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LSE Review of Books launches with mission to share serious learning and good writing with the world

The best writing in the social sciences is the focus of a new LSE Review of Books which is launched today with the aim of increasing public engagement with all the social sciences.

The blog, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, publishes free and timely reviews of scholarly and serious books and ebooks. Its reviewers not only have academic expertise from LSE or other universities, but also include ‘thinkers and doers’ from business, the media, government and beyond - many with alumni or other LSE connections, but others involved with the School for the first time via the new blog.

As well as critically examining the ideas laid out in books the blog will also encourage discussion of good non-fiction writing – a neglected art.

pile of booksCrucially, the LSE Review of Books operates across social science disciplines - breaking away from the slow and restrictive reviewing practiced by academic journals, which can take years to cover new books, and where reviews are hidden behind pay-walls. The Review’s founders say a new approach is needed because of the explosion of digital publishing and reading, and the increasing importance of inter-disciplinary learning in social science.

To begin with, reviews will be arranged in 10 categories spanning the social sciences, from Economics through Business, Political Science, International Relations, Sociology, Gender Studies, Philosophy and Law. The blog will also be producing themed podcasts and building an archive of information on writing about social science, including experts explaining which books inspired them.

Patrick Dunleavy, the general editor of LSE Review of Books, and Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at LSE, said: “Modern academic communication is becoming faster, more interactive and more open. A growing, well-read and well-informed public is now consuming and discussing masses of serious non-fiction about how our increasingly globalised societies work. As yet there has been no effective free-to-read forum to stimulate and respond to this demand in the digital age.”

Amy Mollett, the blog’s managing editor, said: “This project will thrive on public engagement – from writers, readers, reviewers, and practitioners using social science ideas in business, government and civil society. We already know there is an appetite for bold ideas and good writing and the LSE Review of Books will bring them together for the benefit of us all, with new reviews every day.”

LSE Review of Books

It also has a lively Facebook presence and the blog team provides pointers to new reviews and chat about writing on Twitter @LSEReviewBooks.

For more information about the LSE Review of Books contact lsereviewofbooks@lse.ac.uk  



The new blog is funded with the support of the Higher Education Innovation Fund and run by members of the Public Policy Group (PPG), within the LSE Department of Government.

PPG already runs three popular blogs British Politics and Policy; EUROPP- European Politics and Policy; and Impact of the Social Sciences  al covered in Times Higher Education (19 April 2012) 

PPG’s work has also been shortlisted for the ‘Knowledge Exchange Initiative of the Year’ category in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2012.


23 April 2012