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The Polity list displays exceptional strengths in the area of environmental studies. Spanning a range of disciplines from philosophy to political science, our books offer a broad spectrum of cutting-edge insights into this exciting and rapidly expanding field.
Klaus Dodds and Mark Nuttall: The Scramble for the Poles: The Geopolitics of the Arctic and Antarctic
This powerful book details the myriad contrasts and connections between the contemporary Polar Regions. Using the metaphor of scrambles, Dodds and Nuttall provide a major, comparative statement for the future social and political study of the poles.
Richard Powell, University of Oxford
Judith Shapiro: China's Environmental Challenges, 2nd Edition
"In this revised and updated edition, Judith Shapiro continues to show why she is one of the foremost experts on China and its environmental challenges. She provides an insightful and accessible account of the drivers of pollution in China, its consequences for all of us, and the needed national and international reforms to address these pressing problems. Highly recommended."
Ken Conca, author of Governing Water and editor of Green Planet Blues: Four Decades of Global Environmental Politics
J. Donald Hughes: What is Environmental History?, 2nd Edition
"Anyone seeking help in navigating the shifting shoals of environmental history will give fulsome thanks to Don Hughes for this book. It is far and away the best guide yet to the issues and historiography of this emerging field, spanning the globe and delving into the deep as well as recent past."
J. R. McNeill, Georgetown University
John Hannigan: The Geopolitics of Deep Oceans
"Each thread of Hannigan s important book recognizes the value of social science in forging understanding of the deep sea and setting the tone for the use of its resources. Well written and convincingly argued, it is a splendid addition to the scholarship."
Helen M. Rozwadowski, University of Connecticut Avery Point
"Mike Hulme eloquently and rationally outlines the arguments against proposals to use stratospheric aerosols to cool the planet and questions the ethics of even researching them. Regardless of whether one agrees with his conclusions, there is no doubt that he definitively makes the case that must be answered by proponents."
Steve Rayner, Oxford University
Anthony Giddens: The Politics of Climate Change, 2nd Edition
"A landmark study in the struggle to contain climate change, the greatest challenge of our era. I urge everyone to read it."
Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America
Adrian Howkins: The Polar Regions: An Environmental History
"The polar latitudes are among the final frontiers for environmental history. Hawkins' book, as much history of science and exploration as environmental history, takes us on a most engaging tour to both Arctic and Antarctic."
J.R. McNeill, Georgetown University
Simon P. James: Environmental Philosophy: An Introduction
'Simon James has written an engaging book that covers many of the most important philosophical questions raised by environmental issues, and is well suited to serve as a text for a course in environmental philosophy.'
Peter Singer, AC, Princeton University
Hugh Pennington: Have Bacteria Won?
"In this exciting book Professor Pennington examines the fear and fascination that infectious diseases instil within us all. A thought-provoking read that will generate debate."
Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England
Helga Nowotny: The Cunning of Uncertainty
"Helga Nowotny in her quite brilliant new book argues that uncertainty is inextricably enmeshed with human existence. It is cunning because uncertainty is constantly changing and acting in different ways. Uncertainty can reveal itself in the next action or decision, or it may arise slowly over time. Previous certainties unravel into mysteries, previous safe assumptions become risky options."
Sydney Morning Herald
"Ole Bjerg takes a fresh look at capitalism s existential ecological crisis from beyond the usual perspectives of growth, de-growth and green growth. He argues that, before we can change our orientation towards growth, we need to understand why we have not changed it already. Bjerg s philosophical therapy eco-analysis might just be what equips us with the thinking to be able to act."
Tony Greenham, Director of Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing, RSA
Jennifer Clapp: Food, 2nd Edition
The revised second edition of this popular book contributes to a fuller understanding of the forces that influence and shape the current global food system. In it, Clapp explores how the rise of industrial agriculture, corporate control, inequitable agricultural trade rules, and the financialization of food have each shaped the world food economy.
Ben Richardson: Sugar
Led by multinationals, the mass consumption of sweetened snacks has taken hold in the Global South underpinning a new wave of foreign investment in sugar production. But, as this timely analysis shows, health advocates, trade unions & environmentalists are fighting back to reshape the way sugar is produced and consumed globally.
Adam Sneyd: Cotton
Behind this ubiquitous fibre prized for its softness lies a darker story of exploitation and hardship. In this penetrating analysis, Adam Sneyd explores the power politics that envelope cotton as major corporate players and countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas compete to control it.
Gavin Fridell: Coffee
Coffee is one of the most valuable Southern exports, yet the majority of the world's 25 million coffee families live in relative poverty. In this incisive and compelling analysis, Gavin Fridell examines the key factors shaping the coffee business and challenges the claim that injustice in the industry can be solved 'one sip at a time'.
Ian Smillie: Diamonds
Diamonds brings together for the first time all aspects of the diamond industry. In it, Ian Smillie, former UN Security Council investigator and leading figure in the blood diamonds campaign, offers a comprehensive analysis of the history and structure of today's diamond trade, the struggle for effective regulation and the challenges ahead.
David L. Feldman: Water
Water is our planet's most precious resource. It is required by every living thing, yet a huge proportion of the world's population struggles to access clean water daily. Drawing on a rich range of examples from across the globe, this little book ably unravels the complex geopolitical issues surrounding freshwater today.
Derek Hall: Land
Land is one of the world's most emotionally resonant resources, and control over it is fundamental to almost all human activity. This richly detailed and authoritative guide will be of interest to students across the social sciences, as well as anyone interested in current affairs and contemporary geopolitics.
Gavin Bridge & Philippe le Billon: Oil
In this in-depth primer to the world's wealthiest industry, Bridge and Le Billon take a fresh look at the geopolitics of oil. Going beyond simple assertions of peak oil and an oil curse, they point to an industry reordered by internationalized companies, Asian consumerism, the insecurities of declining powers, and the dilemmas of energy transition.
Jennifer Clapp: Food
This book offers an incisive and highly readable introduction to the key forces which shape and control the international politics of food. The impact of corporate power, international agricultural trade rules and the financialization of farm commodities are explored alongside new movements which are challenging the dominant global food system.
Elizabeth Desombre & J. Samuel Barkin: Fish
Fishing has played a vital role in human history and culture. But today this key resource faces a serious crisis as most species are being overfished or fished to their very limit. This book explores the causes of the current crisis in the world's fisheries, and what needs to be done to address the situation.
Paul Dauverge & Jane Lister: Timber
"A brilliant and powerful book that allows us to see the forest for the trees. Its stunning exposè is a must-read for scholars and practitioners seeking a more promising and sustainable future."
Ben Cashore, Yale University
Timber is a vital global resource. The way we produce and consume timber, however, is changing. This trailblazing book is the first to expose what's happening inside corporate commodity chains with conclusions that fundamentally challenge our understanding of how and why deforestation persists.
Michael Nest: Coltan
"A clear, thorough and urgent contribution to our understanding of what is going on – and, hopefully, to the campaign to end it."
The story behind tantalum or 'coltan' is one of the most compelling of all natural resources. In this book, Michael Nest unravels this complex story to offer a clear and compelling analysis of the relationship between coltan and violence in the Congo, and the battle between activists and corporations to reshape the global tantalum supply chain.