Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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The long, hard slog out of military occupation

By Alan McPherson
In 2003, former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld infamously foresaw victory in Afghanistan and Iraq as demanding a “long, hard slog” and listed a multitude of unanswered questions. Over a decade later, as President Obama (slowly) fulfills his promise to pull all US troops from Afghanistan, a different set of questions emerges: Which Afghans can coalition troops trust to replace them? Will withdrawal lead to even more corruption in the Hamid Karzai government or that of his successor? Has the return of sectarian violence in Iraq been inevitable?

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Racial diversity and government funding of nonprofit human services

By Eve E. Garrow
Does the government fund nonprofit human service organizations that serve and locate in the neighborhoods with the greatest needs? This is an important question, as much of the safety net now takes the form of human services delivered, for the most part, by nonprofit organizations. Access to government benefits therefore relies increasingly on the location of nonprofits that are awarded government funds to provide human services.

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Puzzling about political leadership

By R. A. W. Rhodes and Paul ‘t Hart
Since Machiavelli, political leadership has been seen as the exercise of practical wisdom. We can gain insights through direct personal experience and sustained reflection. The core intangibles of leadership – empathy, intuition, creativity, courage, morality, judgement – are largely beyond the grasp of ‘scientific’ inquiry.

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Eight facts about the gun debate in the United States

By Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss
The debate over gun control generates more heat than light. But no matter how vigorously the claims and counterclaims are asserted, the basic facts are not just a matter of personal opinion. Here are our conclusions about some of the factual issues that are at the heart of the gun debate.

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May 2014: a ‘political earthquake’?

By David Denver and Mark Garnett
The latest European Parliament and local council elections, held on Thursday 22 May, has shown, once again, that it would be foolish to make any predictions about political future contests in Britain. The two most striking aspects of the results were the advances made by UKIP and the collapse of Liberal Democrat support.

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Politics and cities: looking at the roots of suburban sprawl

Our modern-day suburban sprawl is much more than bad architecture and sloppy planning, yet there might be a simple solution. Benjamin Ross, author of Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism, argues that the expansion of rail transit would help us to create better places to live.

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After the storm: failure, fallout, and Farage

By Matthew Flinders
The earthquake has happened, the tremors have been felt, party leaders are dealing with the aftershocks and a number of fault-lines in contemporary British and European politics have been exposed. Or have they? Were last month’s European elections really as momentous as many social and political commentators seem to believe?

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The Noto decision and double state income taxation of dual residents

By Edward Zelinsky
Lucio Noto worked for Mobil and ExxonMobil in Virginia and Texas before retiring in 2001. In his retirement, Mr. Noto and his wife Joan maintain homes in Greenwich, Connecticut and in East Hampton, New York. For state income tax purposes, the Notos are residents of both Connecticut where they are domiciled and New York where they spend at least 183 days annually at their second home.

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History strikes back: Ukraine’s past and the current crisis

By Serhy Yekelchyk
As Ukrainian voters go to the polls this weekend to elect the new president, their country remains stalled at a historical crossroads. A revolution sparked by the previous government’s turn away from Europe, Russia’s flagrant annexation of the Crimea, and the continuing fighting in eastern Ukraine–all these events of recent months can only be understood in their proper historical context.

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Cybersecurity and the cyber-awareness gap

“‘There’s probably no issue that’s become more crucial, more rapidly, but is less understood, than cybersecurity,’ warns cyber expert P.W. Singer, co-author of Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know. Cybersecurity has quickly become one of the most defining challenges of our generation, and yet, as the threat of cyber-terrorism looms, there remains an alarming “cyber-awareness gap” that renders the many of us vulnerable.

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Five reasons why Spain has a stubbornly high unemployment rate of 26%

By William Chislett
The Spanish economy roared along like a high-speed train for a decade until it slowed down dramatically in 2008. Only recently has it emerged from a five-year recession. But the jobless rate has tripled to 26% (four times the US level) and will not return to its pre-crisis level for up to a decade. Why is this?

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All (European) politics is national

By Jean Pisani-Ferry
At the end of May, 400 million EU citizens will be called to participate in the second-largest direct election in the world (the first being held in India). Since they last went to the polls to elect their parliament, in 2009, Europe has gone through an acute crisis that precipitated several countries deeper into recession than any peacetime shock they had suffered for a century.

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The politics of political science

By Christopher Hood, Desmond King, and Gillian Peele
Why are there now more salaried academic political scientists than salaried politicians in Britain today? There are well over 2,000 academic members listed in the current directory of the UK’s main political-science association (the PSA) – more than twice the number of elected members of the Westminster, devolved and European parliaments put together.

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Looking forward to the Hay Festival 2014

By Kate Farquhar-Thomson
Every year since I can remember, I find myself in England’s famous book town for the excellent Hay Festival. Now in its 27th year the eponymous book festival can be found nestling under canvass for 11 days in the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

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A conversation on economic democracy with Tom Malleson

How do we address the problem of inequality in capitalist societies? Tom Malleson, the author of After Occupy: Economic Democracy for the 21st Century, argues that by making sure that democracy exists in both our economy and in our government, we may be able to achieve meaningful equality throughout society.

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