Book Review

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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 […]

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    Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation – Book Review

Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation – Book Review

Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation. Andrew Glencross. Palgrave Pivot. 2016.

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The UK vote to leave the European Union in the 23 June 2016 referendum was one of the most consequentially significant political events of recent decades. An array of writings reflecting on the possible causes of the referendum’s outcome have appeared since the […]

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    The Limits of the Market: The Pendulum between Government and Market – Book Review

The Limits of the Market: The Pendulum between Government and Market – Book Review

The Limits of the Market: The Pendulum between Government and Market. Paul de Grauwe. Oxford University Press. 2017.

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Perhaps it still needs to be said, but all states’ governments balance off the practice of government and the use of markets as allocation mechanisms. Indeed, we might also confirm that we appreciate that markets are constituted by law and, […]

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    Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy: 15 Contentious Questions – Book Review

Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy: 15 Contentious Questions – Book Review

Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy: 15 Contentious Questions. Benjamin J. Sovacool, Marilyn A. Brown and Scott V. Valentine. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2016.

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Global energy policy has become the focus of intense public debate and contention. For much of the twentieth century, energy policy was primarily about how to secure a steady supply, most of it […]

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    The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream – Book Review

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream – Book Review

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream. Tyler Cowen. St. Martin’s Press. 2017.

The end of America’s complacency 

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Politically speaking, 2016 was dramatic – and 2017 promises to be even more so. Yet, Americans are living in a world of historically unprecedented stability and calm. Fewer people move for jobs, and those who have jobs tend […]

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    The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media – Book Review

The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media – Book Review

The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media. Catherine J. Turco. Columbia University Press. 2016.

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‘Empowered workforce’, ‘flat organisation structures’: we’ve all heard the empty buzzwords and latest fads to improve office productivity. When new initiatives are implemented there is often little change at the coalface for employees and minimal rewards to a company’s bottom […]

LSE Lit Fest 2017: Platform Capitalism

Platform Capitalism. Nick Srnicek. Polity. 2016. 
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Capitalism, when a crisis hits, tends to be restructured. New technologies, new organisational forms, new modes of exploitation, new types of jobs and new markets all emerge to create a new way of accumulating capital. Since the 2008 crisis, the dominant narrative in advanced capitalist countries has been one of change. In […]

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    Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences – Book Review

Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences – Book Review

Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences. Geoffrey Craig. Polity. 2016.

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Media – electronic and print as well as social – plays a major role in contemporary politics, not just in ‘orchestrating’ but also in shaping public and political discourse. It has radically altered the ways politicians interact and communicate with the public, and also how the […]

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    Risk, Power and Inequality in the 21st Century – Book Review

Risk, Power and Inequality in the 21st Century – Book Review

Risk, Power and Inequality in the 21st Century. Dean Curran. Palgrave MacMillan. 2016.

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For those lacking familiarity, possibly the most prolific social theoriser of the concept of risk was Ulrich Beck, who passed away in 2015. Dean Curran’s work, Risk, Power and Inequality in the 21st Century, ultimately aims to take Beck’s concept of ‘risk society’ and rework it – […]