Book Reviews

In this section of the blog you can read reviews of all the latest books relevant to British politics and policy. Each Sunday we publish a review originating from the LSE Review of Books, aiming to cover a wide range of academic and non-academic books on all aspects of public policy and politics. Whether you’re interested in Benjamin Disraeli’s influence on David Cameron’s policies, the inside story of the Miliband Labour leadership battle, or the history of women in British politics since the 1700s, you’re sure to find all the essential information on these pages. Scroll down to browse the archive.

If you’d like to read more reviews of academic titles from across the social sciences, visit our sister blog, the LSE Review of Books. And if you’re interested in writing a review for the blog or if you would like to see your book reviewed here, please contact our our book reviews editor Amy Mollett at lsereviewofbooks@lse.ac.uk.

Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems

Electoral systems are key components in the operation of representative democracies that vary considerably in their construction, with important consequences for how democracy is implemented. Ron Johnston reviews The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems which provides valuable overviews of many of the important topics studied by electoral system scholars, though he wonders about the relative value of such large and expensive volumes aimed […]

December 2nd, 2018|Book Reviews, Featured|0 Comments|
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    Book Review: Making a 21st Century Constitution: Playing Fair in Modern Democracies by Frank Vibert

Book Review: Making a 21st Century Constitution: Playing Fair in Modern Democracies by Frank Vibert

In Making a 21st Century Constitution: Playing Fair in Modern Democracies, Frank Vibert explores the current state of constitutions, outlining why they have become outdated and suggesting ways in which they can be reworked to better meet the needs of democracies today. While readers may not agree with all of the book’s arguments, it provides interesting insight into how constitutions can overcome their […]

November 25th, 2018|Book Reviews, Featured|0 Comments|
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    Book Review: British Social Theory: Recovering Lost Traditions Before 1950

Book Review: British Social Theory: Recovering Lost Traditions Before 1950

In British Social Theory: Recovering Lost Traditions Before 1950, John Scott revisits the history of social theory and explores the works of many obscure, overlooked or neglected theorists born in Britain, with a particular focus on Patrick Geddes, Robert MacIver and Leonard Hobhouse. This is an enlightening book, finds Yves Laberge, not only for students in the social sciences, but also […]

November 4th, 2018|Book Reviews, Featured|0 Comments|
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    Book Review: Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing

Book Review: Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing

In Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing, John Boughton offers a compelling and grounded biography of council housing in England, enlivened by his deep familiarity with the developments he describes. While more convinced by the historical analysis than the more polemical aspects of the author’s arguments, John P. Houghton finds the book a worthy addition to understandings of […]

October 21st, 2018|Book Reviews, Featured|1 Comment|
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    Book Review: The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

Book Review: The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

In The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy, Mariana Mazzucato explores the concept of value today, showing how value extraction is now more highly rewarded than value creation. This is a meticulous and insightful analysis of value in the economy that will help to reopen the debate into ‘the value of everything’, writes Wannaphong Durongkaveroj.
If you are interested in this book […]

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    Book Review: Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World

Book Review: Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World

In Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World, William Davies examines how feeling has come to reshape our world today, displacing the role historically afforded to reason and dissolving longstanding distinctions between the mind and body, between war and peace. The book provides a timely diagnosis of the contemporary social and political dominance of feelings over facts, writes Lilly […]

How Democracy Ends by David Runciman

Is democracy in crisis? In How Democracy Ends, David Runciman offers a compelling and convincing account of the state of democracy today, separating clear threats from alarmism in an accessible, well-written and thoughtful book. Sean Kippin recommends this to anyone seeking to understand our current predicament and the future paths for democracy – if any – ahead. 
How Democracy Ends. David Runciman. […]

Book Review: The Language of Brexit

In The Language of Brexit: How Britain Talked its Way Out of the European Union, Steve Buckledee analyses and compares the linguistic features of both sides of the UK ‘Brexit’ debate, placing these discursive techniques in wider social and historical context. Combining an accessible writing style and thoughtful analyses, the book will help open up and advance the academic […]