Society in Crisis

Our Capacity for Adaptation and Reorientation



ISBN: 9789189069930 Category:


In this anthology, 25 leading scholars from across the globe describe and analyse how different societies have handled crisis. In ancient Greek, a crisis refers not necessarily to a catastrophic situation but to an opportunity for great change. Edited by Scottish commentator Iain Martin and Swedish historian Mattias Hessérus, Society in Crisis takes this classical understanding of the term to heart as it acknowledges the many ways in which humans have made the decision to reorient their societies as a result of crisis

Essayists include: Clive Aslet, Philip Bobbitt, Peter Burke, Gillian Clark, Jonathan Fenby, Peter Frankopan, Jessica Frazier, Lawrence Freedman, Matthew Goodwin, Andrew Graham-Dixon, Johan Hakelius, Vanessa Harding, Tom Holland, Mark Honigsbaum, Alexander Lee, Tim Marshall, Lincoln Paine, Iskander Rehman, Donald Sassoon, David Seedhouse, Graham Stewart, Hew Strachan, Helen Thompson, Richard Whatmore and Adrian Wooldridge.

Additional information

Weight 1032 g
Dimensions 18 x 24.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 24 January 2022
Number of pages 300
Format Hardback
Dimensions 18 x 24.9 cm
Weight 1032 g


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Mattias Hessérus is a historian and broadcaster. He is the Director of Civilisation Studies at The Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, and sits on the committee of the Engelsberg Applied History Programme at the University of Cambridge and King's College London. He has worked for radio and tv and spent three years as review editor of Axess Magazine. Hessérus completed his PhD at Uppsala University on the subject of the right to privacy in Sweden during the 20th Century. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, and held a Swedish Institute Scholarship at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales.
Iain Martin is a political journalist, author, and commentator. He is a Times columnist, and is co-founder, editor, and publisher of Reaction. He was editor of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, and deputy editor of the Sunday Telegraph and The Wall Street Journal Europe. He has written two books: Making it Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the Men Who Blew Up the British Economy (2013) about the 2008 financial crash, and Crash, Bang, Wallop: the inside story of London's Big Bang and a financial revolution that changed the world (2016) about late-80s deregulation.
Clive Aslet is an award-winning architectural historian and journalist, acknowledged as a leading authority on Britain and its way of life. He is the author of The Real Crown Jewels of England ( Little Brown, 2021).
Philip Bobbitt is a leading constitutional scholar and historian. He is Herbet Wechsler Professor of Federal Jurisprudence at Columbia Law School, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Historical Society.
Peter Burke is a Life Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Cultural History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. His many publications include The Italian Renaissance and Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe.
Gillian Clark is Professor Emerita (since 2010) of Ancient History, University of Bristol. Her research field is known to classicists as late antiquity and to theologians as early Christian studies. She works on social and intellectual history, with a special interest in the lives of women. Her continuing project is a commentary on Augustine, City of God. She co-edits, with Andrew Louth FBA, the monogtaph series Oxford Early Christian Texts / Studies (OUP), and she is a General Editor of the series Translated Texts for Historians 300-800 (Liverpool University Press), which provides scholarly annotated translations from the languages of the Roman empire and its neighbours and successors.
Jonathan Fenby is a British writer, journalist and analyst. He is the author of Will China Dominate the 21st Century? and is China chairman at Trusted Sources research group. He edited the Observer newspaper from 1993 to 1995 and then the South China Morning Post from 1995 to 1999. Other books include Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China Today (2012).
Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University, Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research and Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College. He specialises in the history of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th Century, and in the history of Asia Minor, Russia and the Balkans.
Jessica Frazier is Lecturer in Theology and Religion at Trinity College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu studies.
Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College London. He was the Official Historian of the Falklands War and a member of the UK's Inquiry into the Iraq War. Among his books are Strategy: A History (2013) and the Future of War: A History (2017).
Matthew Goodwin is Professor of Politics at the University of Kent, Associate Fellow at Chatham House and is the author of five books, most recently National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy (Penguin).
Andrew Graham-Dixon is a leading art critic and broadcaster. He is the author of numerous books on subjects ranging from the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the present day, including A History of British Art (1994), Renaissance (1999), Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel (2008) and Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane (2010), which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.
Johan Hakelius is the political editor-in-chief of Fokus, Sweden's leading current events weekly. He has written several books on English eccentrics and British social history.
Vanessa Harding is Professor of London History at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research and writing focus on the social history of early modern London, c. 1500-1700, and especially on family and household, environment, health and disease, death and burial Tom Holland is a broadcaster and author, most recently, Dominion, a history of Christianity and has translated Suetonius for Penguin.
Mark Honigsbaum is a writer and journalist specialising in the history and science of infectious disease. A regular contributor to The Observer and The Lancet, his books include A global history of malaria and a social history of the 1918 influenza pandemic, Living With Enza, which was nominated for the Royal Society science book of the year in 2009.
Alexander Lee Lee is a research fellow at the University of Warwick and the author of Machiavelli: His Life and Times (London: Picador, 2020).
Tim Marshall is a journalist, broadcaster, and author. Amongst other titles, he is the author of the bestseller Prisoners of Geography (2015).
Lincoln Paine is the author of five books and more than a hundred articles, reviews, and lectures on maritime history. His books include the award-winning The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (Knopf, 2013), Down East: An Illustrated History of Maritime Maine (Tilbury House, 2018), and Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia (Houghton Mifflin, 1997).
Iskander Rehman is the Senior Fellow for Strategic Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council, in Washington D.C, where he leads a research effort on applied history and grand strategy. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), in Paris.
Donald Sassoon is Emeritus Professor of Comparative European History (Queen Mary, University of London). He is the author, among others, of Mona Lisa, One Hundred Years of Socialism, The Culture of the Europeans, The Anxious Triumph (a history of global capitalism 1860-1914) and Morbid Symptoms .
David Seedhouse is Professor of Deliberative Practice at Aston University, Birmingham and a widely read author in health philosophy, ethics and decision-making. He has published two books Using Personal Judgement in Nursing and Healthcare with Vanessa Peutherer and The Case for Democracy in the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Graham Stewart is a Senior Research Fellow in Twentieth-Century British History at the University of Buckingham. He is a specialist in twentieth century British politics. His publications include Bang! A History of Britain in the 1980s (London: Atlantic Books, 2013).
Sir Hew Strachan , FBA, FRSE, has been Wardlaw Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews since 2015. He is a Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was successively a Research Fellow and Fellow from 1975 to 1992, and an Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. His recent publications include The First World War: To Arms (2001); The First World War: a New Illustrated History (2003; based on his 10-part series for Channel 4); and The Direction of War (2013).
Helen Thompson is Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge University. She contributes a fortnightly column to the New Statesman and is a regular contributor to the Talking Politics podcast.
Richard Whatmore is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the Institute of Intellectual History. His books include: Republicanism and the French Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2000), Against War and Empire: Geneva, Britain and France in the Eighteenth Century (Yale University Press, 2012), What is Intellectual History? (Polity Press, 2015) and Terrorists, Anarchists, and Republicans. The Genevans and the Irish in time of Revolution (Princeton University Press, 2019).
Adrian Wooldridge is The Economist's political editor and author of the Bagehot column. He is co-author, with John Micklethwait, of The Wake Up Call: Why the pandemic has exposed the weakness of the West - and how to fix it.