The United States has the world's largest prison population, with more than two million behind bars. Alexander says this is mainly due to America's 'war on drugs,' launched in 1982. In The New Jim Crow, she explains how this government initiative has led to America's black citizens being imprisoned on a colossal scale.
Ever since the nineteenth century, people have claimed that the prosperity enjoyed by the First World was the result of its devotion to unconstrained economic freedoms. Chang claims that, in fact, First World success was due to exactly the kinds of state intervention that traditional economic thinking consistently opposes today.
Published in 2010, Bloodlands argues that accounts of World War II have paid too much attention to the atrocities of Adolf Hitler, and not enough to Joseph Stalin's. Snyder believes a definitive history of the period must depict the suffering of all of the conflict's victims.
Like Foucault's earlier works, The History of Sexuality (1976) is ground-breaking and controversial. His claim that sexuality is more a social concept than the product of biological instincts challenges the accepted idea that it was the rise of modernity and capitalism that resulted in repression of sexualities.
Sen's 1997 work argues that the success or failure of international development cannot be measured by income alone. Having grown up in India, Sen brings his own understanding of poverty to the issue, arguing that the end goal of development must be human freedom.
Originally published in 1866, Civil Disobedience asks when - and in what circumstances - an individual should actively oppose government and its justice system. Thoreau's argument is that opposition is legitimate whenever government actions or institutions are unacceptable to an individual's conscience.
Theory of International Politics created a "scientific revolution" in international relations, starting two major debates. It defined the 1980s controversy between the 'neorealists,' who believed that competition between states was inevitable, and the 'neoliberals,' who believed that states could co-operate.