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COVID-19 and pollution: double standards, quadruple bias

The difference between policy responses to COVID-19 and to environmental crises is striking. When faced with the pandemic, governments around the world (with a few notable exceptions) adopted draconian measures to limit the disaster. These measures are not inconsequential: it will take years to reduce unemployment and the public debt. Yet, they were sacrifices considered necessary to protect public health.Environmental crises are not tackled with the same aplomb. Just like the pandemic, pollutio...
Tags: Asia, Europe, Books, Politics, Featured, Climate Change, Pollution, North America, Environmental Activism, Social Sciences, Science & Medicine, COVID-19, World Health Organisation WHO Covid


Questions on a Trump impeachment and invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment

The past few weeks have been a tumultuous time in US politics and a historic second impeachment for President Trump could be on the cards at the end of a presidency that has often been hard to predict. Taken from Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know ®, we look at some of the key questions surrounding such an action to remove him from office: If President Trump is incompetent, may he be impeached for that? There is a general expectation that most issues pertaining to a president’s performance...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, Congress, Senate, US, US politics, House, Social Sciences, Trump, Watergate, Tyler, John Tyler, What Everyone Needs to Know, Impeachment, Congress Section


What everyone needs to know about 2020

Across the globe, 2020 has proved to be one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory. From COVID-19 to the US Election, gain insight into some of the many events of 2020 with our curated reading list from the What Everyone Needs to Know® series: US politics Presidential ElectionsPresidential elections are the crown jewel of American electoral democracy, but there are some very important issues looming. Is the electoral college the most reliable way to measure a presidential election, or sho...
Tags: Books, Featured, US, United States, Social Sciences, Environmental Protection, Joseph Romm, Science & Medicine, What Everyone Needs to Know, Peter C Doherty, James K Galbraith, Ilan Stavans, Pamela Hill, Jason Brennan, Ray Fisman, Kristen A Feemster


Biotechnology: the Pentagon’s next big thing

Biotechnology has long been an important field of scientific research. But until recently, it has never been formally considered by any military as a significant technological investment opportunity, or a technology that could revolutionize the conduct of war. For example, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB), that helped then Secretary of Defense Harold Brown identify technologies central to the second offset strategy in 1976, and helped then deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work identi...
Tags: Europe, Books, Politics, Featured, Australia, China, India, Defense, US, Joe Biden, US politics, Nato, Sociology, Darpa, Poland, Journals


25 years of Very Short Introductions: listen to the anniversary podcast series

In 2020 we are proud to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Very Short Introductions. The series was launched in 1995 with Mary Beard and John Henderson’s Classics: A Very Short Introduction, and since then we have published over 600 titles in the series, showcasing introductions to a wide range of topics such as arts and humanities, social sciences, and science—covering everything from environmental ethics to Chaucer. The series is continually growing with new titles on the American Sout...
Tags: Books, Podcast, Featured, Law, History, Mary Beard, Social Sciences, Julian Baggini, VSI, Robert Jones, John Henderson, Science & Medicine, Arts & Humanities, Very Short Introductions, A Very Short Introduction, Series & Columns


Obama, Trump, and education policy in US federalism

In just a few weeks, Joseph R. Biden Jr will take his oath as the 46th President of the United States. Like his predecessors in recent decades, Biden intends to use executive and administrative actions to pursue his policy agenda. In public education, a policy domain for which states assume constitutional responsibility, administrative presidency faces the forces of federalism. The presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump offered contrasting lessons on the exercise of presidential power in ...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, Education, Obama, Congress, US, Barack Obama, United States, Sociology, Journals, Republican Party, Republican, Biden, North Carolina, Donald Trump


Why is religion suddenly declining?

As the 21st century began, religion was spreading rapidly. The collapse of communism had left a psychological vacuum that was being filled with resurgent religion, fundamentalism was a rising political force in the United States, and the 9/11 attacks drew attention to the power of militant Islam. There were claims of a global resurgence of religion.An analysis of religious trends from 1981 to 2007 in 49 countries containing 60% of the world’s population did not find a global resurgence of religi...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, Religion, US, United States, Atheism, Catholic, Republican Party, Donald Trump, Pew Research Center, Social Sciences, Norris, Roman Catholic Church, Arts & Humanities, Theatre & Dance


Social studies: learning the past to influence the future

The events of 2020 have shown individuals living in the United States that race is ever-present in our lives. Consider the mass protests that have occurred all over the US—and spread around the world—following the death of George Floyd, and the economic and medical inequalities experienced by communities of color revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These historic events contradict the New York Times headline I recalled following the election of Barack Obama as President in 2008: “Racial Barrier F...
Tags: Books, Politics, New York, Texas, Featured, Africa, Race, US, America, Barack Obama, History, United States, New York Times, Bob Marley, North America, Social Studies


How the #EndSARS protest movement reawakened Nigeria’s youth

In early October 2020, a youth protest alleged police brutality with the hashtag #EndSARS suddenly took many Nigerian cities by storm. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was set up in 1992 as a heavily armed elite police force unit to tackle violent crime including armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking.Human Rights groups, including Amnesty International, have for many years documented alleged SARS abuses of civilians including extortion, rape, and extrajudicial killings. Over the years t...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, Nigeria, European Union, United Kingdom, Amnesty International, Cctv, Lagos, Social Sciences, Muhammadu Buhari, African Union, Buhari, National Bureau of Statistics, US State Department, Benin City


When female peacekeepers’ “added value” becomes an “added burden”

Calls for the increased participation of uniformed United Nations female peacekeepers have multiplied in recent years, fueled in part by new scandals of peacekeepers’ sexual abuse and exploitation (SEA), tarnishing the UN’s reputation, and in part by the will to show explicit progress at the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Linked to these calls, numerous UN reports and policy documents have emphasised the “added value” that fe...
Tags: Asia, Books, Politics, Featured, Africa, Sociology, United Nations, Un, Journals, UN Security Council, Gender Equality, Miguel, Social work, Gender Inequality, Social Sciences, UN Peacekeepers


Teaching peace in a time of violence

In September 2020, President Trump signed an order calling for a commission on “patriotic education,” in response to what he considered anti-American sentiments seeping into school curricula around the United States. He accused teachers of teaching a “twisted web of lies” by including lessons from the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which examines American history through the lens of the African slave trade. His remarks were denounced by the American Federation of Teachers and the Association of H...
Tags: Books, Featured, Education, Peace, Unesco, United States, Nelson Mandela, Hawaii, New York Times, Paris, Un, American Federation Of Teachers, Social Sciences, Trump, UN General Assembly, Online products


What can the Conservatives’ 2019 election win tell us about their current leadership?

It’s an old truism that a week is a long time in politics, which would probably make 11 months an absolute age during even the most halcyon times. So, reflecting on the lessons to be drawn from the victory of the Conservative Party in the 2019 general election does rather feel like a job for ancient historians rather than political scientists. But there remains much that we can learn from the recent past, and many elements of why we argue the Conservatives won back in December can explain much o...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, Eu, Britain, Theresa May, Labour, Sociology, Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson, Tories, Johnson, Conservative Party, Brexit, Social Sciences, Corbyn


Reimagining our music classes for Zoom

Let’s start our Zoom session with a warm up for your musical imagination: Hear a single note in your mind, played on a violin without vibratoNow hear the violinist add vibratoThe note begins to crescendoNow it is fortissimoNow hear the note played sfzpp and held with a fermataThe note slides upward in a glissando and fades away into silenceAll of us who are devoted to music education are facing new challenges due to the pandemic, and while we are lucky and grateful to have extraordinary technolo...
Tags: Books, Music, Featured, US, Social Sciences, Juilliard, Arts & Humanities, Subtopics, Musical Composition, Viola Spolin, Gabriel BenoisThe


When deterrence doesn’t work

No one likes to be threatened, and yet we threaten and are threatened all the time. It’s a dark prospect, but the reality is that threats are the ocean in which we swim. And it’s not just human beings: animals, too, and even plants, engage in a great deal of threatening, endeavoring to change the behavior of other living things by, well, threatening that if they don’t relent, they’ll regret it.And so, many plants have evolved thorns or toxic chemicals to keep predators away. As for animals, the ...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, US, Sociology, Social Sciences, Trump, Science & Medicine, Earth & Life Sciences, Nuclear Deterrence, Scarlet Kingsnake, Peter Paplanus, Emperor Deterrence


Seven books for philosophical perspectives on politics [reading list]

2020 has come to be defined by widespread human tragedy, economic uncertainty, and increased public discourse surrounding how to address systemic racism. With such important issues at stake, political leadership has been under enormous scrutiny. For some countries, this has coincided with their election season: Jacinda Ardern has just won her second term in office and the 2020 US presidential election will take place on Tuesday 3 November.As the US election approaches, we’re featuring a selectio...
Tags: Books, Politics, US, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Rawls, Tosi, John Rawls, Arts & Humanities, Jacinda Ardern, Justin Tosi, Warmke, Candice Delmas, Philosophy Reading List, Julia Maskivker, Power Advantage and Human Rights by Madison Powers


President Trump and the war against American Christianity

On 7 October, shortly after being hospitalised after contracting COVID-19, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to warn his supporters that “DEMS WANT TO SHUT YOUR CHURCHES DOWN, PERMANENTLY. HOPE YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING. VOTE NOW.”DEMS WANT TO SHUT YOUR CHURCHES DOWN, PERMANENTLY. HOPE YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING. VOTE NOW! https://t.co/dqvqz6b1WD— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020The event that occasioned his comment had taken place in Moscow, Idaho, in late September, when ...
Tags: Amazon, Books, Politics, Featured, Religion, America, Moscow, Donald Trump, Penguin Random House, Jesus Christ, Wilson, Social Sciences, Trump, Christopher Hitchens, United States of America, Donald J Trump


Voter fraud and election meddling [podcast]

Next week, over a hundred million Americans will vote to elect the next President of the United States. After a year of political turmoil, mass protests, and a pandemic that drove daily life (and the US economy) to a halt, many are now wondering: will the electoral process go smoothly, or does 2020 have another shock in store for us?The topic of voter fraud and electoral meddling has been at the forefront of many a conversation over the last four years, as the attempt by Russia to sway the 2016 ...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, Russia, US, United States, 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Multimedia, Social Sciences, Voter Suppression, US Election, The Oxford Comment, Audio & Podcasts, 2020 Election, Michael Ritter


Emo-truthful Trump-Biden 2020: another post-truth election

The US Presidential Election 2020 is the COVID-19 election saturated with post-truth political communication. While the presidential campaign necessarily breathed and belched the air of post-truth politics from its inception, the first week of the campaign’s final month, 27 September-3 October, took post-truth to new levels of intensity and showcased the concept’s multiple forms. They ranged from bullshit to rumor bombs, conspiracy theories, fake news, and lying, which, as I’ve explained, issue ...
Tags: Facebook, Books, Politics, UK, Featured, Washington Post, Washington, White House, Iraq, US, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Joe Biden, Bbc, Cnn, New York Times


Is gerrymandering “poisoning the well” of democracy?

Every ten years, the federal government administers the Census to determine the size of the population as well as how that population is distributed within and across states. These figures are then used to allocates seats within the US House of Representatives. States that grow faster than the rest of the country typically gain seats, necessarily at the expense of states that have lost residents or have experienced the slowest growth. Even states that do not gain or lose seats still witness shif...
Tags: Books, Politics, New York, Featured, US, US politics, Gerrymandering, US supreme court, Social Sciences, Online products, Subtopics, Jonathan Simcoe, House of Representatives States, New York State Assembly Districts


The fight against fake news and electoral disinformation

Just as COVID-19 is a stress test of every nation’s health system, an election process is a stress test of a nation’s information and communication system. A week away from the US presidential election, the symptoms are not so promising.  News reports  about the spread of so-called “fake news,” disinformation, and conspiracy theories are thriving as they did in 2016.Disinformation and “fake news” are not new, but the 2016 US presidential election placed the phenomenon squarely onto the internati...
Tags: Facebook, Books, Florida, Politics, Featured, US, America, Unesco, New York Times, United Nations, Donald Trump, Carnegie Mellon University, Social Sciences, World Economic Forum, Facebook Twitter, Legislative


What COVID-19 tells us about global supply chains

“These stupid supply chains that are all over the world, we have a supply chain where they’re made in all different parts of the world,” a frustrated Donald Trump exclaimed in May. “And one little piece of the world goes bad, and the whole thing is messed up.”President Trump is not the only one bewildered by global supply chains today. Over the past 40 years, it has become normal for the production of many goods to be disaggregated and outsourced around the world. Transnational supply chains now...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, China, Global, US, Walmart, Bangladesh, Jordan, Donald Trump, Rana Plaza, Primark, Wuhan, Social Sciences, Trump, Dhaka Bangladesh


Reframing aging in contemporary politics

Aging is the universal human experience. We all begin aging from the moment we are born. In America, as we approach old age, we start to be treated differently. Instead of being included in work and community spheres, we are marginalized and ignored. Instead of viewing older age as a period of opportunity and continued contribution, the American public sees old age as a period of dependence and decline. Even worse, this sense of fatalism pervades our response to the challenges of aging. As a res...
Tags: Books, Featured, Aging, US, America, US politics, Sociology, Ageism, Social Sciences, Baby Boomers, Public Policy, John Moeses Bauan, US 2020 Election


The importance of occupational skills in understanding why individuals migrate

Why do some individuals move to another country, while others don’t? This question is fundamental because it has important implications for the characteristics of migrants (vis-à-vis natives), for the speed of integration of migrants into the destination country’s labor market, and, more generally, for the impact of migration on the sending and destination country.In his seminal 1987 paper, George Borjas argues that individuals decide whether or not to migrate by comparing the income they expect...
Tags: Books, Featured, Mexico, Immigration, US, United States, Journals, OECD, Social Sciences, United States of America, Business & Economics, Borjas, George Borjas, Caroline Selfors


The emerging economic themes of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created both a medical crisis and an economic crisis. As others have noted, it presents challenges just as big as those in the Spanish Flu Pandemic and the Great Depression—all at once.The tasks currently facing policy-makers are extraordinary. The ideas, arguments, and proposals in a new special issue of OxREP are intended to support them in that urgent work. Though many of these articles were written as the virus first began to spread, they remain as timely and import...
Tags: Books, Featured, Journals, Social Sciences, Business & Economics, COVID-19


Why do humans have property?

Property is a rather old subject. We’ve been writing about it since at least the time of the Sumerian tablets, in part, because after four and a half millennia we still haven’t settled on what property is, who has it, how we get it, or even what it’s for. Recently, arguments have surfaced that the destruction of property constitutes serious political speech. But property has a greater, very human, purpose worth understanding.In the humanities, property is theft, violence, the cause of wars and q...
Tags: Books, Property, Philosophy, Jezebel, Aristotle, Social Sciences, Homo, Ahab, David Hume, Arts & Humanities, Business & Economics, Naboth, Samuel von Pufendorf, Naboth Ahab, Naboth Jezebel


US journalism’s complicity in democratic backsliding

The unelected power of the Fourth Estate is never more evident—and potentially destructive—than during campaign seasons, when antagonists exploit the news to test authoritarian themes. I pose a question here that I hope editors and reporters are also asking now that we’re weeks away from the 2020 presidential election and high-stakes state elections: to what extent does the way journalists imagine the public shape coverage, particularly the amount of attention given to candidates who advance a p...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, Media, Congress, Democracy, White House, US, Journalism, US politics, Fox News, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Social Sciences, Trump, American Democracy


Rooting chimp communication in relevance theory

The key assumption of Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson’s relevance theory is that every act of communication comes with the promise (not the guarantee!) of being optimally relevant to its envisaged audience. Sperber and Wilson’s examples typically pertain to spoken face-to-face exchanges between two individuals: speaking Mary and listening Peter. A message gains in relevance for Peter to the extent that accepting it as true has consequences for his future well-being. “You just won $1 million dolla...
Tags: Books, Featured, Media, Sociology, Netherlands, Wilson, Social Sciences, Peter, Mary, Willem Alexander, Animal Communication, Alexas Fotos, Frans de Waal, De Waal, Dan Sperber, Sperber


William Sanders Scarborough and the enduring legacy of black classical scholarship

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) was founded in 1881 as a place “where young scholars might carry on the study of Greek thought and life to the best advantage.” Today, the ASCSA is a center for research and teaching on all aspects of Greece, from antiquity to the present. Its campus in Athens has two research libraries, an archaeological sciences laboratory, archives, and other facilities. The School carries out excavations at the Athenian Agora, the political and comme...
Tags: School, Books, Featured, Greece, Law, Brown University, America, Georgia, History, Earth, Rome, United States, Italy, Athens, Scarborough, Shakespeare


Why business strategy needs to be flexible now more than ever

In these unusual times, we need flexible approaches to business strategy more than ever. Strategy is commonly viewed as a roadmap outlining how to get from A to B. Typically created by the upper echelons of an organisation, “having a strategy” means that there is an agreed masterplan which co-ordinates organisational efforts and the use of resources. The strategy plan provides a coherent set of guidance that directs how operational decisions and actions should deliver desired long-term outcomes....
Tags: Books, Featured, Leadership, US, Social Sciences, Business & Economics, Business Strategy, Business Management, VUCA Volatile Uncertain Complex, Helmuth van Moltke


The role of masculinity in reforming police departments

For decades there have been murders of unarmed black people by the police, which in recent years has been exposed and protested by the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This summer, unprecedented numbers of protesters have voiced their outrage in response to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the very recent and utterly senseless shooting of Jacob Black, and countless other acts of violence. Many mayors have announced plans for reform. The protests have rightly focused on the roles of rac...
Tags: Books, Featured, California, America, Sociology, Violence, Police Brutality, Social work, Social Psychology, Social Sciences, Masculinity, Science & Medicine, Psychology & Neuroscience, Riverside County Sheriff 's Department, Jacob Black, Breonna Taylor



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