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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Has India seen a foreign policy reset under Narendra Modi?

In late 2016 and early 2017, as policymakers and analysts have scrambled to predict the great unknown of Donald Trump’s foreign policy pathway for the United States, it is worth remembering that some 20 months ago, India too confronted a seismic shift in leadership, and a faced a future of significant foreign policy uncertainty. Narendra Modi rose to the Indian premiership in May 2014.

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International scientific collaboration in an ever-changing world

It is a widely held perception that the United States and United Kingdom, leading nations in the field of science, synergistically combine scientific excellence with ready entry into international networks of scientific collaboration. However, both nations experienced important changes in 2016: the United Kingdom voted to separate from the European Union and the United States elected a controversial president.

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India: a work in progress

Every country that is on the ascendant feels the need for a “coming out” party. In the last half century, that need has been met most often by hosting the Olympic Games. Japan did it in 1964, South Korea followed in 1988, and China in 2008. The Olympic itch seems to come in the wake of economic growth that takes per capita income to the vicinity of $6,000

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Labeling right in the age of Trump

Steve Bannon is a white nationalist. That was the first media characterization I heard of the former Breitbart executive after his appointment as chief strategist and senior counselor to President-elect Donald Trump on November 13, 2016. During the month that followed, center-left commentators also described Bannon as a “racist,” a “white supremacist,” a “white separatist,” a “neo-Nazi,” a “fascist.”

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What to keep in mind for the inauguration

Given our constitutional separation of powers, it seems odd that a presidential inauguration takes place on the Capitol steps. Like so much else in American history, the story begins with George Washington. In 1789, the First Congress met in New York City, where it proceeded to count the electoral ballots, an easy task since the vote had been unanimous.

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Evaluating the long-view forecasting models of the 2016 election

In an earlier paper this year, we argued that election forecasting models can be characterized by two ideal types, called short-view models and long-view models. Short-view forecasting models are predominantly based on polls, and are continually updated until election day itself. The polls themselves are often interviewing respondents right up until a couple of days before the election.

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On not taking Trump literally

Donald Trump has always had a rocky relationship with the truth. The fact that his pronouncements often fail to align with reality has now simply become an accepted fact. In earlier times candidates who spoke this way would have quickly fallen off the map. Why not Trump? One interesting take on this is the claim that his statements should not be taken literally. What exactly does it mean to not take something literally?

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Brexit and the Anglo-German relationship

As Britain embarks on its journey towards the exit from the European Union, the Anglo-German relationship is bound to play a central role. No other country is likely to matter more for the outcome of the negotiations than Germany, one of the UK’s most reliable partners in recent years. So how should we now think of this relationship which has defined modern Europe?

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Rethinking if not resetting

A quiet but intense debate has been going on among the dwindling group of Russian experts in the United States and Europe, who are increasingly disturbed by the hyperbolic rhetoric about Russian leader Vladimir Putin during and since the American presidential campaign, in the media, and from public intellectuals. Putin has been described as Hitler, Stalin, without a soul, and even crazy.

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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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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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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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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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The continued relevance of sport diplomacy

As Heather Dichter pointed out in her 2014 H-Diplo essay, a conundrum of sport diplomacy, perhaps its signal paradox, is the extent to which nations have used sport as a proving ground on the world stage. But these “mega-events” that nations require to prove their superiority also necessitate international cooperation.

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Globalization’s prospects, 2017

2016 was a rough year for globalization. And 2017 may get even rougher. By globalization, I mean the growing interconnectedness between economies through cross-border flows of goods and services, money, and people. The world has undergone two “eras of globalization” during the past century and a half. The first occurred during the 40 years or so before World War I.

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The Psychology of Meditation

New Year’s resolution: compassion in the face of fear

Over the course of the last year, we have witnessed expressions of anger, fear, pitilessness and even hatred both predictably and unexpectedly. The British vote to leave the EU and US voters’ preference for a Trump presidency were prompted in part by feelings of anger towards leaders or ‘the system’ and fear about immigration and identity. The world has watched the war in Syria as thousands die and millions are misplaced with both horror and helplessness.

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