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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Investing in women’s reproductive health makes economic sense

There is no gender equality without access to reproductive health services, including access to contraceptives and safe abortions. In fact, economists are paying increasing attention to the economic benefits of investing in women’s reproductive health and finding gains not only for women but also for their families and for the economy at large.

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Is social media a platform for supporting or attacking refugees?

On March 15th 2019, a white nationalist opened fire during Friday prayers, killing fifty Muslims and injuring at least fifty others in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attack was the largest mass shooting in New Zealand’s history and came as a shock to the small and remote island nation which generally sees itself as free from the extreme violence and terrorism seen elsewhere in the world.

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Should the people always get what they want from their politicians?

Should we listen to the voice of “the people” or the conviction of their representatives? Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has inspired virulent debate about the answer. Amidst Theresa May’s repeated failure to pass her Brexit deal in the House of Commons this spring, the Prime Minister appealed directly to the frustrations and feelings of the people. “You the public have had enough,” she asserted in a speech of March 20.

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Why politicians do care what the UN thinks

In a January 2019 press briefing at the White House, US National Security Adviser John Bolton flashed a legal pad with “5,000 troops to Colombia” written on it, a not-so hidden message to contested Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro that the United States was considering sending troops to the region. Maduro is presiding over a Venezuela in economic […]

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Who invented modern democracy?

Did modern democracy start its long career in the North Atlantic? Was it invented by the Americans, the French and the British? The French Revolution certainly helped to inject modern meaning into a term previously chiefly associated with the ancient world, with ancient Greece and republican Rome.

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12 of the most important books for women in philosophy

To celebrate women’s enormous contributions to philosophy, here is a reading list of books that explore recent feminist philosophy and women philosophers. Despite their apparent invisibility in the field in the past, women have been practising philosophers for centuries.

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Harold Wilson’s resignation honours – why so controversial?

On February 6 Marcia Falkender, the Baroness Falkender, died. She was one of the late Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s closest and longest-serving colleagues, first as his personal then political secretary. An enigmatic figure, she has been variously reviled, mocked, and defended since the end of Wilson’s political career.

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What makes the EU, the UN, and their peers legitimate?

The first “Brexit” is almost a century old, and it did not even involve Britain. It occurred on 14 June 1926, when Brazil notified the League of Nations it would leave the world organization. Paraguay, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Venezuela, and Peru, together with Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan, followed in the 1930s. […]

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How Tony Blair’s special advisers changed government

Tony Blair is one of the great conundrums of our time. We all know his legacy, from the widely-condemned invasion of Iraq to bequeathing a great National Health Service to the United Kingdom. But how he governed, how decisions were made, is still hotly debated. Was he radical, was he “unconstitutional”? Public service reform, from […]

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The future of borders in the Middle East

The collapse of Arab regional order during the 2011 uprisings provided a chance to reconsider the Middle East’s famously misshapen states. Most rebels sought to control the central government, not to break away from it. Separatist, in contrast, unilaterally sought territorial autonomy or outright secession.

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Seven reasons why failure is impossible for feminists

In 1906, an 86-year-old woman greeted a room full of suffragists who were still fighting for the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony made her last public statement: “But with all the help with people like we have in this room, failure is impossible.” She died a month later, and it took until 1920 for women […]

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