Robert Bohm and Ozgur Gurerk (RWTH Aachen) and Hannes Rusch (Giessen): What Makes People Go to War? Defensive Intentions Motivate Retaliatory and Preemptive Intergroup Aggression. From The National Interest, Robert Farley on the most horrific war of all time: Russia vs. Germany; and what might spark World War III, and how would it escalate into a global conflict? Here are five potential scenarios: none likely, but all possible. Andrew J. Bacevich revisits Randolph Bourne, a forgotten WWI-era prophet, who said “War is the health of the state”. From TNR, is war photography beautiful or damned? Jordan G. Teicher reviews War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Combat by David Shields (and more); and Susie Linfield on what war photographs leave out: Without understanding the politics of the war, we cannot understand the photographs.

Dara Lee Luca (MPR), Emily Greene Owens (Cornell), and Gunjan Sharma (World Bank): Can Alcohol Prohibition Reduce Violence Against Women? Imani Gandy on how false narratives of Margaret Sanger are being used to shame black women. Scott McLemee reviews Beautiful Terrible Ruins: Detroit and the Anxiety of Decline by Dora Apel. Lost on the outlaw seas: Anoosh Chakelian on the dangerous treatment of staff on superyachts. Florida experts debunk the transgender “bathroom predator” myth. Great people in history have done horrible things — should we stop honoring them, and who gets to decide? Chris Lehmann ‏on the warm amniotic lure of the Oval Office press tank. Renegade scientist Robert Trivers is lauded as one of our greatest thinkers — despite irking academia with blunt talk and bad manners. Allen Brown on why it’s scary that the Mall of America can crush dissent.

What kind of man spends millions to elect Ted Cruz? Robert Mercer is one of the wealthiest, most secretive, influential, and reactionary Republicans in the country. Ted Cruz’s howitzer: Equal parts drill sergeant, data junkie, brawler, and entrepreneur, Jeff Roe will do anything to win — just watch. With less than two weeks until the Iowa caucuses, a newly formed outside group has launched with the mission of taking down Ted Cruz. Are Republicans so afraid of Ted Cruz that they’ll let Donald Trump win? Jeet Heer on how Donald Trump’s tribalist brand of Christianity is winning votes but dividing the faithful. Michael Brendan Dougherty on how Sam Francis, an obscure adviser to Pat Buchanan, predicted the wild Trump campaign in 1996.

Being less crazy than Donald Trump does not make Marco Rubio “moderate”. Poor little rich boy runs into real estate trouble: Ken Silverstein on Senator Marco Rubio’s three houses, various lady friends, assorted con artist pals and piles of unexplained income. The travails of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign can be seen as perhaps the last, wheezing gasp of the WASP power structure. David Leonhardt on why 2016 is different from all other recent elections.

Paul Russell (Gothenburg): Hume’s Philosophy of Irreligion and the Myth of British Empiricism. From the forthcoming The United Nations Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century, ed. David Malone, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, and Sebastian Von Einsiedel, here is the entry on the Arab-Israeli conflict by Markus E. Bouillon. Will the Oregon militiamen ever be brought to justice? Displaced employees of Oregon idiots’ new home finally speak out. 2015 was the hottest year on record, by a stunning margin; we actually broke the record for breaking records. John Bellamy Foster on Ellen Meiksins Wood: Some personal recollections. Meagan Day on how the Koch family’s Nazi ties are more entrenched than you think: A long association with Holocaust deniers is even uglier than their Third Reich connections. Jordan Teicher on the run-down Arctic mining town Putin wants to be a resort.

James A. Coffman (MDI) and Donald C. Mikulecky (VCU): Global Insanity Redux. “Ungoverned space”: Janosch Prinz on the concept that puts humanitarian aid in the firing line of the War on Terror. Links between slavery, environmental damage are cause for hope: Ellen Wulfhorst reviews Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide and the Secret to Saving the World by Kevin Bales. How do you stop intractable conflict? Ana Swanson on how so many of the world’s people live in so little of its space. The end of the Malthusian nightmare: Robin Harding on how falling fertility opens a new stage in human history, with greater control of our destiny. Thanassis Cambanis on broken nations and the perils of dysfunction: Forget about windows — what do you do when an entire way of running a country stops working? Every country’s debt, mapped. Neil Irwin on how to make sense of plummeting global markets. Battered, bruised and jumpy: The whole world is on edge.

From New York, “I’m having a friendship affair”: A look at the intensely obsessive, deeply meaningful, occasionally undermining, marriage-threatening, slightly pathological platonic intimacy that can happen between women. Anna Wiener on what women actually say to each other: In a culture that often underrates female friendships, About Women: Conversations Between a Writer and a Painter, a new book of conversations between two friends, is invaluable. Rachel Vorona Cote on the art of loving and losing female friends: Friendship is not a pale imitation of sexual romance — it is a romance unto itself. Phoebe Maltz Bovy on the female friendship myth: Lacking a gang of female friends is a greater stigma than being single. Emily V. Gordon on why women compete with each other.

Derek Edyvane (Leeds): The Passion for Civility. From the Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics, here is the entry on Bernie Sanders by Jason Hannan. In Europe, Bernie Sanders would be Center-Right. Lauren Fox on how the Oregon militia is turning out to be its very own worst enemy. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) says Obama is “the most racially-divisive president” since slavery — worse than presidents who owned slaves, signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, put all Japanese Americans in camps, and made interracial marriage a felony. Cable Neuhaus on El Chapo, Rolling Stone’s necessary risk and other musings on the start of the new year in magazine media. Madeleine Morley interviews Alice Audley of Blogosphere, a magazine all about blogs, written by bloggers for the blogging and social media community. Matthew Cunningham-Cook on five reasons tariffs are great.

From PUP, the introduction to In the Blood: Understanding America’s Farm Families by Robert Wuthnow. Coal, guns, freedom: A week in the life of the town that keeps your lights on. What do you get when you mix corporate interest with religiously motivated temperance? Joe Pinsker on why breweries are so rare in the American South. Alice Hines on how Utah became a bizarre, blissful epicenter for get-rich-quick schemes. Jesus vs. Aliens: Arielle Milkman on the culture war raging in Roswell, New Mexico, the UFO capital of the world. Jack Hitt on discovering the Deep South’s cliches all over again. Andrew Moore on how the arid landscape of the Great Plains is home to generations of pioneer homesteaders — and the ruins they left behind. What the Rust Belt can teach us about white flight, gentrification, and brain drain: With a focus on why people leave, we ignore at least half of the migration story.

IH8YRST8: Jess Stoner studies drivers across the country for signs of license-plate prejudice — or, why everyone loves Vermont drivers and hates Texans. Bloom and bust: Phillip Longman on how regional inequality is out of control — here’s how to reverse it. W. Ralph Eubanks on the land that the Internet era forgot.

Justin R. Pidot (Denver): Governance and Uncertainty. Will Wilkinson on the saying that “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice” and “Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue”. Does Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump mean the Tea Party is (or should be) dead? Not so fast, say Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, and Matt Kibbe. Fox News focus group so mad they can’t do racism in public any more. Elizabeth Bruenig on what explains the Trump-Sanders crossover vote: They speak to the same American anxieties — even though they offer radically different solutions. Compassionate biology: David Pearce on how CRISPR-based “gene drives” could cheaply, rapidly and sustainably reduce suffering throughout the living world. Will Davies on the political economy of David Bowie. Here is a conversation between Zizek and Lacan.

Monica M. Gerber and Jonathan Jackson (LSE): Justifying Violence: Legitimacy, Ideology and Public Support for Police Use of Force. Ana Swanson on the forgotten way African Americans stayed safe in a racist America. A modern-day lynching: Craig Anderson was headed home to celebrate his birthday with his partner — instead, he became the victim of a brutal and violent form of racism that many in Mississippi had thought long gone. The disproportionate risks of Driving While Black: An examination of traffic stops and arrests in Greensboro, N.C., uncovered wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct. Wiley Hall reviews The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America by D. Watkins. Nightmare on Main Street: Zandria F. Robinson on racial violence and the problem of convention.

The real “Ferguson effect”: Brittney Cooper on black death, white “safety” and the growing hopelessness among young people of color. Chris Lebron on the inheritance of disaffection: For America’s black and brown citizens, holding on to the hope of a bright future requires an act of imagination. Megan Ming Francis on how to make government care about black lives. Eddie Bruce-Jones on black lives and the state of distraction.