Vaughan Lowe (Oxford) and Antonios Tzanakopoulos (Glasgow): Humanitarian Intervention. John Yoo (UC-Berkley): Fixing Failed States. From Strategic Studies Quarterly, James F. Dobbins (RAND): Guidelines for Nation Builders. The international aid system has a dirty secret: Despite much rhetoric to the contrary, the nations and organizations that donate and distribute aid do not care much about democracy and they still actively support dictators. From TED, Stefan Wolff on the path to ending ethnic conflicts. From Political Theology, Mark C. Johnson on international peacemaking and the anti-war movement. Elizabeth Kier on her book In War’s Wake: International Conflict and the Fate of Liberal Democracy. An interview with Wendy Brown, author of Walled States, Waning Sovereignty. Seth Kaplan on rethinking state-building in a failed state. Rape is not an inevitable consequence of war, says new UN special representative Margot Wallstrom — and there's far more UN peacekeeping troops could do to prevent it. Should we care about failed and weak states? Paul Staniland investigates. A review of New Perspectives on Liberal Peacebuilding. Max Miller on how humanitarian aid prolongs wars. Divide and rule or the rule of the divided? The effect of national and ethnic institutions on African under-development. A panel on Rebuilding War-Torn States: The Challenge of Post-Conflict Economic Reconstruction by Graciana del Castillo. Philip Gourevitch on the moral hazards of humanitarian aid. Waging war, building states: Nikolas Gvosdev and Derek S. Reveron on seeking an elusive blend of hard and soft power. Is Google the new United Nations? A Google Maps skirmish shows increasingly how reliant we've become on corporations, even benign ones, to confer international legitimacy. No easy fix for US foreign aid: Obama's got the right idea, but it will be harder than he thinks.
From Vice, here is one of many possible art issues. From Reason, an interview with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb on big spending, the First Amendment, and putting cameras where government doesn’t want them to go. From Anthropology in Practice, faunal friends: Evolution and the animal connection. They call him the "merchant of death," but the most dangerous thing about Russian Victor Bout isn't the weapons he trades — it's the U.S. officials he might take down with him. Pocahontas's wedding chapel found at Jamestown. Mass spectacle: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto on a dazzling display of gridiron, greatness and God. A review of Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions by Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde. History used to be the study of great men — now it's of Everyman. From Seed, why chess may be an ideal laboratory for investigating gender gaps in science and beyond; and as consensus emerges on the physical basis of mental illness, the mental-health community is fracturing over what, exactly, constitutes “mental illness” in the first place. Lynn Stout on her book Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good People. Here's one place where old-school magazines still have a mystique of some magnitude: Hollywood. From THES, a review of How to Catch a Robot Rat: When Biology Inspires Innovation by Agnes Guillot and Jean-Arcady Meyer; a review of Mood Matters: From Rising Skirt Lengths to the Collapse of World Powers by John L. Casti; and a review of Islands of Privacy by Christena E. Nippert-Eng. From Index on Censorship, a special issue calls for a new approach to tackling censorship online. A Techno-Agrarian Manifesto: Is vertical farming the future of American agriculture?
Christopher Ellis (Bucknell) and James A. Stimson (UNC): Pathways to Ideology in American Politics: The Operational-Symbolic “Paradox” Revisited. Jerry Kang (UCLA): Implicit Bias and the Pushback from the Left. Staffan Kumlin (Gothenburg): Learning from Politics? The Causal Interplay Between Government Performance and Political Ideology. Christopher Weber (LSU), Martin Johnson (UC-Riverside) and Kevin Arceneaux (Temple): Genetic Influences on Group Politics. A new take on political ideology: Evolutionary psychologist Jacob Vigil proposes a new framework for understanding the root causes of our political beliefs. Why genes are leftwing: The right loves genetic explanations for poverty or mental illness, but science fingers society. Holding liberal views may be in the blood, believe scientists, after identifying a gene that makes you more open minded. New research finds the elderly have a psychological incentive to embrace cultural conservatism: Such beliefs prop up their self-esteem. Terrance Heath on 3 fundamental differences between conservatives and liberals (and part 2 and part 3). You can tell a conservative from a liberal by those things each worries about: Conservatives tend to worry about things like creeping socialism and socialist creeps, while liberals worry about what their great-great-great-grandchildren will hate them for. From The New York Times, a review of books on the state of conservatism, and a review of books on the state of liberalism. From Salon, can liberalism save capitalism from conservatism? The resurgence of conservatism in American politics makes the question more urgent than ever. You might be a Marxist if you’re against imperialism. Critical thinking leads the political thinker to socialism, anarchism, and a rejection of capitalism. How the Left won the Cold War: In the West, there were no conservative victors in the Cold War.
Jordan J. Paust (Houston): The UN is Bound by Human Rights: Understanding the Full Reach of Human Rights, Remedies, and Nonimmunity. How we'll know if GM is really fixed: Six metrics investors should watch to determine the success or failure of postbankruptcy General Motors. TSAstroturf: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine on the Washington lobbyists and Koch-Funded libertarians behind the TSA scandal. Harold Meyerson on how Germany got it right on the economy. Mike Brown, the co-founder of AOL Ventures, is trying to change the way AOL is seen by entrepreneurs and engineers — to erase its reputation as a moribund dial-up dinosaur. As is evident in "Out: The Glenn Burke Story", being gay was widely recognized to be, as one of the era's top stars put it, “a kiss of death for a ballplayer”. Does Facebook have a foreign policy? Facebook's global rise has limits — and real dangers — as it taps markets in unfriendly countries. David Weigel reviews Sarah Palin's America by Heart. If the International Year of Biodiversity has shown us just one thing, it is that we need to stand up for all of Nature and not just those aspects someone somewhere has decided are the more deserving. Can a bunch of mathematicians do a better job than legislators at drawing Congressional districts? The impact of post-census redistricting on the balance of power in Congress is overblown, say political scientists and mathematicians who have looked at the math behind gerrymandering (and more). "That's All Right Mama" by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup is the world's oldest rock and roll song, according to rock historian Joseph Burns, who also thinks this song could contain the first ever guitar solo break. A review of A Nation of Speechifiers: Making an American Public after the American Revolution by Carolyn Eastman.
From Consilience, Louise Carver (IDS): Where Science Meets Politics: Controversy Surrounding the Relationship Between Population Growth and Climate Change. From Slate, a series of articles on brainstorming a new approach to carbon policy, and panelists debate new strategies for curbing global warming. Time to take to the hills? What climate hawks need most now is a nimble, networked pragmatism. Meg Bostrom on how to stop global warming — even if you don't believe in it. Building a clean energy future will require not just concentrated solar and carbon caps but big changes in how people and societies do things — for insights on motivating change, let's turn to philosopher William James (and more). Behavioral researchers have found that dire descriptions of global warming, in isolation, can cause people to recoil from acceptance of the problem. Changing people's behavior — in small, incremental, but additive ways — is the best way to open their minds to the science of climate change. Will the Cancun Conference be Copenhangen redux? For Cancun climate summit, activists consider the long view. Human needs vs. human behavior: Kara Rogers on reexamining our relationship with nature. From Tikkun, a review essay on eco-enchantment and the limits of conservation. In an age of eco-uncertainty: The pleasures, perils, and occasional pointlessness of trying to live green. Common Earth ownership: An interview with Mathias Risse. Were the chemicals used to disperse the oil from the Deepwater Horizon gusher more dangerous than the oil itself, and what will the spill’s long-term impact be? A review of Human Rights and Climate Change. Fighting crimes against the Earth: An interview with David Uhlmann. Down the Dark Mountain: Paul Kingsnorth on a cultural movement for an age of disruption.