Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Social Sciences

9780199322190_450

On the economics of economists

We economists spend a lot of time writing about the job market. Can the unemployment rate drop any further? Will the number of unemployed people increase when the Fed starts to raise interest rates? And will wages begin to pick up if the unemployment rate does drop?To pursue these questions, economists construct theoretical models of the labor market, gather hiring and wage data from a variety of industries and regions.

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Mass incarceration and the perfect socio-economic storm

In nature, there are weather conditions, referred to as ‘perfect storms’, arising from a rare combination of adverse meteorological factors creating violent storms that significantly affect the socio-economic conditions of an area. Social scientists refer to similar adverse factors as cultural amplifier effects. Currently, there are approximately 2000 correctional and detention facilities in the US with over 450,000 employees.

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9780199698011

The future of US financial regulatory reform in the Trump era

Under the Trump Administration, many changes are in the air. Our prediction is that the post-financial crisis paradigm shift in financial regulation is here to stay. There will be a rebalancing of regulatory and supervisory goals away from a sole focus on financial stability to thinking about jobs and economic growth as well, but we do not expect to see a wholesale dismantling of the Dodd-Frank Act.

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Do school food programs improve child dietary quality?

Over the past 70 years, school meal standards have become increasingly focused on raising the quality of school food rather than simply supplying food. But exactly how does the quality of a school meal compare to a brown-bag meal from home? Turns out, the answer isn’t as simple as comparing the average school lunch to the average sack lunch; we must dig deeper, far below and above the average child.

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The humanities in Trump’s Gotham City

On 8 November 2016 the American political system threw up from its depths a creature wholly unrecognizable to those of us born in the West since 1945. Most of us who teach the humanities at any level have felt, since 8 November, that we have been reduced to the level of bit players in a Batman movie – we are out on the streets of Gotham City, with the leering Joker on the loose.

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9780190262891

The origins of Trumpism

The rise of Donald J. Trump may seem unprecedented, but we’ve seen this phenomenon before in the person of Robert H.W. Welch Jr., who founded the John Birch Society in 1958. Like Trump, Welch was a wealthy businessman. As vice president for sales at his brother’s confectionery company—which manufactured Junior Mints, Sugar Babies, and other popular brands—he understood the power of publicity.

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9780190223076

What is the role of the Environmental Protection Agency?

During his first official week in office, United States President Donald Trump is moving quickly on his to-do list for his first 100 days in office, proving that he plans on sticking to the promises that he made as a candidate. Earlier this week, the Trump administration ordered a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and has instructed staff to temporarily suspend all new contracts and grant awards.

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Shakespearean tragedy and modern politics

On his recent visit to England Barack Obama chose to tour Shakespeare’s Globe, on Bankside; and in the last days of his Presidency, interviewed about his reading habits, he spoke touchingly and revealingly of his admiration for Shakespeare’s tragedies, and of what they had taught him. ‘I took this wonderful Shakespeare class in college’, he said, ‘where I just started to read the tragedies and dig into them.

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9780197266038_450

How to be a successful special adviser: five tips

Political advice is the topic of the moment. Added to periodic quarrels about the pay and influence of special advisers, a new US President is putting the final touches to his team of advisers while the British Prime Minister faces an array of conflicting recommendations about Brexit. Advice itself seems to have become politicised.

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9780199692873

Thomas Schelling: An unconventional economist

Thomas Schelling was one of the best, and most unconventional, economists of his generation. Using simple arithmetic and more common sense than most economists are born with, he could turn problems upside down and inside out, and come up with novel solutions. Thomas liked to tell a story, over a nice glass of wine, about how he would find a friend in Washington DC if they were separated.

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Mrs. T and I

The full accounting of how my political work affected the lives of others is something we will only know on Judgment Day,” stated Margaret Thatcher in the year 1995. The “Iron Lady” indeed affected the lives of millions, among them historian David Cannadine, whose thoughts turn to two Mrs.Ts: one was “the dominant British public figure of her generation”;

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Fighting Trump’s populism with pluralist populism

Leaders and influential movements in countries such as the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, France, Spain, Britain, Venezuela, and the United States are being called “populists.” Sometimes that word (or its equivalent in other languages) is critical. It means that the leader has promised voters impossible or unjustifiable benefits in order to win election. No one calls himself a “populist” in this sense; it’s an epithet.

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9780190262365

Trump’s Twitter coliseum of torture

President-elect Donald Trump promised on multiple occasions during the campaign to bring back torture in order to “fight fire with fire.” As with some of his other campaign promises (draining the swamp of lobbyists, getting rid of Obamacare in its entirety), Trump may pivot away from torture as well. If Trump does what he says, however, we are entering a new chapter in the history of torture.

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9780190299477

President Trump and American constitutionalism

Citizens of the United States may be witnessing a constitutional crisis, a normal constitutional revolution or normal constitutional politics. Prominent commentators bemoan Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election as the consequence of a breakdown of vital constitutional norms that augurs the destruction of constitutional governance in the United States.

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A new globalization; borders and the role of the state

When people started talking about globalization in the seventies, there was a kind of messianic view that it would change everything; that globalization would sweep the state away, making it no longer the main actor on the global stage. When I taught international relations thirty years ago, and discussion of globalization was taking off, people were predicting the end of the state.

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Direct democracy and the 2016 election cycle

In US general elections a great deal of attention, and much of the money, focuses on events at the national level. But a very great deal of electoral activity also occurs at the sub-national level, with elections for statehouses, governorships, and also initiatives and referendums. In the November 2016 election voters in 35 states were given the opportunity to vote on 154 statewide ballot measures.

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