Active Travel Studies journal, under way

Active Travel Studies journal, under way

Active Travel Studies a new UWP journal has published its first article. Kirsty Wild and colleagues offer an analysis of the impact of e-Bikes on access to cycling for women based on research undertaken in Auckland. Could e-Bikes offer encouragement for more physical activity and overcome inhibiters especially for mothers?

A reminder of the journal’s scope and aims below. And here the lead editors Tom Cohen and Rachel Aldred discuss their plans and ambitions for a timely new journal. The journal is based at the University of Westminster‘s Active Travel Academy

We live in times of climate crisis, with illegal levels of air pollution in many cities worldwide, and what has been called an epidemic of physical inactivity. Technological change alone will not solve such problems: we also need major growth in active travel (primarily walking and cycling, but also other active and semi-active types of travel, such as scooters) to replace many shorter car trips. Active modes could even (e.g. through electric assist trikes) help make urban freight much more sustainable.

Journals within many fields cover active travel, but literature remains highly segmented and (despite high levels of policy interest) difficult for practitioners to find. Established, mainstream journals are not open access, another barrier to policy transfer and knowledge exchange. Thus, while many towns, cities, and countries seek to increase active travel, the knowledge base suffers from a lack of high-quality academic evidence that is easy to find and obtain. This reinforces practitioner reliance on often lower-quality grey literature, and a culture of relying on ad hoc case studies in policy and practice.

This journal provides a bridge between academia and practice, based on high academic standards and accessibility to practitioners. Its remit is to share knowledge from any academic discipline/s (from bioscience to anthropology) that can help build knowledge to support active travel and help remove barriers to it, such as car dependency. Within this normative orientation, it is rigorously academic and critical, for instance not shying away from analysing examples where interventions do not lead to more active travel. It goes beyond immediate policy imperatives to share knowledge that while not immediately change-oriented can contribute to a deeper understanding of, for instance, why people drive rather than walk. 

As well as publishing relevant new research, the journal commissions both commentary pieces on such research, and critical reviews of the existing literature. Reflecting the diversity of its audience, its content is varied, including written work of different lengths as well as audio-visual material

Momentum at a New University Press: Revisiting the UWP Story

Momentum at a New University Press: Revisiting the UWP Story

Reflecting on the merits of consistent publishing activity and its multiplier effects – some reflections on UWP’s growth on the Ubiquity Press blog from the University of Westminster Press: ‘Thanks a Million: Momentum at a New University Press

Interesting to compare with the view in September 2015 ‘Setting up a University Press in the Digital Age’ and again as recently as May 2019, ‘Setting up a University Press in the Digital Age Revisited‘ when a fuller UWP timeline was presented.

Still unconfirmed but possible we will be able to announce in July 1.25 million views and downloads to end June but we have to wait for the data which may or may not confirm that!

Andrew Lockett, Press Manager

Covid-19 and the Value of Participation

Covid-19 and the Value of Participation

Now published 12 July 2021 a new open access title DEMOCRACY IN A PANDEMIC: Participation in Response to Crisis that makes the case for enhanced engagement during and beyond emergency contexts.

Covid-19 has highlighted limitations in our democratic politics – but also lessons for how to deepen our democracy and more effectively respond to future crises. In the face of an emergency, the working assumption all too often is that only a centralised, top-down response is possible. This book exposes the weakness of this assumption, making the case for deeper participation and deliberation in times of crises. During the pandemic, mutual aid and self-help groups have realised unmet needs. And forward-thinking organisations have shown that listening to and working with diverse social groups leads to more inclusive outcomes. 

Participation and deliberation are not just possible in an emergency. They are valuable, perhaps even indispensable. 

This book draws together a diverse range of voices of activists, practitioners, policy makers, researchers and writers. Together they make visible the critical role played by participation and deliberation during the pandemic and make the case for enhanced engagement during and beyond emergency contexts.

Another, more democratic world can be realised in the face of a crisis. The contributors to this book offer us meaningful insights into what this could look like.

The Editors:

GRAHAM SMITH is Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster and Chair of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development.

TIM HUGHES is the outgoing Director of Involve and a leading specialist in the field of participatory and deliberative democracy.

LIZZIE ADAMS is Project and Governance Lead at Involve, the UK’s leading public participation charity.

CHARLOTTE OBIJIAKU is Project Administrator at Involve and a member of the 2020/21 Charityworks graduate scheme.

CONTENTS: Short listing

Introduction
Part One: VOICES FROM THE PANDEMIC 
Part Two: LESSONS FOR DEMOCRACY
Conclusion: A Manifesto for Democracy in a Crisis

FORMAT
E-book, PDF free on publication from www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/books/57. PDF 978-1-914386-18-3 ePub 978-1-914386-19-0 Kindle 978-1-914386-20-6  DOI: 10.16997/book57

Paperback 978-1-914386-17-6 203 x 103mm 160 pages
UK £14.99 US $20 EUR €18 CAN $25 AUS $28

Democracy Studies|Policy Studies| Social Affairs

FULL CONTENTS

Acknowledgements
Introduction, Graham Smith, Tim Hughes, Lizzie Adams and Charlotte Obijiaku
PART ONE: VOICES FROM THE PANDEMIC
Some Things Are So Urgent That We Can’t Afford to Do Them Quickly Martin Johnstone
The Perfect Storm? Emerging from the Crisis Stronger, Through Sharing What We Have  Jez Hall
Building More Vibrant and Inclusive Democracies: How to Meet the challenges of Covid-19
Sanjay PradhanDoes Democracy Need a Time Rebellion? Roman Krznaric
Building Back Inclusively Dayo Eseonu
Ordinary and Extraordinary Stories: Including People with Learning Disabilities in Policy Development and Research Rhiann McLean and Angela Henderson
Organising to Humanise the Gig Economy Alex Marshall
Let’s Talk About Covid-19 Ethics Dave Archard
Democracy – A Dish Well Done Frances Foley
Learning How to Listen in a Pandemic Laura Seebohm
No Justice Without Us: Respecting Lived Experience of the Criminal Justice System Paula Harriott
Participation on Whose Terms? Javier Sanchez-Rogriguez
The Queer House Party: Solidarity and LGBTQI+ Community-Making in Pandemic Times Francesca Romana Ammaturo and Olimpia Burchiellaro
Student Democracy in the Face of Covid-19 Isobel Walter
Experts by Experience: Enabling the Voice of Survivors to Transform the Response to Domestic Abuse in the UK Martha Tomlinson
The Best Time to Start Involving the Public in Covid Decision-Making was a Year Ago The Next Best Time Is Now Jon Alexander
PART TWO: LESSONS FOR DEMOCRACY
Hearing Diverse Voices in a Pandemic: Towards Authentic Inclusion Ruth Ibegbuna
Mutual Aid and Self-Organisation: What We Can Learn from the Rise of DIY Responses to the Pandemic Matt Leach
How the Pandemic Has Accelerated the Shift Towards Participatory Public Authorities Donna Hall,
Simon Kaye and Charlotte Morgan

Citizen Voice in the Pandemic Response: Democratic Innovations from Around the World Antonin
Lacelle-Webster, Julien Landry and Ann Marie D. Smith

Is Democracy Too Much Trouble in a Pandemic? Archon Fung
Conclusion: A Manifesto for Democracy in a Crisis Tim Hughes and Graham Smith

13 July 2021

AI for Everyone? Critical Perspectives

UWP is pleased to announce that it will soon be publishing a new book exploring the role of contemporary AI and issues that need to be addressed concerning it. The volume will be edited by Pieter Verdegem of the University of Westminster. And it will be published open access in the series, Critical Digital and Social Media Studies edited by Christian Fuchs.

Description
We are entering a new era of technological determinism and solutionism in which governments and business actors are seeking data-driven change, assuming that AI is now inevitable and ubiquitous. But we have not even started asking the right questions, let alone developed an understanding of the consequences. Urgently needed is debate that asks and answers fundamental questions about power. This book brings together critical interrogations of what constitutes AI, its impact and its inequalities in order to offer an analysis of what it means for AI to deliver benefits for everyone.

The book is structured in three parts: Part 1, AI: Humans vs. Machines, presents critical perspectives on human-machine dualism. Part 2, Discourses and Myths about AI, excavates metaphors and policies to ask normative questions about what is ‘desirable’ AI and what conditions make this possible. Part 3, AI Power and Inequalities, discusses how the implementation of AI creates important challenges that urgently need to be addressed.

Bringing together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and regional contexts, this book offers a vital intervention on one of the most hyped concepts of our times.

Contents

  1. 1. Introduction: Why We Need Critical Perspectives on AI
    Pieter Verdegem

Part 1: AI – Humans vs. Machines

2.Artificial Intelligence (AI): When Humans and Machines Might Have to Coexist 
Andreas Kaplan

3. Digital Humanism: Epistemological, Ontological and Praxiological Foundations 
Wolfgang Hofkirchner

4. An Alternative Rationalization of Creative AI by De-Familiarizing Creativity: Towards an Intelligibility of Its Own Terms 
Jenna Ng

5. Post-Humanism, Mutual Aid
Dan McQuillan

Part 2: Discourses and Myths About AI

6. The Language Labyrinth: Constructive Critique on the Terminology Used in the AI Discourse
Rainer Rehak

7. AI Ethics Needs Good Data
Angela Daly, S. Kate Devitt and Monique Mann

8. The Social Reconfiguration of Artificial Intelligence: Utility and Feasibility
James Steinhoff 

9. Creating the Technological Saviour: Discourses on AI in Europe and the Legitimation of Super Capitalism
Benedetta Brevini

10. AI Bugs and Failures: How and Why to Render AI-Algorithms More Human?  Alkim Almila Akdag Salah

Part 3: AI Power and Inequalities 

11. Primed Prediction: A Critical Examination of the Consequences of Exclusion of the Ontological Now in AI Protocol
Carrie O’Connell and Chad Van De Wiele

12. Algorithmic Logic in Digital Capitalism
Jernej A. Prodnik

13. Not Ready for Prime Time: Biometrics and Biopolitics in the (Un)Making of California’s Facial Recognition Ban
Asvatha Babu and Saif Shahin

14. Beyond Mechanical Turk: The Work of Brazilians on Global AI Platforms  Rafael Grohmann and Willian Fernandes Araújo

15. Towards Data Justice Unionism? A Labour Perspective on AI Governance  Lina Dencik

The Authors

Index 

(Paperback): 978-1-914386-16-9 (PDF): 978-1-914386-13-8 (EPUB): 978-1-914386-14-5

ISBN (Kindle): 978-914386-15-2

DOI: 10.16997/book55

New Scholarly Publications Manager Sought at UWP

New Scholarly Publications Manager Sought at UWP

After over six years (part-time and full time) Andrew Lockett is to step down as Press Manager of the University of Westminster Press during August 2021. Andrew has achieved amazing things, working closely with UWP authors, editors and other contributors since UWP began, to enable us to reach a point where we soon will have published 36 books and 7 policy briefs, operating 6 journals. While we are sorry to see Andrew leave and we will miss his knowledge and expertise – we will soon be advertising an exciting opportunity to join UWP and influence its future directions in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Westminster. Look out for the announcement of the replacement post especially those interested working across publishing functions at a digital-first new university press, publishing across a range of interdisciplinary, humanities and social sciences disciplines including media and communication studies.

Jenny Evans, Research Environment and Scholarly Communications Lead

UPDATE

Details of the post now advertised here.

Anthropocene Islands published to acclaim

Anthropocene Islands published to acclaim

A new book exploring the significance of Island Studies for the Anthropocene was published yesterday to advance acclaim, as described in a recent blog posting. As with all University of Westminster Press titles it is available open access.

Anthropocenes Islands: Entangled Worlds was written by Jonathan Pugh and David Chandler.

Acclaim for Anthropocene Islands

‘A must read … In this long-awaited book, [Pugh and Chandler] open up a new analytical agenda for the Anthropocene, coherently drawing out the power of thinking with islands.’ – Elena Burgos Martinez, Leiden University

‘This is an essential book. By thinking with islands, Pugh and Chandler articulate new ontologies and epistemologies to help us understand the relational entanglements of the Anthropocene. The four analytics they propose—Resilience, Patchworks, Correlation, and Storiation—offer both a critical agenda for island studies and compass points through which to navigate the haunting past, troubling present, and precarious future.’ – Craig Santos Perez, University of Hawai’i, Manoa

‘All academic books should be like this: hard to put down. Informative, careful, sometimes devasting, yet absolutely necessary – if you read one book about the Anthropocene let it be this. You will never think of islands in the same way again.’ –  Kimberley Peters, University of Oldenburg

‘Makes the compelling case that islands have never been merely geocultural objects of study, but rather, generative conceptual “objects” [for understanding and engaging] the wider, planetary, relational matrix within which the conditions of the Anthropocene era were created.’ – Michelle Stephens, Rutgers University

‘What if we were to start not with the great drama of the world’s falling apart, but with a myriad of smaller stories of its coming together? … a unique journey into the Anthropocene. Critical, generous and compelling’.  – Nigel Clark, Lancaster University

‘Replete with “aha!” and “huh!” moments, this book offers insights for all of us … who may not have recognised … the value of “thinking with” islands more purposively.’ – Lauren Rickards, RMIT University

‘ … a must-read … elucidates novel understandings of islands not only as patches of intensified Anthropocene proliferation, but as sites to examine the intricate relationships between life, matter, and meaning in a changing world.’ – Adam Searle, University of Cambridge

Anthropocene Islands establishes Pugh and Chandler as two critical and agenda-setting thinkers within island scholarship … [It] cogently argues that islands have become emblematic figures of the Anthropocene and are moreover influencing the manner in which Anthropocene thinking is developing. a timely and essential contribution …’ – Adam Grydehøj, Editor-in-Chief, Island Studies Journal

The University of Westminster Press is the publisher of the journal Anthropocenes: Human, Inhuman, Posthuman