the growing evidence that has amassed on the stark and clear differences between equal and unequal societies in the ten years since Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson published the groundbreaking book, […]

Platform Capitalism – Book Review

Platform Capitalism. Nick Srnicek. Polity Press. 2017.

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How do we make sense of the rise of platform-based businesses that are increasingly monopolising the global economy? How did they grow and morph so rapidly? What are the consequences of this business trend? And are there any alternative possibilities as we contemplate a post-capitalist future?

Platform Capitalism addresses these questions through […]

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    The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty – Book Review

The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty – Book Review

The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty. Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider. Princeton University Press. 2017.

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Political and media attention on the increasingly precarious nature of work has been fuelled by the high profile, often controversial, growth of the ‘gig economy’. Insecurity, however, runs deeper than recent changes to the labour market. For […]

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    How Soon is Now? From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation – Book Review

How Soon is Now? From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation – Book Review

How Soon is Now? From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation. Daniel Pinchbeck. Watkins. 2017.

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Our civilisation is in the throes of multiple, interlocking crises. Over the past 60 years, half our planet’s tropical forests have been destroyed, and by 2050 most of the rest will be gone. 40 per cent of our agricultural topsoil is seriously degraded, and […]

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    Close Calls: Managing Risk and Resilience in Airline Flight Safety – Book Review

Close Calls: Managing Risk and Resilience in Airline Flight Safety – Book Review

Close Calls: Managing Risk and Resilience in Airline Flight Safety. Carl Macrae. Palgrave. 2014.

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There were 51 fatal commercial airplane accidents in 1929, roughly one for every million miles flown. The same accident rate today would imply over 7,000 fatal crashes per year: almost twenty a day. Yet modern airlines are orders-of-magnitude safer than this. Each day a […]

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    From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago – Book Review

From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago – Book Review

From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago. Rachel Weber. Chicago University Press. 2016.

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The great Chicagoan Saul Bellow, in an essay in Life magazine in October 1986, described how his city is ‘always transforming itself’: ‘Chicago builds itself up, knocks itself down again, scrapes away the rubble, and starts over’. In From Boom to Bubble: […]

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    Behavioural Economics: A Very Short Introduction – Book Review

Behavioural Economics: A Very Short Introduction – Book Review

Behavioural Economics: A Very Short Introduction. Michelle Baddeley. Oxford University Press. 2016.

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Homo economicus – the rational choice creature who has been at the core of economics for generations – seems to be a species in trouble, appearing to play the role of the Neanderthal to the homo praeiudicium – biased human –  of behavioural economics. Much like […]

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    Finite Media: Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies – Book Review

Finite Media: Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies – Book Review

Finite Media: Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies. Sean Cubitt. Duke University Press. 2017.

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We desire the latest mobile phones. We expect to be contactable and connectable at all times: wherever we go, our portable media devices come too and probably record each step of the way, either intentionally or otherwise. Yet how often do we think about the […]

Britain’s Cities, Britain’s Future – Book Review

Britain’s Cities, Britain’s Future. Mike Emmerich. London Publishing Partnership. 2017.

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Mike Emmerich, along with Sir Howard Bernstein and others, is one of the architects of the British ‘urban renaissance’ and contemporary Manchester-inspired devolution to city regions. We know this because he tells us on the second page of the ambitiously titled Britain’s Cities, Britain’s Future. This book is […]

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    Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients got Hooked and Why it’s So Hard to Stop – Book Review

Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients got Hooked and Why it’s So Hard to Stop – Book Review

Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients got Hooked and Why it’s So Hard to Stop. Anna Lembke. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2016.

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In the 1970s, Canadian psychologist Bruce Alexander and a group of colleagues at Simon Fraser University tested the widely believed hypothesis that drugs such as morphine are intrinsically addictive. They took two groups of […]

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    Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project – Book Review

Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project – Book Review

Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project. Kristen Hopewell. Stanford University Press. 2016.

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The world is undergoing changes resulting from a power shift. In her new book, Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project, Kristen Hopewell evaluates the impact of this on global economic governance, with a focus on the World Trade […]