The International Sociological Association should be ashamed of its President

…including the statement that “The eastward expansion of NATO is a provocation…”. While this does not lead the President to condone the Russian response, his argument is a general one against war rather than a specific criticism of colonial ambition. At least by implication, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has, in his text, some measure… Read More »

King Canute and the Cult of Zero Infection

…Even a monarch cannot countermand the fundamentals of the universe. This is a lesson that some still struggle with in considering the goals of clinical medicine and public health. If they only had enough money, power and time, biomedical scientists could eliminate infection and, at least by implication, allow humans to live forever. Philosophers, ethicists… Read More »

The Meaning of the Platinum Jubilee

In 1953, Sociological Review published a paper by two distinguished sociologists, Edward Shils and Michael Young, reviewing the ritual aspects of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. They argued that these enacted and celebrated the fundamental moral values that restrained egotism and held societies together…the [Jubilee] celebrations also pushed back against the sub-Ayn Rand selfishness… Read More »

Pandemic Management – The path not taken

‘Judge me in a year’ said Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s State Epidemiologist, in July 2020, when his country was being attacked for sticking to its pandemic plan rather than adopting the novel intervention of lockdown. The latest World Health Organization figures add to the evidence that has been accumulating since summer 2021. Sweden managed the pandemic… Read More »

Methods in Socio-Legal Research: Observation

A podcast interview with Professor Linda Mulcahy about the role of observational research in socio-legal studies, drawing on our shared history with the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies going back to the 1980s. Videos