Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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The #BringBackOurGirls rallying point

By Isaac Terwase Sampson
The Boko Haram (BH) terrorist group, responsible for the abduction of over 200 school girls in north-eastern Nigeria, has been Nigeria’s prime security threat since 2009.

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1914-1918: the paradox of semi-modern war

By Dennis Showalter
The looming centennial of the Great War has inspired a predicable abundance of conferences, books, articles, and blog posts. Most are built on a familiar meme: the war as a symbol of futility. Soldiers and societies alike are presented as victims of flawed intentions and defective methods, which in turn reflected inability or unwillingness to adapt to the spectrum of innovations (material, intellectual, and emotional), that made the Great War the first modern conflict.

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15 facts on African religions

African religions cover a diverse landscape of ethnic groups, languages, cultures, and worldviews. Here, Jacob K. Olupona, author of African Religions: A Very Short Introduction shares an interesting list of 15 facts on African religions.

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Twenty years after the Rwandan Genocide

By Scott Straus
We are now entering the month of April 2014—a time for reflection, empathy, and understanding for anyone in or involved with Rwanda. Twenty years ago, Rwandan political and military leaders initiated a series of actions that quickly turned into one of the 20th century’s greatest mass violations of human rights. As we commemorate the genocide, our empathy needs to extend first to survivors and victims. Many families were destroyed in the genocide.

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Celebrating Women’s History Month

This March we celebrate Women’s History Month, commemorating the lives, legacies, and contributions of women around the world. We’ve compiled a brief reading list that demonstrates the diversity of women’s lives and achievements.

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Down and out in Bloemfontein

By Matthew Flinders
My New Year message is simple: we can change the world in 2014 but only if we recognise that we have an economy based upon exclusion and inequality. Some people are ‘down and out’ in Bloemfontein or Rio de Janeiro, or even London, because they were born into a system that entrenched certain inequalities that would shape their life chances. They are not animals in a zoo to be gawped at or mimicked.

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Exploring the seven principles of Kwanzaa: a playlist

by Tim Allen and Meghann Wilhoite
Beginning the 26th of December, a globe-spanning group of millions of people of African descent will celebrate Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival of communitarian values created by scholar Maulana Karenga in 1966. The name of the festival is adapted from a Swahili phrase that refers to “the first fruits,” and is meant to recall ancient African harvest celebrations.

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A Nelson Mandela reading list

Here we celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. From his early days as an activist, to his trial and imprisonment, to his presidency, this reading list covers all aspects of his life, and looks beyond the work he did to see how he influenced South Africa and the world.

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Kenya’s government 50 years after independence

By Justin Willis
Like many large and diverse countries, Kenya has long debated the value of introducing a form of devolved government. That debate seems to have come full circle. The majimbo, ‘regional’, constitution of 1963 was intended to devolve authority away from the centre. It lasted less than a year.

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Nelson Mandela’s leadership: born or made?

By Julian Barling
Retrospectively understanding the leadership of anyone who has achieved iconic status is made difficult because we ascribe to them our own needs, dreams and fears. When we try and understand the leadership of Nelson Mandela, it’s natural to think that leadership must be something you are born to do. As but one example, organizational scholar Rosabeth Moss Kanter observed that “There are very few people in the world who could have done what he did.

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Oxford University Press Southern Africa Tribute to Nelson Mandela

How does one begin to describe Nelson Mandela? As a leader that fought for civil rights, freedom, equality, socioeconomic development, health awareness, and peace in South Africa. A true revolutionary. One who fought for what he believed was right, despite the consequences. One whose purpose was far greater than his fears. One who sacrificed his freedom for a cause much bigger than himself. One whose actions were so great that the world now mourns the loss of a true global ambassador of peace and progressive change.

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Nelson Mandela, champion of public health

By Yogan Pillay
Our late former President Mandela has passed on but his legacy will live on and should live on for generations to come. He inspired millions across the world to do good, to forgive, to work for the common good. This also inspired me – from my youth in university when he was in prison and as a government official since he became the President of our country and today as we mourn his passing.

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Mandela, icon

By Elleke Boehmer
The name Nelson Mandela and the word icon are once again on people’s lips, as if spoken in the same breath.

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