Tax revenues pay for many public services, including roads, health care, and education. However, it has become a contentious political issue of public debate. In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen Smith explains its history and its main principles; arguing that we'd all benefit from an understanding of the role of taxation in society.
The issues of microeconomics - including individuals' financial choices and firms' decisions about hiring and firing - have a large impact on the economic world, arguably as much, if not more than, macroeconomics. In this Very Short Introduction Avinash Dixit clearly explains what microeconomics is by using examples from around the world.
In this Very Short Introduction Ian Walmsley introduces the physics of light. Beginning with the earliest conceptions of the nature of light he traces the growth of our understanding, through competing particle and wave theories to wave-particle duality and quantum theory, and the latest exciting applications such as optoelectronics.
Why do we need sleep? What happens when we don't get enough? From the biology and psychology of sleep and the history of sleep in science, art, and literature; to the impact of a 24/7 society and the role of society in causing sleep disruption, this Very Short Introduction answers everything you've ever wanted to know about sleep.
Magic continues to be an enduring topic of fascination, managing to pervade the popular imagination. In this Very Short Introduction Owen Davies explores the definitions and practice of magic over the millennia; highlighting the controversy, conflict, and debate it has caused.
Environmental politics is an established part of the political landscape, covering a host of different issues and impacting society, businesses, and individuals. Andrew Dobson explores the various actions, ideas, and dimensions that shape environmental politics - both on a local and global scale - and considers the role it will play in our future.
In this updated Very Short Introduction to British Politics, Tony Wright adds a wealth of new information to highlight the important changes affecting the British political system; including the impact of the fall of New Labour and the rise of the coalition government, the financial crisis, parliamentary scandal, terrorism, and immigration.
Are we born with our fears or do we learn them? Why do our fears persist? What purpose does anxiety serve? In this Very Short Introduction we discover what anxiety is, what causes it, and how it can be treated. Looking at six major anxiety disorders, the authors introduce us to this most ubiquitous and essential of emotions.
This Very Short Introduction to hermeneutics demonstrates the central role of interpretation in our daily lives. By considering the historic developments in hermeneutic theory as well as its contemporary relevance, Zimmermann explains how humans continue to draw knowledge from the world around them.
In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Land introduces all aspects of the eye and vision in both human and animals. He looks at the features of the human eye and retina, explores the evolution of eyes, and considers aspects of visual perception, including eye movements, vision in three dimensions, colour vision, and visual recognition.
In the new edition of this lively and accessible Very Short Introduction to Buddhism, Damien Keown looks at all the distinctive features of the major world faith; examining the development of Buddhist thought over the centuries, its impact on daily life in contemporary society, and the spread of Buddhism throughout the world.
Human beings naturally desire knowledge. But what is knowledge? Is it the same as having an opinion? Highlighting the major developments in the theory of knowledge from Ancient Greece to the present day, Jennifer Nagel uses a number of simple everyday examples to explore the key themes and current debates of epistemology.
Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant forms, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand its nature. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction, offers essential insights into the big issues, provides fresh perspectives on contemporary questions, and guides us through the complex debates.
Hormones are vital to the workings of the body, and while many people are aware of what hormones do, few have an appreciation of the nature and importance of the endocrine system. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Luck explains what hormones are, what they do, where they come from, and how they work.
What is a family? What makes someone a parent? What rights should children have? In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Herring provides an insight not only into what the law is, but why it is the way it is. It also looks at the future to consider what families will look like in the years ahead, and what new dilemmas the courts may face.