Robert Chesney (Texas): Postwar. John Hagan and Joshua Kaiser (Northwestern): A Separate Peace: Explaining War, Crime, Violence, and Security During and After the Surge in Iraq. Rumsfeld’s war and its consequences: Mark Danner reviews Known and Unknown: A Memoir by Donald Rumsfeld and By His Own Rules: The Ambitions, Successes, and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld by Bradley Graham. Tom Gallagher reviews Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Talibanistan: Thomas Barfield on why America’s longest war has also been its Groundhog Day. Last spring, the remains of 10 missing Afghan villagers were dug up outside a U.S. Special Forces base — was it a war crime or just another episode in a very dirty war? One Marine officer concluded that the U.S. way of advising the Afghan National Army was hurting more than helping — so he came up with his own solution and changed the course of the conflict. Colin Wilhelm on writing the war: Distraught by his peers’ disengagement from a war still being waged, a shaken Afghanistan veteran helps fellow fighters put their war wounds into words. Penny Lewis on the myth of the hardhat hawk: In the popular imagination, opposition to the Vietnam War was driven largely by the privileged, while supposedly reactionary blue-collar workers supported the war effort — that memory is wrong. Phil Kukielski on how Grenada reshaped the US military: Three decades ago, a tiny war changed the armed services for good.
From The Nation, Lee Fang on the invisible hand of business in the 2012 election: Recently filed tax returns shed light on some of the dark money that flooded the campaign season. Ian Millhiser on the shady trick Justice Scalia plans to use to inject even more big money into elections. Rick Perlstein on getting down to Big Business: A conservative American romance (and part 2 and part 3); and on the Grand Old Tea Party: Why today's wacko birds are just like yesterday's wingnuts (and more). What killed England's anti-debt Country Party? Matthew Wolfson on how this forgotten chapter in history shows how the Tea Party will collapse. Alex Henderson on how the GOP is literally killing its voters. Think Republicans have been making fools of themselves? Blame Michael Needham, a 31-year-old tearing apart the Heritage Foundation. Even though they know impeachment would fail in the Senate, some House GOPers are still weighing their options. House Republicans say: What GOP crisis? Right-wingers not only root for straight white Christian males, they expect people who aren't straight white Christian males to root for straight white Christian males — add these things all together, and you get a political party that looks like it's engaged in interest group politics for straight non-Hispanic white Christians. Republican staffers and candidates are taking classes to learn how not to offend women, stop throwing around terms like "legitimate rape". The Right wing has its own Upworthy and you won't believe how well it's doing.
Michael Loadenthal (George Mason): Jah People: The Cultural Hybridity of White Rastafarians. Mark S. Fleisher (Case Western): Homosexuality as Pathogen: A Historically Informed Critique of the Theories of Sexual Violence in Prison as Manifested in the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. Alice Robb on how our IQs are climbing, but we’re not getting smarter. Un-people: Dahlia Lithwick on how the conservative crusade to declare everything a “person” — corporations, fertilized eggs — will have disastrous consequences. Geoffrey Wheatcroft on the use and abuse of Munich: The 1938 conference between Chamberlain and Hitler is misunderstood — and the blowhards who constantly evoke its memory are dangerous. Charlotte Laws on her dangerous war against Is Anyone Up?’s Hunter Moore, the most hated man on the Internet. Stopping suicide: Jennifer Michael Hecht on why ending one's life must be categorically rejected, whether on religious or secular grounds. The pope makes enemies: Brad DeLong on Thursday absolute idiocy weblogging. Tom Scocca on Dave Eggers, BuzzFeed, and our culture of smarm. Superheroes are a bunch of fascists: Richard Cooper on how today's comic-book movies are all about superior beings dominating everybody else — where's the left-wing superhero? Alan Moore talks about Fashion Beast, Jacques Derrida and modern superheroes. Cannibal habits of the common tourist: Rolf Potts on Dennis O’Rourke’s “Cannibal Tours”, 25 year later.
Gary King (Harvard): Restructuring the Social Sciences: Reﬂections from Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Marisa Ramirez (San Luis Obispo), Joan T. Dalton (Windsor), Gail McMillan (VPI), Max Read (UBS), and Nancy H. Seamans (Georgia State): Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities? From Sage Connection, an article on open access future in the humanities and social sciences. Mary Sue Coleman on lessons from the humanities and social sciences. Teaching with literature makes social sciences come alive: Students get deeper insights when writers and poets such as Dickens and Neruda are on the syllabus, David Aberbach argues. Scott McLemee reviews Learn to Write Badly: How to Succeed in the Social Sciences by Michael Billig. Robert Dingwall on why social science education is as important as STEM. David Banks on selling the social sciences: Can social scientists do more and better things for the world working in Silicon Valley than the Ivory Tower? From Books and Ideas, Philippe Descola writes in praise of social sciences. Henry Farrell on why Elizabeth Warren cares about funding the social sciences. Social scientists hit back at grant rules: Researchers seek to fend off restrictions on National Science Foundation grant programmes. Robert Cialdini explains how social science can inform policy. Adam Gurri on how the golden age of social science has begun. There are jobs in social science — 'nuff said.
Michael Tonry (Minnesota): Sentencing in America, 1975-2025. Melissa Hamilton (Houston): McSentencing: Mass Federal Sentencing and the Law of Unintended Consequences. Craig S. Lerner (George Mason): Life Without Parole as a Conflicted Punishment. Alexander Volokh (Emory): Prison Accountability and Performance Measures. Harry Levine on the scandal of racist marijuana arrests and what to do about it. Lauren Kirchner on mapping (and potentially preventing) crime with math. As federal prison population spiked 790 percent: Prison overcrowding is projected to get even worse in the coming years — the one single fix that could stem the trend is reform to mandatory minimum sentences, a new study finds. Haunting new pictures of women in prison: Oklahoma has the world's highest incarceration rate for women — Yousef Khanfar traveled there and took these pictures of them. Why are prison riots declining while prison populations explode? Joseph Bernstein visits the corrections officers’ annual Mock Prison Riot. The American Police State: Sociologist Alice Goffman interrogates the criminal-justice system, and tries to stay out of the spotlight. Congress is poised to bury “tough-on-crime” — Obama should hang back and let them work. Al From and Jose Cerda on why American politicians don't talk about crime anymore. Christian Lorentzen reviews Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn.
Evie Browne (Birmingham): State Fragility and Social Cohesion. The introduction to The Origins of Monsters: Image and Cognition in the First Age of Mechanical Reproduction by David Wengrow. Arindrajit Dube on the minimum we can do: A 10 percent increase in the minimum wage would reduce poverty by around 2 percent. Higher calling: Steve Coll on raising the minimum wage. Better pay now: Raising the minimum wage would help many Americans, and might actually be politically possible. Jared Bernstein on the minimum wage and the laws of economics. Kevin Hartnett on the most important people who ever lived: A new ranking system puts Napoleon above Shakespeare and Darwin, and finds some very overrated artists. Statistically, who's the greatest person in history? Cass Sunstein on why quants can't measure historic significance. What if Edward Snowden was made to disappear? Welcome to the Memory Hole. Healthcare.Gov is not like Amazon.com — should we care? Brian Beutler on how Obamacare became its own culture war. Richard Brody on Hannah Arendt's failures of imagination. The greatest trick the Supreme Court ever pulled was convincing the world Roe v. Wade still exists. GOP debunked on food stamps: Forget the nonsense about them breeding dependency — food stamps increase self-sufficiency, research shows. This is every Millennial trend piece ever written. ungrammatical language is awseome u guys srsly.
Taylor Davis (UBC): Group Selection in the Evolution of Religion: Genetic Evolution or Cultural Evolution? Rob Ninowski on the origins of religion: A historical and methodological review. The rise of religion might be all about sex: A study suggests religion might have arisen to protect certain reproductive strategies, like long-term partnership. The introduction to God, Sexuality, and the Self by Sarah Coakley. Andrea Castillo on New Atheism, moral orders, and the psychology of sanctity. David E. Campbell on how it’s social ties — not religion — that makes the faithful give to charity. What good is religion? Sigfried Gold wonders. Can you have religion without God? Moshe Halbertal on Ronald Dworkin and a religious worldview for secularists (and more). Deeper than God: Stanley Fish on Ronald Dworkin’s religious atheism. Isaac Chotiner interviews Richard Dawkins on the Pope, fiction, and why Jews win Nobel Prizes. Scientists try to reconcile Adam and Eve story, whiff — again. What are the odds that Jesus rose from the dead or Moses parted the waves? Even with the best witnesses, vanishingly small. From Vice, was Jesus a Roman hoax to trick the Jews? Piercarlo Valdesolo on the psychological power of Satan: How a belief in “pure evil” shapes people’s thinking. Is secularism unprincipled? Ian Pollock wonders. Billy Sichone on why Bertrand Russell rejected Christianity. London-based “atheist church” launches new congregation in Nashville. Adam Lee on why people are flocking to a new wave of secular communities: Atheist churches.
Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (Hertie): Becoming Denmark: Historical Paths to Control of Corruption. Wang-Sheng Lee and Cahit Guven (Deakin): Engaging in Corruption: The Influence of Cultural Values and Contagion Effects at the Micro Level. Lindsey D. Carson (Toronto): Deciding to Act Corruptly. Shaun McGirr (Michigan): Deliberate Indiscretion: Why Bureaucratic Agencies are Differently Corrupt. Marko Klasnja, Andrew Little, and Joshua Tucker (NYU): Political Corruption Traps. Augusto Lopez Claros (World Bank): Removing Impediments to Sustainable Economic Development: The Case of Corruption. Bertrand Venard (Audencia): Institutions, Corruption and Sustainable Development. Roderic Broadhurst (ANU) and Peter Yang (RegNet): After the Bo Xilai Trial: Does Corruption Threaten China's Future? Oguzhan C. Dincer (Illinois State) and Per G. Fredriksson (Louisville): Does Trust Matter? Corruption and Environmental Regulatory Policy in the United States. A survey of 51,000 Africans in 34 countries found that nearly 1 in 3 had paid a bribe within the previous year to obtain a government document, get medical care or settle a problem with police. “Social pressure can help fight corruption”: Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) has released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index. Is Transparency International's measure of corruption still valid? Critics say the NGO's Corruption Perceptions Index conveys an “elite bias” and doesn't show evidence of actual corruption. Juan Cole on the top 10 ways the US is the most corrupt country in the world.
A new issue of the Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics is out. Terry Bristol (ISEPP): Philosophy of Engineering and the Engineering Worldview. Here's how this is going to go down: Most of you will be outraged or disgusted by this ad — by its overt luddism and sexism and libertarian man-musk. Meet the O’Bamas: Ben Schreckinger on how the president’s Irish “cousin” is making shrewd use of the First Family. Here, there is no hand-wringing about the death of the book: Frances Wilson reviews A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland and How to Read a Novelist by John Freeman. Maryn McKenna on imagining the post-antibiotics future: After 85 years, antibiotics are growing impotent — so what will medicine, agriculture and everyday life look like if we lose these drugs entirely? The science behind mythical dragons: Paleontologist and Tolkien aficionado Henry Gee explains fire-breathing villains like The Hobbit's Smaug. The more we hate it, the more it agrees with us: Adam Corner on how advertising turned anti-consumerism into a secret weapon. Controlling healthcare costs: James Surowiecki on Obamacare’s placebo effect. David Corn on why Obamacare means life and death for both political parties. Igor Volsky on the fake Obamacare site that is trying to trick Californians. Sarah Hedgecock on what's wrong with America's newspaper opinion columnists in one chart. Alex Pareene on Politico’s useless new “magazine”: Heavy on Politico, short on magazine.
Sutirtha Bagchi (Michigan) and Jan Svejnar (Columbia): Does Wealth Inequality Matter for Growth? The Effect of Billionaire Wealth, Income Distribution, and Poverty. From the Journal of Economic Perspectives, a symposium in the Top 1 Percent. Dave Johnson on 5 signs the rich have way too much money. Bill Humphrey on the problem with billionaires: A different case for higher U.S. taxes on the ultra-rich. Scott McLemee reviews Rich People’s Movements: Grassroots Campaigns to Untax the One Percent by Isaac William Martin. Carlos Lozada on the deal with rich people. Noreen Malone on what tech wealth has done to real estate in San Francisco. Is billionaire guilt a trend? Rick Ungar wants to know. Blame rich, overeducated elites as our society frays. Don Fitz goes inside the psyche of the 1%: Many actually believe their ideology of greed makes for a better world. Sorry, folks, rich people actually don't “create the jobs”. Plutocrats at work: Joanne Barkan on how Big Philanthropy undermines democracy. From New Left Project, Jason Hickel on the madness of capital. “Ryan loves the poor the way fundamentalist Christians love gays”: The Washington Post has an article on Paul Ryan's efforts to rebrand himself as an anti-poverty crusader that lands way up there on the unintentional comedy scale (and more). Michelle Goldberg on the GOP’s poverty denialism: According to many conservatives, the poor have it easy. Claude S. Fischer on why poverty breeds more poverty. Mark R. Eank on how poverty in America is mainstream.