Ivo Wallimann-Helmer (Zurich): The Republican Tragedy of the Commons: The Inefficiency of Democracy in the Light of Climate Change. From The Atlantic Monthly, what if we never run out of oil? New technology and a little-known energy source suggest that fossil fuels may not be finite; this would be a miracle — and a nightmare; and we can't address climate change without carbon reduction, but we also can't afford to neglect a vital second option: carbon capture. Kevin Drum on why cap-and-trade in Europe is working just fine. From Harvard Law Review, Richard Lazarus, Ann Carlson, and Michael Gerrard offer their comments on President Obama's pledge to combat climate change with executive action. Earth Day once mattered — why doesn't it anymore? Michael Kazin on how the environmental movement has failed to connect climate change to the everyday lives of people. Burn our planet or face financial meltdown — not much of a choice.
Charles C. Jalloh (Pittsburgh): What Makes a Crime Against Humanity a Crime Against Humanity? From the The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics, here is the entry on “Borders” by Anssi Paasi. Did the Occupy Wall Street movement waste its moment in the sun? Martin Sandbu reviews The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement by David Graeber, Meme Wars: The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics by Kalle Lasn and Adbusters, and Occupy: Three Inquiries in Disobedience by WJT Mitchell. Nomy Arpaly reviews Against Absolute Goodness by Richard Kraut. Old white men and their guns: David Karol on how the tribalism of gun owners gives them their political firepower. The trouble with speeches: Demosthenes was the greatest orator in classical history — he also stoked the flames of the Greek pride that persists to this day.
Houston Wood (Hawaii Pacific): Religion and Violence: An Introduction. Esther Moller reviews Religion in an Age of Imperial Humanitarianism, 1850-1950. From Foreign Policy, Buddhist monks have been major instigators of the recent violence against Muslims in Burma; and weren’t Buddhists supposed to be pacifists? Their religion may stress peace, but some Buddhists are showing that they’re entirely capable of violence in the name of faith. Chip Berlet on why we need to understand the apocalyptic worldview of a small group of radical Muslims. Jessica Frazier reviews And Man Created God: Kings, Cults and Conquests at the Time of Jesus by Selina O'Grady. Richard Wolin on Biblical blame shift: Cherry-picking from shaky evidence, the German Egyptologist Jan Assmann argues that the ancient Hebrews sparked centuries of religious violence. Barak Mendelsohn reviews Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective.
Ben Bradford (Oxford), Jonathan Jackson (LSE), Mike Hough (London): Police Legitimacy in Action: Lessons for Theory and Practice. Jane Bambauer (Arizona): Defending the Dog. The British overseas territory of Pitcairn Island, midway between Auckland, New Zealand, and Panama, could almost be a testing ground for Hobbes versus Rousseau. Middle Earth v. Duniverse and the different worlds of Tolkien and Herbert: Mark Wegierski compares and contrasts two of the 20th century’s most successful fantasy writers. Joshua Kurlantzick on his book Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government. Scientists create an imaginary library of every chemical compound that could exist. The case for less: Tim Wu reviews Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler.
Eric Schickler (UC-Berkeley): New Deal Liberalism and Racial Liberalism in the Mass Public, 1937–1968. Meera E. Deo (Thomas Jefferson): Separate, Unequal, and Seeking Support. Kimani Paul-Emile (Fordham): The Regulation of Race in Science. W. Ralph Eubanks on how DNA ancestry testing can turn our notions of race and ethnicity upside down. Thomas Sowell on intellectuals and race: There is nothing unusual about different racial and ethnic groups having different achievements (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). Jamelle Bouie on making (and dismantling) racism: Racism was built with policy as much as it was with prejudice. Can an honest conversation about race be inoffensive? The larger the group, the smaller the chance of forming interracial friendships, a new study shows. David Rose on the 5 weirdest things that can cause you to be more racist.
Tracey Holzhueter (York): Can You Hear Me Now? How Neutrality Provided Switzerland with a Strong National Identity Within the European Union. Sveinung Legard interviews Robert Ogman, author of Against the Nation: Anti-National Politics in Germany (and more). Dresden, Nazi-free: Moritz Wichmann on the new politics of German civil disobedience. Sazana Capriqi on how gender divisions, deeply rooted in myth and in society, have spelled more violence and suffering for the Balkans than any concrete benefit. Europeans exhibit unity only in the face of a dire threat: Tony Barber reviews Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present by Brendan Simms (and more). Jennifer Thomson reviews Morality Politics in Western Europe: Parties, Agendas and Policy Choices. Governments now answer to business, not voters; mainstream parties grow ever harder to distinguish — is democracy dead?
Heather Gerken (Yale): Exit, Voice, and Disloyalty. From The Nation, a special issue on the Gilded City: Bloomberg's New York. Bruce Bartlett on the trouble with dynamic scoring. If people could immigrate anywhere, would poverty be eliminated? Some economists are pushing for "open borders". Scott McLemee reviews Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style and the 1960s. John Danaher on revisiting Thomas Nagel on the absurdity of life (and part 2). Elizabeth Drew on Obama and the myth of arm-twisting. Samuel George on the message from Latin America: Austerity, then growth. Reinhart and Rogoff aren’t the problem — the Republican Party is. Eulogy for the blog: As The New York Times moves to eliminate theirs, we should remember its golden age. The atheist who strangled me: In which Sam Harris teaches me Brazilian jiu-jitsu and explains why violence is like rebirth.
Perry Mehrling (Columbia), Zoltan Pozsar (U.S. Treasury), James Sweeney (Credit Suisse), and Daniel H. Neilson (INET): Bagehot was a Shadow Banker: Shadow Banking, Central Banking, and the Future of Global Finance. From Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi on the Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever: The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy — there's no price the big banks can't fix. John Keane on a short history of banks and democracy. Regulatory Rockstar: Elizabeth Warren is using her Senate seat to grill those who let the big banks off the hook. Matthew Yglesias reviews The Bankers’ New Clothes by Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig. Neil Irwin on 10 shocking things you probably didn’t know about central banking. Has financialization gone too far? Robert Solow on how to save American finance from itself.
Makoto Usami (Tokyo Tech): Global Justice: From Responsibility to Rights. James Fallows talks with space entrepreneur Eric Anderson about the next wave of space exploration. The disaster network: Twelve years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, news and comfort travels faster. Why was Paul Krugman so wrong? Everyone's favorite Nobel-winning Keynesian is no longer gravely deluded on the global economy — how much can we trust him now? The economic argument is over — Paul Krugman has won. Marty Klein on George W. Bush, the man who tried to ruin sex. We all know scrotal testicles evolved to keep sperm cooler than the rest of the body, but evolutionary psychology’s activation hypothesis explains so much more. “Patriotism is when you make sacrifices that benefit me. Socialism is when I make sacrifices that benefit you”.
Martha Albertson Fineman (Emory): Feminism, Masculinities, and Multiple Identities. Jamie R. Abrams (Louisville): Enforcing Masculinities at the Borders. Why is the social shaping of masculinity not an urgent policy issue? Cynthia Cockburn and Ann Oakley on the cost of masculine crime. Andrea Castillo on the problems with “patriarchy”: How does a system that was supposedly created for the domination of men fail so miserably to save such a large number of its prized specimens from such dreadful outcomes? Jaclyn Friedman on Toxic Masculinity: If we want to end the pandemic of rape, it’s going to require an entire global movement of men willing to do the hard work of interrogating the ideas they were raised with. Why are terrorists so often men? Tamerlan Tsarnaev was performing a kind of masculinity through public destruction. America's military-masculinity complex is generating violence on a mass scale — at home.