Political Theory

  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics

Book Review: Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics

Reviewer Adam Oliver finds that Richard Thaler’s new book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics, covers the core concepts of behavioural economics, but finds that this book is more a ‘personal intellectual history, supplemented by stories, anecdotes and occasional reposts to past combatants’ that misses two important issues ‘relating to suggestions for the future development of behavioural economics’.

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics. Richard […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: The Happiness Industry: How Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being

Book Review: The Happiness Industry: How Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being

Sociologist William Davies authors a book that is an interesting, if over-negative, survey of the ‘politics of well-being’. Jules Evans writes that Davies over-estimates both how widespread and how sinister the trends of corporate wellness programmes and the booming wellness industry currently are, but commends The Happiness Industry for introducing a bigger narrative that looks at the history of the attempt, […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: The Problem-solving Capacity of the Modern State

Book Review: The Problem-solving Capacity of the Modern State

The early 21st century has presented considerable challenges to the problem-solving capacity of the contemporary state in the industrialised world. Among the many uncertainties, anxieties and tensions, it is, however, the cumulative challenge of fiscal austerity, demographic developments, and climate change that presents the key test for contemporary states. This book considers the state of governance in the current period […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: Yaya’s Story: The Quest for Well-being in the World by Paul Stoller

Book Review: Yaya’s Story: The Quest for Well-being in the World by Paul Stoller

Combining memoir, ethnography, and philosophy through a series of interconnected narratives, Paul Stoller aims to tell a story of remarkable friendship and the quest for well-being. Whether interested in a study of well-being, of transnational African traders, of spirit possession, of anthropology, or simply of the friendship of two very different men, Yaya’s Story is a book offering much to a wide […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: The Right and the Welfare State by Carsten Jensen

Book Review: The Right and the Welfare State by Carsten Jensen

The Right and the Welfare State studies the welfare state policies of conservative and liberal governments. These parties have been assumed to be nothing but the welfare-sceptical flip-side of the Left, but Carsten Jensen uses case studies of Australia, Denmark, and the UK to present a new theory. Patricia Hogwood finds that Jensen’s approach proves most effective in highlighting a […]

Book Review: Future-Minded: The Psychology of Agency and Control by Magda Osman

Focusing on processes including decision-making and memory, Future-Minded provides fascinating insight into phenomena such as coincidences and the illusion of control to consider how agency and control help us to think about the future. Neil Bramley writes that the book is a great choice for anyone interested in better understanding how the mind works.

This review was originally published on […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: Political Bubbles: Financial crises and the failure of American democracy by Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal

Book Review: Political Bubbles: Financial crises and the failure of American democracy by Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal

Political Bubbles is very enjoyable, insightful, and challenging, writes Declan Jordan. It addresses a remarkably under-analysed aspect of the financial crisis and the interface generally between politics and economics. Some of the political failures that came to the fore for the financial crises are just as likely to hinder political approaches to important problems, including poverty, inequality, and climate change. […]

Book Review: Social Inequality: A Student’s Guide by Louise Warwick-Booth

What is the state of social inequality today? How can students situate themselves in the debates? In this book, Louise Warwick-Booth presents an introduction to the key areas, definitions, and debates within the field. Matthew Wargent believes that this text will undoubtedly find a home in the discipline of social policy, and will be of interest right across the board, not […]