Book of the Month archive

November 2017 Book of the Month

African women under fire: : literary discourses in war and conflict

Book cover African women under fire

The Book of the Month for November has been selected by Sarah Rhodes, Subject Consultant for International Development, Forced Migration, African and Commonwealth Studies. It was chosen to tie in with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Book Overview:

African writers and literary critics must account for the changing political terrain and how these contribute to creating new sources of conflicts and aggression toward women. This book brings insight and scholarly breadth to the growing research on women, war, and conflict in Africa. The aftermath of wars and conflicts initiates new forms of violence and related gender challenges. The contributors establish compelling evidence for the significance of gender in the analyses of contemporary warfare and conflict. Articulating war's consequences for women and children remains a major challenge for critics, policy makers, and human rights organizations. There is a need for deeper understanding of the new sources of violence and male aggression on women, the gendered challenges of reintegration in the aftermath, and the future consequences of gendered violence for the African continent. It also offers interdisciplinary utility for readers interested in literary representations of women's experience in war and conflict.

Reviews:

"Touching on the war experiences of African women, including combat, captivity, and rape, the nine essays in African Women Under Fire: Literary Discourses in War and Conflict, edited by Pauline Ada Uwakweh, engage female agency, resilience, trauma, violence, and the roles of memory and testimony. Bringing together a wide variety of theories and approaches, the contributors re-examine African war literature from a gendered, postcolonial frame that encompasses trauma studies, psychoanalysis, immigration studies, and the problems of representation." - Professor Joya Uraizee, Saint Louis University.

Shelfmark: PQ 3980.5.AFR 2017. The title is currently on display on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk).

October 2017 Book of the Month

London is the place for me: Black Britons, citizenship, and the politics of race

October Book of the month

The SSL Book of the Month for October has been selected by Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian and Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations. It was chosen for Black History Month.

Book Overview:

In London is the Place for Me, Kennetta Hammond Perry explores how the post-World War II wave of Afro-Caribbean migrants navigated the politics of race and citizenship in Britain and reconfigured the boundaries of what it meant to be both Black and British.

Perry positions Black Britons as part of wider public debates about citizenship and the meaning of Britishness in the second half of the twentieth century. She departs from previous scholarship by presenting Black Britons as political actors as they made claims to citizenship and challenged the state to guarantee their rights..

Reviews:

"An absorbing, timely and inspiring account. Kennetta Hammond Perry captures vividly the challenges Windrush-era migrants faced. But she also shows that grassroots organising by Afro-Caribbeans really did make a difference, changing formal and unspoken exclusions and bringing about a more inclusive definition of what “Britain” could be. This is a story that matters." - Lara Putnam, Professor and Chair of History, University of Pittsburgh.

"A genuinely post-Windrush history of Britain, driven by the experiences of Afro-Caribbean migrants, is long overdue. Perry offers us a glimpse into the vibrant everyday life of mid-20th Century Black Britons who had one eye on London and the other on global race politics." - Antoinette Burton, Professor of History, University of Illinois.

Shelfmark: DA125.N4.PER 2015 The title is currently on display on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk).

September 2017 Book of the Month

Humanitarian ethics : a guide to the morality of aid in war and disaster

Book cover of Humanitarian ethics : a guide to the morality of aid in war and disaster

The SSL Book of the Month for September has been selected by Sarah Rhodes, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Subject Consultant for Forced Migration. It was chosen because it provides invaluable practical help to aid workers as they face the moral and ethical dilemmas of assistance in war and disaster situations.

Book Overview:

Humanitarians are required to be impartial, independent, professionally competent and focused only on preventing and alleviating human suffering. It can be hard living up to these principles when others do not share them, while persuading political and military authorities and non-state actors to let an agency assist on the ground requires savvy ethical skills. Getting first to a conflict or natural catastrophe is only the beginning, as aid workers are usually and immediately presented with practical and moral questions about what to do next. This book has been written to help humanitarians assess and respond to the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Reviews:

"Brilliant and incisive. Slim develops a much needed moral compass to help aid workers, both seasoned and novice, to navigate the tensions between principle and practice – as well as the shoals of political manipulation in humanitarian action." - Antonio Donini, Senior Researcher, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University.

"It will help aid workers and managers alike understand why principles matter more than ever and how they can be used to make better choices." - Sorcha O’Callaghan, Head of Humanitarian Policy, British Red Cross.

Shelfmark: HV553.SLI 2015. The title is currently on display on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk).

August 2017 Book of the Month

Methodological practices in social movement research

August Book of the Month

The SSL Book of the Month for Augusthas been selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy and Intervention. It was chosen because its practical and refreshing "how to" approach to conducting research..

Book Overview:

Social movement studies have grown enormously in the last few decades, spreading from sociology and political science to other fields of knowledge, as varied as geography, history, anthropology, psychology, economics, law and others. With the growing interest in the field, there has been also an increasing need for methodological guidance for empirical research. This volume addresses this need by introducing the main methods of data collection and data analysis as they have been used in past research on social movements.

Each chapter presents specific discussions on every stage of research: from research design to data collection, management and the use of the information gathered. Throughout, research dilemmas and choices are presented, illustrated, and discussed.

Review:

‘…not a mere list of descriptions of methods, but a collection of critical reflections on the research process and, most importantly, on our roles as researchers. The book presents methodological solutions to situations that often arise in empirical research, and will connect with and bring comfort to readers coming up against similar issues.- Leonardo Custódio, University of Tampere.

Chosen by: John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy and Intervention.

Shelfmark: HM881.MET 2014 The title is currently on display on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). There is an additional lending copy available on the shelves and an electronic copy available through SOLO.

July 2017 Book of the Month

The Equality Effect

JuLY Book of the Month

The SSL Book of the Month for July has been selected by Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian and Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations. It was chosen because it offers a refreshingly optimistic view of the future.

Book Overview:

The Equality Effect presents the evidence on the differences between equal and unequal societies during the last ten years. Dorling outlines the supporting data in an accessible and engaging way, with a sprinkling of witty illustrations by Ella Furness.

Levels of equality within countries are associated with a range of outcomes. In the more equal countries, people are happier and healthier, more numerate, produce less waste and commit fewer crimes.

Dorling presents a compelling argument for public policy to prioritise equality. He demonstrates where greater equality is currently to be found, and how we can set The Equality Effect in motion everywhere.

Review:

‘The Equality Effect was a pleasure to read, and because the book covers research from such a broad range of disciplines, I would recommend it to anyone interested in in/equality or quantitative research more generally'.- Natasha CodiroliMcmaster, UCL Institute of Education

‘Here is a book which details -with irrefutable evidence -both the damage caused by inequality and the benefits we all derive from living in more equal societies. We should all learn from it -and, above all else, act on it.'- Owen Jones, Columnist and author of Chavs: The Demonisation ofthe Working Class

Chosen by: Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian and Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations.

Shelfmark: HM821.DOR 2017 The title is currently on display on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk).

June 2017 Book of the Month

Refuge : transforming a broken refugee system

June Book of the MonthThe Book of the Month for June has been selected by Sarah Rhodes, Subject Consultant for Forced Migration. Chosen to tie in with Refugee Week (20-26 June) this newly published book has been co-written by Professor Alex Betts (Director, Refugee Studies Centre) and Professor Sir Paul Collier (Blavatnik School of Government).

Book Overview:

This book offers an eye-opening account of the migrant crisis showing why our global refugee regime is broken and how it can be fixed.

Going beyond the scenes of desperation which have become all-too-familiar in the past few years, the authors show that this crisis offers an opportunity for reform if international policy-makers focus on delivering humane, effective and sustainable outcomes – both for Europe and for countries that border conflict zones. Refugees need more than simply food, tents and blankets, and research demonstrates that they can offer tangible economic benefits to their adopted countries if given the right to work and education.

Review:

‘Betts and Collier offer innovative insights into how to more effectively meet this challenge, with an important new focus on international solidarity and refugee empowerment.- Kofi Anan

‘Refugees and policy makers need practical answers to what is now a global crisis. This valuable book represents the kind of can-do thinking that we need to see.'- David Miliband

Chosen by: Sarah Rhodes, Subject Consultant for International Development, Forced Migration, African and Commonwealth Studies.

Shelfmark: HV640.BET 2017The title is currently on display on top of our New Books Display Area (located around the corner from our Library Issue Desk). We also have an additional lending copy on our normal shelves shelved at HV640.BET 2017.

May 2017 Book of the Month

Social advantage and disadvantage

May book of the monthThe Book of the Month for May has been selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy and Intervention. It was chosen because it is a thought provoking collection from major contributors to this area of study.

Book Overview:

Social advantage and disadvantage are potent catch-all terms. They have no established definition but, considered in relation to one another, they can embrace a wide variety of more specific concepts that address the ways in which society causes, exacerbates or fails to prevent social divisions or injustices. 

This edited collection captures the sense in which any conceptualisation of disadvantage is concerned with the consequences of processes by which relative advantage has been selectively conferred or attained. It considers how inequalities and social divisions are created as much by the concentration of advantage among the best-off as by the systematic disadvantage of the worst-off.

Review:

‘...a key read for students in sociology, political science, public policy and economics, and an even more important one for the policymakers that will need to address and reduce the inequalities of our countries. - Michele Fenzi, University of Essex

Chosen by: John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics, Sociology and Social Policy and Intervention.

Shelfmark: HN18.3.SOC 2016

April 2017 Book of the Month

Globalisation of Nationalism

April book of the monthThe SSL Book of the Month for April has been selected by Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian and Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations. It is inspired by current political events worldwide.

Book Overview:

This collection of essays is organised as an experiment testing the hypothesis that behind the hottest political issues of the quarter-century after the Cold War lies globalisation of national consciousness.

The authors focus on democratisation and its failure in Russia, transformations of identity in Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, North and South America, and South-East Asia, the rise of militant and political Islam, and the eruption of China onto the world stage.

The authors argue that the globalisation we are witnessing is, for the most part, the globalisation of competitive and antagonistic nationalism, which spreads to areas where it was not known earlier and into the sphere of religion.
Collectively, these essays argue that nationalism remains the organising principle of politics inside nations as well as at transnational and international levels.

Review:

‘The premise of this excellent book – that globalisation has spread the idea of the nation-state – is both accurate and a necessary corrective to naive ideas suggesting that states and nations no longer count in world affairs. The papers are superb, and they cover the whole world.
A necessary volume.’
- John A Hall, McGill University

Chosen by: Jo Gardner Subject Consultant for Politics and International Relations.

Shelfmark: JC311.GLO 2016

Back to top