New books

You can find the complete list of new acquisitions on the New books page. The list includes all English-language books bought by the Library in the last two month (and published in the last five years), the books are grouped according to theme and title.

Here you can read selected book recommendations from the list of the new books.

Creating capabilities: The human development approach

Creating capabilitiesCreating capabilities: The human development approach / Martha C. Nussbaum
Cambridge, US: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2011. 237 p.

If a country’s Gross Domestic Product increases each year, but so does the percentage of its people deprived of basic education, health care, and other opportunities, is that country really making progress? If we rely on conventional economic indicators, can we ever grasp how the world’s billions of individuals are really managing?
In this powerful critique, Martha Nussbaum argues that our dominant theories of development have given us policies that ignore our most basic human needs for dignity and self-respect. For the past twenty-five years, Nussbaum has been working on an alternate model to assess human development: the Capabilities Approach. She and her colleagues begin with the simplest of questions: What is each person actually able to do and to be? What real opportunities are available to them?
The Capabilities Approach to human progress has until now been expounded only in specialized works. Creating Capabilities, however, affords anyone interested in issues of human development a wonderfully lucid account of the structure and practical implications of an alternate model. It demonstrates a path to justice for both humans and nonhumans, weighs its relevance against other philosophical stances, and reveals the value of its universal guidelines even as it acknowledges cultural difference. In our era of unjustifiable inequity, Nussbaum shows how—by attending to the narratives of individuals and grasping the daily impact of policy—we can enable people everywhere to live full and creative lives.


A primer for unit root testing

A primer for unit root testingA primer for unit root testing / Kerry Patterson
Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, 2010, 277 p.

This book provides an introduction to the technical background of unit root testing, one of the most heavily researched areas in econometrics over the last twenty years. Starting from an elementary understanding of probability and time series, it develops the key concepts necessary to understand the structure of random walks and brownian motion, and their role in tests for a unit root.


Regulation versus litigation

Regulation versus litigationRegulation versus litigation: Perspectives from economics and law / Daniel P. Kessler
Univ. of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2011. 332 p.

The efficacy of various political institutions is the subject of intense debate between proponents of broad legislative standards enforced through litigation and those who prefer regulation by administrative agencies. This book explores the trade-offs between litigation and regulation, the circumstances in which one approach may outperform the other, and the principles that affect the choice between addressing particular economic activities with one system or the other. Combining theoretical analysis with empirical investigation in a range of industries, including public health, financial markets, medical care, and workplace safety, Regulation versus Litigation sheds light on the costs and benefits of two important instruments of economic policy.


Beyond the invisible hand

What money can't buyBeyond the invisible hand / Kaushik Basu
Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press: 2011. 273 p.

One of the central tenets of mainstream economics is Adam Smith's proposition that, given certain conditions, self-interested behavior by individuals leads them to the social good, almost as if orchestrated by an invisible hand. This deep insight has, over the past two centuries, been taken out of context, contorted, and used as the cornerstone of free-market orthodoxy. In Beyond the Invisible Hand, Kaushik Basu argues that mainstream economics and its conservative popularizers have misrepresented Smith's insight and hampered our understanding of how economies function, why some economies fail and some succeed, and what the nature and role of state intervention might be. Comparing this view of the invisible hand with the vision described by Kafka - in which individuals pursuing their atomistic interests, devoid of moral compunction, end up creating a world that is mean and miserable - Basu argues for collective action and the need to shift our focus from the efficient society to one that is also fair.
Using analytic tools from mainstream economics, the book challenges some of the precepts and propositions of mainstream economics. It maintains that, by ignoring the role of culture and custom, traditional economics promotes the view that the current system is the only viable one, thereby serving the interests of those who do well by this system. Beyond the Invisible Hand challenges readers to fundamentally rethink the assumptions underlying modern economic thought and proves that a more equitable society is both possible and sustainable, and hence worth striving for.
By scrutinizing Adam Smith's theory, this impassioned critique of contemporary mainstream economics debunks traditional beliefs regarding best economic practices, self-interest, and the social good.


Iron curtain: The crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56

Iron curtain Iron curtain : The crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56 / Ann Applebaum
London, Lane, 2012 613 p.

Once the Nazis were defeated in 1945, the people of Central and Eastern Europe expected to recover the lives they had led before 1939. Instead, they found themselves subjected to a tyranny that was in many ways as inhuman as the one which they had just escaped. This book explains how Communism was imposed on these previously free societies in the decade after the end of the Second World War. Applebaum describes, in calm but devastating detail, how political parties, the church, the media, young people's organisations - the institutions of civil society on every level - were all quickly eviscerated. Ranging widely across new archival material and many sources unknown in English, she follows the communists' tactics as they bullied, threatened and murdered their way to power. She also chronicles individual lives to show the rapid choices people had to make - to fight, to flee, or to collaborate.

Within a remarkably short period after the end of the war, Eastern Europe had been ruthlessly Stalinised. Iron Curtain is a brilliant history of a brutal period in European history, but also a reminder of how fragile free societies are, and how vulnerable they can be to the predations of determined and unscrupulous enemies.


How much is enough? : Money and the good life

What money can't buyHow much is enough? : Money and the good life / Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky
New York, Other Press, 2012. 243 p.

What constitutes the good life? What is the true value of money? Why do we work such long hours merely to acquire greater wealth? These are some of the questions that many asked themselves when the financial system crashed in 2008. This book tackles such questions head-on. The authors begin with the great economist John Maynard Keynes. In 1930 Keynes predicted that, within a century, per capita income would steadily rise, people’s basic needs would be met, and no one would have to work more than fifteen hours a week. The Skidelskys explain why Keynes was mistaken. Then, arguing from the premise that economics is a moral science, they trace the concept of the good life from Aristotle to the present and show how our lives over the last half century have strayed from that ideal. Finally, they issue a call to think anew about what really matters in our lives and how to attain it.


China – EU Cooperation for a Sustainable Economy

What money can't buyChina – EU Cooperation for a Sustainable Economy / Szilárd Podruzsik, Sándor Kerekes

Aula Press, BCE : Budapest,  2012, 307 p.

Scientifists and politicians awarded the Nobel prize have been searching for a way to escape from the recession; and there are numerous pieces of advice available, though experience proves that nations who might benefit most in a recession are ones who are able to increase their expenditure on research & development and education despite a declining GDP. With this in mind, the European Union set up a new tagern in Lisbon in 2000, one aiming to make Europe the „most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world”. It is now 2012, and the Lisbon targets had not been met by 2010 – yet Europe is still making effort, and has not given up the original objectives as laid down in the Lisbon strategy.
The scientific community has been largely concerned with information deriving from the so-called BRIC countries. China has been given special attention worldwide. In the last decade, exciting developments are to be associated with China – and, nowadays, increasingly with India.


The Europe of elites: A study into the europeanness of Europe's political and economic elites

What money can't buyThe Europe of elites: A study into the europeanness of Europe's political and economic elites / Heinrich Best, György Lengyel and Luca Verzichelli

Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press, 2012. 293 p.

It has been widely acknowledged that the process of European integration and unification was started and is still pursued as an elite project, designed to put an end to debilitating conflicts and rivalries by consolidating a common power base and by pooling Europe's economic resources.  Based on surveys of political and economic elites in 18 European countries, it is a comprehensive study of the visions, fears, cognitions and values of members of national parliaments and top business leaders underlying their attitudes towards European integration. It also investigates political and economic elites' embeddedness in transnational networks and their ability to communicate in multicultural settings. The book strongly supports the view of an elitist character of the process of European integration on the one hand, while challenging the idea that European national elites have merged or are even merging into a coherent Eurelite on the other.



What money can't buyCulturematic / Grant McCracken

Boston, US: Harvard Business Review Press, 2012. 291 p.

A Culturematic is a little machine for making culture. It’s an ingenuity engine. the Culturematic acts as a probe into the often-alien world of contemporary culture, to test the atmosphere, to see what life it can sustain, to see who responds and how.. This is evolutionary strategy, iterative innovation, and rapid prototyping all at once. Culturematics are fast, cheap, and out of control.. They are the perfect antidote to a world where we cannot guess what’s coming next. In Culturematic, anthropologist Grant McCracken describes these little machines and helps the reader master them. This book will inspire new innovation and creativity.


What money can't buy: The moral limits of markets

What money can't buy

What money can't buy: The moral limits of markets / Michael J. Sandel
New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2012, 244 p.
ISBN: 978 0 374 20303 0

In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. We have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. Is this where we want to be?
What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society—and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets don’t honor and that money can’t buy?