How can we help Afghan refugees? What are the challenges facing American democracy? Is Weimar Germany a warning from history? These are just a few of the questions our authors have tackled on the OUPblog this past year. Discover their takes on the big political issues of 2021 with our list of the top 10 politics blog posts of the year.
1. Why has Gaza frequently become a battlefield between Hamas and Israel?
During the past decade, the eyes of the world have often been directed toward Gaza. This tiny coastal enclave has received a huge amount of diplomatic attention and international media coverage. The plight of its nearly two million inhabitants has stirred an outpouring of humanitarian concern, generating worldwide protests against the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
In this excerpt from The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know®, author Dov Waxman provides an overview of the conflict’s history and development.
2. Well-known secret graveyards: (re)discovering the horrors of assimilation for Indigenous peoples
The Kamloops Indian Residential School was part of a systematic Indigenous youth educational effort in Canada, with comparable projects in the United States, the purpose and intent of which is hotly debated today.
In this blog post, Michael Lerma, author of Guided by the Mountains, gives his reaction to the recent discovery of mass graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, a former boarding school for Indigenous youth.
3. The democrat’s dilemma: how can we mitigate the conflicting responsibilities of citizenship?
Government in any form exercises power over those it governs. In a democracy, this power is shared among equals who disagree over how power should be used. When democracy enacts policy, some citizens are forced to comply. How can one be subjected to political power without thereby being subordinated by it?
Learn about the democrat’s dilemma in this blog post from Robert B. Talisse, author of Sustaining Democracy: What We Owe to the Other Side.
4. The coming refugee crisis: how COVID-19 exacerbates forced displacement
Refugees have fallen down the political agenda since the “European refugee crisis” in 2015-16. COVID-19 has temporarily stifled refugee movements and taken the issue off the political and media radar. However, the impact of the pandemic is gradually exacerbating the drivers of mass displacement.
Alexander Betts, author of The Wealth of Refugees: How Displaced People Can Build Economies, considers the impacts of COVID-19 on the refugee crisis and forced displacement in this blog post.
5. Nine challenges that American democracy faces [reading list]
Explore the challenges facing democracy in the United States and in emerging democracies around the world with our newest books—including leading works in the field—in our reading list.
6. Why increasing deglobalization is putting vulnerable populations at risk
The record of globalization is decidedly mixed. Whereas proponents tend to associate globalization with beneficial developments such as the expansion of democracy and improved access to goods and services, critics highlight the human costs: rising inequality and political and economic exploitation.
In this blog post, Jarrod Hayes and Katja Weber argue that deglobalization is undermining the international community’s ability to limit human rights abuses, using Myanmar as a case study.
7. Fiddling while Rome burns: climate change and international relations
In this blog post, Jørgen Møller describes working and writing from home during a pandemic, discusses climate change as a third major issue area of global politics, alongside security and economics, and considers whether chaos or order is brewing in the world.
8. How can we help Afghan refugees?
“The outpouring of support for Afghan refugees since the fall of the Taliban a few weeks ago is laudable. As the author of two books on our obligations to refugees, many people have been asking me about how we should respond to this crisis and what we can hope for Afghan refugees. There’s both a lot we in the United States can do and a lot we should be worried about.”
Read the blog post from Serena Parekh, author of No Refuge: Ethics and the Global Refugee Crisis, on what can be done to help resettle Afghan refugees in the aftermath of the War in Afghanistan.
9. The ghosts of Weimar: is Weimar Germany a warning from history?
The ghosts of Weimar are back. Woken up by the rise of populist right-wing parties across Europe and beyond, they warn of danger for democracy. The historical reference point evoked by these warnings is the collapse of the Weimar Republic followed by the Nazi dictatorship. The connection between now and then seems indisputably obvious: democracy died in 1933, and it is under attack again today. But does the comparison make sense? This blog post will argue: no!
Read the blog post from Nadine Rossol and Benjamin Ziemann, co-editors of The Oxford Handbook of the Weimar Republic.
10. Sustainability in action: dismantling systems to combat climate change
Contrary to the opinion that sustainability is an almost meaningless concept, analysts have developed theoretical tools for understanding why systemically supported processes resist disruption, bounce back after perturbation, and exhibit structural evolution. Considering the COP26 conference, it is time for everyone to examine the self-reinforcing systems that have made climate change so difficult to stop.