The status quo is broken. Humanity today faces multiple interconnected challenges, some of which could prove existential. If we believe the world could be different, if we want it to be better, examining the purpose of what we do – and what is done in our name – is more pressing than ever.
The What Is It For? series examines the purpose of the most important aspects of our contemporary world, from religion and free speech to animal rights and the Olympics. It illuminates what these things are by looking closely at what they do.
The series offers fresh thinking on current debates that gets beyond the over-heated polemics and easy polarizations. Across the series, leading experts explore new ways forward, enabling readers to engage with the possibility of real change.
The first books in the series, on war, cybersecurity and philanthropy published in March 2023, with animal rights publishing in October 2023 and titles on religion, prisons and many more set to be published soon.
Each book explains not only the history behind the topic and how it functions, but also the purpose it serves in our society – and, crucially, how it could work better.
MEET JULES BOYKOFF
Jules Boykoff, author of What Are the Olympics For?, is a professor of politics and government at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. He is also a former professional soccer player who represented the US U-23 men’s national team in international competition.
WHAT IS PHILANTHROPY AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
George Miller speaks to Rhodri Davies, author of What is Philanthropy for?, about why he thinks this is a good time to ask questions about the purpose of philanthropy, and its relationship to democracy, inequality and the market. Listen to the podcast.
WHAT RIGHTS DO WE OWE ANIMALS?
Steve Cooke, author of What Are Animal Rights For?, talks with George Miller about how the field of animal rights evolved – and continues to evolve as advances in the scientific understanding of animals’ lives expand the rights claims made on their behalf. Listen to the podcast.
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