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Subject: Human Geography

New Perspectives on African Childhood

Constructions, Histories, Representations and Understandings

Edited by De-Valera NYM Botchway, University of Cape Coast, Ghana et al.

January 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-534-1
Availability: In stock
278pp. ¦ $53 £40 €45

What does it mean to be a child in Africa? In the detached Western media, narratives of penury, wickedness and death have dominated portrayals of African childhood. The hegemonic lens of the West has failed to take into account the intricacies of not only what it means to be an African child in local and culturally specific contexts, but also African childhood in general. Challenging colonial discourses, this edited volume guides the reader through different comprehensions and perspectives of childhood in Africa. Using a blend of theory, empiricism and history, the contributors to this volume offer studies from a range of fields including African literature, Afro-centric psychology and sociology. Importantly, in its eclectic geographical coverage of Africa, this book unashamedly presents the good, the bad and the ugly of African childhood. The resilience, creativity, pains and triumphs of African childhood are skilfully woven together to present the myriad of lived experiences and aspirations of children from across Africa. As an important contribution to African childhood studies, this book has the potential to be used by policymakers to shape, sustain or change socio-cultural, economic and education systems that accommodate African childhood dynamics and experiences at different levels.

Messy Ethnographies in Action

Edited by Alexandra Plows, Bangor University

May 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-329-3
Availability: In stock
216pp. ¦ $59 £43 €48

This edited collection of chapters showcases original and interdisciplinary ethnographic fieldwork in a range of international settings; including studies of underground pub life in North East England; Finnish hotels; and bio-scientific institutions in the Amazonian rainforest. Informed by John Law’s concept of ethnographic “mess,” this book makes a unique, empirically-informed, contribution to an understanding of the social construction of knowledge and the role that ethnography can and does play (Law, 2004). It provides a range of colourful snapshots from the field, showing how different researchers from multiple research environments and disciplines are negotiating the practicalities, and epistemological and ethical implications, of “messy” ethnographic practice as a means of researching “messy” social realities. Law notes that “social…science investigations interfere with the world…things change as a result. The issue, then, is not to seek disengagement but rather with how to engage” (ibid p14). Drawing on their own situated experiences, the book’s contributors address the “messy” implications of this and also explore the (equally messy) issue of why engage. They reflect on the process of undertaking research, and their role in the research process as they negotiate their own position in the field. What is ethnography “for”? What impact should, or do, we have in the field and after we leave the research site? What about unintended consequences? When (if ever) are we “off duty?” What does “informed consent” mean in a constantly shifting, dynamic ethnographic context? Is ethnography by its very nature a form of “action research?” By providing a wide range of situated explorations of “messy ethnographies,” the book presents a unique, hands-on guide to the challenges of negotiating ethnography in practice, which will be of use to all researchers and practitioners who use ethnography as a method.

Networks of International Trade and Investment

Understanding globalisation through the lens of network analysis

Edited by Sara Gorgoni, University of Greenwich et al.

June 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-065-0
Availability: In stock
344pp. ¦ $68 £48 €55

In recent decades, the international economy has witnessed fundamental changes in the way manufacturing is organised: products are no longer manufactured in their entirety in a single location. Instead, the production process is often split across a number of stages located in countries that are frequently far apart from each other. By spreading out their manufacturing and supply chain activities globally through international investment and intra-firm trade, Multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a focal role in this reorganisation of production. Our ability to understand the global economy, therefore, requires an understanding of the interdependencies between the entities involved in such fragmented production. Traditional methods and statistical approaches are insufficient to address this challenge. Instead, an approach is required that allows us to account for these interdependencies. The most promising approach so far is network analysis. ‘Networks of International Trade and Investment’ makes a case for the use of network analysis alongside existing techniques in order to investigate pressing issues in international business and economics. The authors put forward a range of well-informed studies that examine compelling topics such as the role of emerging economies in global trade and the evolution of world trade patterns. They look at how network analysis, as both an approach and a methodology, can explain international business and economics phenomena, in particular, in relation to international trade and investment. Providing a comprehensive but accessible explanation of the applications of network analysis and some of the most recent methodological advances in its field, this edited volume is an important contribution to research in international trade and investment.

Titans of the Forests

The Economic Evolution of the Human Species and that of Our Cultures

Gregory V. Short

July 2015 / ISBN: 9781622730278
Availability: In stock
189pp. ¦ $45 £32 €38

Instead of dwelling on the biological, physiological, or even the genetic aspects of our evolution, “Titans of the Forests” takes a completely different approach, which could be referred to as the unchartered and neglected field of macroevolution. Uniquely captivating, controversial, and very readable, it is the author’s contention that we as a species were continuously forced to change our way of obtaining nourishment, or rather our various economies, in order to adapt to the ever-changing world. And as a result of this economic adaptation, our species would then and only then begin to slowly change into the modern humans of today. For much too long, the world’s scientific community has directed the discussion of our incredible evolution. As a matter of fact, our species’ biological, physiological, psychological, and cultural evolution has been instigated, propelled, and shaped by our economic adaptation to a fluctuating environment. In a very real sense, the scientists are so far into the trees that they have actually ignored the forest. Consequently, we teach human evolution as a hodgepodge of different theories within the realm of microevolution, thus failing to understand or even to recognize the economic thread that binds them altogether. By integrating the timeline of our prehistoric past with that of our earliest known economies (food gathering, scavenging, and nomadism), the author was able to synthesize a sequence of events that illustrates the economic basis of our remarkable ascension and the beginnings of our present day institutions. He not only reveals the genesis behind the cultural forces that exist within every human society, but for the first time, he has created a systematic and holistic approach in explaining the “how” and the “why” we have economically, physiologically, and then culturally evolved. For unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, we have possessed the extraordinary ability to change our economy, which has made us an extremely adaptable species.

The Knowledge Plexus

A Systemic View on the Economic Geography of Technological Knowledge

George Chorafakis, University of Barcelona, Spain

March 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-622-73-006-3
Availability: In stock
391pp. ¦ $60 £45 €55

This book is a collection of 5 essays on the economic geography of technological knowledge. Their common threads are: (i) the quest for a new paradigm in economic geography, termed ‘systemic’, as an alternative to the neoclassical, based on the epistemological premise of emergence and the theories of evolution and complexity; and (ii) the intent to explain the process of technological knowledge production as a systemic phenomenon occurring in relational space subject to emergence and co-evolutionary dynamics. In this theoretical framework, the author analyses various European knowledge networks, and examines their effects on the production of technological knowledge as sources of relational cognitive capital and economies of complexity. He then poses a number of questions on the direction and instrumentalities of the European research, technological development and innovation policies, and in particular on the issues of cohesion and dynamic efficiency of the European research system.

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