The Spirit Level

Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger
Author: Richard Wilkinson,Kate Pickett
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781608191703
Category: Social Science
Page: 400
View: 5884

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This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off and the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problem-ill health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations-is more likely to occur in a less equal society. The book goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between material success and social failure in many modern national societies. The Spirit Level does not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone. It is, in its conclusion, an optimistic book, which should revitalize politics and provide a new way of thinking about how we organize human communities.

The Politics of Virtue

Post-liberalism and the Human Future
Author: John Milbank,Adrian Pabst
Publisher: Future Perfect: Images of the Time to Come in Philosophy, Politics and Cultural Studies
ISBN: 9781783486489
Category: Capitalism
Page: 418
View: 1424

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Two expert authors combine a compelling critique of contemporary liberalism with post-liberal alternatives in politics, the economy, culture and international affairs, to provide the fullest account so far of the post-liberal alternative in Western politics.

Very Different, But Much the Same

The Evolution of English Society Since 1714
Author: W. G. Runciman
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198712421
Category: History
Page: 190
View: 9475

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Very Different, but Much the Same takes as its starting point the distribution of political, ideological, and economic power between English society's constituent roles from the time when Daniel Defoe was writing Robinson Crusoe, and argues that Defoe would find it remarkably similar three centuries later despite all the changes in technology, lifestyles, amenities, beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values by which he would no doubt be astonished. The disjunction between the two is explained by bringing to bear the approach of current evolutionary sociological theory in which the reproduction or extinction of a society's institutional practices is traced to selective environmental pressures which are independent of the personal motives and subjective experiences of the individuals whose practices they are. It is further argued that the rates of high absolute and low relative social mobility that sociologists have documented in detail for the twentieth century are likely to have been much the same during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The conclusion drawn is that for as long as the country was not defeated in a European war, the probability of a radical change in institutional distribution of power was extremely low throughout, however much contemporary observers or later historians would have either welcomed or deplored it.

The Road to Somewhere

The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics
Author: David Goodhart
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 1849047995
Category:
Page: 256
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The political era one is living through always feels messy and fragmented from the inside. But looking back from the future, the first two decades of the 21st century will come to be seen as the moment when the politics of culture and identity rose to challenge the previous politics of leftand right. David Goodhart's searing analysis considers this shift through his novel paradigm of the "nowhere" class and the "somewhere" class.Members of the "Nowhere" class dominate our culture and society. They tend to do well at school, then usually move from home to a boarding university in their late teens and on to a career in the professions that might take them to a capital city or even abroad for a year or two. Such people haveportable "achieved' identities, based on educational and career success, which makes them generally comfortable with new places and people. The"Somewhere" people are by definition more rooted and have ascribed identities based on group belonging and particular places, which is why they often find rapid change disturbing. One core group of Somewheres are often "left behind" - mainly older white working class men with little education.They have lost economically with the decline of well paid jobs for people with little education and culturally, too, with the disappearance of a distinctive working-class culture and the marginalization of their social conservatism in the public conversation. However Somewhere ambivalence aboutrecent social trends spreads far beyond this core group and is shared by many in all social classes.The broad ideology of Nowhere people can be characterized as "progressive individualism." By contrast, the Somewheres are more socially conservative by instinct. This book will contend that the Nowhere people have counted for too much in the past generation and populist parties, such as the TeaParty, have emerged in part as a democratic counter-balance to that dominance. In a democracy the Somewheres cannot, however, be ignored.

'New Statesman'

Portrait of a Political Weekly 1913-1931
Author: Adrian Smith
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135206228
Category: Political Science
Page: 340
View: 1552

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This volume reveals how a fledgling Fabian journal came to play a key role in the growth of the modern Labour Party. The author compares its first journalists with later generations of editors and writers and rediscovers the early, and lasting, importance of the British Left's best-known magazine.

Fast Cars, Clean Bodies

Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture
Author: Kristin Ross
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262680912
Category: History
Page: 261
View: 1038

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Fast Cars, Clean Bodies examines the crucial decade from Dien Bien Phu to the mid-1960s when France shifted rapidly from an agrarian, insular, and empire-oriented society to a decolonized, Americanized, and fully industrial one. In this analysis of a startling cultural transformation Kristin Ross finds the contradictions of the period embedded in its various commodities and cultural artifacts -- automobiles, washing machines, women's magazines, film, popular fiction, even structuralism -- as well as in the practices that shape, determine, and delimit their uses. In each of the book's four chapters, a central object of mythical image is refracted across a range of discursive and material spaces: social and private, textual and cinematic, national and international. The automobile, the new cult of cleanliness in the capital and the colonies, the waning of Sartre and de Beauvoir as the couple of national attention, and the emergence of reshaped, functionalist masculinities (revolutionary, corporate, and structural) become the key elements in this prehistory of postmodernism in France. Modernization ideology, Ross argues, offered the promise of limitless, even timeless, development. By situating the rise of "end of history" ideologies within the context of France's transition into mass culture and consumption, Ross returns the touted timelessness of modernization to history. She shows how the realist fiction and film of the period, as well as the work of social theorists such as Barthes, Lefebvre, and Morin who began at the time to conceptualize "everyday life," laid bare the disruptions and the social costs of events. And she argues that the logic of the racism prevalent in France today, focused on the figure of the immigrant worker, is itself the outcome of the French state's embrace of capitalist modernization ideology in the 1950s and 1960s.

Nietzsche's Great Politics


Author: Hugo Drochon
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140088103X
Category: Political Science
Page: 224
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Nietzsche's impact on the world of culture, philosophy, and the arts is uncontested, but his political thought remains mired in controversy. By placing Nietzsche back in his late-nineteenth-century German context, Nietzsche's Great Politics moves away from the disputes surrounding Nietzsche's appropriation by the Nazis and challenges the use of the philosopher in postmodern democratic thought. Rather than starting with contemporary democratic theory or continental philosophy, Hugo Drochon argues that Nietzsche's political ideas must first be understood in light of Bismarck's policies, in particular his "Great Politics," which transformed the international politics of the late nineteenth century. Nietzsche's Great Politics shows how Nietzsche made Bismarck's notion his own, enabling him to offer a vision of a unified European political order that was to serve as a counterbalance to both Britain and Russia. This order was to be led by a "good European" cultural elite whose goal would be to encourage the rebirth of Greek high culture. In relocating Nietzsche's politics to their own time, the book offers not only a novel reading of the philosopher but also a more accurate picture of why his political thought remains so relevant today.

The Inner Level

How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Wellbeing
Author: Richard Wilkinson,Kate Pickett
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141975407
Category: Social Science
Page: 352
View: 1265

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Why is the incidence of mental illness in the UK twice that in Germany? Why are Americans three times more likely than the Dutch to develop gambling problems? Why is child well-being so much worse in New Zealand than Japan? As this groundbreaking study demonstrates, the answer to all these hinges on inequality. In The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett put inequality at the centre of public debate by showing conclusively that less-equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across everything from education to life expectancy. The Inner Level now explains how inequality affects us individually, how it alters how we think, feel and behave. It sets out the overwhelming evidence that material inequalities have powerful psychological effects: when the gap between rich and poor increases, so does the tendency to defi ne and value ourselves and others in terms of superiority and inferiority. A deep well of data and analysis is drawn upon to empirically show, for example, that low social status is associated with elevated levels of stress, and how rates of anxiety and depression are intimately related to the inequality which makes that status paramount. Wilkinson and Pickett describe how these responses to hierarchies evolved, and why the impacts of inequality on us are so severe. In doing so, they challenge the conception that humans are innately competitive and self-interested. They undermine, too, the idea that inequality is the product of 'natural' differences in individual ability. This book sheds new light on many of the most urgent problems facing societies today, but it is not just an index of our ills. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity generate much higher levels of well-being, and lays out the path towards them.

Habeas Corpus

From England to Empire
Author: Paul Delaney Halliday
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674049017
Category: History
Page: 502
View: 2884

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A revisionist history of habeas corpus the world's most revered legal device. Habeas corpus was not established to protect the rights of the individual but rather to protect the individual from abusive judges and jailers.

Being Mortal

Medicine and What Matters in the End
Author: Atul Gawande
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 1627790551
Category: Social Science
Page: 304
View: 6405

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In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

Bloodlands

Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
Author: Timothy Snyder
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465032974
Category: History
Page: 544
View: 2093

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From the bestselling author of On Tyranny, the definitive history of Hitler's and Stalin's wars against the civilians of Europe in World War Two Americans call the Second World War "The Good War."But before it even began, America's wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens--and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war's end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness. Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history. Bloodlands won twelve awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought. It has been translated into more than thirty languages, was named to twelve book-of-the-year lists, and was a bestseller in six countries.

The Strange Death of Europe

Immigration, Identity, Islam
Author: Douglas Murray
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472942221
Category: Political Science
Page: 352
View: 3928

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The Sunday Times number one bestseller The Strange Death of Europe is a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide. Declining birth-rates, mass immigration and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive change as a society. This book is not only an analysis of demographic and political realities, but also an eyewitness account of a continent in self-destruct mode. It includes reporting from across the entire continent, from the places where migrants land to the places they end up, from the people who appear to welcome them in to the places which cannot accept them. Told from this first-hand perspective, and backed with impressive research and evidence, the book addresses the disappointing failure of multiculturalism, Angela Merkel's U-turn on migration, the lack of repatriation and the Western fixation on guilt. Murray travels to Berlin, Paris, Scandinavia, Lampedusa and Greece to uncover the malaise at the very heart of the European culture, and to hear the stories of those who have arrived in Europe from far away. In each chapter he also takes a step back to look at the bigger issues which lie behind a continent's death-wish, answering the question of why anyone, let alone an entire civilisation, would do this to themselves? He ends with two visions of Europe – one hopeful, one pessimistic – which paint a picture of Europe in crisis and offer a choice as to what, if anything, we can do next.

Affluence Without Abundance

The Disappearing World of the Bushmen
Author: James Suzman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1632865742
Category: Social Science
Page: 320
View: 9563

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A vibrant portrait of the "original affluent society†?--the Bushmen of southern Africa--by the anthropologist who has spent much of the last twenty-five years documenting their encounter with modernity. If the success of a civilization is measured by its endurance over time, then the Bushmen of the Kalahari are by far the most successful in human history. A hunting and gathering people who made a good living by working only as much as needed to exist in harmony with their hostile desert environment, the Bushmen have lived in southern Africa since the evolution of our species nearly two hundred thousand years ago. In Affluence Without Abundance, anthropologist James Suzman vividly brings to life a proud and private people, introducing unforgettable members of their tribe, and telling the story of the collision between the modern global economy and the oldest hunting and gathering society on earth. In rendering an intimate picture of a people coping with radical change, it asks profound questions about how we now think about matters such as work, wealth, equality, contentment, and even time. Not since Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's The Harmless People in 1959 has anyone provided a more intimate or insightful account of the Bushmen or of what we might learn about ourselves from our shared history as hunter-gatherers.

Forgetfulness

Making the Modern Culture of Amnesia
Author: Francis O'Gorman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1501324691
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 185
View: 1596

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Examines the history and the consequences of living in the contemporary culture of forgetfulness.

The Sedated Society

The Causes and Harms of our Psychiatric Drug Epidemic
Author: James Davies
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319449117
Category: Psychology
Page: 301
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This edited volume provides an answer to a rising public health concern: what drives the over prescription of psychiatric medication epidemic? Over 15% of the UK public takes a psychiatric medication on any given day, and the numbers are only set to increase. Placing this figure alongside the emerging clinical and scientific data revealing their poor outcomes and the harms these medications often cause, their commercial success cannot be explained by their therapeutic efficacy.Chapters from an interdisciplinary team of global experts in critical psychopharmacology rigorously examine how pharmaceutical sponsorship and marketing, diagnostic inflation, the manipulation and burying of negative clinical trials, lax medication regulation, and neoliberal public health policies have all been implicated in ever-rising psycho-pharmaceutical consumption. This volume will ignite a long-overdue public debate. It will be of interest to professionals in the field of mental health and researchers ranging from sociology of health, to medical anthropology and the political economy of health.

Inventing the Future

Postcapitalism and a World Without Work
Author: Nick Srnicek,Alex Williams
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1784780987
Category: Social Science
Page: 256
View: 3076

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A major new manifesto for a high-tech future free from work Neoliberalism isn’t working. Austerity is forcing millions into poverty and many more into precarious work, while the left remains trapped in stagnant political practices that offer no respite. Inventing the Future is a bold new manifesto for life after capitalism. Against the confused understanding of our high-tech world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams demand a postcapitaiist economy capable of advancing standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies that expand our freedoms. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The University in Ruins


Author: Bill Readings
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674929531
Category: Education
Page: 238
View: 9400

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Tracing the roots of the modern American University in German philosophy & in the work of British thinkers such as Newman & Arnold, Readings argues that historically the integrity of the modern university has been linked to the nation-state.

What Money Can't Buy

The Moral Limits of Markets
Author: Michael J. Sandel
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429942584
Category: Philosophy
Page: 256
View: 3857

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Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we allow corporations to pay for the right to pollute the atmosphere? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars? Auctioning admission to elite universities? Selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay? In What Money Can't Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don't belong? What are the moral limits of markets? In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. Is this where we want to be?In his New York Times bestseller Justice, Sandel showed himself to be a master at illuminating, with clarity and verve, the hard moral questions we confront in our everyday lives. Now, in What Money Can't Buy, he provokes an essential discussion that we, in our market-driven age, need to have: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society—and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets don't honor and that money can't buy?