summer reading recommended by our lecturers
What should I read over the summer?
There are no specific texts you should read before starting your studies with us. Your first year modules will not assume you have studied politics, international relations, political economy, or international development in the past. Some classic works in these fields can be difficult to read. Where this is the case, you will be supported through them once you are a university student.
With this in mind, if you want to prepare over the summer, the best thing you can do is read, watch, and listen to the things that interest you – and think about them politically. Whether you’re reading novels, watching films, or listening to podcasts, take a critical lens to the material. Look for methods people are using to coordinate their lives together. Consider how power is functioning. Look for bias. Look for what might be being overlooked.
As well as reading things with which you agree, find materials that challenge your own view. If you usually read a newspaper with one political perspective, have a look at how the same story is covered by a newspaper with a different slant. If you come across something that resonates with you, look for critics and read, watch, or listen to their perspectives too.
Here are some texts suggested by some staff members which you may like to use as a stepping-off point for your own thinking. However, as the teaching staff at the University of Birmingham bring a rich diversity of approach, it’s not possible to suggest a single textbook or text that will be used.