Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

OxBibs in African Studies

There are many excellent African leaders

A common perception is that the problem with Africa is its leaders. In 2007, Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim even created a major cash prize through his charitable foundation as an incentive to African heads of state to treat their people fairly and equitably and not use their countries’ coffers for their personal enrichment.

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Aylan Kurdi: A Dickensian moment

The international response to the photographs of the dead body of three year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, washed ashore on a Turkish beach on 2 September 2015, has prompted intense debate. That debate has been not only about the proper attitude of Britain and other countries to the refugee crisis, but also about the proper place of strong emotions in political life.

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John Oliver, Televangelists, and the Internal Revenue Service

John Oliver’s sardonic spoof of televangelists raises important issues that deserve more than comic treatment. Oliver’s satire was aimed both at the televangelists themselves and at the IRS. In Oliver’s narrative, the IRS acquiesces to televangelists’ abuse by granting their churches tax-exempt status and failing to audit these churches.

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‘Us’ and ‘Them': Can we define national identity?

Surveys show that a high percentage of British citizens “feel British.” But what exactly do people have in mind when they say this? People may think differently about this question, and perhaps it is also British to give various meanings to British identity. Still, can we define what it is to “feel” British? Or even what is un-British—be it a pattern of behavior, a belief, or a way of doing things?

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A snapshot of the jihadist movement today

Fighting terrorism is one of the few foreign policy issues that unites Democrats and Republicans, though of course both are quick to point fingers at any perceived failures or lapses. Yet America’s and the world’s leaders often do not recognize that the jihadist movement today is in flux, and the threat it poses differs dramatically from the 9/11 era.

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Prepping for APSA 2015

This year’s American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting takes place September 3-6 in San Francisco, where over 6,000 of the world’s foremost academic political scientists will gather for four days of lectures, sessions, networking, and scholarly discussion. This year’s theme, “Diversities Reconsidered”, promises to ignite intellectual discussion among all participants while still staying grounded in the current state of the nation’s political climate.

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Could a Supreme Court justice be president?

Bill Kristol, whose major political contribution to American public life is the national career of Sarah Palin, has another bright idea to free the Republican Party from the looming prospect of a Donald Trump presidential candidacy. The GOP, he writes, should turn to a dark horse from an unlikely source. After naming several long-shot contenders such as Mitch Daniels and Paul Ryan, Kristol essays the presidential equivalent of a two-handed shot from half court. Why not, he inquires, Justice Samuel Alito from the Supreme Court?

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14781395 jicj journal of international criminal justice

Sexual exploitation and abuse by UN Peacekeepers

Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers is not fresh news. It has been going on for years. It first hit the headlines over ten years ago, and the scandal drove the UN to take action. Yet recent allegations over SEA by French peacekeepers in 2014 have brought the issue to the forefront again, and have motivated the UN Secretary-General to escalate the UN’s response to SEA in its peacekeeping operations.

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Adam ey al-On the Road to Permissiveness

Four ways in which policy-makers resolve moral dilemmas

Moral dilemmas are ubiquitous in modern democratic societies. Can we protect the bodily integrity of women and their unborn children at the same time? How can we protect the free will of adults while at the same time denying them to engage in self-harming activities, like (assisted) suicide or drug use?

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Journal of American History

America’s mass incarceration problem

The United States holds the world’s largest prison population, but just how deep does our nation’s system of punishment and containment run? In the June 2015 issue of the Journal of American History, historians examine the origins and consequences of America’s carceral state. These articles discuss how mass incarceration’s effects seep into all facets of American society—economic, political, legal, and social. Process, the OAH’s blog, delves into such perspectives through a series of posts from the special issue’s authors.

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The new intergovernmentalism and the Greek crisis

Just as some thought it was over, the Greek crisis has entered into a new and dramatic stage. The Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has declared snap elections to be held on the 20th September. This comes just as the European Stability Mechanism had transferred 13 billion Euros to Athens, out of which 3.2 billion was immediately sent to the European Central Bank to repay a bond of that amount due on the 20th August.

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Featherstone-Prime Ministers in Greece

Greece: The paradox of power

Why doesn’t Greece reform? Over the past few years the inability of successive Greek governments to deliver on the demands of international creditors has been a key feature of Greece’s bailout drama. Frustrated observers have pointed to various pathologies of the Greek political system to explain this underperformance.

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America’s irrational drug policies

Ten students at two visitors at Wesleyan University have been hospitalized after overdosing on the recreational drug Ecstasy, the result of having received a “bad batch.” The incident elicited a conventional statement from the President of the University: “Please, please stay away from illegal substances the use of which can put you in extreme danger.”

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some men

Learning from Chris Norton over three decades—Part III

Flash forward to 2010. I was now a tenured full professor. I was working with two young male Ph.D. students who in some ways reminded me of myself thirty years earlier—inspired by feminism, wanting to have an impact on the world. Both Tal Peretz and Max Greenberg had, as undergrads, gotten involved in campus-based violence prevention work with men.

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some men

Learning from Chris Norton over three decades—Part II

In my 1980 interview with Chris Norton, he spoke of the tensions of being a pro-feminist man, of struggling with how to integrate his commitments to feminism with his daily life as a carpenter, where he worked with men who didn’t always share those commitments. He spoke of Men Against Sexist Violence’s (MASV) internal discussions of sexism and pornography, and of his own complicated relationship to feminism and other progressive politics.

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some men

Learning from Chris Norton over three decades—Part I

The guy at the front of the room was saying stuff I’d never heard a man say before, especially to a room full of young college guys. Through my basketball-player-eyes, I sized him up to be at least 6’5” with the broad shoulders of a power forward

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