From RAND Review, a look at how demographic trends forecast next phases for China, India, and the United States; Stijn Hoorens on how all European Union countries face declining and aging populations; an infographic of the world in 2030 shows how different it will be from that of today; and a look at how demographic trends will change the world through 2050. From The Washington Quarterly, what should the world expect from this year’s transitions in China, Russia, and France? The introduction to The New World Order by Joel Kotkin. From Foreign Policy, how dangerous is the world? Paul Miller investigates. Richard Betts on possible future threats to the US. From Democracy Journal, a special section on America and the World: New principles to guide our foreign policy. A review of Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or Be Ruled by Others? by John Fonte (and more and more). As the world is undergoing a profound transformation, what role will the US play in a post-American century? As the US pivots toward Asia, Europe stumbles. Lionel Barber Asia's rise, the West's fall? Ira Straus on the optical illusion of Western decline (and part 2).

From The New Criterion, being a Southerner: Barton Swaim on the “habits of affection and behavior” in the American South. Like a pig to mud: Southern living ain’t half bad. Linton Weeks on the hipsterfication of America. From City Journal, Kay S. Hymowitz on how Brooklyn got its groove back: New York’s biggest borough has reinvented itself as a postindustrial hot spot. A review of Crude Awakening: Money, Mavericks, and Mayhem in Alaska by Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger (and more). Abe Sauer on North Dakota and the rise of an American petrostate. Frank Jacobs on the Underwritten States of America. The "Age of Thirst" in the American West: Coming to a theatre near you — the greatest water crisis in the history of civilisation. Cape Fear: A small portion of the Massachusetts coastline is home to America’s biggest witch-hunt, a history of savage wife mobs, the occasional 400 percent increase of unlucky pregnancies, and the world’s largest deposits of black crystals. The first chapter from The Evolution of a Nation: How Geography and Law Shaped the American States by Daniel Berkowitz and Karen B. Clay.

Tsilly Dagan (Bar-Ilan): Dilemmas of Tax Policy in a Globalized World. Stuart Schoenfeld and Jonathan Rubin (York): Contrasting Regional Environmentalisms in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Social Constructionist Perspective. New Humanist goes inside the mind of Scientology's Messiah: Twenty-five years after his death, Michael Bywater revisits the sacred texts of the pulp science writer turned prophet L Ron Hubbard. When can the president order the execution without trial of an American citizen? How to argue about politics: What if the Democrats took a more philosophical approach to their opposition to Republican positions? In an age where easy prosperity will never return, the challenge is to “protect” against privatisation, oligarchs and rentier capitalists — William Davies reflects on life 20 years after the closure of Marxism Today. Playing God: Philip Ball looks at the timeless fascination, and consequences, of the monster myth. East Timor, the world's second youngest country, faces a unique challenge: few of its teachers speak the country's legal lingua franca, Portuguese — so what should schools teach?

Melissa E. Murray (UC-Berkeley): Marriage as Punishment. Katherine M. Franke (Columbia): The Curious Relationship of Marriage and Freedom. Is Playboy magazine responsible for divorce? Forced weddings and "honor" killings aren’t just a developing-world issue — new research shows how it happens in England and the United States. Are we biologically inclined to couple for life? From Big Think, a look at how "traditional marriage" is killing traditional marriage; and an article on marriage according to Google. Is there a role for marriage in secular society, or should humanists rejoice in its withering along with religion? Pamela Haag on mistresses and lovers for dummies. If Big Love is the consenting poor woman's best choice, why is it illegal? Soulless Soul Mates: Can an atheist and a believer have a happy marriage? Your marriage of the future: Seven science fiction ideas about relationships and sex that might come true. Is generosity better than sex? No, but a new study says it’s crucial in a marriage. A review of Soulmate Proprietors: How To Run A Business With Your Spouse And STAY Married! by Danelle Brown.

Michael C. Davis (Hong Kong): Tibet. From the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, a special issue on Environmental Governance in China: New Developments and Perspectives. Joel Kotkin and Sim Hee Juat go inside the Sinosphere. How Walmart is changing China: Will the world’s biggest corporation succeed in transforming environmental standards. Although China plans to diversify its fuel sources, the nation at present runs mostly on domestic coal cheaply mined — cheap, that is, provided the costs to water, atmosphere and human life are not factored in. A review of Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong by Gordon Mathews. The Red Royalty: As China's economy continues to trend downward, Beijing's elites are sparking a new, palpable frustration in the general population. Two recent books explain how the government has strategically allowed investigative journalism to flourish, strengthened by the market and the expectations of the Chinese population. A review of No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems by Liu Xiaobo.

Yuval Eylon (OUI): Sexual Value. Craig Martin (Washburn): Going Medieval: Targeted Killing, Self-Defence, and the Jus Ad Bellum Regime. Crazy aunt on the loose: For central bankers in the rich world, unconventional is the new conventional. Eight items have been added to the United Nations List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. An interview with Genny Beemyn and Susan R. Rankin, authors of The Lives of Transgender People. Black Flag: A mysterious Islamist banner has been popping up across the Middle East, from Benghazi to Lebanon — is it a simply a sign of faith or the battle flag of al Qaeda? Chris Hedges on suing the Obama Administration over a particular part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Why should we stop online piracy? A little copyright infringement is good for the economy and society. The years of ship owners doing what they want must end; the anarchy on the high seas cannot be allowed to continue. A look at how Corey Robin’s Reactionary Mind has stirred an Internet debate. Surnames: Can you make your mark legally?

From The Nation, a special section on Occupying the Safety Net, including Frances Fox Piven on what the Occupy movement could do for poor people — and vice versa. Occupy the Cloud: What Occupy Wall Street can take from Gov 2.0. From Jacobin, Mike Beggs on Occupy economics. Wealthy financiers are trying to turn the Occupy movement into a rich vs. poor debate — what they still don't understand is that Americans don't hate the rich, they hate the rich in finance. At Occupy Wall Street, an unlikely mix of students, vets, bankers, regulators and academics are planning alternative financial institutions — including an Occupy bank (and more). Is Occupy Wall Street strapped for cash? Louis Rene Beres on Occupy Wall Street, Adam Smith, and the Wealth of Nations. From The Awl, Lauren Kirchner on Occupy Scandinavia's long winter. From Counterpunch, what if Occupiers armed themselves? In the year of protests, is it really fair to compare the grievances of the Occupy movement to the courage of the Arab Spring? Occupy Wall Street has been quiet since the November evictions, but the 2012 elections will give it a chance to have a lasting impact. What has happened to Occupy Wall Street?

Reynald Bourque and Marc-Antonin Hennebert (Montreal): The Transformation of International Trade Unionism in the Era of Globalization. Mounting consumer debt cripples Americans and prevents America's economic recovery — how did we dig ourselves into that hole? It began when debts became a marketable commodity. A review of Famous Figures and Diagrams in Economics. Jeff Madrick on the 10 worst economic ideas of 2011. Goodbye "shop til you drop" mentality: A renegade band of economists call for "degrowth" economy. A review of Pricing the Future: Finance, Physics, and the 300-Year Journey to the Black-Scholes Equation by George Szpiro. Elliot Spitzer on how small shareholders, pension funds, and mutual funds can stop corporate America’s worst behavior and ignite a political movement. Living by default: James Surowiecki on the difference between American Airlines’ debt and yours. From Cracked, a look at 5 jobs everyone in the world should have at some point; and a look at 6 things movies love to get wrong about the workplace.

Antke Engel (ICI-Berlin): Queer Temporalities and the Chronopolitics of Transtemporal Drag. From Tehelka, a special issue on ideas. The Caribbean tech tide rises: In the Caribbean, most of the hard work has already been put in place for a vibrant economic system. Is multiculturalism evil? Robert Spencer wonders. A review of Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide? by Anita Allen. A review of Introducing Capitalism and Introducing Marxism. #Riot: Bill Wasik on how self-organized, hyper-networked revolts are coming to a city near you. Writers of the Franzen Generation have decided that the purpose of fiction is to make us feel less alone — will that be enough to save the novel? Scott McLemee reviews Colin McGinn’s The Meaning of Disgust. Eating it up: Louise Foxcroft on diet fads of the ages. The religious beliefs of a minority should not deny individuals like Dudley Clendinen the right to end their lives in the manner of their own choosing. Shit Everyone Says: What does the latest YouTube meme say about the people making it? A look at 6 terrifying things nobody tells you about donating sperm.

A new issue of the International Journal of Zizek Studies is out. From the inaugural issue of Peninsula, Inna Viriasova (UWO): Politics and the Political: Correlation and the Question of the Unpolitical; and Stefan R. D. Morales (Acadia): The Soil Food Web: Notes towards Cultivating "New" Alliances between Earthlings. From Fronesis, what is the state of critique today? A conversation with Anders Johansson, Sharon Rider and Malin Ronnblom. A review of Kant, Kantianism, and Idealism: The Origins of Continental Philosophy. What hope remains?: Peter Gordon reviews An Awareness of What is Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-Secular Age by Jurgen Habermas and The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere by Judith Butler, Jurgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Cornel West. A review of The Philosophy of Heidegger by Michael Watts. A review of Alain Badiou's Second Manifesto for Philosophy. An excerpt from Mute Speech: Literature, Critical Theory, and Politics by Jacques Ranciere. A review of Gadamer and Ricoeur: Critical Horizons for Contemporary Hermeneutics.