Pluto is proud to present some outstanding new titles for March. With the imposition of neo-liberal austerity economics by governments and the historic uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, 2011 is shaping up to be a tumultuous year. We hope that these books will help meet the need for informed, critical analysis of the key global issues of our time, challenging dominant ideas and orthodoxies.
Decent Capitalism: A Blueprint for Reforming our Economies, by Sebastian Dullien, Hansjörg Herr and Christian Kellermann
Three of Europe’s pre-eminent economists offer a detailed alternative to neo-liberal austerity economic policies. The authors outline a real, achievable strategy to deliver greater social justice and economic stability in the here and now.
A Blueprint for Reforming our Economies
Sebastian Dullien, Hansjörg Herr and Christian Kellermann
“The authors present a highly stimulating and thoughtful proposal on how to stabilise the world economy and how to make financial crises less likely and less lethal in the future. It is comforting to see such a constructive contribution to this debate coming from Europe.” – Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, New York University
“An important contribution to the post-crisis economic literature which offers sensible, practical and distinctly non-utopian policy options. Whatever policy agenda is likely to emerge from the current financial mess, I would bet it will be based on the principles outlined in this book.” – Wolfgang Münchau, associate editor of the Financial Times
People Without History: India’s Muslim Ghettos, by Jeremy Seabrook and Imran Ahmed Siddiqui
Between them Jeremy Seabrook and Imran Ahmed Siddiqui have an intimate knowledge of India’s marginalised and oppressed Muslim communities. This book gives expression to the lives, experiences, hopes and fears of India’s ‘unpeople’.
India’s Muslim Ghettos
Jeremy Seabrook and Imran Ahmed Siddiqui
An elegantly written study of Muslims living in the Indian Ghetto of Kolkata, showing that religious radicalisation does not closely follow poverty.
“In the poor Muslim bustis of Kolkata, where ‘India Shining’ remains a cruel mirage, and ‘Communism’ equals urban renewal, Seabrook and Siddiqui chronicle dreams betrayed by history. In the most profound sense, this book is a voyage of solidarity that tells truth to the lies of globalization and Islamophobia.” – Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums
Islamic Activists: The Anti-Enlightenment Democrats, by Deina Ali Abdelkader
As people across the Middle East and North Africa rise up to demand democracy, this is a timely exploration of how the concept of democracy has been an integral part of Islamic thought for many years. At a time when western commentary often portrays Islam as a threat to democracy, this is a vital corrective.
The Anti-Enlightenment Democrats
Deina Ali Abdelkader
A thorough explanation of Islamic scholarship on democracy, which shows that enlightenment values are not essential to democratic societies.
Inventing Africa: History, Archaeology and Ideas, by Robin Derricourt
African has long been subject to misrepresentations and simplifications, be it from colonial supporters, scholars and researchers, to well meaning NGOs. Robin Derrincourt challenges the various grand narrative claims over Africa’s history.
History, Archaeology and Ideas
A critical account of how the history of Africa has been understood, interpreted and misinterpreted from the 19th century to today.
“Derricourt explores the use and misuse of Africa’s past, everything from Basil Davidson and Raymond Dart to Afro-centrism and beyond, in an articulate and intelligent analysis that places generations of research and thinking in a broader context. Inventing Africa is certain to become a definitive and widely consulted work for anyone seriously interested in Africa’s past.” – Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara
“Robin Derricourt has written a lively and engaging book that addresses a largely overlooked issue, how have Western appreciations and conceptualisations of the African continent changed through time. With the African past still comparatively little known, or known to Western audiences, this timely work makes a significant contribution to the history of southern and south-central Africa” – Peter Mitchell FSA, Professor of African Archaeology at the University of Oxford
The Critical Development Studies Handbook: Tools for Change, edited by Henry Veltmeyer
This will be a vital resource for students, academics, researchers, and activists in field of development studies. With chapters from a variety of specialists, it provides a comprehensive overview of the new school of critical development studies which focuses on the need for development policies which produce sustainable, long term progress.
Tools for Change
Edited by Henry Veltmeyer
“Tools for Change is an extraordinary achievement: there is simply nothing like it on the market, in terms of the scope, depth, and the quality and consistency of the contributions included in this book. This is as close to a critical or heterodox textbook in development studies as we are ever likely to get.” – Professor Alfredo Saad-Filho, Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London
“An excellent reference manual in development studies for students, faculty, and practitioners of development matters.” – Berch Berberoglu, Foundation Professor of Sociology, Director of Graduate Studies, and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The Politics of Change in Palestine: State-Building and Non-Violent Resistance, by Michael Bröning
Looks at recent developments on the ground in Palestine which show the emergence of institutions which can become a serious basis for a Palestinian state and a commitment to non-violent methods of resistance. Broning shows that the Palestinians are ready for peace and a just, comprehensive settlement, and that the key barrier remains Israeli intransigence.
State-Building and Non-Violent Resistance
“Bröning’s lucid text on Palestinian affairs within the context of the continuing Israeli occupation is timely and immensely needed. This book is a must-read for those who want to comprehend the Israeli/Palestinian elephant in its totality, rather than be misled by a blind grasp of just the trunk, an ear, or the tail.” – Khaled Hroub, University of Cambridge
“Michael Bröning provides a much-needed antidote to mainstream writing. He methodically sketches the arc of the Palestinian national movement in the Occupied Territories as it transforms itself from Fatah’s secular nationalist approach to Hamas’s Islamist nationalism. This is a highly valuable book that no student of Palestinian history or the Arab-Israeli conflict can afford to ignore.” – Joost R. Hiltermann, Deputy Program Director Middle East and North Africa, International Crisis Group, Washington DC
Reclaiming the Nation: The Return of the National Question in Africa, Asia and Latin America, edited by Sam Moyo and Paris Yeros
This collection brings together an impressive array of scholars and activists to consider and compare the trajectories of states and societies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Running through the contributions is the question of the state of national sovereignty today and what this means for popular movements seeking change.
The Return of the National Question in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Edited by Sam Moyo and Paris Yeros
Compares the trajectories of states and societies in Africa, Asia and Latin America under neoliberalism.
“This book is about the new nationalist resurgence [against neo-liberalism]. It is the work of a committed and engaged scholarship, one which does not pretend to be neutral in the struggle between imperialism and the working people. It is most welcome and should be read by our scholars and activists of the tri-continent.” – Professor Issa Shivji, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
“This collaborative approach to revisiting the national question in the South has assembled a stellar group of scholars working and studying in Africa, Asia and Latin America… This book provides essential clues to understand the present nature of the state in the periphery and to re-connect the South through all its dimensions. “ – Professor Gladys Lechini, National University of Rosario, Argentina