Polity Press

Okładka książki Sketches in the Theory of Culture
Sketches in the Theory of Culture is a remarkable work by all measures. Written by Zygmunt Bauman when he was still a professor in Poland, and originally intended for publication in 1968, it was suppressed by the Polish government in the wave of repression following the protests in March of that year. For decades, it was thought to be lost. Astonishingly, it survived in the form of an uncorrected set of proofs which was recently discovered, and is the basis of this edition. Now published in English for the first time, this book sheds new light on Bauman’s work prior to his emigration and illuminates the intellectual climate of Poland in the late 1960s. Bauman’s pursuit of a semiotic theory of culture includes a discussion of processes of individualization and the intensification of global ties, anticipating themes that became central to his later work. Though this book stands as a testament to a historical moment, it also transcends it. ‘[W]e live in an age that seems, for the first time in human history, to acknowledge cultural multiplicity as an innate and fixed feature of the world, one which gives rise to new forms of identity that are at ease with plurality, like a fish in water’, writes Bauman – a statement that is as true today as it was when he penned it in the 1960s. Sketches in the Theory of Culture is a strikingly prescient reflection on culture and society by one of the most influential social thinkers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It will appeal to students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities and to the many readers of Bauman’s work.
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Okładka książki Trump
Trump
Autor: Alain Badiou
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States sent shockwaves across the globe. How was such an outcome even possible? In two lectures given at American universities in the immediate aftermath of the election, the leading French philosopher Alain Badiou helps us to make sense of this extraordinary occurrence. He argues that Trump’s victory was the symptom of a global crisis made up of four characteristics: the triumph of a brutal form of global capitalism, the decomposition of the established political elite, the growing frustration and disorientation that many people feel today, and the absence of a compelling alternative vision. It was in this context that Trump could emerge as a new kind of political figure that was both inside and outside the political order, a member of the Republican Party who, at the same time, represents something outside the system. The progressive political challenge now is to create something new that offers people a real choice, a radical alternative based on principles of universality and equality. This concise account of the meaning of Trump should be read by everyone who wants to understand what is happening in our world today.
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Okładka książki Russia
Russia
Autor: Trenin Dmitri
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
Over the past century alone, Russia has lived through great achievements and deepest misery; mass heroism and mass crime; over-blown ambition and near-hopeless despair – always emerging with its sovereignty and its fiercely independent spirit intact. In this book, leading Russia scholar Dmitri Trenin accompanies readers on Russia’s rollercoaster journey from revolution to post-war devastation, perestroika to Putin’s stabilization of post-Communist Russia. Explaining the causes and the meaning of the numerous twists and turns in contemporary Russian history, he offers a vivid insider’s view of a country through one of its most trying and often tragic periods. Today, he cautions, Russia stands at a turning point – politically, economically and socially – its situation strikingly reminiscent of the Russian Empire in its final years. For the Russian Federation to avoid a similar demise, it must learn the lessons of its own history.
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Okładka książki Russia's Futures
Russia's Futures
Autor: Richard Sakwa
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
Russia is back as a major force in global politics, but what does this mean? Is Russia the dangerous revisionist foe that meddles in Western elections and tries to subvert the liberal international order? Or is it a country precariously trying to maintain security and enhance prosperity at home, while re-asserting its place as a great power in the world today? In this book, renowned Russia scholar Richard Sakwa explores current debates on Russia, placing them in historical context and outlining the fundamental challenges currently facing the country. Post-communist Russia had to grapple with a unique set of problems, including reconstituting the political system, rebuilding the economy, re-imagining the nation, and rethinking Russia’s place in the world. The solutions are still being sought, but this hard-hitting study argues that the failure to create an international system in which Russia’s transformation became part of a revised world order has made the search far more difficult than it may otherwise have been. Although Russia is one of the oldest states in Europe, in its contemporary guise it is one of the youngest. Russia has had many pasts and, given its size, centrality and complexity, it will also have many futures.
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Okładka książki Syria: A Modern History
Today Syria is a country known for all the wrong reasons: civil war, vicious sectarianism, and major humanitarian crisis. But how did this once rich, multi-cultural society end up as the site of one of the twenty-first century’s most devastating and brutal conflicts? In this incisive book, internationally renowned Syria expert David Lesch takes the reader on an illuminating journey through the last hundred years of Syrian history – from the end of the Ottoman empire through to the current civil war. The Syria he reveals is a fractured mosaic, whose identity (or lack thereof) has played a crucial part in its trajectory over the past century. Only once the complexities and challenges of Syria’s history are understood can this pivotal country in the Middle East begin to rebuild and heal.
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Okładka książki The Future of British Foreign Policy
The Future of British Foreign Policy
Autor: Hill Christopher
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
Since 1945, Britain has had to cope with a slow descent from international primacy. The decline in global influence was intended to be offset by the United Kingdom’s entry into Europe in 1975, with the result that national foreign policy came to rest on the two pillars of the Atlantic alliance and the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. Yet, with Brexit, one of these pillars is now being removed, leaving Britain facing some serious challenges arising from the prospect of independence. In this incisive book, Christopher Hill explores what lies ahead for British foreign policy in the shadows of Brexit and a more distant and protectionist America under Donald Trump. While there is much talk of a renewed global profile for the UK, Hill cautions that this is going to be difficult to turn into practical reality. Geography, history and limited resources mean that Britain is doomed to seek a continued foreign policy partnership with the Member States of the Union – only now it will be from outside the room looking in. As a result, there is the distinct possibility that both British and European foreign policies will end up worse off as the result of their divorce.
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Okładka książki Rousseau
Rousseau
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the most controversial philosophers of the eighteenth century, and his groundbreaking work still provokes heated debate in contemporary political theory. In this book, Céline Spector, one of the world’s foremost experts on Rousseau’s thought, provides an accessible introduction to his moral, social and political theory. She explores the themes and central concepts of his thought, ranging from the state of nature, the social contract and the general will to natural and political freedom, religion and education. She combines a skilful exposition of Rousseau as a ‘man of paradoxes’ with a discussion of his often-overlooked ideas on knowledge, political economy and international relations. The book traces both the overall unity and the significant changes in Rousseau’s philosophy, accounting for its complexity and for the importance of its legacy. It will be essential reading for scholars, students and general readers interested in the Enlightenment and more broadly in the history of modern political thought and philosophy.
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74,88
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Okładka książki International Relations
International Relations emerged as a distinct academic discipline in the early twentieth century, but its philosophic foundations draw on centuries of thinking about human nature, power and authority, justice and injustice, and their implications for relations within and between political communities. In this fully revised and updated third edition of her popular text, Stephanie Lawson retains a broad historical and contextual approach in introducing readers to the central themes and theoretical perspectives in IR while also addressing key issues and challenges in the contemporary period. These include the emergence of states and empires, theories ranging from classical realism and liberalism to postcolonial and ‘green’ theory, twentieth-century international history, security and insecurity, global governance and world order, international political economy, globalization, the future of the sovereign state and the prospects for a ‘post-international’ world. Written in an accessible narrative style, this book is an ideal primer for students at undergraduate level and beyond, including those undertaking postgraduate study in IR with little or no previous academic training in the field.
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Okładka książki Gorbachev's Gamble
Gorbachev's Gamble
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
Gorbachev’s Gamble offers a new and more convincing answer to this question by providing the missing link between the internal and external aspects of Gorbachev’s perestroika. Andrei Grachev shows that the radical transformation of Soviet foreign policy during the Gorbachev years was an integral part of an ambitious project of internal democratic reform and of the historic opening of Soviet society to the outside world. Grachev explains the motives and the intentions of the initiators of this project and describes their hopes and their illusions. He recounts the story of the internal debates and struggles in the Kremlin and behind-the-scene decisions that led to the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and eventually the demise of the Soviet Union itself. The book is based on exclusive interviews with the leaders of the Soviet Union including Gorbachev, personal notes and diaries of their assistants and advisers and transcripts of the discussions inside the Politburo and Secretariat of the Central Committee. Together they constitute a multi-voice political confession of a whole generation of decision-makers of the Soviet Union that enables us better to understand the origin and the breathtaking trajectory of the events that led to the end of the Cold War and the unprecedented transformation of world politics in the closing decades of the 20th century.
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66,56
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Okładka książki Generation Left
Generation Left
Autor: Milburn Keir
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
Increasingly age appears to be the key dividing line in contemporary politics. Young people across the globe are embracing left-wing ideas and supporting figures such as Corbyn and Sanders. Where has this ‘Generation Left’ come from? How can it change the world? This compelling book by Keir Milburn traces the story of Generation Left. Emerging in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, it has now entered the electoral arena and found itself vying for dominance with ageing right-leaning voters and a ‘Third Way’ political elite unable to accept the new realities. By offering a new concept of political generations, Milburn unveils the ideas, attitudes and direction of Generation Left and explains how the age gap can be bridged by reinventing youth and adulthood. This book is essential reading for anyone, young or old, who is interested in addressing the multiple crises of our time.
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Okładka książki The Political Economy of Inequality
During the last few decades, the gap between the incomes, wealth and living standards of rich and poor people has increased in most countries. Economic inequality has become a defining issue of our age. In this book, leading political economist Frank Stilwell provides a comprehensive overview of the nature, causes, and consequences of this growing divide. He shows how we can understand inequalities of wealth and incomes, globally and nationally, examines the scale of the problem and explains how it affects our wellbeing. He also shows that, although governments are often committed to 'growth at all costs' and 'trickle down' economics, there are alternative public policies that could be used to narrow the gap between rich and poor. Stilwell's engaging and clear guide to the issues will be indispensable reading for all students, general readers and scholars interested in inequality in political economy, economics, public policy and beyond.
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Okładka książki The Black Hole of Auschwitz
The Black Hole of Auschwitz brings together Levi’s writings on the Holocaust and his experiences of the concentration camp, as well as those on his own accidental status as a writer and his chosen profession of chemist. In this book Levi rails intelligently and eloquently against what he saw as the ebb of compassion and interest in the Holocaust, and the yearly assault on the veracity and moral weight of the testimonies of its survivors. For Levi, to keep writing and, through writing, to understand why the Holocaust could happen, was nothing less than a safeguard against the loss of a collective memory of the atrocities perpetrated against the Jewish people. This moving book not only reveals the care and conviction with which he wrote about the Holocaust, but also shows the range of Levi’s interests and the skill, thoughtfulness and sensitivity he brought to all his subjects. The consistency and moral force of Levi’s reflections and the clarity and intimacy of his style will make this book appeal to a wide readership, including those who have read and been moved by his masterpiece If This is a Man.
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Opakowanie What Happened in the Twentieth Century?
When we look back from the vantage point of the 21st century and ask ourselves what the previous century was all about, what do we see? Our first inclination is to focus on historical events: the 20th century was the age of two devastating world wars, of totalitarian regimes and terrible atrocities like the Holocaust – ‚the age of extremes‘, to use Hobsbawm’s famous phrase. But in this new book, the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk argues that we will never understand the 20th century if we focus on events and ideologies. Rather, in his view, the predominant motif of the 20th century is what Badiou called a passion for the real, which manifests itself as the will to actualize the truth directly in the here and now. Drawing on his Spheres trilogy, Sloterdijk interprets the actualization of the real in the 20th century as a passion for economic and technological ‚antigravitation‘. The rise of consumerism and the easing of the burdens of human life by the constant deployment of new technologies have killed off the kind of radicalism that was rooted in the belief that power would rise from a material base of production. If the 20th century can still inspire us today, it is because the fundamental shift that it brought about opened the way for a critique of extremist reason, a post-Marxist theory of enrichment and a general economy of energy resources based on excess and dissipation. While developing his highly original interpretation of the 20th century, Sloterdijk also addresses a series of related topics including the meaning of the Anthropocene, the domestication of humans and the significance of the sea. The volume also includes major new pieces on Derrida and on Heidegger’s politics. This work by one of the most original thinkers today will appeal to students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences, as well as anyone interested in philosophy and critical theory today.
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Okładka książki The Transitory Museum
The Transitory Museum
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Okładka książki The New Russia
The New Russia
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
After years of rapprochement, the relationship between Russia and the West is more strained now than it has ever been in the past 25 years. Putin's motives remain for many a mystery, though not for Mikhail Gorbachev. In this new work, Russia's elder statesman draws on his wealth of knowledge and experience to reveal the development of Putin's regime and the intentions behind it. He argues that Putin has diminished the achievements of perestroika and is part of an over-centralized system that presents a precarious future for Russia. Faced with this, Gorbachev advocates a radical reform of politics and new fostering of pluralism and social democracy. Gorbachev's insightful analysis moves beyond internal politics to address wider problems, including the Ukraine conflict and the global challenges of poverty and climate change. Above all else, he insists that solutions are to be found by returning to the atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation which was so instrumental in ending the Cold War. This book represents the summation of Gorbachev's thinking on the course that Russia has taken since 1991 and stands as a testament to one of the greatest and most influential statesmen of the 20th century.
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Okładka książki Japan
Japan
Autor: Kingston Jeff
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
Japan, anchored by its traditions, transformed by American post-war Occupation, and globally recognized for its technological innovations, manufacturing prowess and pop culture, faces powerful challenges from within and without. How Japan chooses to handle these problems and opportunities will determine its future for decades to come. In this compact and lively book, Jeff Kingston - one of the most lucid analysts of Japan today - takes readers on a fascinating journey through this country's contemporary history, exploring the key developments and forces, both at home and abroad, that are shaping Japan in the twenty-first century. With an ageing population, a struggling economy and an unsettling regional context, Japan stands at a crossroads. Whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s transformative agenda of 'Abenomics' and 'proactive pacifism' towards a rising China and a belligerent North Korea can set Japan on the path to greater prosperity and security remains to be seen. But with his supermajority recently renewed, Japan’s ongoing transformation is very much in Abe’s hands.
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Okładka książki The Jungle
The Jungle
Autor: Agier Michel
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
For nearly two decades, the area surrounding the French port of Calais has been a temporary staging post for thousands of migrants and refugees hoping to cross the channel to Britain. It achieved global attention when, at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, all those living there were transferred to a single camp that became known as ‘the Jungle’. Until its dismantling in October 2016, this precarious site, intended to make its inhabitants as invisible as possible, was instead the focal point of international concern about the plight of migrants and refugees. This new book is the first full account of life inside the Jungle and its relation to the global migration crisis. Anthropologist Michel Agier and his colleagues use the particular circumstances of the Jungle, localized in space and time, to analyse broader changes underway in our societies, both locally and globally. Starting from the camp’s architecture, the authors describe the transformation of its spaces into an embryonic shantytown, encouraging a wider reflection on urbanism in the context of increasingly mobile populations. They investigate how everyday life and routine operated in the Jungle, raising broader questions about how marginalised communities are perceived and represented. Finally, addressing the mixed reactions to the camp - from hostile government policies to movements of solidarity - the authors show our relationship with the Other as part of a wider struggle in the formation of local, national and transnational identities. This comprehensive account of the life and death of Europe’s most infamous camp for migrants and refugees demonstrates that, far from being an isolated case, the Jungle of Calais brings into sharp relief the issues that confront us all today, in a world where the large-scale movement of people has become, and is likely to remain, a central feature of social and political life.
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Okładka książki The New Boss
The New Boss
Wydawca: Polity Press
wysyłka: 48h
Any organization, no matter how stolid, may be unsettled by the news that a new boss is about to take over. Talk in the hallways increases, staff worry about their jobs, uncertainty grows. Even when the change has happened, problems emerge when the boss who was hired to manage “from above” has to learn about the organization “from below.” In this book, Niklas Luhmann scrutinizes the relationship and shows how it is stretched to its limit by communication difficulties, demands for self-presentation, and disagreements concerning fundamental values. Many of the tensions crystallize around the question “who has the power?” It isn’t necessarily the boss, provided the employees are well versed in the art of directing their superiors. “Subtervision” is Luhmann’s term for this state of affairs, and tact is the most important means to this end. Yet caution is advised: whoever achieves mastery in subtervision may well become the new boss. This slim and thought-provoking book from one of the most influential sociologists of the twentieth century will be of great interest to anyone seeking to understand the dynamics and machinations of the workplace.
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Okładka książki Barcelona
Barcelona has existed as a settlement for two millennia. Early civilizations shaped the city before it achieved, in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, global power as a trading metropolis and empire capital. After a long struggle with the unifying Spanish state, the city revived, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as an industrial and commercial powerhouse. It became a center of culture, ornamented by modern planning and wondrous works by Gaudí and others. Barcelona became known as “The Rose of Fire”: home to revolutionaries and anarchists. Creativity and conflict continued to shape Barcelona in the twentieth century, as its citizens faced the Spanish Republic, Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship. Linking social and cultural currents to the rich architectural and experiential heritage of this multi-layered city, McDonogh and Martínez-Rigol reveal Barcelona’s hidden history to modern-day visitors and residents alike.
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Okładka książki Artifictional Intelligence
Recent startling successes in machine intelligence using a technique called ‘deep learning’ seem to blur the line between human and machine as never before. Are computers on the cusp of becoming so intelligent that they will render humans obsolete? Harry Collins argues we are getting ahead of ourselves, caught up in images of a fantastical future dreamt up in fictional portrayals. The greater present danger is that we lose sight of the very real limitations of artificial intelligence and readily enslave ourselves to stupid computers: the ‘Surrender’. By dissecting the intricacies of language use and meaning, Collins shows how far we have to go before we cannot distinguish between the social understanding of humans and computers. When the stakes are so high, we need to set the bar higher: to rethink ‘intelligence’ and recognize its inherent social basis. Only if machine learning succeeds on this count can we congratulate ourselves on having produced artificial intelligence.
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