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Lesbian existence and marginalization in India

India’s first ‘lesbian ad’ went viral at the start of June this year. The advert featuring a young lesbian couple awaiting the arrival of one set of parents to their joint home is uncompromisingly ‘out’ even as it sets this exceptional moment in the everyday intimacy and domesticity that most relationships share. The ad is actually part of a new digital campaign launched by the brand Myntra for its range of ‘contemporary ethnic apparel’ called Anouk.

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How do we resolve reproductive material disputes?

Recent scientific advances have enabled us to have more control than ever over how and when we reproduce. However, these developments have resulted in serious legal discussions, raising the question: Do we lose the right to control what happens to our reproductive materials once they have left our body? Here, Jesse Wall discusses the courts’ different approaches for such disputes and the justification for their decisions.

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Williams-Ethics, Diversity, and World Politics

Islamic State and the limits of international ethics

The moral outrage at the actions of Islamic State (IS) is easy to both express and justify. An organisation that engages in immolation, decapitation, crucifixion and brutal corporal punishment; that seemingly deploys children as executioners; that imposes profound restrictions on the life-choices and opportunities of women; and that destroys cultural heritage that predates Islam is despicable. What drives such condemnation is complex and multifaceted, however.

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For refugees, actions speak louder than words

Calls for more to be done to respond to the plight of refugees will likely intensify as we get closer to 20 June, World Refugee Day, when groups in more than 100 countries will host events and issue reports to increase awareness about the needs of refugees and to mobilize a more effective response.

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The Democratic Party and the (not-so?) new family values

In 1970, archconservative journalist John Steinbacher seethed at what he considered the worst casualty of the Sixties, a decade defined by two Democratic presidencies, expanded federal intervention in what felt like every dimension of daily life and defiant young activists sporting shaggy beards and miniskirts rejecting authority of all kinds. Unable to withstand these seismic shifts, he despaired, the American family was in grave peril.

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Dispelling myths about EU law

What are the most common myths surrounding the laws of the European Union? We asked two experts, Phil Syrpis and Catherine Seville, to describe and combat some misconceptions. From the Maastricht Treaty to intellectual property law, here are some of the topics they addressed.

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Diplomatic History Cover

The ideology of counter-terrorism

An effective counter-terrorism policy requires the identification of domestic or international threats to a government, its civil society, and its institutions. Enemies of the state can be internal or external. Communist regimes of the twentieth century, for example, focused on internal enemies.

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Using web search data to study elections: Q&A with Alex Street

Social scientists made important contributions towards improving the conduct and administration of elections. A paper recently published in Political Analysis continues that tradition, and introduces the use of web search data to the study of public administration and public policy.

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SIPRI Yearbook 2015

Oil, arms, and corruption: a poisonous nexus?

While world military spending has fallen slightly in recent years, some regions, notably Africa and the Middle East, have seen continuing rapid increases. When SIPRI published our annual military expenditure data for 2014 this April, we featured a list of the 20 countries with ‘military burdens’ – the share of military expenditure in GDP – above 4%. This compares with only 13 in 2005.

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Party games: coalitions in British politics

The general election of May 2015 brought an end to five years of coalition government in Britain. The Cameron-Clegg coalition, between 2010 and 2015, prompted much comment and speculation about the future of the British party system and the two party politics which had seemed to dominate the period since 1945. A long historical perspective, however, I think throws an interesting light on such questions.

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The 2015 General Rejection? Disaffected democrats and democratic drift

Political science and journalistic commentaries are full of woe about the abject state of modern politics and the extent of the gap that has supposedly emerged between the governors and the governed. In this context, the 7 May 2015 might have been expected to deliver a General Rejection of mainstream democratic politics but did this really happen? Is British democracy in crisis?

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9780199311255 - Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know

The cases for and against hydrofracking

The EPA recently released a report stating that while hydrofracking has not led to significant impacts on drinking water, contamination may occur with “potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water”. In this extract from Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know, Alex Prud’homme breaks down the cases for and against hydrofracking.

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Catholics and the torture chamber

Argentina, 1976. On the afternoon of 3 August, Fr. James Weeks went to his room to take a nap while the five seminarians of the La Salette congregation living with him went to attend classes. Joan McCarthy, an American nun who was visiting them, stayed by the fireplace, knitting a scarf. They would have dinner together and discuss the next mission in Jujuy, a Northwestern province of Argentina, where McCarthy worked. Suddenly, a loud noise came from the door. Before McCarthy could reach it, a mob burst into the house. Around ten men spread all over the house, claiming to be the police, looking for weapons, guerrilla hideouts, and ‘subversive fighters.’

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Progressivism, Presbyterianism, and the White House

Surely no President epitomized the Progressive Era like Theodore Roosevelt, from trustbusting to conservation. Oddly, we rarely remember him as his contemporaries often did: “the greatest preacher of righteousness in modern times” (Gifford Pinchot); “essentially a preacher of righteousness” (William Loeb); “a veritable preacher of social righteousness with the irresistible eloquence of faith sanctified by work” (Jane Addams); “always ready to appeal for justice and righteousness” (Henry Cabot Lodge).

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President Obama, the Senate, and state private-sector retirement laws

In a letter addressed to President Obama, 26 members of the United States Senate expressed their support for the private sector retirement savings laws adopted in Illinois and California, and also being considered in other states. In particular, the senators asked that the United States Treasury and Labor Departments resolve three legal issues clouding the prospects of these adopted and proposed state laws.

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Has ISIS become the new pretext for curtailing our civil liberties?

A series of measures put in place in the years following 9/11 have now become a fixture of Western government: mass warrantless surveillance, longer periods of detention without charge, and greater state secrecy without accountability. The United States finds itself at the vanguard of this movement with its embrace of executive authority to authorize targeted killing of its own citizens.

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