From Economic Sociology, a special issue on Russia. Mazbaev of the Antarctic: A 57-year-old geographer goes through icy hell to plant Kazakhstan’s flag at the South Pole. Patrick Kingsley on how tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan. Scott Horton on Uzbekistan as a values challenge for NATO. What happens to traditional culture when an isolated town in the Caucasus is reshaped in the image of a Western tourism center? A review of Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience by Alexander Etkind. Kyrgyzstan is in the midst of building a Western-type democracy in an undemocratic regional environment. Tara McKelvey on cozying up to Central Asia’s most brutal regimes. The ongoing tension between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is causing headaches and heartache for many Tajiks. Figuring out right from left: In post-communist politics, the leftists and rightists continue to shape-shift. With the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko staining its global reputation, can Ukraine find a way out of its political purgatory? A review of Eight Pieces of Empire: A Twenty Year Journey Through the Soviet Collapse by Lawrence Scott Sheets.

Scott Brenton (Melbourne): When the Personal Becomes Political: Mitigating Damage Following Scandals. These 600-year Old World heritage sites might be rubble by August: An extremist group has seized the African city of Timbuktu, systematically destroying its monuments. Suzy Khimm on how Occupy the SEC, an offshoot of the large movement, has burrowed deep into the regulatory process. An interview with Dan Hind, author of Common Sense: Occupation, Assembly and the Future of Liberty. If humans engage in homosexuality, it's no surprise that other animals do too — but how do you explain the rejection of sexual reproduction in terms of Darwin's theory of evolution? Technological progress is accelerating faster than ever before — are robots going to “take our jobs?” and do we require a Basic Income to solve this? Deconstructing books literally: Just in case you’re wondering, the books that deconstructionist philosophers write are not blank. From the Independent Institute, Patrick Adams on a brief history of checkpoints (and what to do about them). A review of Robin Blackburn’s An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln.

Matthew Bloom (Concordia): Cities Large and Small Together: The Subregional Model of Economic Change in the Nineteenth Century. From the latest issue of Americana, Livia Szelpal (CEU): Images of the American Suburbia. Behind the cellar door: Not all the Texas wine you buy is made from grapes grown in the state — in fact, most of it isn’t. 15 square miles in New Mexico, population 0: A shiny new city rising in the desert is designed to be a testing ground for everything from wireless networks to self-driving cars, but there’s one catch — it's totally empty. From Contexts, a series of essays on Learning from Las Vegas. Science be damned: How Texas managed to export its energy policy to the rest of the United States. Tax haven next door: Delaware exposes corporate secrecy. From the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a look at America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Aaron Renn on the collapse of Chicago media. "The Lost Civilizations of North America" documentary is one in a long line of failed attempts to populate America’s ancient past with the denizens of lost tribes, lost cities, and, as its title indicates, lost civilizations (and part 2).

From the Journal of Social Research and Policy, a special issue on migration and happiness. Roger Roots (FPI): Who Benefits from Terrorism? The Common Interests of Terrorists and Governments of Terrorized Societies. From New Left Project, is porn hijacking our sexuality? Richard Hansen on why Washington can’t be fixed — and is about to get a lot worse. A review of Why Beer Matters by Evan Rail. World War 3.0: Looking toward a year-end negotiation in Dubai, where 193 nations will gather to revise a U.N. treaty concerning the Internet, Michael Joseph Gross lays out the stakes in a conflict that could split the virtual world as we know it. Obama and Romney are debating policies and ideas — if you are willing to look. Colin McGuire writes in defense of David Simon and the legacy of The Wire. Rachel Maddow, America's leading lefty wonk, has seen the enemy, and it's not just the GOP — it's the battles she fights every day with herself. Joshua Mackin on the democratic pleasures of the NYC Health Department rating system. Chris Mooney reviews Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll (and more and more and more).

A new issue of Real-World Economics Review is out. From Socialist Review, where does profit come from? Here is the first in a regular series of columns explaining key concepts in Marxist economics; and Jack Farmer on the myth of crony capitalism: Those who suggest that we are witnessing a crisis of "crony capitalism", rather than capitalism itself, are wrong. Our popular economic wisdom says that capitalism equals freedom and free societies, right? Well, if you ever suspected that the logic is full of shit, then check out a book called The Invention of Capitalism, written by an economic historian named Michael Perelman. Sado-monetarism, or the role of the Federal Reserve System in keeping wages low: An excerpt from The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism by Michael Perelman. Hey, look it over: Public ownership is the most effective way to fix America’s economy. An interview with Ha-Joon Chang on what they don’t tell you about capitalism (reg. req.). Jason Hickel on a short history of neoliberalism (and how we can fix it). From Platypus, crisis of the eurozone and the Left: Responses to the global economic downturn.