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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Immigration, the US Census, and political power

As I write these lines, a key court case has begun in New York. That case centers on the US Census. At issue is the Trump administration’s addition of a question to the Census which will ask people whether they’re US Citizens.

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National Day of Listening [podcast]

In 2008, StoryCorps created World Listening Day for citizens of all beliefs and backgrounds to record, preserve, and share the stories of their lives. This year, we invite you to celebrate by listening to our podcast, The Oxford Comment.

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It’s time to raise the retirement age again

Since the election, we Americans have engaged in a healthy debate about the Electoral College. My instincts in this debate are those of an institutional conservative: Writing our Constitution from scratch today, we would not have designed the Electoral College as it has evolved. However, institutions become embedded in societies. To further this debate, consider these three contentions often heard today about the Electoral College.

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Big money, dark money, and the two Gilded Ages

The 2018 midterm elections were the most expensive in history, and much of the money that financed them was undisclosed, or “dark.” There has always been big money in elections, of course, and some of it has always been dark. In the first Gilded Age, all campaign contributions were made in secret.

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Why We Fall for Toxic Leaders

The Oxford Word of the Year is a word or expression chosen to reflect the passing year in language. Every year, the Oxford Dictionaries team debates over a selection of candidates for Word of the Year, choosing the one that best captures the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year. The 2018 Oxford Word […]

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Russian disinformation – How worried should we be?

The Russian government’s use of disinformation, i.e. intentionally misleading content, has raised serious concern not only among Russia’s neighbors, but also in Western nations more broadly. Responses to the perceived threat range from attempts to monitor the disinformation, to U.S. court’s legal indictment of Russian individuals and companies.

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Place of the Year 2018 nominee spotlight: North Korea

North Korea dominated the headlines in 2018 with historic meetings and heightened tensions over nuclear threats. This year Kim Jong-Un, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and Supreme Leader of North Korea, has met with multiple world leaders, and has been vocal about his stance on the North Korean nuclear program. This has ignited […]

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Place of the Year 2018 Shortlist: vote for your pick

Oxford’s Place of the Year campaign pulls together the most significant places and events of the year. The 2018 shortlist of nominees brings to light impactful moments in global history, influencing the environment, international relations, humanitarian crises, and space exploration. Explore each of our locations and vote for who think should be recognized as Oxford’s […]

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Does the personalisation of politics have any benefits for democracy?

Democracy in the twenty-first century appears to have reached a fork in the road. On the one hand, over recent decades we have witnessed an explosion in the popularity of democratic norms and values around the globe to the extent that all but two countries label themselves as democracies, which if nothing else indicates how […]

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What to do about Syria?

The chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria on 7 April 2018 by the military forces of Bashar al-Assad brought renewed calls for international action to protect civilians and resolve the brutal internal conflict that has persisted for over seven years and produced as many as half a million deaths. Despite calls for action by many Western governments, direct action and intervention have generally been in short supply, perhaps in part because Western observers do not perceive Assad as a particular threat or sufficiently villainous to warrant strong action.

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Concern for global democracy

A new report by the Democracy Project finds that a majority of Americans view democracy in the United States as weak and getting weaker. Even worse, nearly half of Americans express concerns that the United States is in “real danger of becoming a nondemocratic, authoritarian country.”

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Are you ballot ready?

The 2018 midterm elections could see the highest turnout for a midterm since the mid-1960s, another time of cultural and social upheaval. Michael McDonald, Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida, predicted to NPR that “between 45-50 percent of eligible voters will cast a ballot.”

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Place of the Year 2018 Longlist: vote for your pick

With 2018 nearing an end, we are excited to announce the longlist for the Oxford University Press Place of the Year. From a cave in Chiang Rai, to historical political summits, to young activists marching for their lives, we explored far and wide for our contenders. Now it’s your time to choose. Learn more about […]

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Technology, privacy, and politics [podcast]

All eyes are on the U.S. political landscape heading into the 2018 Midterm Elections in November. With all 435 seats of the House of Representatives and about one-third of Senate spots up for grabs, the next decade of politics lies in the hands of voters.

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Will Egypt have another uprising?

Egypt is well-known for its exceptionally rich history. For many, the country is synonymous with ancient wonders such as the pyramids of Giza and the royal tombs of Luxor. However, in January 2011, modern Egypt suddenly leapt to the center of the public’s imagination. Over a period of 18 days, millions of Egyptians engaged in sit-ins, strikes, and demonstrations as well as pitched battles with the security forces.

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