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.

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 […]

Book Review: The Circulation of Anti-Austerity Protest

In The Circulation of Anti-Austerity Protest, Bart Cammaerts examines how protest circulates in society, drawing on an investigation into the UK anti-austerity movement following the 2008 financial crisis. Proposing the ‘circuit of protest’ as a novel theoretical framework, this engaging and informative book offers rich insights into how social movements engage with communication technologies and processes, finds Sabrina Wilkinson.  
The Circulation of Anti-Austerity Protest. Bart Cammaerts. […]

Book Review: Government by Referendum by Matt Qvortrup

In Government by Referendum, Matt Qvortrup makes the case that rather than pose a challenge to democracy, referendums are a force for good and can work to enhance it, provided they are not exploited opportunistically by governments and politicians. This concise book contains many thought-provoking observations and factual details, finds Chris Stafford, that serve to underscore its key message […]

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    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)

In The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It), Jamie Bartlett offers an incisive account of the key challenges that Western democracy faces in light of the growing power of technology companies, presented alongside twenty suggestions for how to save it. While it could attend more to the role of capitalism in fostering such behaviour, the book will […]

Book Review: On Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of Crisis

In On Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of Crisis, George Yancy brings together scholars to reflect on how race and racism have shaped their careers and intellectual work. The collection is a great example of how scholarly dialogue can contribute to pressing public debate, writes Leonardo Custódio, building bridges between personal experiences of racism and philosophical reflections on race and racism’s implications for everyday […]

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    Book Review: Public Sector Reform in Ireland: Countering Crisis

Book Review: Public Sector Reform in Ireland: Countering Crisis

In Public Sector Reform in Ireland: Countering Crisis, Muiris MacCarthaigh focuses on the unprecedented public sector reform agenda of the Irish government introduced to counter the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This book provides a valuable, ‘thick’ academic analysis of cutback management by studying the case of Ireland, one of the most badly affected states. Yao Han appreciated its contribution to research […]

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

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

In Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility, Jo Littler offers a rich analysis that intricately teases out the grasp ‘merit’ and ‘meritocracy’ have on everyday cultural and social narratives of value and power in contemporary society. This is a rewarding contribution to the shared work of challenging hegemonic, neoliberal myths that uphold the status quo, recommends Sarah Burton, and to the building of […]