From Geocurrents, a special series on the nation, nationalities, and autonomous regions in Spain, including the nation/nationality of Catalonia, the contested regionalism in Andalusia, Leon, and Asturias, the paradoxes of Basque politics, the parallel paths of the Basque County and Scotland, the Basques of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and a look at Spain and the fallacy of the nation-state. A grim tale of judges and politicians: The scary effect of constitutional courts on the politics of the European Union. From Berlin Review of Books, Germany goes global: Farewell, Europe? Doug Bandow on the incredible shrinking militaries of Europe. Slavoj Zizek on why the far Right and xenophobic politicians are on the rise in Europe. Is Finland the best country in the world? In praise of laziness: An investigation into 14th-century heresy explains why the French refuse to get off their derrieres. An interview with Francisco Louca about the Bloco de Esquerda in Portugal, the least known organization of the new anti-capitalist left in Europe. European man of many faces: Cain vs. Abel. Are Balkan women more promiscuous? New research has revealed that agriculture came to Europe amid a wave of immigration from the Middle East during the Neolithic period — with their miracle food, milk. Why do the French strike so much? New documents released by the Foreign Ministry in Berlin shed new light on the dramatic negotiations that led to East and West Germany becoming one. A review of An Economic History of Europe: Knowledge, Institutions and Growth, 600 to the Present by Karl Gunnar Persson. Who’s racist now? An article on Europe’s increasing intolerance. Love in a cold climate: Nordic countries revisit an old idea — union. A review of Understanding Euroscepticism by Cecile Leconte. Zygmunt Bauman is now writing for Social Europe Journal.
Timothy Martell (Murray State): Hobbes on the Simulation of Collective Agency. From FrumForum, Nils August Andresen on why America’s top students tune out the GOP (and more). The rise of anti-Muslim hate: What accounts for the increase of Islamophobia in the US and Europe? The put-ons of personal essayists: Authors' voices are often ventriloquized. Hans Rosling reframes 10 years of UN data with his spectacular visuals, lighting up an astonishing — mostly unreported — piece of front-page-worthy good news: We're winning the war against child mortality. Is there a secular body? Or, in somewhat different terms, is there a particular configuration of the human sensorium — of sensibilities, affects, embodied dispositions — specific to secular subjects, and thus constitutive of what we mean by “secular society”? Why liberals love the acerbic comedian Louis CK. If you read Outside, stay home: When we celebrate a hiker who sawed off his hand, we pay tribute to an idiot and ignore countless smarter climbers. This is the News: Here's a Beginner’s Guide to Democratic Mind Control. How pain can make you feel better: Scientists find a strange connection between physical pain and positive emotions. Peter Berkowitz reviews Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations: A William F. Buckley Jr. Omnibus (and more on Buckley). Black Swans: What if Gaussian engineering is clear, simple, and wrong? Rick Perlstein on the continuous readjustment of expectations downward: For historians like Jefferson Cowie and Judith Stein, that was the key experience of the 1970s. Frozenology: Tony Wood on how Siberia is melting. From Transcript, a special issue on Prose Fiction from Turkey. Equipping the soldier of the future: New weapons, gear, clothes coming your way.
Andrey Korotayev (RSU): The World System Urbanization Dynamics: A Quantitative Analysis. William A. Fischel (Dartmouth): The Evolution of Zoning Since the 1980s: The Persistence of Localism. Urban-rural divide no more: An increasing number of urban dwellers are retreating to the country — and taking the city with them. Witold Rybczynski, author of Makeshift Metropolis: Ideas About Cities, on the cities we want (and part 2 — and a review). Could the increasingly complex systems needed to manage the next generation of megacities become our first true artificial intelligence? An interview with Saskia Sassen: Forget London and New York, the rest of the world should want to be the next Miami. A review of The Wealth and Poverty of Regions: Why Cities Matter by Mario Polese. Boosters still maintain that big cities remain unique centers for social uplift, but evidence suggests this is increasingly no longer the case. From New Geography, Zachary Neal on why city size does not matter much anymore. How to shrink a city: Not every great metropolis is going to make a comeback — planners consider some radical ways to embrace decline. Megacities: Here is Foreign Policy's guide to the coming urban age. From H-Net, a review of books on North African and Middle Eastern cities. How will climate change impact urbanites and their cities? Matthew Kahn on his book Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future. Alphabet City: What does a city’s signage tell you about its character? The introduction to Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City. Sustainable urban mobility in 2020: To make the car of the future, we need to make the city of the future. Here is a radical public transportation solution straight out of a sci-fi novel.
From the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal's The University Bookman, a review of Shame and Glory of the Intellectuals and Unadjusted Man in an Age of Overadjustment by Peter Viereck; a review of Every Intellectual’s Big Brother: George Orwell's Literary Siblings by John Rodden; a review of Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher by Peter J. Stanlis and Practical Mystic: Religion, Science, and A. S. Eddington by Matthew Stanley; and the mystery of the universe is not its age, size, depth, or future, but the fact that, within it, we find someone who seeks to know what it is. Siberia is the Pacific Ocean of land: an enormous place that consumes not only much of the planet but the imaginations of many. A review of The Flight of the Intellectuals by Paul Berman and The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism by Theodore Dalrymple. Designers Yalin Fu and Ihsuan Lin recently unveiled a plan for a new skyscraper in Mumbai, but what separates it from others is its occupants: the Moshka Tower is not for the living, but the dead. Researchers find that assuming a powerful body position helps you feel powerful, act more self-confident and raise testosterone. An interview with Thomas Sowell, author of Dismantling America. Here are 5 ways stores use science to trick you into buying crap. Too Big To Be Governed: Financial reform will fail if industry writes the rules. Tim Wu on the future of free speech: Private censorship is as big a threat as government censorship. From The New Yorker, Louis Menand on Dick Cavett and the battles for late night. The arrest of Waleed Hasayin, a blogger who skewers Muhammad, has drawn attention to the collision between a conservative society and the Internet under the Palestinian Authority.
From ISR, Scott McLemee reviews The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad by Tariq Ali; and an interview with Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, on Obama’s national security state. You can download the book Reaching for a New Deal: Ambitious Governance, Economic Meltdown, and Polarized Politics in Obama’s First Two Years. The introduction to Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition by James Kloppenberg (and more). Can Obama rise again? Michael Tomasky reviews Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics by Ari Berman and The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism by Roger Hodge. From TAP, the Obama presidency is far from over, but little survives of the original theory behind it. The president on whom so much depends is a peculiar person, stranger than any of us realised when we voted for him — he may be most real to himself when he is promising something. The Big Lie: Andrew Sullivan on how little falsehoods and out-of-context quotes are adding up to a deceitful narrative about the president. If you were Barack Obama, you'd hate the press, too. The 2010 Midterms: How Barack Obama was undone by his own brand of social movement politics. Midterm Postmortem: There is much we do not know, but political-science research suggest some provisional answers. Greedy Geezers: Older voters’ fury hurts the Democrats. From TNR, a new interpretation of the election results: Job loss and liberal apathy; Jonathan Chait on the myth of divided government; and Jonathan Bernstein on the prospects for political reform in the coming year (and part 2 and part 3). Heads we lose, tails you win: Why do liberals tack rightward after every election?