Andrew Friedman (Friedman): Kagame’s Rwanda: Can an Authoritarian Development Model be Squared with Democracy and Human Rights? Pascah Mungwini (South Africa): "Philosophy and Tradition in Africa": Critical Reflections on the Power and Vestiges of Colonial Nomenclature. From the Journal of Pan African Studies, Julian Kunnie (Arizona): Richard Wright’s Interrogation of Negritude: Revolutionary Implications for Pan Africanism and Liberation; and the global presence of African civilizations: An interview with Runoko Rashidi. Stelios Michalopoulos and Elias Papaioannou on the long-run effects of the Scramble for Africa. Can family planning programs reduce high desired family size in sub-Saharan Africa? The Pan-African University has been officially launched. A review of Inventing Africa: History, Archaeology and Ideas by Robin Derricourt. English has been the medium of instruction in most of Namibia's classrooms for nearly 20 years, but with teachers shown to be failing in competency tests, calls for change are mounting. A review of Warfare in Independent Africa by William Reno.

Paolo Buonanno (Bergamo), Ruben Durante (Sciences Po), and Giovanni Prarolo and Paolo Vanin (Bologna): On the Historical and Geographic Origins of the Sicilian Mafia. Yxta Maya Murray (Loyola): The Pedagogy of Violence. From the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Paul Longley (ANU): Literary and Cartographic Projections; Steven Aicinena (UTPB): Bubba Goes to a Tennis Tournament; and Mordechai Gordon (Quinnipiac): What Makes Humor Aesthetic? Our own worst enemies: For screen villains, the black-and-white, “us versus them” era is over — welcome to the uneasy age of us versus ourselves. The Lost Party: The strangest primary season in memory reveals a GOP that’s tearing itself apart. “Liberals are disgusting”: Julian Savulescu writes in defence of the publication of “After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” From Smithsonian, where did dragons come from? Dungeons and Dragging It Along: A fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons attempts to unite disparate factions of fans. A look at how Homeland Security kept tabs on Occupy Wall Street. Irina Uriupina is an antinatalist, apparently.

Gerhard Meisenberg (Ross): Secularization and Desecularization in Our Time. Jacob Felson (William Paterson): The Effect of Religious Background on Sexual Orientation. In a world where the supernatural is threatened with extinction, the sacred may survive in the lands of fairies, fantasy and fable. From Kairos, here is a short overview of the faith of Jesus Christ and the Antichrist. Christian Jihad: A review of Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses by Philip Jenkins. From Commonweal, Nazi racism and the Church: How converts showed the way to resist; and when is self-interest moral? Daniel Finn on a gap in Catholic Social Teaching. Life without God: Sam Harris interviews Tim Prowse, a pastor who left his faith and career in 2011. The evolutionary significance of religion: 2012 promises to be a pivotal year for proponents of group selection and multi-level selection theory. Chuck Colson takes on the Spaghetti Monster. D'oh my God: This year, The Simpsons celebrate their 25th birthday and their 500th episode — Andrew Mueller pays homage to the family we can all believe in.

From In These Times, liberal snobs and Wall Street bankers: A third way between America’s cliched class narratives comes from an unlikely source — former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum. Stop feeling sorry for the middle class — they’re doing just fine. A mess on the ladder of success: The new divide in America is between a smaller mobile class and one that can’t quite pack up and go. The Fracturing of Pennsylvania: In Amwell Township, Pa., the dividing line is between those who are getting rich and those who are paying the price. Josh Rothman on an unexpected cost of income inequality: self-deception. Relative poverty: William Bole on the indignity of gross inequality. Income inequality is accelerating fastest at the top — who are the 0.1%? Radical solutions to economic inequality: If only Americans today were as open-minded about leveling the playing field as we were 100 years ago. Plutocracy or democracy? How bad policies brought us new Gilded Age. The .000063% Election: Ari Berman on how the politics of the super rich became American politics. Britt Peterson on why it matters that our politicians are rich.

A new issue of The Public Journal of Semiotics is out. A new issue of The Semiotic Review of Books is out. From New York, smart talk has never been such a valuable commodity — it’s spawned conferences like TED, Davos, and now a slew of upstart competitors; it has made the eighteen‑minute TED lecture a viral online phenomenon — but are we running out of things to say? War is corroding the souls of some Sarah Palin fans: On her Facebook page, an alarming number are openly calling for atrocities, mass murder, even the nuclear annihilation of a whole region. Greed isn't good: Research suggests wealth could make people unethical. A drug that wakes the near dead: A surprising drug has brought a kind of consciousness to patients once considered vegetative — and changed the debate over pulling the plug. Haterade: What are the long-term effects of being called an intolerant hack, a feminazi, a despicable pig, and a stupid little twit on a daily basis? The closing of the public square: A review of Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly by John Inazu and Speech Out of Doors: Preserving First Amendment Liberties in Public Places by Timothy Zick.

June Carbone (Missouri) and Naomi Cahn (GWU): Red v. Blue Marriage. Carolyn McConnell (Washington): What's in a Name? The Case for the Disestablishment of Marriage. Brien K. Ashdown (Hobart and William Smith), Jana Hackathorn (Murray State) and Eddie M. Clark (SLU): In and Out of the Bedroom: Sexual Satisfaction in the Marital Relationship (and a response). Stephanie Coontz on mating games: Changing rules for sex and marriage. Kate Manne (Harvard): Love Actually. The introduction to The Paradox of Love by Pascal Bruckner (and more on seduction). Love and death: Romantic love needs the promise of a future to survive — but that future must have an end. Everything I needed to know about modern love I learned from the Oxford English Dictionary quarterly updates. Ruth Sarah Lee (Harvard): A Legal Analysis of Romantic Gifts. Does online dating really work? It has not only shed its stigma, it has surpassed all forms of matchmaking other than meeting through friends. A look at the terrible thrill of looking at the ugliest people on dating websites. The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives — and live to tell about it.

A new issue of the International Review of Scottish Studies is out. Julie Danskin (Dundee): The "Hotbed of Genius": Edinburgh’s literati and the Community of the Scottish Enlightenment. Thomas Brochard (Aberdeen): Exile and Return from the Far North of Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution. From Scottish Left Review, a special issue on Independence. The coming battle of Britain: Colin Liddell on the secret coalition that will ensure Scottish independence. Free Scotland: Gerry Hassan on why the Scots want independence. Braveheart in the 21st century: Thomas Ricks on the U.S. security stakes in Scottish independence. Just as Labour and the left had to analyse and even empathise with Thatcherism post-1983, so Labour and unionists are faced with a similar set of challenges in Scotland today. Although the SNP has made major gains in recent years in many parts of Scotland, it has done poorly in others, such as the Shetland and Orkney Islands. A medieval fishing village is believed to have been found in the Outer Hebrides after a tip-off from an islander (and more). When Macbeth met Hamlet: Scotland could go Scandinavian, first and foremost by the sheer power of Gestalt psychology. A peculiar Scottish disorder is described in the Scottish Medical Journal.

Francois Tanguay-Renaud (York): Basic Challenges for Governance in Emergencies. From the Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis, Clementine Bry (Savoie), Fabrice Gabarrot (Blaise Pascal) and Claudia Toma (Louvain): The Blond, The Dumb and the Ugly: Does Self-Stereotyping Mediate Prime-to-Behavior Effects? Simon Springer (Otago): Anarchism! What Geography Still Ought to Be. Jason Malikow on the legacy of the anarchist “Black Bloc” as political actor. From Adbusters, a special issue on the Big Ideas of 2012. Ezra Klein on how Harvard’s liberal-arts failure is Wall Street’s gain. David Dobbs on what an autopsy looks like — and why you need one. Noam Scheiber on the memo that Larry Summers didn’t want Obama to see. Playboy interviews Paul Krugman. Cormac McCarthy on the Santa Fe Institute’s brainy halls. Offence goes viral: Richard King on the ever-increasing power of "offendedness" in public debate. William Saletan on Mitt Romney’s abortion record: flip-flop or conversion? Pakistan pushed ahead with its surprise demolition of the compound where U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden last year.

From Guernica, Anthony Kammer on why the return of libertarianism shouldn’t shock you. From Liberty, Bruce Ramsey on Garet Garrett, a great libertarian. Theocratic libertarianism: Quotes from Gary North, Ludwig von Mises Institute scholar. Peter Thiel made a fortune investing in the right ventures at the right time — so why is he investing millions in Ron Paul's doomed presidential campaign? From The New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann on Ron Paul’s hostility to government; and Kelefa Sanneh on Ron Paul’s unique brand of libertarianism. From Swans, Manuel Garcia on why voting for Ron Paul is stupid for Leftists. Bill Weinberg on left-libertarians, the last of an ancient breed. Is libertarianism fundamentally about competition or about property? David Friedman offers a libertarian thought experiment in which the concept of law is determined by the marketplace. George Monbiot on why libertarians must deny climate change: As soon as it encounters environmental issues, the ideology of the new right becomes ensnared in its own contradictions; and how rightwing libertarians have turned “freedom” into an excuse for greed and exploitation. Yasha Levine on great moments in libertarian history: The ancient Sumerian word for “libertarian” was “deadbeat”, “freeloader”.

From the International Journal of Emerging Techologies and Society, Danielle Couch, Pranee Liamputtong and Marian Pitts (La Trobe): Online Daters and the Use of Technology for Surveillance and Risk Management. Gladden J. Pappin (Harvard): Liberty, Technology, and the Advent of Social Networking. Rachel Lee (UCLA): Haptics, Mobile Handhelds, and Other "Novel" Devices: The Tactile Unconscious of Reading across Old and New Media. Introducing the iFactory: Apple reinvented gadgets — now it should reinvent how gadgets are manufactured. An interview with Edward Jung, the CTO of Intellectual Ventures, who believes we need a new model of innovation to solve our biggest problems. The four stages of introducing new technologies: Futurist Brian David Johnson explains how society moves from fear to acceptance of smartphones, computers, and other advances. Earth Station: Alexis Madrigal on the afterlife of technology at the end of the world. An interview with Peter-Paul Verbeek, author of Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things.