Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


Youth violence

Perhaps one of the most politically unpopular truths about violence is that it is young people who are most vulnerable to it, not the elderly or children, but youth. Global estimates from the World Health Organization are that, each year, 200,000 young people are murdered.

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Can we trust religious polls? [infographic]

Polls about religion have become regular features in modern media. They cast arguments about God and the Bible and about spirituality and participation in congregations very differently from the ones of preachers and prophets earlier in our nation’s history. They invite readers and viewers to assume that because a poll was done, it was done accurately.

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The Anglo-Saxons and the Jews

Anglo-Saxon England may seem like a solidly monochrome Christian society from a modern perspective. And in many respects it was. The only substantial religious minority in early medieval Western Europe, the Jews, was entirely absent from England before the Norman Conquest.

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The James Bond songs: Best of the forgotten and underrated

If you’re getting ready for the new Bond movie—and its recently released James Bond song—you might want to sift through the history of this 50-year-old franchise and think about your favorite Bond films and songs. But how many songs do you remember once you get past “Goldfinger” and “Live and Let Die”? We dug into the ones you might not recall, and those we believe deserve another listen. Here are our top 10.

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The woman who changed the world

Society owes a debt to Henrietta Lacks. Modern life benefits from long-term access to a small sample of her cells that contained incredibly unusual DNA. As Rebecca Skloot reports in her best-selling book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, the story that unfolded after Lacks died at the age of 31 is one of injustice, tragedy, bravery, innovation and scientific discovery.

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Etymology gleanings for September 2015

It so happened that I have been “gleaning” the whole month, but today I’ll probably exhaust the questions received during the last weeks. From a letter: “I have been told Norwegians would say forth and back rather that back and forth since it was logical for them to envision going away, then coming back.”

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Great Power: a ‘bridge too far’ for India?

Think of it. India was there when the Pharaohs ruled Egypt, it interacted with the long ago Mesopotamian empires on the Tigris and the Euphrates. India was the mysterious beyond Alexander of Macedon set out to conquer, and Indian spice and precious stones, finely woven cottons and silk, and peacocks, were the luxuries and the exotica craved by Imperial Rome in the age of the Caesers.

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Maccoby-Strategic Intelligence

Leadership for change

Change is constant. We are all affected by the changing weather, natural disasters, and the march of time. Changes caused by human activity—inventions, migrations, wars, government policies, new markets, and new values—affect organizations as well as individuals.

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Breaking down barriers

Barriers, like promises and piecrust, are made to be broken. Or broken down, rather. Translators, like teachers, are great breakers-down of barriers, though, like them, they are almost always undervalued. This autumn our minds and our media are full of images of razor-wire fences as refugees, fleeing war zones, try to cross borders legally or illegally in search of a safe haven.

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Preparing for world travel [infographic]

Are you planning a trip to Brazil, Cambodia, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, or another destination that requires immunizations in advance of your arrival? Are you a health care worker, about to travel to a destination currently dealing with an epidemic or outbreak?

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Henry Cowell

New appreciation for composer Henry Cowell

The extraordinarily innovative American composer Henry Cowell took Europe by storm as a touring pianist in the 1920s, playing his unforgettable compositions that often required using the entire forearm to play dozens of keys simultaneously. In later years he returned to give talks about his music and American music under the auspices of the State Department.

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Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration

Hallo Wien! International Bar Association annual meeting 2015

After venturing to the far East of Japan last year, 2015 sees the return of the International Bar Association’s annual meeting to Europe. Vienna will host the conference this year, a city which holds an interesting pedigree as a legal centre. The Annual Meeting itself promises to be a must-attend event for all international lawyers, with sessions ranging from climate change justice to human trafficking.

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Patients battle for justice

Is it possible that a disease as impairing as Type II diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, Multiple Sclerosis, and end-stage renal disease could be repeatedly belittled and delegitimized by scientists and health care professionals? Tragically, this is the case for a devastating illness affecting over one million Americans, and these patients have been deprived of their basic rights to respect, appropriate diagnosis, and humane treatment.

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Blackstone’s Statutes: top legislation

With the recent publication of the 2015-2016 editions of the Blackstone’s Statutes series, we asked some of the authors to select a piece of legislation from the series that has the most impact on their subject area.

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Combatting the IS’s law violations: Should we reprise reprisals?

Since its inception, the Islamic State (IS) has engaged in continuous behavior that violates the law of armed conflict (LOAC). These acts include the torture and killing of civilians; inhumane treatment of detainees generally, and in particular, women; forced compliance with religious and cultural practices; and, most recently, the systematic destruction and/or illegal sale of important cultural property.

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Wine globalization set to continue

The past two decades have seen globalization of the world’s wine markets proceed like never before, in both speed and comprehensiveness. There was a degree of trade expansion in the five decades to World War I but, until the late 20th century, interactions across continents involved little more than the exporting of vine cuttings and traditional production expertise.

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