NEW BOOKS: Social Policy Library

June 2017 

Bergen, D. and M. Woodin (2017). Brain research and childhood education: implications for educators, parents, and society. New York, Routledge.Book cover: Brain research and childhood education
Brain Research and Childhood Education provides teacher educators, education students (both in regular and special education programs), school psychologists, practicing teachers, and school leaders with a brief, readable distillation of the most up-to-date research on brain development and how it relates to optimum teaching practice in childhood and adolescence. This accessible reference uses cases to further illustrate how studies on brain development and various learning processes have implications for educators and psychologists as they strive to enhance children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and academic learning opportunities

Healthy ageing and aged care


Bernoth, M. and D. Winker (2017). Healthy ageing and aged care. South Melbourne, Victoria, Oxford University Press.

This is a book about life – the continuum of life, the impact of choices made throughout life, changes that happen during our lives and a celebration of lives lived! At the very heart of the book is the people who are living, who have lived their lives and are generously sharing their experiences with you – people who are ageing, people who make up families and communities and people who are health professionals, especially registered nurses, who work with and provide support for individuals, families and communities to ensure the best possible outcomes. Healthy Ageing and Aged Care takes an inter-disciplinary approach to supporting older people within the community and in care. It represents current Australian and New Zealand policies and practices and takes a holistic view of the older person, and emphasises the positive aspects of the ageing process, maintaining that people age in healthy ways and continue to be an integral part of their families and communities. The goal is for you to be able to develop those skills by engaging with the material in this book. They enhance the learning experience for the student audience by providing an opportunity to see the complexities and idiosyncrasies of situations relevant to older people and their carers.

Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee SystemBetts, A. and P. Collier (2017). Refuge: transforming a broken refugee system. London, Allen Lane.
Betts and Collier offer innovative insights into how to more effectively meet this challenge, with an important new focus on international solidarity and refugee empowerment Kofi Annan Refugees and policy makers need practical answers to what is now a global crisis. This valuable book represents the kind of can-do thinking that we need to see David Miliband An eye-opening account of the migrant crisis which shows why our global refugee regime is broken and how it can be fixed Europe is facing its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, yet the institutions responding to it remain virtually unchanged from those created in the post-war era. As neighbouring countries continue to bear the brunt of the Syrian catastrophe, European governments have enacted a series of ill-considered gestures, from shutting their borders to welcoming refugees without a plan for their safe passage or integration upon arrival. With a deepening crisis and a xenophobic backlash in Europe, it is time for a new vision for refuge. Going beyond the scenes of desperation which have become all-too-familiar in the past few years, Alexander Betts and Paul Collier show that this crisis offers an opportunity for reform if international policy-makers focus on delivering humane, effective and sustainable outcomes – both for Europe and for countries that border conflict zones. Refugees need more than simply food, tents and blankets, and research demonstrates that they can offer tangible economic benefits to their adopted countries if given the right to work and education. An urgent and necessary work, Refuge sets out an alternative vision that can empower refugees to help themselves, contribute to their host societies, and even rebuild their countries of origin

Boushey, H., J. B. De Long, et al. (2017). After Piketty: the agenda for economics and inequality. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.
Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the most widely discussed work of economics in recent history, selling millions of copies in dozens of languages. But are its analyses of inequality and economic growth on target? Where should researchers go from here in exploring the ideas Piketty pushed to the forefront of global conversation? A cast of economists and other social scientists tackle these questions in dialogue with Piketty, in what is sure to be a much-debated book in its own right. After Piketty opens with a discussion by Arthur Goldhammer, Piketty’s translator into English, of the reasons for Capital’s phenomenal success, followed by the published reviews of Nobel laureates Robert Solow and Paul Krugman. The rest of the book is devoted to newly commissioned essays that interrogate Piketty’s arguments. Suresh Naidu and other contributors ask whether Piketty said enough about power, slavery, and the complex nature of capital. Laura Tyson and Michael Spence consider the impact of technology on inequality. Heather Boushey, Branko Milanovic, and others consider topics ranging from gender to trends in the global South. Emmanuel Saez lays out an agenda for future research on inequality, while a variety of essayists examine the book’s implications for the social sciences more broadly. Piketty replies to these questions in a substantial concluding chapter. An indispensable interdisciplinary work, After Piketty does not shy away from the seemingly intractable problems that made Capital in the Twenty-First Century so compelling for so many.

Book: Introduction to the new statisticsCumming, G. and R. Calin-Jageman (2017). Introduction to the new statistics : estimation, open science, and beyond. New York, Routledge.
This is the first introductory statistics text to use an estimation approach from the start to help readers understand effect sizes, confidence intervals (CIs), and meta-analysis (‘the new statistics’). It is also the first text to explain the new and exciting Open Science practices, which encourage replication and enhance the trustworthiness of research. In addition, the book explains NHST fully so students can understand published research. Numerous real research examples are used throughout. The book uses today’s most effective learning strategies and promotes critical thinking, comprehension, and retention, to deepen users’ understanding of statistics and modern research methods. The free ESCI (Exploratory Software for Confidence Intervals) software makes concepts visually vivid, and provides calculation and graphing facilities. The book can be used with or without ESCI. Other highlights include: – Coverage of both estimation and NHST approaches, and how to easily translate between the two. – Some exercises use ESCI to analyze data and create graphs including CIs, for best understanding of estimation methods. -Videos of the authors describing key concepts and demonstrating use of ESCI provide an engaging learning tool for traditional or flipped classrooms. -In-chapter exercises and quizzes with related commentary allow students to learn by doing, and to monitor their progress.  Intended for introduction to statistics, data analysis, or quantitative methods courses in psychology, education, and other social and health sciences, researchers interested in understanding the new statistics will also appreciate this book. No familiarity with introductory statistics is assumed.

Edgar, P. and D. Edgar (2017). Peak: reinventing middle age. Melbourne, Victoria, TEXT PublishingThe Text Publishing Company.
Society is changing faster than policies and attitudes are keeping up with. People are living longer, retiring from work later, and remaining active and valuable contributors to the community well into and beyond their 50s and 60s. Peak- Reinventing Middle Age focuses on Australians in the 50-75 age bracket- their contributions to society and their needs and expectations for their own lives.

Australia's welfare wars : the players, the politics and the ideologieGreve, B. (2017). Handbook of social policy evaluation. Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar Pub.

Mendes, P. (2017). Australia’s welfare wars: the players, the politics and the ideologies. Sydney, N.S.W., NewSouth Publishing.
In this fully revised third edition of Australia’s Welfare Wars, Philip Mendes questions many of the key values and assumptions that determine contemporary social welfare policies, and the factors and forces that shape these policies in Australia

Mitchell, B. (2017). Faith-based development: how Christian organizations can make a difference. Maryknoll, Orbis.
International development work is a largely secular discipline that distances itself from faith concerns; even many faith-based groups seem to go out of their way to minimise the relationship between their religious convictions and their work. Secular groups often see faith-based agencies as irritating marginal players in the global development scene. But what if much of the value of these groups is exactly the result of that sense of religious mission? Mitchell posits that, contrary to popular perception, church organisations have long been major players in international development work, and that many of these organisations do take the relationship between their work and the faith that underpins it very seriously. Instead of apologising for their faith roots and expression, they should celebrate them-and recognise the value they bring to every development enterprise, secular or not

Morduch, J. and R. Schneider (2017). The financial diaries: how American families cope in a world of uncertainty. Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press.
Drawing on the groundbreaking U.S. Financial Diaries project (, which follows the lives of 235 low- and middle-income families as they navigate through a year, the authors challenge popular assumptions about how Americans earn, spend, borrow, and save– and they identify the true causes of distress and inequality for many working Americans

Patrick, R. (2017). For whose benefit?: the everyday realities of welfare reform. Bristol, United Kingdom, Policy Press.
What does day-to-day life involve for those who receive out-of-work benefits? Is the political focus on moving people from ‘welfare’ and into work the right one? And do mainstream political and media accounts of the ‘problem’ of ‘welfare’ accurately reflect lived realities? For whose benefit? The everyday realities of welfare reform explores these questions by talking to those directly affected by recent reforms. Ruth Patrick interviewed single parents, disabled people and young jobseekers on benefits repeatedly over five years to find out how they experienced the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and whether the welfare state still offers meaningful protection and security in times of need. She reflects on the mismatch between the portrayal of ‘welfare’  and everyday experiences, and the consequences of this for the UK’s ongoing welfare reform programme. Exploring issues including the meaning of dependency, the impact of benefit sanctions and the reach of benefits stigma, this important book makes a timely contribution to ongoing debates about the efficacy and ethics of welfare reform

Scheidel, W. (2017). The great levelerThe great leveler: violence and the history of inequality from the stone age to the twenty-first century. Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press.
Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, Walter Scheidel shows that inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world. Ever since humans began to farm, herd livestock, and pass on their assets to future generations, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization. Over thousands of years, only violent events have significantly lessened inequality. The “Four Horsemen” of leveling–mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues–have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Scheidel identifies and examines these processes, from the crises of the earliest civilizations to the cataclysmic world wars and communist revolutions of the twentieth century. Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing. But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future. An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent–and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soonThe Honest History book.


Stephens, D. H. and A. Broinowski (2017). The Honest History book. Sydney, NSW, NewSouth Publishing.
In Australia’s rush to commemorate all things Anzac, have we lost our ability to look beyond war as the central pillar of Australia’s history and identity? The passionate historians of the Honest History group argue that while war has been important to Australia – mostly for its impact on our citizens and our ideas of nationhood – we must question the stories we tell ourselves about our history. We must separate myth from reality – and to do that we need to reassess the historical evidence surrounding military myths. In this lively collection, renowned writers including Paul Daley, Mark McKenna, Peter Stanley, Carolyn Holbrook, Mark Dapin, Carmen Lawrence, Stuart Macintyre, Frank Bongiorno and Larissa Behrendt explore not only the militarisation of our history but the alternative narratives swamped under the khaki-wash – Indigenous history, frontier conflict, multiculturalism, the myth of egalitarianism, economics and the environment

Dethroning MammonStimilli, E. (2017). The debt of the living: ascesis and capitalism. Albany, State University of New York Press.

Welby, J. (2017). Dethroning Mammon: making money serve grace : the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book 2017. London, Bloomsbury.
In his first full-length book Justin Welby looks at the subject of money and materialism. Designed for study in the weeks of Lent leading up to Easter, Dethroning Mammon reflects on the impact of our own attitudes, and of the pressures that surround us, on how we handle the power of money, called Mammon in this book. Who will be on the throne of our lives? Who will direct our actions and attitudes? Is it Jesus Christ, who brings truth, hope and freedom? Or is it Mammon, so attractive, so clear, but leading us into paths that tangle, trip and deceive? Archbishop Justin explores the tensions that arise in a society dominated by Mammon’s modern aliases, economics and finance, and by the pressures of our culture to conform to Mammon’s expectations. Following the Gospels towards Easter, this book asks the reader what it means to dethrone Mammon in the values and priorities of our civilisation and in our own existence. In Dethroning Mammon, Archbishop Justin encourages us to use Lent as a time of learning to trust in the abundance and grace of God

Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia


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