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9780199914081

Three myths about the Electoral College

Since the election, we Americans have engaged in a healthy debate about the Electoral College. My instincts in this debate are those of an institutional conservative: Writing our Constitution from scratch today, we would not have designed the Electoral College as it has evolved. However, institutions become embedded in societies. To further this debate, consider these three contentions often heard today about the Electoral College.

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Heavy-metal subdwarf

An international team of astronomers led by Professor Simon Jeffery at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland has discovered a small, very blue helium-rich, and hot star called UVO 0825+15, which has a surface extremely rich in lead and other heavy metals and varies in brightness by up to 1% every eleven hours. Only the fourth “heavy-metal subdwarf” discovered, and the second to be variable, the new star raises major questions about how these stars form and work.

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Politics Oxford Research Encyclopedias

The blinders of partisanship and the 2016 US election

America has just experienced what some claim is the most unusual presidential election in our modern history. The Democrats picked the first woman to run as a major-party candidate, while the Republicans selected an alt-right populist who is the first modern candidate never to have held an elected office. With battles in 140-character bursts, the tenor of the campaign was unusual to say the least.

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sloss

A lost opportunity: President Trump and the treaty supremacy rule

Several commentators have noted that the election of Donald Trump poses a significant threat to the established international legal order. Similarly, the Trump election constitutes a missed opportunity to repair a broken feature of the constitutional system that governs the US relationship with the international order: the Constitution’s treaty supremacy rule.

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9780190468903

The language of chess

The dust has barely settled on last year’s world chess championship match in New York: Norway’s Magnus Carlson defended his title again the tough challenger Sergei Karjakin, in a close match. The event got me thinking about the language of chess strategy and tactics and the curious history and multicultural origins of chess terminology.

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A. R. Wallace on progress and its discontents

Celebrated for his co-discovery of the principle of natural selection and other major contributions to evolutionary biology, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) also wrote widely on the social, political, and environmental aspects of scientific and technological advance. These latter, if far less familiar, ideas constitute an astute critique of the Victorian concept of progress.

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9780199669042_450

Welcome to the year of living dangerously – 2017

I am not usually a worried man but today – New Year’s Day 2017 – I am a worried man. Gripped by an existential fear, my mind is restless, alert, and tired. The problem? A sense of foreboding that the impact of the political events of 2016 will shortly come home to roost on a world that is already short on collective good will or trust. There is also a sense that games are being played by a new uber-elite of political non-politicians.

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Reimagining equity in public schools

Fifteen years ago bipartisan support for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) served as a watershed moment in federal support for public education in the United States. The law emphasized standardized testing and consequences for states and schools that performed poorly. The law was particularly important because NCLB’s focus on accountability also meant that states and local school districts were required to report on the achievement of different groups of students by race, socio-economic background, and disability.

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Learning from each other

Fate intervened this summer, giving me the opportunity to teach a History 201 class this fall at UW-Madison. Over the course of fifteen weeks I instructed 15 first-year undergraduates about oral history.

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Zika virus: a New Year update

The arrival and dramatic spread of the Zika virus in Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries alarmed public health authorities and the scientific community. This prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare ZIKV a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 1 February 2016. In response to this emergency, research on ZIKV was intensified, and within a few months, large amounts of data and outstanding results have been produced.

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Community Voiceworks

Do you have what it takes to lead a community choir?

Singing is one of the quickest routes to social bonding and a feeling of shared endeavour, which is why community groups are immensely popular. Leading such a group is exciting and rewarding says Peter Hunt, an experienced choral trainer and conductor. Why not try it yourself?

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9780199688920

How much capital?

Almost a decade after the global financial crisis, most regulators and commentators would agree that the banking industry is far more strongly capitalized than it was in the run-up to the crisis. Looking forward, there is less consensus as to how much capital banks should hold. Neel Kashkari, head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, attracted attention recently by calling for huge increases in minimum capital requirements for banks.

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Handbook of Methodological Approaches to Community-Based Research

Comprehensive affordable solutions to a major health problem

Alcohol and drug abuse costs Americans approximately $428 billion annually. Despite this enormous cost—which, we must remember, is just the economic face of a community, family, and individually life-shattering problem—the vast majority of those with an alcohol or substance use problem do not receive treatment, and even fewer are likely to achieve long-term sobriety.

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American History

From Willie Horton to Donald Trump

He is stupid and lazy. He has the attention span of a child. He caters to racism and he does not respect women. His patriotism is juvenile and belligerent. He claims to have the common touch, but he truly cares only for the rich. Is this the standard bill of indictment against Donald J. Trump, circa 2016—or against Ronald Reagan, circa 1980? Of course, these charges were made by liberal opponents of each.

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9780190499204

ASSA 2017: a city and conference guide

The 2017 Allied Social Sciences Association meeting kicks off the new year, taking place January 6-8 in Chicago, IL. The American Economic Association, in conjunction with 56 associations, will hold the three-day meeting to present and discuss general economics topics in wide array of disciplines. ASSA has plenty going on throughout the weekend. These are some particular events we’re looking forward to.

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