Book Review

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    The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap – Book Review

The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap – Book Review

The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap. Mehrsa Baradaran. Harvard University Press. 2017.

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Mehrsa Baradaran’s The Color of Money studies the role of financial structures in the American racial wealth gap. Noting that 60% of black Americans — relative to 20% of white Americans — are either unbanked or underbanked, Baradaran describes how depictions that attribute […]

February 10th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception – Book Review

The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception – Book Review

The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception. David Beer. SAGE. 2018.

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It can by now be taken as a given that ‘data’ or, more precisely, ‘big data’ (often even capitalised to reflect its importance), has come to define today’s society. In fact, as David Beer suggests in this book, we are permanently put under ‘the data gaze’ […]

February 3rd, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The Finance Curse: How Global Finance is Making Us All Poorer – Book Review

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance is Making Us All Poorer – Book Review

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance is Making Us All Poorer. Nicholas Shaxson. Bodley Head. 2018.

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Worldwide, millions of people are overwhelmed by finance and its complexity. Simple things like getting a small loan or a mortgage, or even opening a savings account, can have terms and conditions that are complex and confusing, designed to exploit and […]

January 27th, 2019|Book Review|1 Comment|

Robot Rights – Book Review

Robot Rights. David J. Gunkel. MIT Press. 2018.

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The post-human turn in thinking about rights, privileges and agency has resulted in efforts to overturn anthropocentrism in considering both living and non-living things as well as machinic and algorithmic extensions of human beings (see here for a useful overview). However, discussing robot rights has remained, by author David J. […]

January 20th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|

The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City – Book Review

The Sage Handbook of the 21st Century City. Suzanne Hall and Ricky Burdett (eds). SAGE. 2018.

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Urban sociology – the study of urban systems as socio-spatial phenomena – is a relatively young discipline. A concerted investigation of the relationship between urban settlements and urban social behaviour only really emerged in the 1920s through the writings of Robert […]

January 13th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Everyday Economics: A User’s Guide to the Modern Economy – Book Review

Everyday Economics: A User’s Guide to the Modern Economy – Book Review

Everyday Economics: A User’s Guide to the Modern Economy. Steve Coulter. Agenda Publishing. 2017.  

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A little more than ten years ago, the US government declined an opportunity to bail out Lehman Brothers, a 168-year-old investment bank, perhaps deepening a recession that started a year earlier. Few predicted the recession and its exact causes are still a matter […]

January 6th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia – Book Review

The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia – Book Review

The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia. Natalie Koch. Cornell University Press. 2018.

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In The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia, Natalie Koch takes her readers on a journey to critically explore the ‘spectacular urbanism’ that has come to characterise the urban landscapes of a number of […]

December 16th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World – Book Review

Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World – Book Review

Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World. Snigdha Poonam. Harvard University Press. 2018.

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Half of India’s population is under the age of 30. That is 600 million people, making it the biggest generation in human history. Add to that India’s growing economic and geopolitical prominence, plus the fact that it contains one-tenth of the global poor, […]

December 9th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Social Ecology in the Digital Age: Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World – Book Review

Social Ecology in the Digital Age: Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World – Book Review

Social Ecology in the Digital Age: Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World. Daniel Stokols. Academic Press. 2018.

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Social Ecology is on the move, both in the US and internationally. It is increasingly recognised as a powerful tool that helps to meet the scientific and societal challenges of our current epoch – the Anthropocene. At the core […]

December 2nd, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Europe and Northern Ireland’s Future: Negotiating Brexit’s Unique Case – Book Review

Europe and Northern Ireland’s Future: Negotiating Brexit’s Unique Case – Book Review

Europe and Northern Ireland’s Future: Negotiating Brexit’s Unique Case. Mary C. Murphy. Agenda Publishing. 2018.

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During the summer, I attended the Féile an Phobail (Festival of the People) in West Belfast, where Michelle O’Neill (Vice President of Sinn Féin and leader in the North of Ireland/Northern Ireland) was on a panel talking about ‘Women in the Good […]

November 25th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto – Book Review

99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto – Book Review

99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto. Brian Massumi. University of Minnesota Press. 2018.

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Weighing in at just 135 pages, Brian Massumi’s manifesto, 99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto, is a slender volume. This is no ‘little book of postcapitalism’, however; to measure its value merely quantitatively via its length would […]

November 18th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made – Book Review

Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made – Book Review

Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made. Michael Zakim. University of Chicago Press. 2018.

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Unlike his father, he possessed an uncommon amount of wit, optimism and ambition. After joining a crew to guide a boat down the Mississippi River to trade its onboard shipment at the Port of New Orleans, a young Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) returned to […]

November 11th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

Nihilism and Technology – Book Review

Nihilism and Technology. Nolen Gertz. Rowman and Littlefield. 2018.

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In this short but hugely engaging book, Nolen Gertz, assistant professor of Applied Philosophy at the University of Twente, manages to both provide a compelling and rich introduction to Friedrich Nietzsche and nihilism as well as avoid the all-too-common reductionism of popular discourse around technology. Rather than boil […]

November 4th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age – Book Review

Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age – Book Review

Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age. Nicole Seymour. University of Minnesota Press. 2018.

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Efforts to address climate change sometimes seem to have the quality of a joke about them: lawmakers continue to put their fingers in their ears and pretend ecological devastation is a myth, while their well-meaning colleagues propose solutions that feel like rearranging […]

October 28th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Modes of Prediction – Book Review

Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Modes of Prediction – Book Review

Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Modes of Prediction. Ivan Ascher. MIT Press. 2016.

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In Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Modes of Prediction, Ivan Ascher argues that financial markets have reshaped the contemporary economy, extending Karl Marx’s theory of labour to consider how the abstraction and securitisation of risk in financial markets have profound influence on economic and […]

October 21st, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy – Book Review

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

If you are interested in this book review, you may like to listen to a podcast here of Mariana Mazzucato’s LSE lecture, ‘The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy’, recorded on 23 April 2018. 
The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy. Mariana Mazzucato. Allen Lane. 2018.

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Looking at the things around you, […]

October 14th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

The Infinite Desire for Growth – Book Review

The Infinite Desire for Growth. Daniel Cohen (trans. by Jane Marie Todd). Princeton University Press. 2018.

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A decade after the 2008 Financial Crisis and ensuing Great Recession, economic growth as a principle and goal in economic theories is being questioned from numerous angles. Instead of accepting rapid, consistent GDP growth as the norm, heterodox economists, including Daniel Cohen, […]

October 7th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

Welfare, Inequality and Social Citizenship – Book Review

Welfare, Inequality and Social Citizenship: Deprivation and Affluence in Austerity Britain. Daniel Edmiston. Policy Press. 2018.
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Daniel Edmiston’s Welfare, Inequality and Social Citizenshipprovides much-needed insight into how both low- and high-income individuals navigate citizen identities. Edmiston’s research conclusions draw upon interviews conducted with ‘deprived’ and ‘affluent’ participants in Leeds between 2011 and 2015, combined with secondary analysis of British […]

September 30th, 2018|Book Review, Featured|0 Comments|

Gore Capitalism – Book Review

Gore Capitalism. Sayak Valencia (trans. by John Pluecker). Semiotext(e)/MIT Press. 2018.
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When I first picked up Sayak Valencia’s essay, Gore Capitalism, published as a short book, I was intrigued by the title. I was able to vaguely define what I thought it meant by breaking the term in two, deducing that it had something to do with […]

September 23rd, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Foundational Economy: The Infrastructure of Everyday Life – Book Review

Foundational Economy: The Infrastructure of Everyday Life – Book Review

Foundational Economy: The Infrastructure of Everyday Life. The Foundational Economy Collective. Manchester University Press. 2018.

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For some time now, a group of European researchers, led by a team at Manchester University, has been developing a radical new approach to economic thinking and development policy centred on the concept of the ‘foundational economy’. Foundational Economy. The Infrastructure of Everyday […]

September 16th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|