Categoriearchief: Book

Extinct & Endangered

Insects in Peril

Levon Biss and American Museum of Natural History | 2022, Harry Abrams

Pay attention to insects. Many pollinate plants. Some recycle plant and animal matter into the soil. They are food for countless other living things—and for one another, often keeping pest populations in check. Whether beetles, bees or butterflies, insects help natural ecosystems stay healthy.

But the evidence is clear: many insect species are in decline. The ones featured here are vulnerable, imperilled—or have already disappeared—and human changes to the land and climate are primary reasons.

Extraordinary images are at once our most familiar and our most mysterious fellow creatures. They seem indestructible, but on a global scale, insect species are quietly disappearing in today’s sixth mass extinction of life.

This joint project by photographer Levon Biss and the American Museum of Natural History contains indelible images of 40 extinct or endangered species in the museum’s collection, selected from its vast holdings by a team of scientists. Photographer Levon Biss invites us to look closely at these insects and reflect on their importance to our shared planet.

They range from endangered old friends such as the monarch butterfly and the nine-spotted ladybug to the distant Lord Howe Island phasma of Australia, thought to be extinct for most of the 20th century until a small population was discovered and bred in captivity in 2001.

All were sent to Biss’s studio, where he created imposing portraits that can be enlarged 300 times life-size to reveal vivid detail on a full page of form and colour – a world invisible to our naked eyes. The result is a book that insists on the momentous significance of these small, mostly unknown creatures.

Please Visit and


Biss, L. and American Museum of Natural History  (2022) Extinct & Endangered: Insects in Peril. New York: Harry Abrams

The Currency of Politics

The Political Theory of Money from Aristotle to Keynes

Stefan Eich | 2023, Princeton University Press

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, critical attention has shifted from the economy to the most fundamental feature of all market economies—money. Yet despite the centrality of political struggles over money, it remains difficult to articulate its democratic possibilities and limits. The Currency of Politics takes readers from ancient Greece to today to provide an intellectual history of money, drawing on the insights of key political philosophers to show how money is not just a medium of exchange but also a central institution of political rule.

Money appears to be beyond the reach of democratic politics, but this appearance—like so much about money—is deceptive. Even when the politics of money is impossible to ignore, its proper democratic role can be difficult to discern. Stefan Eich examines six crucial episodes of monetary crisis, recovering the neglected political theories of money in the thought of such figures as Aristotle, John Locke, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. He shows how these layers of crisis have come to define the way we look at money, and argues that informed public debate about money requires a better appreciation of the diverse political struggles over its meaning.

“By reconstructing debates about the politics of money, I not only hope to recover money as a neglected site of political thought and a potential institution of democratic self-rule but also offer an account of how the politics of money came to be eclipsed in the first place. The book thus traces two parallel movements: the periodic reassertion of a political awareness of money especially at times of crisis; and a historical reconstruction of the thinkers and debates that contributed to the eclipse of the politics of money. As a study of how things become invisible, this book constitutes an attempt to understand how and why the political dimension of money
became obscured -without ever fully disappearing.” – Stefan Eich

Recovering foundational ideas at the intersection of monetary rule and democratic politics, The Currency of Politics explains why only through greater awareness of the historical limits of monetary politics can we begin to articulate more democratic conceptions of money.

“While I work broadly from a credit conception of money, in the course of the book, I introduce a normative conceptual distinction of my own: what I call money as political currency. Political currency, as I define it, does not refer to cash or legal tender. Instead, I use “currency” in a metaphorical sense to refer to money as a tool of democratic self-government, an idea whose genealogy I trace throughout the book. As a political theorist, I am concerned with the legitimacy of institutions. One account for understanding legitimacy – for example, the legitimacy of a particular law – is to stress the way in which an institution is not externally imposed from above but authored by those affected by it. This is the basic democratic idea of government of the people, by the people, for the people.” – Stefan Eich


Eich, S. (2023) The Currency of Politics: The Political Theory of Money from Aristotle to Keynes. Princeton, US: Princeton University Press.

The Era of Global Risk

An Introduction to Existential Risk Studies

Edited by SJ Beard, Martin Rees, Catherine Richards, Clarissa Rios Rojas | 2023, Open Book Publishers

This innovative and comprehensive collection of essays explores the most significant threats facing humanity in the 21st century: threats that cannot be contained or controlled and can potentially bring about human extinction and civilization collapse. Bringing together experts from many disciplines, it provides an accessible survey of what we know about these threats, how we can understand them better, and most importantly, what can be done to manage them effectively.

These essays pair insights from decades of research and activism around global risk with the latest academic findings from the emerging field of Existential Risk Studies. Voicing the work of world-leading experts and tackling various vital issues, they weigh up the demands of natural systems with political pressures and technological advances to build an empowering vision of how we can safeguard humanity’s long-term future.

The book covers a comprehensive survey of how to study and manage global risks with an in-depth discussion of core risk drivers, including environmental breakdown, novel technologies, global-scale natural disasters, and nuclear threats. The Era of Global Risk thoroughly analyses the most severe dangers to humanity.

One of the most prominent advocates for the importance of global risk has been the World Economic Forum, who defines a global risk as “the possibility of the occurrence of an event or condition that, if it occurs, could cause significant negative impact for several countries or industries”. – quote from Introduction, xi

Inspiring, accessible, and essential reading for students of global risk and those committed to its mitigation, this book poses one critical question: How can we make sense of this era of global risk and move beyond it to a period of global safety?


Beard, S., Rees, M., Richards, C. and Rios Rojas, C. (eds) (2023) The Era of Global Risk: An Introduction to Existential Risk Studies. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers.


Tijd voor Transitie

25 Inzichten voor Business & Society

Wouter Scheepens, Woody van Olffen, Margot Schumacher, Eelco van Hout en Mirjam Minderman| 2022, Mediawerf Uitgevers

Onze maatschappij en economie zijn hard toe aan nieuwe oplossingen om niet alleen de wereld van morgen vorm te geven, maar zeker ook die van vandaag beter te maken. Daarvoor is het nodig dat we buiten de gebaande paden in management en organisaties leren werken en denken. Dit geldt zowel voor publieke als private organisaties, dus voor overheden en het bedrijfsleven.

De bijdragen in deze bundel gaan daarop in. De auteurs zijn verbonden aan TIAS, school for business and society. Vanuit hun verscheidenheid aan kennisgebieden worden nieuwe perspectieven geschetst en oplossingen gesuggereerd. Dit wordt gedaan aan de hand van een raamwerk voor ‘transformatieve impact’, dat is opgebouwd uit vier domeinen: verantwoord leiderschap, samenwerking, business modelling en duurzame innovatie.

De auteurs dagen de lezer uit door het stellen van reflectievragen. Want ‘Never stop asking!’ is een leitmotiv voor TIAS. Het (blijven) stellen van vragen leidt tot nieuwe inzichten, tot verdieping en begrip, tot mogelijkheden van koersbepaling in complexe tijden en uiteindelijk tot het weten hoe er positieve impact kan worden gemaakt.

Ook de praktijk komt aan bod. Niet in de laatste plaats in een viertal dubbelinterviews, met ondermeer de CEO van Heineken, een voormalig commandant van de Nederlandse strijdkrachten, sociaal ondernemers, en de voorzitter van VNO-NCW.

Deze bundel beoogt tot nieuwe inzichten, gesprekken en betere vragen te leiden. Bovenal is de wens dat de lezer wordt geïnspireerd en gefaciliteerd om zélf transformatieve impact te realiseren. Dit is een belangrijke stap naar aan een gezonde economie en maatschappij, waar welzijn en sociale rechtvaardigheid alsook het respecteren van ecologische grenzen vanzelfsprekend zijn.

Voor wie is deze bundel bedoeld?

De missie van TIAS is gestoeld op de overtuiging dat het dienen van de samenleving een opdracht is voor organisaties, inclusief het bedrijfsleven. Daarvoor is het essentieel dat leiders in organisaties niet alleen hun eigen context doorgronden, maar middels interactie juist ook andere domeinen en sectoren leren begrijpen. Daarbij worden de grenzen tussen het publieke en private domein overstegen. Die interactie tussen verschillende domeinen komt in deze bundel aan bod en dat maakt het boek geschikt voor een brede groep van lezers.

Website TIAS


Scheepens, W.,  Olffen, W. van, Schumacher, M.,  Hout, E. van and Minderman, M. (2022) Tijd voor Transitie: 25 Inzichten voor Business & Society. Haarlem: Mediawerf Uitgevers



Nederland Droogteland

Van waterschaarste en bodemdaling tot regentuinen en hoogwaterboerderijen

René Didde | 2021, Uitgeverij Lias

Eeuwenlang ontworstelde Nederland zich met succes aan het overvloedige water. Er werden dijken gebouwd, waterkeringen aangelegd en land op het water veroverd. Nu kampt Nederland met langdurige droogteperioden. De bodem verzilt en verdroogt, ondanks dat er ook perioden van extreme neerslag zijn. Hoe kan dat? En vooral: hoe lossen we het op? 

In Nederland Droogteland reist milieujournalist René Didde langs droge beken en dorre landschappen, verdiept zich in vele onderzoeken en spreekt met bezorgde én vooruitziende experts. Wat zijn de oorzaken van verdroging en verzilting? Wat zijn de effecten op de natuur? Wat merkt de douchende burger? Hoe worstelen de landbouw, de scheepvaart en de industrie met de extreem lage waterstanden? Wat te doen met botsende belangen? En: hoe ziet het waterbeheer van de toekomst eruit in het veranderende klimaat?

René Didde laat de kansen en mooie initiatieven in de strijd tegen de droogte zien en is optimistisch: Nederland vindt een nieuwe balans tussen nat en droog.

Website Nederland Droogteland


Didde, R. (2021) Nederland Droogteland: Van waterschaarste en bodemdaling tot regentuinen en hoogwaterboerderijen. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Lias.

When McKinsey Comes to Town

The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm

Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe | 2022, Penguin Books

An explosive expose of the world’s most prestigious and successful management consultancy. ‘Panoramic, meticulously reported and ultimately devastating’ Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Empire of Pain McKinsey, earns billions advising almost every major corporation and countless governments, including Britain’s, the USA’s and China’s.

It boasts of maximising efficiency while making the world a better place. Its millionaire partners and alumni network go on to top jobs in the world’s most powerful organisations. And yet, shielded by non-disclosure agreements, its work remains largely secret – until now. In this propulsive investigation, two prize-winning journalists reveal the reality. McKinsey’s work includes ruthless cost-cutting in the NHS, incentivising the prescription of opioids and executing Trump’s immigration policies (the ones that put children in cages).

Meanwhile, its vast profits derive from a client roster including the coal and tobacco industries and some of the world’s most unsavoury despots. McKinsey proudly insists it is a values-led organisation.

When McKinsey Comes to Town is a parable of values betrayed: a devastating portrait of a firm whose work has often made the world more unequal, corrupt, and dangerous.

*A The Times Best Book of 2022. ‘A story of secrecy, delusion and untold harm’ Observer ‘Astonishing … makes you so angry you want to chuck rocks at its offices’ Sunday Times ‘Every page made my blood boil’ Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel laureate.

The Man Who Organized Nature

The Life of Linnaeus

Gunnar Broberg (translation Anna Paterson)| 2023, Princeton University Press

A new biography offers a vivid portrait of Linnaeus’s life and work. Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), the father of modern biological taxonomy, formalised and popularised the system of binomial nomenclature used to classify plants and animals. Linnaeus himself classified thousands of species; the simple and immediately recognisable abbreviation “L” is used to mark classifications originally made by Linnaeus.

This biography, by the leading authority on Linnaeus, offers a vivid portrait of Linnaeus’s life and work. Drawing on a wide range of previously unpublished sources—including diaries and personal correspondence—and new research, it presents revealing and original accounts of his family life, the political context in which he pursued his work, and his eccentric views on sexuality.

The Man Who Organized Nature describes Linnaeus’s childhood in a landscape of striking natural beauty and how this influenced his later work. Linnaeus’s Lutheran pastor father, knowledgeable about plants and an enthusiastic gardener, helped foster an early interest in botany.

The book examines the political connections that helped Linnaeus secure patronage for his work and untangle his ideas about sexuality. These were not, as often assumed, an attempt to naturalise gender categories but more likely reflected the laissez-faire attitudes of the era. Like many other brilliant scientists, Linnaeus could be moody and egotistical; the book describes his human failures and medical and scientific achievements. Written in an engaging and accessible style, The Man Who Organized Nature—one of the only biographies of Linnaeus to appear in English—provides new and fascinating insights into the life of one of history’s most consequential and enigmatic scientists.

Read the article How Carl Linnaeus Set Out to Label All of Life by the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing winner journalist Kathryn Schulz: “A new biography  …attempts to provide the fullest possible account of his life yet fails to grapple with the fundamental question it raises: if categorization is crucial to making sense of the world, how should we classify Carl Linnaeus?”


Broberg, G. (2023) The Man Who Organized Nature: The Life of Linnaeus. Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press

Nature-Based Solutions for Cities

Edited by Timon McPhearson, Nadja Kabisch and Niki Frantzeskaki  | 2023, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly being adopted to address climate change, health, and urban sustainability, yet ensuring they are effective and inclusive remains challenging. Addressing these challenges through chapters by leading experts in both the global south and north contexts, this book advances the science of NBS in cities. It discusses the frontiers for next-generation urban NBS.

NBS are fundamentally inter- and transdisciplinary approaches that require systems thinking and multilevel governance. With a focus on the multiple challenges that cities face, from heat and air pollution to stormwater and threats to human health, this book puts forward diverse ideas for embracing complexity in mainstreaming NBS and inspiring new approaches to create the ecological urban futures we need.

Speaking to the need for cities around the world to employ ecological, nature-based design, this book will be essential reading for early career professionals, practitioners, scholars, and students across multiple disciplines engaging with nature-based solutions, including urban ecology, design, architecture, landscape architecture, geography, urban planning, policy, and management.

This open-access title is available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on

From Chapter 1. Nature-based solutions for sustainable, resilient, and equitable cities by the editing authors, a quote:

“We are living in the urban century, one where urbanization is driving multiple global environmental changes that in turn place stress and cause major disturbances to urban life and ecosystems. Cities across the world can be vastly different, but they also have in common the concentration of people, infrastructure, and economies that create and amplify risks from climate change, pandemics, and economic crises.

The dominant mode of urban development paves over urban nature, traps heat, increases risk from flooding, and displaces human and ecological communities all while also creating efficiencies and opportunities to support the still expanding global population. Urban growth is expected to be the major source of population growth throughout the middle and end of the twenty-first century. Soberingly, the amount of urban growth needed to support future urban populations may exceed all previous urban development of the last centuries.”


McPhearson, T., Kabisch, N. and Frantzeskaki, N. (2023) Nature-Based Solutions for Cities. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.