Fikret Elma (Celal Bayar) and Sarvar Gurbanov (Qafqaz): Central Asia in the Globalization Process: Comparative Analysis of Human Development and Socio-Economic Situation. Raj Kumar Kothari (Vidyasagar): Russia’s Policy towards Central Asia in the Post Soviet Years. Kalman Kalotay (UNCTAD): FDI in the Former Soviet Periphery in Six Charts. Peter Rozic (Santa Clara): Religion Matters: Quantifying the Impact of Religious Legacies on Post-Communist Transitional Justice. Mukesh Kumar Mishra (UNESCO) and Sanjeev Anand (Alberta): US Policy and Interest in the Post-Soviet Caspian Region. Max de Haldevang on Kyrgyzstan and the Uzbeks. Karakalpakstan — the name sounds made up, but it's a real place; essentially, a forlorn, windswept, ecodisaster-ridden corner of Central Asia. From World Affairs, dispatch from Armenia: Katya Cengel on the not so frozen war; and dueling narratives: Lincoln Mitchell on storytelling and spin in Georgia. An excerpt from Young Men, Time, and Boredom in the Republic of Georgia by Martin Demant Frederiksen. Kevork Oskanian on Kant versus Machiavelli in Russia's near abroad. James Surowiecki on Putin’s power play: Brandishing the gas weapon. What is motivating Putin? Joshua Tucker on four different possible explanations with different implications for the future. Galymzhan Kirbassov on why the leaders of Kazakhstan are not (yet) losing sleep over Crimea. Vladimir Putin, international lawyer: Eric Posner annotates Putin’s speech to the Duma on Crimea. Paul Berman on how the revolutions of 1989 are not over — and neither is the resistance to them. Edit war rages on Wikipedia surrounding status of Crimea. Britt Peterson on the long war over the Ukrainian language: Don’t call it Little Russian — why the Ukraine’s lingua franca is a hot point.

Forthcoming from Journal of Economic Issues, Samuel Bowles (SFI): Nicolo Machiavelli and the Origins of Mechanism Design. From h+ magazine, Josh Mitteldorf on the selfish gene vs multi-level selection: Aging doesn’t fit but neither can multi-level selection. From NYRB, David Cole on the CIA’s poisonous tree. Jim Newell on the real reason for the Democrats’ obsession with the Koch brothers. John Sides on why most conservatives are secretly liberals: For many Americans, calling themselves "conservative" goes hand in hand with a liberal view of government. How we built the ghettos: Jamelle Bouie on a brief introduction to America's long history of racist housing policy. “Why do I persist in working hard for the things that I believe in, knowing that I will die in the next several years, and am almost certain not to be around for the catastrophic future that seems to cast its dark shadow across the road ahead, and can only be removed by a major transnational movement of the peoples of the world”. Does a critic’s past explain his criticism? Louis Menand on the De Man case. Now available in English for the first time, Ignas Kalpokas reviews Dictatorship by Carl Schmitt. Why do we expect so much from Nate Silver? Benjamin Wallace-Wells wonders. Katy Meyers on vampirism: Striking at the heart of fear and desire. Rightbloggers find the real issue in Ukraine: Obama's a sissy. Richard Branson is the mirror image of a Russian oligarch: David Runciman reviews Branson: Behind the Mask by Tom Bower. BOSS is a real academic journal that only publishes papers on Bruce Springsteen.

Alexander William Salter and Peter T. Leeson (George Mason): Celestial Anarchy. Four civilian astronauts will leave Earth to become the first inhabitants of Mars — is it a hoax, a suicide mission, or a chance to become legend? As Peter Guest finds out, it might be all three. Mars One is a crowdfunding project that is also under private sponsorship, aiming at starting a human colony on planet Mars — Clare Tsimpourla on the potential human rights violations and legal implications. Is the relationship between NASA and private space about to sour? From TNR, who owns the Moon? We're just going to have to get up there and find out. The Moon belongs to no one, but what about its artifacts? Experts call on spacefaring nations to protect lunar landing sites, not to mention Neil Armstrong’s footprints. Robert Gonzalez on 11 things you probably didn't know about human space exploration. Planetology comes of age: Those who study planets orbiting other stars now have plenty of data to play with. Curtis Brainard on the archaeology of the stars. From The Appendix, does outer space have a history? Benjamin Breen wonders. From The Space Review, Roger Handberg on the arrival of the “new era” in US space policy; and Jeff Foust reviews Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos by Don Lincoln; reviews An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield (and more); and reviews books on astrobiology. Caleb Scharf on how the cold war created astrobiology. George Dvorsky on a new scientific model that defines alien intelligence. An article on the challenge of comprehending E.T.'s IQ. William Herkewitz on how the search for aliens is just getting started. NASA wants to keep the International Space Station going until 2024 — is that a good idea? (and more).