Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Social Sciences

9780198201571_450

Solidarity: an art worth learning

Can solidarity exist? Or is it just a fantasy, a pious dream of the soft of heart and weak of brain? Gross inequality, greed and prejudice: these manifestations of selfishness which stalk our world may seem to invite our condemnation and to call for an alternative – but what if they are part of the natural order?

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9780199914081

Deferring the Cadillac tax kills it

Sometimes it is gratifying to have predicted the future. Sometimes it is not. The recent postponement of the so-called “Cadillac tax” until 2020 falls into the latter category. I predicted this kind of outcome when the Cadillac tax was first enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare.” I am unhappy that events have now proven this prediction correct.

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9780190233310

Sectarian tensions at home

The execution of the popular Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities at the beginning of this year has further intensified Sunni-Shia sectarian tensions not just in Saudi Arabia but the Middle East generally. The carrying out of the sentence, following convictions for a range of amorphous political charges, immediately provoked anti‑Saudi demonstrations among Shia communities throughout the Middle East.

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9780198060451

The tradition of political debate in India

India has a long history and tradition of upholding the power of debate. Bhiku Parekh explains in this interview that perhaps more than any other civilization, India has deeply valued debate, and would partake in them for days at a time.

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9780199668564 Bardgett - Earth Matters

Why soil matters more than we realise

The soils surrounding the village where I live in the north west of England have abundant fertility. They mostly formed in well-drained, clay-rich debris left behind by glaciers that retreated from the area some ten thousand years ago, and they now support lush, productive pasture, semi-natural grassland and woodland. Although the pastures are managed more intensively than they were in the past, most of them are well drained, and receive regular dressings of manure along with moderate fertiliser, and are regularly limed, which keeps the land productive and the soil in good health.

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9780199543830

Can American schools close the achievement gaps?

Currently, the United States is at war and the nation’s future can be at risk. It’s the war on student achievement gaps, one that has waged for decades and proven extremely difficult to fight and complex to understand. Is American education system losing its war on achievement gaps?

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ECt12Nen

Humanity in the digital age

How does one preserve the ephemera of the digital world? In a movement as large as the Arab Spring, with a huge digital imprint that chronicled everything from a government overthrow to the quiet boredom of waiting between events, archivists are faced with the question of how to preserve history. The Internet may seem to provide us with the curse of perfect recall, but the truth is it’s far from perfect — and perhaps there’s value in forgetting.

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ECt12Nen

Shadows of the digital age

The Bodleian recently launched a festival celebrating drawing. As part of this, the artist Tamarin Norwood retreated to our Printing Workshop, turned off her devices and learned how to set type. She proceeded, in her inky and delightful way, to compose a series of Print Tweets.

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Becoming a Music Teacher

New Year’s Resolutions for the music classroom

It’s a bright new year and time to shed off the old, but that doesn’t mean we can’t partake in some favored traditions – especially making New Year’s resolutions. If you’re a teacher or professor, the New Year usually means a new semester, and the opportunity to start fresh by teaching a new class, or bring rejuvenation to your students post-holiday.

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9780199466481

Time to follow through on India and Japan’s promises

It is no secret that India-Japan relations have been on a strong positive trajectory over the past 18 months. Soon after taking office in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made Japan his first foreign destination outside of India’s immediate neighborhood and while in Tokyo, he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upgraded the India-Japan relationship

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McLaren - Immigration and Perceptions of National Political Systems in Europe

Immigration and the demise of political trust

An average of 30 percent of the British public have identified immigration as one of their most important concerns since 2003; in recent months, 50 per cent or more have named this as one of the most important issues facing the UK.

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9780199391646

Roe v. Wade and the remaking of the pro-life movement

On 11 January 1973, members of the North Dakota Right to Life Association braved the frigid temperatures in Bismarck to convene their first annual convention. Having won a sweeping victory at the ballot box only two months earlier, they were optimistic about the future and were ready to move on to the second phase of pro-life activism.

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9780198716228

Why the junior doctors’ strike matters to everyone

Doctors in the UK are striking for the first time in over 40 years. This comes after months of failed talks between the government and the British Medical Association (BMA) regarding the controversial new junior doctor contract. We do so with a heavy heart, as it goes against the very ethos of our vocation. Yet the fact that more than 98% of us voted to do so, speaks volumes about the current impasse.

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9780199948901

No time to think

On leaving school, my advisor reminded me to always take time to think. That seemed like a reasonable suggestion, as I trudged off to teach, write, and, of course, think. But the modern academy doesn’t share this value; faculty are increasingly prodded to “produce” more articles, more presentations, more grant applications, and more PhD students.

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9780199372706

What religion is Barack Obama?

On 7 January, 2016, I asked Google, “what religion is Barack Obama”? After considering the problem for .42 seconds, Google offered more than 34 million “results.” The most obvious answer was at the top, accentuated by a rectangular border, with the large word “Muslim.” Beneath that one word read the line, “Though Obama is a practicing Christian and he was chiefly raised by his mother and her Christian parents…” Thank you, Google.

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