Standing underneath the monstrous Soviet statue of “Motherland Calls” looking out over the mighty Volga River, I could understand why the city should have been renamed, rather unimaginatively, Volgograd “City on the Volga”. Between 1925 and 1961 it had been called Stalingrad, and was site of one of the most ferocious battles in the Second World War.
As voting on the Place of the Year shortlist continues, we’d like to spotlight a second contender in the race – Scotland. Scotland drew the world’s attention this year as a referendum was held for the country’s independence in September 2014.
With the recent announcement of our Place of the Year 2014 shortlist, we are spotlighting each of the contenders. First up is Brazil.Brazil brought the world’s soccer fans together this year, as it hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup in 12 different cities across the country. Learn more about this lively country in this infographic.
Thanks for all of your input over the last month as we considered our 2014 Place of the Year longlist in conjunction with the publication of the twenty-first Atlas of the World. Now that the votes are in, we’ve narrowed the nominees down to a shortlist of five, and we’d love your thoughts on those as well.
Before they were evicted from their homes and forcibly removed from their communities by the Israeli government in 2005, Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip warned that their removal would only make things worse. They warned that the front line of violence between Israelis and Palestinians would move closer to those Israelis who lived inside the Green Line. They claimed their presence provided a buffer. They said God promised this Land to the Jewish people and that they should not abandon it.
As voting continues on the longlist for Place of the Year 2014, we decided to take a look at the past and present of each of the nominees. Check out the images in the slideshow to see.
Voting for the 2014 Atlas Place of the Year is now underway. However, you still be curious about the nominees. What makes them so special? Each year, we put the spotlight on the top locations in the world that make us go, “wow”. For good or for bad, this year’s longlist is quite the round-up. Just hover over the place-markers on the map to learn a bit more about this year’s nominations.
With the end of 2014 approaching and the publication of the twenty-first edition of Oxford’s Atlas of the World, we’re considering the most noteworthy places from the past year with our annual Oxford Place of the Year (POTY) campaign.
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.
By Michael Hunt
Critics of the Obama administration’s Syrian policy have lamented its failure to take into account regional realities. With surprising speed those realities have put the brakes on US intervention. The anti-regime forces in Syria have remained deeply divided — indeed turned violently against each other — and resistant to outside guidance.
By Carsten Stahn
The Syria crisis has challenged the boundaries of international law. The concept of the ‘red line’ was used to justify military intervention in response to the use of chemical weapons. This phenomenon reflects a trend to use law as a strategic asset or instrument of warfare (‘lawfare’).
By Klaus Dodds
Where exactly is Syria, and how is Syria represented as a place? The first part of the question might appear to be fairly straight forward. Syria is an independent state in Western Asia and borders Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Israel. It occupies an area of approximately 70, 000 square miles, which is similar in size to the state of North Dakota. Before the civil war (March 2011 onwards), the population was estimated to be around 23 million but millions of people have been displaced by the crisis.
By Trevor Bryce
I have long been fascinated with Syria. Like other Middle Eastern regions, it has many layers of civilization and has seen many conquerors and raiders tramp and gallop through its lands over the centuries. That of course has been the fate of lots of countries, ancient and modern.
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.
Syria is Oxford University Press’s Place of the Year, and to call attention to the sociopolitical turmoil in the country, we present a brief excerpt from Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla by David Kilcullen. This is a powerful study of the important role technology, particularly social media, plays in the war zone in Syria.
Despite a strong field of contenders for the Oxford Atlas Place of the Year 2013, Syria emerged as the clear winner, owing to its central role in global events this year.