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Change and the politics of certainty

by Jenny Edkins Manchester University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 256 pages
AU$62.00 NZ$64.35
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Despite the imperative for change in a world of persistent inequality, racism and violence, difficulties arise once we try to bring it about. We may want to change the world, but we are not separate, looking in, but rather part of the world. We cannot be certain what impact our actions will have. What are we to do, if this is the case? Chapters scrutinise the role of intellectuals, experts and activists in famine aid, the Iraq war, humanitarianism, memory, enforced disappearance, and Grenfell. Plays and films are considered, and autobiographical accounts probe the author's background. The book is essential reading for all who strive for a better world. It will be of particular interest to students embarking on the study of politics, international politics and the social sciences more broadly, as well as new and established academics and researchers.

1. Objects among objects
2. Intellectuals as experts
3. The final core of uncertainty
4. Humanitarianism, humanity, human
5. Memory and the future
6. Loss of a loss
7. Tracing disappearance
8. Stardust
9. Grenfell Tower fire
10. From one world to another

'Only Jenny Edkins has the breadth of curiosity and knowledge to reveal relationships between the post-disaster politics of the Grenfell fire and the international responses to famine. This is a book for our times.'

Cynthia Enloe, author of The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging Persistent Patriarchy

'Jenny Edkins takes us on a transformative journey into the subtleties of a politics without certainty. Powered by a quiet anger at the injustices of this world, her essays artfully resurrect modes of life that would "otherwise vanish without a trace." This book exemplifies what it means to slowly, hopefully, on day-to-day terms, undo a patently colonial world.'

Himadeep Muppidi, Betty G.C. Cartwright Professor of Political Science & International Studies, Vassar College

'In this carefully written book Edkins draws together strands of inquiry across her career to expose the ethical tensions of pursuing justice on behalf of a universalised, unprovincialised subject -- the "We". Traversing multiple topics and various scales of analysis, Edkins argument provokes intimate and difficult questions for the academic committed to studying political change.'

Robbie Shilliam, Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins University
Jenny Edkins is Professor of Politics at The University of Manchester