Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Visualizing the global income distribution

The evolution of the distribution of income among individuals within countries and across the world has been the subject of considerable academic and popular commentary in the recent past. Works such as Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century or Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality have become unlikely bestsellers, garnering a startling degree of both academic and popular interest.

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The biological ironies of transgender debates

Transgender issues have made significant headlines in the United States. Not long ago, North Carolina struggled to repeal a 2016 law that required people to use only public restrooms that matched the sex on their birth certificate, not their lived gender identity. Only weeks earlier, the US Supreme Court declined to hear a case from a Virginia student on the same issue.

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Can all refugees become economically successful?

We are celebrating the 16th United Nations’ World Refugee Day, scheduled on 20 June every year. It is a day to recognize and honour refugees’ resilience, agency and capability. In the area of refugees’ economic lives, there is growing evidence demonstrating that refugees are economic actors who are able to sustain themselves and to make socio-economic contributions to their hosting society.

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New bank resolution regime as an engine of EU integration

On 1 June 2017 the European Commission and Italy reached an agreement ‘in principle’ on the recapitalization of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS). A mere week later, the Single Resolution Board (SRB) put Banco Popular Español (BPE) into resolution, and had its shares transferred to Banco Santander. Both cases must be understood in the context of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and both can be considered as examples of how the new European bank resolution regime performs as an engine of European integration.

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Shining evolutionary light: Q&A with EMPH EIC Charles Nunn

Evolutionary biology is a basic science that reaches across many disciplines and as such, may provide numerous applications in the fields of medicine and public health. To further the evolutionary medicine landscape, we’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Charles Nunn of Duke University as the new Editor-in-Chief of Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, the open access journal that aims to connect evolutionary biology with the health sciences

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How much do you know about refugees?

The United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on 20 June each year. In honour of the UN World Refugee Day, we have compiled the following quiz about the extraordinary achievements of well-known people who have all had to flee their homelands. From artists to sportspeople, writers, and scientists of world renown, take our quiz to raise awareness and celebrate their talent and courage at a time when this has never been more important.

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Climate change: are you an expert? [Quiz]

Climate change is one of the most significant and far-reaching problems of the twenty-first century and it is a frequent topic of discussion everywhere from scientific journals to the Senate floor. Because climate change is often the subject of heated debate, it’s easy to mistake political stands for scientific facts. Inspired by The Death of Expertise, in which Tom Nichols explores the dangers of the public rejection of expertise, we’ve created a series of quizzes to test your knowledge.

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How can we measure political leadership?

Understanding and measuring political leadership is a complex business. Though we all have ideals of what makes a ‘good’ leader, they are often complex, contradictory and more than a little partisan. Is it about their skills, their morality or just ‘getting things done’? And how can we know if they succeed or fail (and why?). From Machiavelli onwards we have wrestled with our idea of what a perfect leader should look like.

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The representation of fathers in children’s fiction

There aren’t many areas in literature where men are under-represented, but it’s safe to say that in children’s fiction, men – and fathers in particular – have been largely overlooked. And deliberately so. Adult carers with a sense of responsibility have been ousted from the action because of their exasperating tendency to step in and take control. Children’s authors don’t want competent adults interfering and solving problems.

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Why do I wake up every morning feeling so tired?

The alarm rings, you awaken, and you are still drowsy: why? Being sleepy in the morning does not make any sense; after all, you have just been asleep for the past eight hours. Shouldn’t you wake up refreshed, aroused, and attentive? No, and there are a series of ways to explain why. The neurobiological answer: During the previous few hours before waking in the morning, you have spent most of your time in REM sleep, dreaming.

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Understanding the Democratic Unionist Party

Theresa May’s desperate search for an ally after a calamitous 2017 General Election saw the Democratic Unionist Party come under scrutiny like never before. The DUP is a party which has moved from its fundamentalist Protestant Paisleyite past – but not at a pace always noticeable to outsiders. The DUP is comfortable in its own skin. So, who are the DUP’s members and what do they think?

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Bipolar disorder and addictions

Bipolar disorder consists of two major types. Bipolar disorder, type I is the classical and well-known disorder, which used to be called manic-depressive illness. Episodes of hypomania and depression tend to alternate, with each phase lasting for days or weeks. Bipolar disorder, type II, is characterized by shorter-lived episodes of abnormal mood (it is sometimes termed “rapid cycling”) and there is a predominance of depressive phases.

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Where did Leaves of Grass come from?

One of the most enduring (if not most entertaining) games that Walt Whitman scholars like to play begins with a single question: Where did Leaves of Grass come from? Before Whitman released the first edition of his now-iconic book of poetry in 1855, he had published only a handful of rather conventional poems in local newspapers, which makes it seem as if the groundbreaking free-verse form in Leaves of Grass appeared virtually out of nowhere.

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Did branding predict Brexit?

Branding predicted Brexit. This bald assertion points to a fascinating truth about the art of branding. Because branding feeds on, and feeds into, popular culture, it’s often a leading indicator of bigger, political phenomena. Where branding leads, the rest of us follow. Let me explain. 2016 was the year of populism. Among other things, the phenomenon of Brexit and Trump was a popular backlash against the globalisation.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: A reading list on elder mistreatment and neglect

This abuse and neglect of older adults violates the cultural expectation that society’s elders should be respected. Mistreatment has far-reaching implications for the physical, mental and financial well-being of older adults, and is particularly harmful to those who are already socially isolated. In 2011 the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated 15 June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

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The tale of Madame d’Aulnoy

We may see fairy tales now as something from our youth, a story to get a child to sleep, keep them from boredom, or to teach a moral lesson. However, fairy tales haven’t always just been for kids. In late seventeenth-century France the fairy tale became a ‘legitimate’ genre of literature for the educated (adult) […]

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