Michael Serota and Ethan J. Leib (Fordham): The Political Morality of Voting in Direct Democracy. Steffen Ganghof (Potsdam): Does Public Reason Require Supermajoritarian Democracy? Liberty, Equality, and History in the Justification of Political Institutions. Michael Wilkinson (LSE): Dewey's “Democracy without Politics”: On the Failures of Liberalism and the Frustrations of Experimentalism. Jeremy Waldron (NYU): Toleration: Is There a Paradox? Rainer Forst, Professor of Political Theory at Goethe University Frankfurt, on “Toleration and Democracy”. Christopher J. Voparil on Richard Rorty and the democratic power of the novel. Elliott Sharp on Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s greatest con. David A. Reidy reviews As Free and as Just as Possible: The Theory of Marxian Liberalism by Jeffrey Reiman. Is there a moral case for free markets? Martin O’Neill and Thad Williamson review John Tomasi’s Free Market Fairness. Alan Ryan’s On Politics is a triumph of erudition but focuses too heavily on the west, writes John Keane. An interview with Jodi Dean on political theory. Michael Sandel’s famous Harvard course on justice is now available as a MOOC. John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice: The Musical is coming soon to Oxford.
A new issue of Foreign Service Journal is out. Jeremy Waldron (NYU): Five to Four: Why Majorities Rule on Courts. Dermot Murnaghan interviews Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, on the media, old and new. Nobody wants to edit Wikipedia anymore: Wikipedia leaders and social science researchers documented a drastic decline in the retention of new editors over the last five years. Paradigms, after fifty years: For a book built on a narrative of, among other things, the history of our understanding of electricity, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn, has had a remarkable run. Until Americans start caring about other people’s dead kids — and their adults — kids and adults made dead by American weapons — we don’t have the right to mourn our own. Obama's Chief of Staff will be the most important appointment of his term: For many practical purposes, it is the White House operations boss — and not the vice president — who serves as the nation's deputy president. Austerity has brought tragedy to Greece and the UK — Martin McQuillan reflects on the narrative and ideology of “fiscal discipline” and what it means for both nations and their academies.
Annelies Zoomers and Gery Nijenhuis (Utrecht): Does Migration Lead to Development? Or Is It Contributing to a Global Divide? Lorenzo Piccoli (Trento): Immigration and National Minorities: Redrawing Identity Boundaries, Projecting Integration Policies. Gene Shackman and Ya-Lin Liu (GSCRP) and Xun Wang (UW-Parkside): Brief Review of World Demographic Trends: Explaining Population Trends: Birth, Death and Migration. Trevon D. Logan reviews The Children of Eve: Population and Well-being in History by Louis P. Cain and Donald G. Paterson. From Foreign Policy, Joshua Keating on the baby menace: Are we too worried about falling fertility rates?; and a look at the 10 countries with the lowest fertility rates in the world. Howard Cincotta reviews The Real Population Bomb: Megacities, Global Security and the Map of the Future by P.H. Liotta and James F. Miskel. Austin Ruse on the cause of America’s declining birthrate. About that overpopulation problem: Research suggests we may actually face a declining world population in the coming years. Has humanity’s explosion become a population bomb? Annalee Newitz investigates.
A new issue of Journal of Transnational American Studies is out, including Amy Sara Carroll (Michigan): Global Mexico’s Coproduction: Babel, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Children of Men. Rachel Elizabeth VanLandingham (Stetson): Politics or Law? The Dual Nature of the Responsibility to Protect. From The New Yorker, David Remnick on the rise of Israel’s new religious right; and Southern discomfort: George Packer on why the region no longer speaks for America. For Republicans, the fiscal status quo is worse than a potential global meltdown, but even slightly higher revenue is worse than both. The Redskins name is really valuable, and really offensive — here’s how to fix it. Scott Lemieux on embracing the legacy of torture: John Brennan's nomination for head of the CIA shows the appalling extent to which the worst abuses of the post-9/11 security state have become institutionalized. David Cole on twelve questions for John Brennan. From Christianity Today, Laura Ortberg Turner on what Les Miserables reveals about modern women. A letter drafted by Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family (FOF), has been getting some attention on social media sites and blogs lately.
Kimmo Eriksson (Stockholm): The Nonsense Math Effect. “Maths is as rich, inspiring and human as literature”: An interview with Daniel Tammet, author of Thinking in Numbers: How Maths Illuminates Our Lives. Brian Hayes reviews The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick by Benoit B. Mandelbrot (and more). A set of guidelines adopted by 45 states this year may turn children into "little mathematicians" who don't know how to do actual math. Allen Stenger reviews The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity by Steven Strogatz. Kevin Hartnett on math even mathematicians don't understand. Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland, on popular attempts to explain the history of counting and numbers. The first chapter from Heavenly Mathematics: The Forgotten Art of Spherical Trigonometry by Glen Van Brummelen. Why do mathematicians always agree? Christophe Heintz wants to know. Hyperspace is the place: Scott McLemee reviews The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012. Like math? Thank your motivation, not IQ. Sarah Fecht on 6 ways to expand your mind at the Math Museum.
Mark Anthony Frassetto (Georgetown): Catholic Emancipation: 1760-1829. From Political Theology, Matthew A. Shadle on Catholic social teaching, state sovereignty, and international authority (and part 2). Eugene McCarraher on the Catholic Right’s false nostalgia. Mary Elizabeth Williams on the Catholic Church’s new gay insult. Erika Bachiochi on women, sexual asymmetry and Catholic teaching. From National Catholic Register, Mary Zurolo Walsh reviews The Infertility Companion for Catholics Spiritual and Practical Support for Couples by Angelique Ruhi-Lopez and Carmen Santamaria; and taking the place of our Creator: Rebecca Taylor on transhumanism. Bishop Daniel Jenky gets the coveted Coughlin Award, named for Father Charles Coughlin, the notorious radio priest of the 1930s. Despite his popular image, Jack Kerouac was born and died a self-identified Catholic. CatholicFiction.net has been relaunched and completely redesigned. John Paul II's canonization thought to be imminent. Pope is a huge hit on Twitter: The Holy Father’s successful first month of tweeting, amassing 2.5 million followers in eight languages, is hailed as an evangelization breakthrough. Meet Gorgeous Georg, the Holy Pontiff’s live-in partner. Adam Lee on 50 reasons to boycott the Catholic Church.
Sharanbir Grewal and Erik Voeten (Georgetown): Are New Democracies Better Human Rights Compliers? Here are the answers to the 2013 Edge Question: "What should we be worried about?" Paradise lost, or found: A new airport could bring much-needed income to the beautiful, remote British outpost of Saint Helena. Michael Burleigh reviews The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy by William J. Dobson. Enormous and very vulnerable: Bryce Covert on how domestic workers make up a growing part of the global workforce — working under some of the worst conditions. Did Bo help get the president re-elected? Scott McLemee looks into the burgeoning literature on canine politics. As C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity goes into its seventh decade of publishing success, rivaled still by no other apologetic, it's worth taking a look at its unlikely success. Sean Ledwith reviews Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire by Deepa Kumar. Blogging about the mob: A longtime organized crime reporter takes a buyout from the Philadelphia Inquirer and tries his hand at blogging for a new Web site that provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of big trials. John Dean on why President Obama could easily be impeached over the debt ceiling if Congress fails to raise it.
From The American Interest, Nathan Harden on the end of the university as we know it. Keith Devlin on the Darwinization of higher education: Are MOOCs going to initiate, or be part of, an educational tsunami? Unlocking the ivory tower: Colleges flock to offer free online classes for all, but questions abound. John Villasenor writes in defense of equal tuition for all majors: A proposal in Florida would charge undergraduates majoring in STEM and other "strategic" fields less than students in liberal-arts majors — here's why that's a bad idea. Who can still afford State U? As public colleges spend more and get less from the states, tuition costs are shifting to parents and students — often putting higher education out of reach. Democratizing American higher education: David Staley on the legacy of the Morrill Land Grant Act. E. Stina Lyon reviews Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study by George E. Vaillant. Thomas Sowell reviews Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr. Peter Lawler on affirmative action for conservatives in hiring college and university professors.
Cass R. Sunstein (Harvard): The Real World of Cost-Benefit Analysis: Thirty-Six Questions (and Almost as Many Answers). Nienke Grossman (Baltimore): The Normative Legitimacy of International Courts. Scott S. Boddery and Kyle Mackey (SUNY): Rome Wasn't Built in a Day: The Structural Entrenchment of the International Criminal Court. From The Economist, air conditioning makes hot places bearable — but at a worryingly high cost; and has the ideas machine broken down? The idea that innovation and new technology have stopped driving growth is getting increasing attention — but it is not well founded. Can we cap-and-trade our way out of the debt ceiling crisis? If the EPA enacted a cap-and-trade system on the gas we all use on our cars, we could start collecting enough revenue to deal with our financial issues; best part is Congress doesn’t need to be involved. Could Alex Jones' “revolution” actually happen? Zeke Miller on how the White House is actually responding to all those crazy petitions (including those on secession and the construction of a Death Star).
Mylene Lachance-Grzela (Moncton): Mattering Moderates the Link between Gender Ideology and Perceived Fairness of the Division of Household Labor. From Dissent, a special section on the New Feminism. How best to describe the colonization of the body at this particular juncture of capitalist life? Nina Power reviews Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl by Tiqqun. Are differences in men and women’s pay an indication of discrimination in the labour market? In a study of Sweden’s cigar-making industry in the late nineteenth century, Tim Leunig and colleagues find clear evidence of sexism at work. She can’t sleep no more: Sarah Leonard on the political economy of Marissa Mayer. Is the “feminization” of professional titles a good thing? Eric Horowitz investigates. Are professors to blame for the fact that there are so few young women in science? Analysing data on the entrance exam for a top French university, Thomas Breda and Son Thierry Ly argue that it is not the selection process in higher education that is perpetuating this gender gap. The all-female delegation in charge of New Hampshire is the product of a unique political system — a flawed, but effective model for putting women in positions of power.