Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

9780199348237

Ten things you didn’t know about Argentine tango music

Tango is a multidimensional art form including music, dance and poetry. It grew out of the confluence of cultures in the Río de la Plata region in South America and has since had over a century-long history. Here are ten things that you might not know about Argentine tango music.

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9780198724452

Freedom of information lives on

The Freedom of Information Act is here to stay. At any rate for the time being. That is the good news implicit in the statement on 1st March 2016 by Matt Hancock, the Cabinet Office Minister, that “this government is committed to making government more transparent”.

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9780199608379_450

Émile Zola and the Rougon-Macquart

Listen to, and read a transcript of an interview from Nicola Barringer with Valerie Minogue, translator of Money by Émile Zola, part of the Rougon-Macquart cycle. In the interview, she introduces the Rougon-Macquart, Zola’s epic cycle of twenty novels.

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OPIL

Sykes-Picot: the treaty that carved up the Middle East

The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement has long been regarded as a watershed – a pivotal episode in the history of the Middle East with far-reaching implications for international law and politics. A product of intense diplomacy between Britain and France at the height of the First World War, this secret agreement was intended to pave the way for the final dissolution of Ottoman power in the region.

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9780199461172

State responses to cross-border displacement in South Asia

European countries are now experiencing an unprecedented influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Europeans are trying to find out the causes of population displacement and measures to deal with the crises. Much can be learnt from the South Asian experience in dealing with the refugees. Over the last six decades cross-border displacement in this region has involved a dazzling array of different groups.

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sorry about that

Apology round-up: 2016 presidential race (so far)

It’s an election year and that means we get to think about the language of politicians—their vocabularies, vocal timbre, gestures, accents, metaphors, style, mistakes, and recoveries. I’m always on the lookout for interesting apologies, and the 2016 election has not been a disappointment.

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9780199272334 oso

Evangelicals, politics, and theocracy: a lesson from the English revolution

The current cycle of primary elections has re-ignited old debates about the place of religion in American political life. Those candidates identified as evangelicals, such as Ted Cruz, are often represented as proposing a top-down reconstruction of American society, encouraging a “moral minority” to take power in order to impose its expectations upon the culture at large.

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Should old-age social insurance be means-tested?

Almost everyone faces some risk of ending up old, sick, alone, and poor. The lengths of our lives are uncertain. Aging comes with increased chances of needing costly medical care. The loss of a spouse, often preceded by large medical bills, may leave one alone late in life. Absent a spouse or other family member to provide informal care, an expensive protracted stay in a nursing home may be needed due to dementia or disability

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9780198748847

Tolstoy in art and on film

The portrait of Tolstoy currently on view at London’s National Portrait Gallery as part of the ‘Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky’ exhibition shows the writer sitting at his desk, pen in hand, head bowed. Only six years after Anna Karenina was first published as a complete novel, Tolstoy had already cast aside his career as a professional writer in favour of proselytizing his ethics-based brand of Christianity.

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Illuminating Shakespeare

Disguises and ‘bed-tricks’: Shakespeare’s love of deception [quiz]

Although Shakespeare employed disguises in many of his plays for the sake of comedic effect — take Sir Falstaff dressed as the obese aunt of Mistress Ford’s maid, for example — many more of his characters are entangled in other serious, deceptive plots. The majority of disguises are assumed with the sole purpose of concealing the individual’s true identity, many times for the assurance of his or her safety.

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OUP Philosophy Crest

Philosopher of the month: Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes is remembered as the author of one of the greatest of books on political philosophy ever written, Leviathan, in which he argued with a precision reached by few other thinkers. He was famously a cynic, holding that human action was motivated entirely by selfish concerns, notably fear of death.

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So long and thanks for all the tweets

Today is my last day editing the OUPblog. Back in January 2012, I took over as blog editor without so much as a handover (an early maternity leave prevented one). I promptly screwed up multiple things in the first few weeks, causing great annoyance to my colleagues. Then I gradually began steering the blog on a different course.

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9780199689842

Skin cancer: What are the risks?

With bursts of sunshine starting to break through the relentless spring showers, the world is gearing up for summer. For a lot of us, that means getting away for a few weeks, and enjoying the glorious sunshine that the warmer weather brings. Unfortunately, basking in the summer sunshine isn’t without its risks.

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socio economic

How the euro divides the union: economic adjustment and support for democracy in Europe

When the heads of European governments signed the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, they laid the ground for Europe’s economic and monetary union (EMU) and, eventually, the introduction of the euro. Far from being merely an economic project, the common currency, so they hoped, would help pave the way towards a shared European identity. Today—almost a quarter century after Maastricht—that goal remains a distant prospect. On the contrary, during the economic crisis, European citizens in many respects seemed to have drifted apart.

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9780190297336

It takes a whole child to raise a village

“When we get our story wrong, we get our future wrong,” David Korten wrote in Change the Story, Change the Future. If children are indeed our future, then the stories we use to educate and help them come of age are the most important stories to get right.

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9780198725961

What exactly is ‘agriculture’?

In February, when the local ewes were heavy with their lambs, the newspapers carried an article about a Japanese company called Spread, based in Kyoto. In a fully-automated operation covering just over an acre the company plans to be producing 30,000 heads of lettuce per day by 2017, and more than ten times that number within five years. The company’s website calls it a ‘vegetable factory’.

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