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.