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Category: Book reviews

Book Review: The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy

“In The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, Stephanie Kelton dispels six key myths that have shaped the conventional understanding of deficits as inherently bad, instead arguing that deficits can strengthen economies and lead to faster growth. This book is a triumph, writes Professor Hans G. Despain, shifting normative grounds of government spending away from the false and unproductive idea that deficits are irresponsible and ruinous towards the productive political activity of deciding which spending programmes should be prioritised.”

Book Review: Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy

In Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy, Alexandrea Ravenelle offers a new ethnographic study that examines working life for people in the gig economy that was so lauded as a way out of unemployment after the 2008 financial crisis, focusing on Uber, TaskRabbit, Kitchensurfing and AirBnB.

Regulating Globalisation

“The excesses of globalisation, including labour exploitation and environmental degradation in global industries, are often seen as the result of a lack of rules. Tim Bartley shows that these rules exist and overlap—they are just failing because they ignore the context in which they operate.”

Resisting Neoliberal Capitalism in Chile: The Possibility of Social Critique

“In Resisting Neoliberal Capitalism in Chile, Juan Pablo Rodríguez examines two recent social movements leading the social and political contestation against neoliberalism in Chile, not only showing how these embody critique in practice, but also drawing on these experiences to interrogate the very idea of social critique. This ambitious book is a welcome contribution to a sociology of social movements grounded in a reflexive dialogue between critical theory, social movement studies and empirical enquiry, writes Malik Fercovic.

How to Evolve Past Capitalism

“Economic systems are like ecosystems. And so, to say that America is capitalist isn’t quite accurate. Instead, argues Erik Olin Wright, it is more precise to say that America has an economic system in which the capitalist mode of production is the dominant species. Yet other species exist. Public libraries and co-ops, for example, are socialist in nature.” – Review of Erik Olin Wright’s How to Be an Anti-capitalist in the Twenty-First Century

The Great Transformation — 75 Years Later

“Karl Polanyi’s masterpiece The Great Transformation was written during the Second World War and published in 1944, but the relevance and importance of this preeminent book has continued to grow. 75 year later, The Great Transformation — an admirable treatise debunking the false creed of economic determinism and market fundamentalism, and elaborating on their hazardous ramifications — remains fresh and enlightening, and it is indispensable for understanding the current phenomena of our turbulent time.”

The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics and the Future of Work

“In The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics and the Future of Work, Richard Baldwin provides a new analysis of how automation and globalisation could together shape our societies in the years to come. Drawing on numerous examples to keep readers engaged from cover to cover, this book is a tour de force, writes Wannaphong Durongkaveroj, discussing the past, present and future of globalisation and automation and their implications on the way we work.”

Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events

“In Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events, Robert J. Shiller argues for the significance of narrative when it comes to understanding the drivers of economic events, arguing that contagious narratives not only play a causal role in their unfolding but also that such events transform our narratives. The book raises important issues, writes David Tuckett, yet the notion that individuals ‘catch’ narratives that go viral risks obscuring the more fundamental sense in which narrative imaginaries and fictional expectations shape how economic agents plan their futures.”

How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millenials’ Economic Future

“In The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future, Joseph C. Sternberg argues that the predicament facing Millennials today – including job precarity and difficulties entering the housing market – is not of their own doing, but rather the outcome of poor policy decisions taken by the Baby Boomer generation that have only been exacerbated by the 2008 financial crisis. Sternberg weaves a compelling and rich tapestry of historical context, political decision-making and economic examples to explain the Millennial experience and to appeal to the Baby Boomer generation to recognise the consequences of their mistakes, writes Sumaiya Rahman.”

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