The Blitz Companion offers a unique overview of a century of aerial warfare, its impact on cities and the people who lived in them. It tells the story of aerial warfare from the earliest bombing raids and in World War 1 through to the London Blitz and Allied bombings of Europe and Japan. These are compared with more recent American air campaigns over Cambodia and Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, the NATO bombings during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, and subsequent bombings in the aftermath of 9/11. Beginning with the premonitions and predictions of air warfare and its terrible consequences, the book focuses on air raids precautions, evacuation and preparations for total war, and resilience, both of citizens and of cities. The legacies of air raids, from reconstruction to commemoration, are also discussed. While a key theme of the book is the futility of many air campaigns, care is taken to situate them in their historical context. The Blitz Companion also includes a guide to documentary and visual resources for students and general readers. Uniquely accessible, comparative and broad in scope this book draws key conclusions about civilian experience in the twentieth century and what these might mean for military engagement and civil reconstruction processes once conflicts have been resolved.Book Details
Not since Marx identified the manufacturing plants of Manchester as the blueprint for the new capitalist society has there been a more profound transformation of the fundamentals of our social life. As capitalism faces a series of structural crises, a new social, political and economic dynamic is emerging: peer to peer.
What is peer to peer? Why is it essential for building a commons-centric future? How could this happen? These are the questions this book tries to answer. Peer to peer is a type of social relations in human networks, as well as a technological infrastructure that makes the generalization and scaling up of such relations possible. Thus, peer to peer enables a new mode of production and creates the potential for a transition to a commons-oriented economy.Book Details
This volume explores activism, research and critique in the age of digital subjects and objects and Big Data capitalism after a digital turn said to have radically transformed our political futures. Optimists assert that the ‘digital’ promises: new forms of community and ways of knowing and sensing, innovation, participatory culture, networked activism, and distributed democracy. Pessimists argue that digital technologies have extended domination via new forms of control, networked authoritarianism and exploitation, dehumanization and the surveillance society. Leading international scholars present varied interdisciplinary assessments of such claims – in theory and via dialogue – and of the digital’s impact on society and the potentials, pitfalls, limits and ideologies, of digital activism. They reflect on whether computational social science, digital humanities and ubiquitous datafication lead to digital positivism that threatens critical research or lead to new horizons in theory and society.Book Details
After President Trump’s election, BREXIT and the widespread rise of far-Right political parties, much public discussion has intensely focused on populism and authoritarianism. In the middle of the twentieth century, members of the early Frankfurt School prolifically studied and theorized fascism and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States. In this volume, leading European and American scholars apply insights from the early Frankfurt School to present-day authoritarian populism, including the Trump phenomenon and related developments across the globe. Chapters are arranged into three sections exploring different aspects of the topic: theories, historical foundations, and manifestations via social media. Contributions examine the vital political, psychological and anthropological theories of early Frankfurt School thinkers, and how their insights could be applied now amidst the insecurities and confusions of twenty-first century life. The many theorists considered include Adorno, Fromm, Löwenthal and Marcuse, alongside analysis of Austrian Facebook pages and Trump’s tweets and operatic media drama. This book is a major contribution towards deeper understanding of populism’s resurgence in the age of digital capitalism.Book Details
Books about Oxford have generally focused on the University rather than the city. This original book on the local politics of Oxford City from 1830 to 1980 is based on a comprehensive analysis of primary sources and tells the story of the city’s progressive politics. The book traces this history from Chartism and electoral reform in the mid-nineteenth century, through the early years of socialism to the impact of communism in the interwar period, the struggle between nuclear disarmers and Gaitskellites in the 1960s and the impact of the new revolutionary left in the late 1970s. Throughout the narrative, the book contrasts the two approaches of those engaged in progressive politics, those who focused on the politics of reform and improved government and those who preferred the politics of revolt, protest and revolutionary rhetoric. The author argues that a central feature of this history has been the co-existence and interaction of working- and middle- class elements. It rediscovers a rich heritage, a fascinating story and offers a rare wide-ranging chronological narrative of local UK city politics. Through its extensive quotes from primary sources, the book presents a vivid picture of local politics over 150 years.Book Details
While the individual elements of the propaganda system (or filters) identified by the Propaganda Model (PM) – ownership, advertising, sources, flak and anti-communism – have previously been the focus of much scholarly attention, their systematisation in a model, empirical corroboration and historicisation have made the PM a useful tool for media analysis across cultural and geographical boundaries.
Despite the wealth of scholarly research Herman and Chomsky’s work has set into motion over the past decades, the PM has been subjected to marginalisation, poorly informed critiques and misrepresentations. Interestingly, while the PM enables researchers to form discerning predictions as regards corporate media performance, Herman and Chomsky had further predicted that the PM itself would meet with such marginalisation and contempt.
In current theoretical and empirical studies of mass media performance, uses of the PM continue, nonetheless, to yield important insights into the workings of political and economic power in society, due in large measure to the model’s considerable explanatory power.Book Details
A response is needed to the numerous issues spurred by the expansion of the gig economy, where flexible patterns of employment prevail in contrast to permanent jobs. In this context of the exponential growth of the digital economy and underlying business models the largest nationwide study of its kind into the impact of the working conditions in the UK music industry ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ has been conducted by MusicTank/University of Westminster.
This research suggests the need to consider the future of work not only from an economic or employment law perspective but from a mental health one too. What are the psychological implications of precarious work and how are factors such as financial instability, the feedback economy and personal relationships reflected in mental health outcomes or connected to the business relationships most musicians and other gig economy participants work under?
Authors Sally-Anne Gross, George Musgrave and Laima Janciute consider which policy measures may help or harm gig economy workers including the taxation of self-employed workers, a universal basic income, education around mental health issues and access to mental health support.Book Details
The portrayal of disfigurement in the UK media must change. This policy brief is based on recent research that found a general negative and sensationalised attitude towards disfigurement in the media.
Disfigurement is a condition that can affect anyone at any time in life regardless their social or demographic background due to accidents or health conditions or be congenital. In the UK, one in 111 people have facial disfigurements.
In order to improve the ways in which media portray disfigurement, this policy brief argues that media should move away from sensationalised coverage on disfigurement and focus instead on the lived experiences of individuals with this condition. It recommends strengthening diversity-oriented editorial practices and training as well as media literacy education. In addition, it addresses the lack of guidelines on the portrayal of disfigurement and urges regulatory bodies to be more efficient in handling complaints.Book Details
Taste usually occupies the bottom of the sensorial hierarchy, as the quintessentially hedonistic sense, too close to the animal, the elemental and the corporeal, and for this reason disciplined and moralised. At the same time, taste is indissolubly tied to knowledge. To taste is to discriminate, emit judgement, enter an unstable domain of synaesthetic normativity where the certainty of metaphysical categories begins to crumble. This second title in the ‘Law and the Senses’ series explores law using taste as a conceptual and ontological category able to unsettle legal certainties, and a promising tool whereby to investigate the materiality of law’s relation to the world. For what else is law’s reduction of the world into legal categories, if not law’s ingesting the world by tasting it, and emitting moral and legal judgements accordingly? Through various topics including coffee, wine, craft cider and Japanese knotweed, this volume explores the normativities that shape the way taste is felt and categorised, within and beyond subjective, phenomenological and human dimensions. The result is an original interdisciplinary volume – complete with seven speculative ‘recipes’ – dedicated to a rarely explored intersection, with contributions from artists, legal academics, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists.Book Details
Understandings of freedom are often discussed in moral, theological, legal and political terms, but they are not often set in a historical perspective, and they are even more rarely considered within their specific language context. From Homeric poems to contemporary works, the author traces the words that express the various notions of freedom in Classical Greek, Latin, and medieval and modern European idioms. Examining writers as varied as Plato, Aristotle, Luther, La Boétie, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Stirner, Nietzsche, and Foucault among others, this theoretical mapping shows old and new boundaries of the horizon of freedom. The book suggests the possibility of transcending these boundaries on the basis of a different theorization of human interactions, which constructs individual and collective subjects as processes rather than entities. This construction shifts and disseminates the very locus of freedom, whose vocabulary would be better recast as a relational middle path between autonomous and heteronomous alternatives.Book Details
London is one of the world’s most popular destinations and visitors contribute approximately £14.9 billion of expenditure to the city every year; its tourism and events sectors are growing and over the last few years the capital has received more visitors than ever before. This book analyses how London is developing through the expansion of tourism and events into new urban spaces. It outlines how parts of London not previously regarded as tourist territory are now subject to the visitor gaze with tourism spreading to peripheral, suburban and residential areas. The book explores these trends and shows how urban destinations expand highlighting the growing significance of tourism and events in global cities.
Feminist theories and Science and Technology Studies (STS) may enrich a critique of finance capital as the author argues that a critical political economic approach to communication can help in understanding financial markets. Working with case histories of tulipmania, microcredit, Wall Street reporting and the role of ‘screens’, Bubbles and Machines argues that rather than calling financial crises human-made or inevitable they should be recognised as technological.