From the Fletcher Forum, Aigerim Zikibayeva on Kazakhstan’s delicate balancing act. Alfrid Bustanov reviews Soviet and Muslim: The Institutionalization of Islam in Central Asia, 1943-1991 by Eren Murat Tasar. Goodbye Lenin: Eleanor Dalgleish on Tajikistan's new historical narrative. Annabelle Chapman reviews Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia by Alexander Cooley. Why is the dictatorship of Kazakhstan getting such good PR? Liz Carolan reviews Presidents, Oligarchs and Bureaucrats: Forms of Rule in the Post-Soviet Space. Was the Eurasian economic union a good deal for Kazakhstan? Melinda Haring and Michael Cecire on why the color revolutions failed: Toppling dictators isn't enough — successful revolutions also embrace the rule of law. Kazakhstan’s and Uzbekistan’s strongmen and their daughters ponder succession. Martin W. Lewis on Zoi’s fantastic Central Asia water map, and Turkmenistan’s geo-engineering projects.
Jessie Allen (Pittsburgh): Theater of International Justice. From Slate, the legacy of George W. Bush is having a bit of a revival — and some Republicans can’t stand it. Is American nonviolence possible? Facing ourselves squarely at this difficult moment might provide a better lesson for the future than allowing ourselves to once again give in to blind fury. Against wishful thinking: Brian Tomasik on how some people hold more hopeful beliefs about the world and the future than are justified. Is it wrong to care more about 4 deaths in Boston than 80 in Syria? Santiago Zabala on the art of Filippo Minelli: When the language that defines our virtual lives is taken beyond the frame of the computer, new meanings emerge. Hatebase is a new initiative from the Sentinel Project, a Canadian group that aims to use social media and other technology to identify early warning signals for ethnic conflict.
From Prospect, the relatively new science of human behaviour might also define ethics for us — ethical economics would then emerge from one of the least likely places: economists themselves. Mark Thoma on why politics and economics are a toxic cocktail. Jeffrey Frankel on the economist’s stone. Mark Buchanan on the insupportable equilibrium of economic thought. Steven Horwitz reviews Friedrich Hayek: The Ideas and Influence of the Libertarian Economist by Eamonn Butler. Is Austrian economics too popular for its own good? Stan Tsirulnikov investigates. Neil Irwin on what the Reinhart-Rogoff debacle tells us about the mysteries of macroeconomics. Dylan Matthews goes inside the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, the offbeat economics department that debunked Reinhart-Rogoff. Which (macro)-economists are worth listening to? Dean Baker on worms, pond scum and economists.
Stefan Voigt (Hamburg): Veilonomics: On the Use and Utility of Veils in Constitutional Political Economy. It's not like American politics has become boring and thrill-seekers need to look north, but the current political scene in Canada is actually interesting. From Gawker, here's the jihadist magazine that taught the Boston bombers to kill; and this is what it's like to be a Muslim in Boston right now. Kevin Mahnken on why there's nothing wrong with properly politicizing a tragedy. Is the think tank scene becoming too saturated? Rolf Dobelli on how news is bad for you — and giving up reading it will make you happier (and a response). Jinah Roe on exit, voice, and loyalty at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal: Should the international community stay or go? Let's face it: Americans don't care if the U.S. tortured. Yes, zines still exist, and they’re not antiques.
Paul Katsafanas (BU): Philosophical Psychology as a Basis for Ethics. Travis Riddle on how your moral decisions are shaped by a bad mood: Weighty choices can be shifted by surprising factors. Continuing breakthroughs in neuroscience have given rise to shelves full of new books on the neurochemistry of right and wrong. Want to be a better person? Spend more time thinking about science. Philip Bethge and Johann Grolle interview Edward O. Wilson on the origin of morals. Frans de Waal's bottom-up morality: We're not good because of God. Ruy Teixeira on the good news about human nature: Most people aren’t jerks (and part 2). Infants as young as nine months old prefer individuals who are nice to people like them and mean to people who aren't like them (and more). Has morality become a skeuomorph? Doug Hill wonders. From Forbes, Joseph Grenny on how there's nothing like a financial crisis to bring out the best in people.