Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Banking regulation after Brexit

It is a truism that Brexit will have a significant impact on banks and the wider financial services industry. The loss of passports by UK firms has received some attention from the non-specialist media, and is relatively well-understood. However, the loss of passports, significant as it is, is just one of many issues. Others have received no or little coverage outside the industry. In this blog, we will touch upon some of them.

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How Congress surrenders its constitutional responsibilities

If there is a single overriding narrative about the current Congress, the institution America’s founders considered the first and most important branch of government, it is that partisan warfare has rendered it almost impossible for Republicans and Democrats to agree on anything, and especially on any question of significance.

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How to talk to your political opponents

Imagine that you are having a heated political argument with a member of the “other” party over what the government should or should not do on various issues. You and your debate partner argue about what should be done about immigrants who want to come into the country. You argue about what should be done about the never-ending mass murder of people in schools, places of worship, and entertainment venues by killers using assault weapons. You argue about what should be done to improve employment and to improve the healthcare system.

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The trouble with disease awareness campaigns

In October, pink ribbons promoting breast cancer awareness decorate everything from sneakers to buckets of fried chicken. In addition to breast cancer, October is simultaneously ADHD Awareness Month, AIDS Awareness Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Rett Syndrome Awareness Month, and Selective Mutism Awareness Month. Campaigns to raise awareness about diseases have been a major feature […]

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Why supply is the secret to affordable housing

Housing has become unaffordable for all but the lucky few in many of the world’s great cities. Who can afford to live in New York or Paris? Yet, housing prices can be kept in check. Some cities have succeeded in doing so, as we shall see. The secret is simple: housing supply, which can be […]

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Feeling fingers

This will be a story of both protagonists mentioned in the title: the verb feel and the noun finger. However, it may be more profitable to begin with finger. In the year 2000, Ari Hoptman brought out an article on the origin of this word (NOWELE 36, 77-91). Although missed by the later dictionaries, it contains not only an exhaustive survey of everything ever said about the etymology of finger but also a reasonable conjecture, differing from those he had found in his sources, both published and unpublished.

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Why love ends

Western culture has endlessly represented the ways in which love miraculously erupts in people’s lives, the mythical moment in which one knows someone is destined to us; the feverish waiting for a phone call or an email, the thrill that runs our spine at the mere thought of him or her.

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Music and spirituality at the end of life

Music and spirituality are two mediums frequently – almost ubiquitously – partnered in cultures around the world with the intention of enhancing engagement with the divine. Spiritual practices are infused with music to intensify the transpersonal components of worship, meditation, and ritual. Correspondingly, musical encounters are infused with spiritually-based beliefs and practices to provide individuals […]

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Why more democracy isn’t better democracy

Democracy is necessary for a free and just society. It is tempting to conclude that democracy is such a crucial social good that there could never be too much of it. It seems that when it comes to democracy, the more the better. Yet it is possible to have too much democracy. This is not […]

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The long trauma of revenge porn

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the intersection of sexual violence and technology has become an invisible tidal wave heading for the shores of our smart phones. Revenge porn – academically known as image-based abuse, non-consensual pornography, or the non-consensual sharing of intimate images – is one of a host of cyber-sexual violations clustered […]

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Looking back on 10 years of global road safety

According to the World Health Organization there were 1.35 million road traffic deaths globally in 2016 and between 20 and 50 million more people suffered non-fatal injuries and/or disabilities. Most of these collisions occurred in low- and middle-income countries and involved pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. In addition, road traffic collisions are the leading killer of those between 15 and 29 years of age.

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Ten Facts about World Peace

The United Nations’ International Day of Peace is celebrated on 21 September each year, marking efforts to bring the world closer to a state of harmony and further away from violence. Here are some surprising facts about peace and the quest to achieve it:

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Why hurricanes are deadly for older people

Meteorologists have pinpointed 10 September as the peak of hurricane season. September is the most active month of the year for Atlantic hurricane season, and 2019 is no exception. In early September, Dorian devastated the Bahamas, and wreaked havoc on the southeastern United States. Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017, just weeks after Harvey […]

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The ‘What If’ moments of modern Britain

We often talk about there being days that “changed history”; modern British history has had its fair share of them. But what about the days that looked as though they would – but didn’t? Which days once felt like they would change everything but, with the benefit of hindsight, now seem false-starts? Here are three […]

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Fears of a Latino invasion: demographic panic then and now

How are Donald Trump’s racist tweets about “rat-infested” Baltimore, his tacit endorsement of chants of “send her home” about representative Ilhan Omar at his rallies, and the mass shooting in El Paso, TX, targeting Latinos by a gunman concerned about a Mexican “invasion” of the United States connected?

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(Sweet and) sour

Last week (September 11, 2019), I discussed the origin of sweet and promised to tackle its partial opposite. Sour has been attested in nearly all the Old Germanic languages: nearly, because, like sweet, it never turned up in the Gothic gospels.

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