R. Taggart Murphy (Tsukuba): Japan As Number One in the Global Economic Crisis: Lessons for the World? The Japan Myth: Slow growth in Japan over the last decade was due not to insufficiently aggressive macroeconomic policies, but to an unfavorable demographic trend. Is Japan the next major world economy to tank? Japan may be the first nation to opt for a no growth, steady state economy — what’s wrong with being No. 2? Japan's Galapagosization: Technologically out of step with the rest of the economic powers, faltering politically, and hindered by an aging and isolated population, Japan has some changes to make if it is to regain its footing on the world stage. In Japan, the young face generational roadblocks. It may be now-or-never for Japan’s pop culture creators to rehabilitate their industries and reach out to their audiences. Why isn't Japan having sex? Waiting for the dam to break: David McNeill on WikiLeaks and Japan. Bob Gates now appears to understand that the US-Japan alliance is much bigger than one base in Okinawa — but both sides still have a long way to go. A review of Local Environmental Movements: A Comparative Study of the United States and Japan. The trade tensions with China sometimes seem like a rerun of the 1980s rivalry with Japan — but can Washington use its old strategies? Gavan McCormack (ANU): Small Islands, Big Problem: Senkaku/Diaoyu and the Weight of History and Geography in China-Japan Relations.

A new issue of World Picture is out. Heather Monasky (William Mitchell): On Comprehensive Prostitution Reform: Criminalizing the Trafficker and the Trick, But Not the Victim — Sweden’s Sexkopslagen in America. Mikhail Simkin on a scientific evaluation of Charles Dickens. A major literary prize has been won by a book of verse, and the genre has rarely been more popular — so why does it feel as if poetry is losing its way? Nonprofit social venture capital firm Acumen Fund’s model has garnered attention, but can it change international aid? From THES, a review of Plain Ugly: The Unattractive Body in Early Modern Culture by Naomi Baker; and a review of The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide by Daniel Blatman. From The Economist, a special report on global leaders: In the information age, brainy people are rewarded with wealth and influence — what does this mean for everyone else? A review of Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference Jane Burbank by Frederick Cooper. What does the book of Daniel have to say about empire today? An interview with Kathryn Lofton, author of Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon. These days it seems every controversial remark has been taken "out of context"; time to return the phrase to the literary critics. Teenage queen Marie Antoinette, now the subject of a new movie, was embraced by France in 1770 — twenty-three years later, she lost her head to the guillotine (but she never said, "Let them eat cake").

From Dissent, John Summers on Daniel Bell and The End of Ideology (and more). With the death last month of Daniel Bell, we lost a prescient big thinker on many subjects, including ideology and American politics (and more and more and more). America in the age of primitivism: Forget Democrats and Republicans — what America needs is two new parties, the Regressives and the Modernists. What defines our differences: What is the encompassing issue that divides liberals and conservatives? Stupid and stingy: How the Left and Right see each other. Kevin O'Brien on the lover’s leap of the right and the left. The goulash of right, left and center: The whole system of judging political ideologies by false criteria can leave one mentally cross-eyed. The Biology of Politics: What makes a liberal or a conservative? The Science of Libertarian Morality: A social psychology study explores the formation of the libertarian personality. David Brooks interviews Bill Kristol on The Neoconservative Persuasion by Irving Kristol (and more and more and more). Never write an “Advice to Young Conservatives” letter: Seriously, it’s a hackneyed format that no one wants to read — be more original than that. Liberals don't hate money, they hate Walmart: The hypocrisy, inconsistency and general idiocy of our age — a "liberal" age — knows no limits. Todd Gitlin on the Incoherent Left. It is a nightmare phenomenon that virtually every "leftist" thinker and activist has, at one time or another, encountered: Antony Black on a critique of impure reason.