F. Charles Sherman (Osgoode): Law and Development Today: The New Developmentalism. Jennifer Wheary (Demos): The Global Middle Class is Here: Now What? In 1965 Jamaica and Singapore were equal in wealth, but four decades later, their standing was dramatically different — what accounts for the difference? From The Economist, a special report on telecoms in emerging markets: Mobile phones have transformed lives in the poor world — mobile money could have just as big an impact. Fearing food shortages, investors from wealthy countries are snapping up land in poor countries to grow food there — is this development or exploitation? How can we help the world’s poor?: Humanitarians are fiercely divided about what helps poor people. The downside of "smart power": USAID's new chief Rajiv Shah is stepping into a fierce struggle about the right role of humanitarian aid in foreign policy. A review of The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights by Irene Khan with David Petrasek. Is democracy a dirty word?: Advocates hated Bush's attempts to impose freedom at gunpoint but worry Obama's approach isn't much better. Michael Ross (UCLA): Is Democracy Good for the Poor? A review of Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places by Paul Collier (and 5 myths about the beauty of the ballot box). Gangs in the global city: Global cities linking global economic circuits are also home to transnational criminals. The power of positive deviants: A promising new tactic for changing communities from the inside. A review of The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World by Partha Chatterjee.

Speak no evil: John Judis on the problem with Obama's much-lauded Nobel speech. Beer consumption and the "beer belly": scientific basis or common belief? From Psychology Today, "I hope nobody finds out": An article on imposter syndrome, survivor guilt, and the bane of progressive political organizations; here's a field guide to the self-doubter; and why do so many women experience the “Imposter Syndrome”? (and more) Loved to be Hated: Twenty-five years after Andy Kaufman's death, Mike Edison ponders whether the comedian was the greatest wrestler of all time. What will it take for the Senate to abolish the filibuster? Just a little Rawlsian magic. An interview with Chelsea Haywood the alpha males, the money, and the peculiar conversations in Japanese men’s clubs. Why exactly are Jackson Pollock’s paintings shielded by the First Amendment? Fear Factor: When evangelical organizations use homophobia and political dishonesty to get members to contribute. A review of Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons by Gahan Wilson. The French Revolution: How Strasbourg gave up the car (and why midsized American cities can too). Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson emerges as the next Ron Paul. From Brazil to Bayreuth: Joseph Chandler meets the man who raised Wagner’s ghost. Matthew Yglesias on Harry Reid, Politician of the Year. Do you know what's good for you?: A series of articles on the maths of infectious diseases. From Regret the Error, a look at the year in media errors and corrections. The Gawker Decade: Robert Quigley on how Gawker Media defined the 2000s. There is a touch of sensuality in the pink tentacles, scarlet flowers, and protruding ship masts.

And please take advantage of Special Holiday Savings from Bookforum, with offers of 1 year (5 issues) for only $12.00, or 2 years (10 issues) for $24.00.

After a decade of fear, we're connected to writing in new ways: Our relationship to the written word changes and evolves but it doesn't go away. Will e-books spell the end of great writing?: This Christmas could be the moment when our idea of curling up with a fat novel are transformed for ever. Slang does not make literature "relevant": Particularly when wielded by those who don't really understand it, it's an insultingly cheap bid to get down with the kids. Author learns to write her wrongs: Savannah Knoop fooled the world, and many celebrity fans, into thinking she was a man. What is a “classic”? Is it simply an old book that we still read, or is there something a bit more sinister to the whole idea? End of Kirkus Reviews brings anguish and relief: It churned out nearly 5,000 reliably cantankerous reviews a year, which many librarians and booksellers used when deciding how to stock their shelves — and Kirkus may have been annoying, but its successors are inane. Using literature written by Thomas Hardy, DH Lawrence and Herman Melville, physicists in Sweden have developed a formula to detect different authors' literary "fingerprints". How Hollywood destroyed our classical legends: It took a millennium for western civilisation to create a canon of classical literature, but just 10 years for Hollywood to destroy it. Welcome to the future: A review of Twitterature: The World’s Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less (and more). Speed-reading might be useful for commercial documents, but when it comes to serious writing, it blurs out all the really interesting stuff.

From World Policy, Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Brysac on Kerala, India: Communism Lite and God’s Own Country. A review of The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger (and an interview and more). From The Hindu, to be a Muslim in India today: To be a member of the largest religious minority in India is to live with a mounting disillusionment and a sense of fear that never goes away. A review of Partition, Bengal and After: The Great Tragedy of India by Kali Prasad Mukhopadhyay. The introduction to Islamism and Democracy in India: The Transformation of Jamaat-e-Islami by Irfan Ahmad. The first chapter from Islam in South Asia in Practice. Joel Robbins reviews The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland South Asia by James C. Scott. Buddha’s savage peace: Sri Lanka’s civil war is finally over — can Buddhists and Hindus coexist there once again? What does it look like to win a war on terror? In Sri Lanka, it's fewer suicide bombers, a real estate boom, and hundreds of thousands of Tamils still packed into overcrowded camps. Ian MacKinnon examines the fractious politics of Nepal, where Maoists compete with monarchists and supporters of the president and prime minister. Last year, after a decade of violence, Maoist rebels drove through the abolition of Nepal’s monarchy, but all too quickly they themselves fell from power — what chance now for peace and democracy? Back to the brink: The spread of violence in Nepal is not just the Maoists’ fault. Women fighters in Nepal: Three years after the end of the civil war, former female rebels are still fighting for equality as the government struggles to integrate them into the national army. An article on why Nepal matters.