Ten books for left-leaning politics students

  1. Peter Mair Ruling the Void (Verso Books)

The best book on the long-term decline of electoral politics in Europe. Mair explains the declining turnout at elections and roots it in a pervasive sense that there is little difference between the main political parties on the big questions of politics and economics. Writing before Brexit, he provides an important account of the non-democratic processes of the EU that contributed to people’s alienation from it. Corbyn’s period as leader of the Labour Party, when party membership soared, bucks some of the trends Mair outlined. The big question is whether we will see a return to the hollowing out of democracy or not.

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2. Ben Tippet Split: Class Divides Uncovered (Pluto Press)

What is class and how does it shape politics? Exploring this essential question in an accessible way, Tippet looks at the nature of class in modern Britain. This excellent book explores how the politics and economics of class shape everything from work and the workplace to gender relations, race and matters of the environment. Also includes a useful resource list at the end of the book so you can take your study further.

3. Linsey Hanley Crossing the Class Divide (Penguin)

Where Ben Tippet’s book looks at class in a broad context, Hanley looks at one more specific aspect of it – the consequences of social mobility, and the restrictions on it. Rooted both in stories of personal experience and in an analysis of broader trends, this book shows how political policies shape people’s lived experiences, and cuts to the heart of continuing inequality in Britain.

4. Lola Olufemi Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Pluto Press)

Like Ben Tippet’s book, this is another really accessible book from Pluto Press that analyses some of the most important political trends. Olufemi charts different branches of feminist thought and argues that feminism should be reclaimed as a radical tradition fit for political activism in modern Britain.