John has written three books about the sociology of the environment, urbanism and the politics of disaster. Click on each of the links below to find out more about these books.
The third edition of John Hannigan’s classic undergraduate text has been fully updated and revised to highlight contemporary trends and controversies within global environmental sociology. Environmental Sociology offers a distinctive, balanced treatment of environmental issues, reconciling Hannigan’s much-cited model of the social construction of environmental problems and controversies with an environmental justice perspective that stresses inequality and toxic threats to local communities.
The book concludes by examining the prospects for, in the nature of, a "postcarbon society", making a strong case in favour of developing a new narrative of energy futures grounded in environmental economics, international relations and political ecology.
Describes how cities have come to represent themed fantasy experiences, with piers, factories, and warehouses of the past replaced by casinos, megaplex cinemas, and themed restaurants. Explains how this new form of urban development has emerged and intensified and asks whether such areas of fantasy end up destroying communities or creating new groupings of shared identities and experiences. Of interest to urban sociologists and students in geography, cultural studies, and urban affairs.
Disasters without Borders it is the first comprehensive account of the key milestones, debates, controversies and research relating to the international politics of natural disasters. Tracing the historical evolution of this policy field from its humanitarian origins in WWI right up to current efforts to cast climate change as the prime global driver of disaster risk, it highlights the ongoing mismatch between the way disaster has been conceptualised and the institutional architecture in place to manage it. The book’s bold conclusion predicts the confluence of four emerging trends - politicisation/militarisation, catastrophic scenario building, privatisation of risk, and quantification, which could create a new system of disaster management wherein 'insurance logic' will replace humanitarian concern as the guiding principle.
In The Geopolitics of Deep Oceans, my new book, I look at key geopolitical challenges and conflicts related to the deep oceans, as outlined in by the Global Ocean Commission’s Report. Specifically, I argue that the contemporary geopolitics of the deep ocean is constructed through and around four master narratives (big stories), which I have labeled: ‘Oceanic Frontiers’; ‘Scramble for Advantage ’; ‘Governing the Abyss’; and ’Saving the Oceans’. Rather than being self contained and mutually exclusive, these narratives frequently overlap, collude and collide within a ‘discursive policy field. The Geopolitics of Deep Oceans is written in a lively and accessible style for readers who aren’t experts in marine biology, oceanography or maritime law, but want to know concisely and reliably what is going on. To be published by the Polity Press in 2015, the book has four chapters (plus introduction and conclusion) and is approximately 50,000 words long.