by Shannon Kneis
6th March 2020

As commissioning editors at Bristol University Press and Policy Press we seek to publish books that add to our understanding of the world  so we can work towards creating a more equal society.

For this International Women’s Day, I’ve collated some of my favourite titles we’ve published on the topic of women, gender and equality. These books provide evidence, showcase compelling research and shed new light on current debates, spanning a variety of approaches across the social sciences.

Cover image of 'Beyond Pro-Life and Pro-Choice'

Beyond Pro-life and Pro-choice by Fran Amery

Unfortunately, the political battleground of bodies and reproductive rights continues to rage on. Fran Amery addresses the questions we need to ask around abortion provision in Britain, and shows that it’s much more complicated than a simple distinction between pro-life and pro-choice. Listen to her discuss these ideas on our podcast.

Cover of 'Redeeming Leadership'

Redeeming Leadership by Helena Liu

How might imperialist, masculinist and white supremacist grips on leadership be loosened? In this thought-provoking and accessible new study, Helena Liu suggests that anti-racist feminism can challenge conventional models and practices of power. Combining a critical review of leadership theory with enlightening examples from around the world, the book shows how the intellectual and activist elements of feminist movements provide antidotes to contemporary leadership research and practice. You can also read this blog piece from Helena.

Cover of Living Against Austerity

Living Against Austerity by Emma Craddock

With austerity’s disproportionately heavy impact on women now apparent, Emma Craddock goes deep inside activist culture to explore the many cultural and emotional dimensions of political participation. She questions what motivates and sustains protest, considering the enabling aspects of solidarity and empathy, as well as the constraining factors of negative emotions and gendered barriers associated with activism, examining the role of gender and emotion within protest. This is a lived-in study that gets to the heart of what it means to be an anti-austerity activist and an important addition to social justice debate.

Cover of Work, Labour and Cleaning

Work, Labour and Cleaning by Lotika Singha

The debate around ‘women’s work’ has long been on the feminist agenda. This book from Lotika Singha is the first title in our Gender and Sociology series (see below) and offers a cross-cultural analysis on understanding outsourced domestic cleaning to challenge feminist dogma and popular myths about housework.

Social Support and Motherhood, From Here to Maternity  and The Sociology of Housework by Ann Oakley

Reissued with new introductions for a contemporary audience and context, these seminal texts by Ann Oakley have shaped the feminist and sociological canon, putting the topics of motherhood and housework on the agenda.

Minority women and austerity cover

Minority Women and Austerity by Akwugo Emejulu and Leah Bassel

Using in-depth case studies of minority women’s experiences of and resistances to austerity measures in France and Britain, the authors demonstrate how minority women use their race, class, gender and legal status as a resource for collective action in the face of the neoliberal colonisation of non-governmental organisations, the failures of left-wing politics and the patronising initiatives of policy-makers. A fascinating look at how utilising an intersectional ‘politics of survival’ means women subvert the dominant narratives of ‘crisis’ and ‘activism’.

Cover of Femicide across Europe

Femicide Across Europe edited by Shalva Weil, Consuelo Corradi and Marceline Naudi

Femicide, the killing of women and girls because of their gender, was until recently included in the category ‘homicide’, obscuring the special features of this social and gendered phenomenon. Written by leading international scholars with an interdiscplinary perspective, this book is the first on femicide in Europe and presents the findings of a four-year project discussing aspects such as prevention programmes, data collection, and the impact of culture. As it’s open access you can read the book online for free.

Understanding Trans Health by Ruth Pearce

Offering crucial insight to the current landscape of trans health in the UK, Ruth Pearce innovatively interweaves patient voices with social theory and autobiography, to journey through what it means to be ‘trans’, implications for healthcare, and exploring what a better future might look like for trans patients.

Coming in 2020

From explorations of how patriarchy sustains itself via culture, to looking at how changes in law effects the lives and work of sex workers, I hope our forthcoming catalogue will not only interest readers but help to shape the debate on issues facing women around the world today. Titles to look out for this year include What Works in Improving Gender Equality by Kirstein Rummery, Craig McAngus and Alcuin Edwards, Cultural Sexism by Heather Savigny, Sex Work and the New Zealand Model edited by Lynzi Armstrong and Gillian Abel and Maternal Imprisonment and Family Life by Natalie Booth.

Gender and Sociology series

Last year we launched the Gender and Sociology series, edited by Sue Scott and Stevi Jackson, two of the world’s leading scholars in gender and sexuality. The series seeks to push forward sociological understandings of gender through a variety of lenses, exploring topics that range from contemporary political debates to changes and continuities in identities. We’re currently soliciting books for the series, so if you’ve got an idea or proposal you’d like to discuss, please get in touch (details below).

We are actively growing our publishing in the areas of gender, women and equality, so if you’re interested in publishing with a press committed to making positive social impact, please get in touch. Find more information about publishing with us here.

Get in touch with Shannon Kneis (right), Associate Editor for Sociology, at