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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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What does the economic future hold for Spain?

By William Chislett
The good news is that Spain has finally come out of a five-year recession that was triggered by the bursting of its property bubble. The bad news is that the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at a whopping 26%, double the European Union average.

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Ice time

Jamie Woodward
On 23 September 1840 the wonderfully eccentric Oxford geologist William Buckland (1784–1856) and the Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz (1809–1873) left Glasgow by stagecoach on a tour of the Scottish Highlands

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African American demography [infographic]

In celebration of Black History Month, Social Explorer has put together an interactive infographic with statistics from the most recent Census and American Community Survey. Dig into the data to find out about current African American household ownership, employment rates, per capita income, and more demographic information.

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Nations and liberalism?

By Steven Grosby
Nationalism and nations have understandably been associated with the most illiberal treatment of human beings. History is replete with well-known examples of the murder of innocents in the cause of some nation. It continues today, for example, in Syria, Kurdistan, the Kashmir, and other places.

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Locating in a ‘Silicon Valley’ does not guarantee success for tech firms

By Harald Bathelt and Peng-Fei Li
In China and Canada, Shenzhen and Waterloo share the same nickname. Both are frequently viewed as their country’s “Silicon Valley”. Despite this shared name, there are fundamental differences between the two, which can be illustrated by the development of their leading firms. Let’s use the local weather of the two cities as a metaphor to describe the current situation.

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Your Place of the Year

As we wrap up the Oxford Atlas Place of the Year project for 2013, we thought we’d open the floor for some personal Places of the Year — that is, locations which have made a significant impact in our individual lives in 2013. Below are year-end picks from some OUP USA staffers.

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Earth’s forgotten places

By Eun Yeom
Since we have spent the last several months examining the places which have made the biggest impact in recent years, we decided to take a look at some of the locations on Earth which humans have left behind.

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The migration-displacement nexus

By Khalid Koser
International Migrants Day is intended to celebrate the enormous contribution that migrants make to economic growth and development, social innovation, and cultural diversity, worldwide. It also reminds us of the importance of protecting the human rights of migrants.

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Around the world in eighty mouse clicks

Are you a geography buff? Are the facts and figures of the world your forte? Make the new year’s resolution to learn something new about the world we live in. We’ve have drawn up a quiz culled from the wealth of geographic knowledge contained within the borders of the beautiful Atlas of the World. Broaden the horizons of your global perspective, levitate above the labyrinthine veins of London, or study the wake of a sailboat as it cuts through the deep, cerulean waters off the coast of Sydney. But, first, put your knowledge to the test below.

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Maps of the world

With Google maps and GPS instructions at the ready, it isn’t often that we step back to look at maps of the wider world. Long gone are the days when you had to flip open a physical map on your cross-country trip, to say nothing of the wealth of maps that exist today, from satellite imagery to geographic surveys, cityscapes to political maps.

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Seven facts of Syria’s displacement crisis

By Khalid Koser
Conflicts and crises regularly force people to flee their homes; and the plight of the displaced is often overlooked. In the case of Syria, however, displacement is not simply an unfortunate side-effect. Its massive volume threatens to render the country unsustainable for generations.

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Place of the Year 2013: Then and Now

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection on the past, present, and future. In our final week of voting for Place of the Year, here’s a look at some of the many changes undergone by the nominees. Which of these will steal the crown from Mars, the 2012 Place of the Year?

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Promoting a sensible debate on migration

Khalid Koser
Migration has had a rough ride in recent years. During times of recession, anti-immigrant sentiments often increase. Minor political parties around the world have taken full advantage and gained political capital from xenophobic policies. In many countries the media has followed suit, systematically reporting on migrants in negative terms. And political leaders are finding it hard to swim against this rising tide.

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