Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Social Sciences

The Asian financial crisis: lessons learned and unlearned

Governments no doubt draw lessons from financial crises and adopt measures to prevent their recurrence. However, these often address the causes of the last crisis but not the next one. More importantly, they can actually become the new sources of instability and crisis. This appears to be the case in Asia where the lessons drawn from the 1997 crisis and the measures implemented thereupon may be inadequate.

Read More

The dangerous stigma behind military suicides [excerpt]

Terms such as “Soldier’s Heart,” “shell shock,” and “Combat Stress Reaction” have all been used to describePost Traumatic Stress Disorder in the military. War and PTSD have a long history together, as does the stigma behind mental health within military culture.In the following excerpt from The Last and Greatest Battle John Bateson discusses the dangers of underreported PTSD and the steps we can take to help prevent military suicides.

Read More

Allen Ginsberg and Ann Coulter walk into an auditorium…

Ann Coulter, a controversial right-wing author and commentator, was tentatively scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on April 27 until pre-speech protests turned into violent clashes, and her speech was canceled. In response, Coulter tweeted, “It’s sickening when a radical thuggish institution like Berkeley can so easily snuff out the cherished American right to free speech.”

Read More

A new view of authoritarianism and partisan polarization

Democrats and Republicans are increasingly polarized. Partisan strength is up, feelings toward the two parties are more extreme, and partisans are more intolerant of the other side. What gives rise to the partisan divide in American politics? One prominent theory is that Democrats and Republicans are polarized today because they differ psychologically. Republicans have become more authoritarian and Democrats less so.

Read More

Don’t play politics with the debt ceiling

It must be frustrating to be a Congressional Democrat these days. The minority party in both the House and Senate and having lost the White House, the only thing keeping the Democrats relevant is a dysfunctional White House and a disunited Republican majority in Congress. There is, however, one area in which they should drop any obstructionism and play ball with the Republicans—raising the debt ceiling.

Read More

Can burlesque be described as “feminist”?

Is burlesque an expression of sex-positive feminism, or is it inherently sexist? In the following excerpt from The League of Exotic Dancers: Legends from American Burlesque, documentarian Kaitlyn Regehr and photographer Matilda Temperley share narratives by burlesque dancers who embraced this form of art as an early expression of women’s rights.

Read More

What drives displacement and refuge?

Global refugee numbers are at their highest levels since the end of World War II, but the system in place to deal with them, based upon a humanitarian list of imagined “basic needs,” has changed little. In this excerpt from Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World, authors Paul Collier and Alexander Betts explain the cause and effect of mass violence, a far too common pre-cursor to refugee crises and global displacement.

Read More

The weight of the world: social workers’ experiences of social suffering

Long-standing concerns around the bureaucratic and often unhelpful nature of children and families social work were brought to a head in Prof Eileen Munro’s (2011) review of child protection. With colleagues, I recently completed a project involving social work academics and children and families social workers from neighbouring local authorities to try and facilitate such a shift in child protection cultures.

Read More

What can the Zombie Apocalypse teach us about ourselves? [Video]

Like war stories, like disaster films, like any kind of narrative that revolts and scares yet also delights us, the Zombie Apocalypse offers a laboratory for observing human emotion and experience. Its excess opens up a multitude of responses that don’t get explored in the course of our everyday lives, although these same choices lurk underneath the surface of all our lives.

Read More

The steeples of Essex and Tyrone: Irish historians and Brexit

One of the glib accusations levelled against Irish history is that it never changes–that its fundamental themes are immutable. Equally, one of the common accusations against Irish historians is that (despite decades of learned endeavour) they have utterly failed to shift popular readings of the island’s past. Yes, the Good Friday Agreement and its St […]

Read More

Margaret Fuller and the coming democracy

Since the 30th April, I go almost daily to the hospitals,” Margaret Fuller told her friend Ralph Waldo Emerson in a 10 June 1849 letter. “Though I have suffered,–for I had no idea before how terrible gun-shot wounds and wound-fever are, I have taken pleasure, and great pleasure, in being with the men; there is scarcely one who is not moved by a noble spirit.”

Read More

10 facts about the Indian economy

15 August 2017 marks the 70th year anniversary since the British withdrew their colonial rule over India, leaving it to be one of the first countries to gain independence. Since then it has become the sixth largest economy in the world and is categorised as one of the major G-20 economies. To mark the occasion we have compiled a wide array of facts around the Indian economy pre and post-independence.

Read More

It’s education, stupid: how globalisation has made education the new political cleavage in Europe

Commentators argue that a globalisation cleavage is appearing in western Europe, with the issues of migration and European integration core bones of contention. We argue that at a deeper level it is not just globalisation or the EU that drives this contestation. The new political divide is also rooted in demographic changes, it is a manifestation of the rise of a more structural, educational cleavage.

Read More

Is science being taken out of environmental protection?

In 1963, dying of breast cancer and wearing a wig to cover the effects of radiation treatments, Rachel Carson appeared before a congressional committee to defend her indictment of pesticides. She had rattled the chemical industry with Silent Spring, which urged caution at a time when Americans were buying dangerous products that the scientific community had itself made possible.

Read More

What makes a good manager? [excerpt]

Is modern work culture is pushing otherwise good people to adopt poor management styles? From creating “growth opportunities” to taking on mentors, managers often find themselves falling into progressive traps that seem like the right thing to do, but ultimately lead employees astray. In the following excerpt from Good People, Bad Managers, Samuel A. Culbert examines the effectiveness of modern management approaches.

Read More