200 years after it was written, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations is still debated by governments internationally. Smith argued that 'mercantilism'-the theory that the national economy exists solely to strengthen the government, thus the government should regulate the economy-was wrong.
One of the most reprinted articles in the history of the Harvard Business Review, "The Core Competence of the Corporation" challenged and redefined traditional concepts of management strategy in an increasingly global and competitive market. Prahalad and Hamel base their 1990 argument on a comparison of case studies.
Structural Anthropology (1958) not only transformed the discipline of anthropology, it also energized a movement called structuralism that came to dominate the humanities and social sciences for a generation. Linguistic structuralism studies the meaning of language beyond definitions, looking at the relationships of words and sounds to each other.
Managing change in a rapidly shifting economy and an era of increased globalization requires strong leadership-and a practical step-by-step approach. Distilling wisdom from years of coaching organizations, Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School, identifies eight common mistakes that managers make when implementing change.
Focusing on the differences he observed in economic behavior between Catholics and Protestants, Weber's seminal 1905 work examines the role that morality plays in the lives people choose to lead seeking to isolate beliefs and practices that influenced economic behaviour.
Up to the mid 20th century, generations of anthropologists had imported their own value systems into their work, regardless of where they were studying. Indigenous cultures were almost always judged to fall short in some manner - offering justification for colonization in the name of 'civilizing natives.'
Ernest Gellner - a Jew who escaped from Czechoslovakia in 1939 after Hitler invaded - knew first-hand the catastrophic effects of excessive nationalism, and he was determined to understand the phenomenon that had shaped so much of 20th century history.
Modernity at Large is an edited collection of the essays that made Appadurai an influential figure in cultural anthropology. Collectively, these not only present a theory of globalization, but also suggest ways that other researchers can follow up on the author's ideas.
How does a state control its citizens? Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish answers this question by investigating the prison system. Foucault argues that prison created and merged into a wider system of surveillance that extends throughout society.
Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (1944) analyzes the ways in which excessive government planning can erode democracy. The work draws influential parallels between the totalitarianism of both left and right, questioning the central government control exerted by Western democracies.
Albert Hourani's A History of the Arab Peoples is unsurpassed as an overview of Arab history from the rise of Islam to the late twentieth century. Going far beyond political history, it provides a deep analysis of social, cultural and economic structures.
In his best selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, economist Thomas Piketty argues that capitalism has no tendency towards a fair distribution of wealth taking issue with the idea that inequality declines as capitalism matures.
Classical economics suggests that market economies are self-correcting in times of recession or depression, and tend toward full employment and output. But English economist John Maynard Keynes disagrees. In his ground-breaking 1936 study The General Theory, Keynes argues that traditional economics has misunderstood the causes of unemployment.
Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer, Guns, Germs, and Steel attempts to answer why human history unfolded differently on different continents. Drawing on evidence from a diverse range of disciplines, Diamond argues that the varying rates of human development over the past 13,000 years have had little to do with genetic superiority.
Dikotter's 2010 masterpiece catalogues the tragedy and the cover-up of the hideous famine caused by the Great Leap Forward-Mao Zedong's disastrous attempt to jumpstart industrialization in China in the late 1950s.
When Manias, Panics, and Crashes was published (1978), the world was entering a new period of global economic turbulence. Economists based their analyses on the assumption that investors act rationally and often communicated their ideas with dry, technical language.
Douglas McGregor's 1960 book is a vital study of the conditions that make employment satisfying and meaningful. Traditionally, managers assumed people were lazy and would not work unless strictly controlled. McGregor believed this was a faulty view of human nature.
Considered his most important work, Mahbub ul Haq's Reflections on Human Development appeared at the end of his career in international development, and consolidates his revolutionary contribution to the discipline.
Born in 1858, Franz Boas permanently changed the standards and practices of anthropology. His 1940 work Race, Language and Culture brings together a half-century's worth of ground-breaking scholarship in one volume.
Hamid Dabashi suggests that the Iranian Revolution of 1978-9 would not have taken place had it not been for the influential ideas set out by eight Iranian Islamic thinkers in the decades before it occurred.
Before Browning's 1992 book, most Holocaust scholarship focused either on the experience of the victims or on the Nazi political ideology driving the slaughter. He in stead investigates the men who carried out acts of extreme violence. Who were they? How could they end up committing such unspeakable acts?
Because the potential returns appear to be greater in poorer countries than in the developed world, modern economic theory implies that rich countries should continually invest in poor countries until returns balance out.
Based on 20 months of fieldwork among the Azande people of South Sudan, Evans-Pritchard's work became the founding text in the anthropology of witchcraft. Although the book had little impact when it first appeared in 1937, its popularity grew after World War II and its influence on anthropology is still strong nearly 80 years later.
In this original and controversial 2005 book, Mahmood argues that Muslim women can show independence even while assuming traditional Islamic roles. Her research suggests that, in choosing to embrace the norms of their faith, these pious Muslims are not limiting, but rather affirming, themselves.
First published in 1980, The 'Hitler Myth' is recognized as one of the most important books yet written about Adolf Hitler and the Nazi State. Focusing on what he called the 'history of everyday life,' Kershaw investigated the attitude of the German people toward Hitler.
In The Gift (1925), Marcel Mauss elevates a simple gift from the status of innocent object to something that has the capacity to motivate people and define social relationships. The Gift analyzes cultures across the world and across time, examining the ways gifts are given and received.
In His book Gender and the Politics of History (1998), Scott draws attention to the fact that despite gender equality's long-term recognition there has been no genuinely revolutionary change unlike economic, social, and class inequalities.
Published in 1776, when America was teetering on the brink of war with Britain, Common Sense galvanized the colonists and George Washington's army, influencing not only the course of the Revolutionary War, but also the resultant government.
In Citizen and Subject, Mahmood Mamdani challenges dominant views of the crisis of postcolonial Africa, particularly that the problems the continent faces are home grown. Citizen and Subject insists that the current crisis is the institutional legacy of colonialism.
In their 1990 work, Gottfredson and Hirschi introduce a new and comprehensive theory of crime. At the time, crime researchers tended to focus on environmental factors that led to crime, not on the criminals themselves, and were inclined to think about crime only from their particular academic perspective.
Postmodernist thinkers consider history to be not very far removed from a work of fiction, something dependent on historians' own interpretations of the past. Evans, however, argues that we can trust history and it is possible to be objective about what happened and what caused it to happen.
Elizabeth Loftus' 1979 work explains why people sometimes remember events inaccurately and how this simple fact has a profound impact on the criminal justice system, especially given the value placed on eyewitness accounts. Although, as these are based on memories that are not always reliable.
Born in 1961, US anthropologist and activist David Graeber was weaned on leftist politics, and declared himself an anarchist at age 16. He became an anthropology professor, and his early cultural research in Madagascar exposed him to poverty that he saw as caused by pressures to repay excessive government debt.
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.
Morgenthau's classic text, published in 1948, not only introduced the concept of political realism, but also established it as the dominant approach in international relations and the guiding philosophy of US foreign policy during the Cold War. Politics Among Nations begins with a discussion of the principles that guide political realism.