From The Washington Post, Moody’s has downgraded dozens of universities over the last year: In credit ratings for colleges and universities, the downgrades far outnumber the upgrades; does Uncle Sam make money lending to students? Max Ehrenfreund investigates; and Colman McCarthy on how adjunct professors fight for crumbs on campus. John Quiggin on how discussion of the various crises in American higher education seems like a mass of irreconcilable contradictions. Tressie McMillan Cottom on the university and the company man: “What if the crisis in higher education is related to the broader failures that have left so many workers struggling?” Rich students complete their college degrees; working-class students like Vanessa Brewer usually don’t — can the University of Texas change her chances of success? Generation later, poor are still rare at elite colleges. The “1 percent” isn’t America’s biggest source of inequality — college is. Henry Farrell interviews Suzanne Mettler, author of Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream (and more). Peter N. Kirstein reviews Why Public Higher Education Should be Free: How to Decrease Cost and Increase Quality at American Universities by Robert Samuels. Welcome to the Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings; unlike U.S. News and World Report and similar guides, this one asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country. Nationalize the Ivy League: Chris Lehmann on why we need to go further than the meritocratic reforms proposed by William Deresiewicz. Are elite colleges bad for the soul? Nathan Heller reviews Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz. My fantasy commencement address: Michael R. Strain on things we never tell 22-year-olds — but should.

Charlotte Garden (Seattle): Meta Rights. Ueli Staeger (SOAS): The Arab Uprisings, Globalisation and Postmodernity. Saitya Brata Das (Jawaharlal Nehru): The Gift of the World: A Note on Political Theology. Lars G. Tummers (EUR) and Philip Rocco (UC-Berkeley): Policy Implementation Under Stress: How the Affordable Care Act’s Frontline Workers Cope with the Challenges of Public Service Delivery. Andrew Robinson and Athina Karatzogianni (Hull): Schizorevolutions vs. Microfascisms: A Deleuzo-Nietzschean Perspective on State, Security, and Active/Reactive Networks. Alta Grobbelaar (UFS): The Evolution, Development and Influence of Boko Haram: A Critical Terrorism Study. Philipp Holtmann (TRI): Terrorism and Jihad: Differences and Similarities. Gordon Wood reviews Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality by Danielle Allen (and more). Steven Hahn reviews The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation by David Brion Davis. Bypassing the bankers: William D. Cohan on how peer-to-peer lending is changing the way consumers get loans. Women of Fox have no problem with catcalls: “Let men be men”. Michelle Rindels and Jacques Billeaud on how gun tourism has grown in popularity in recent years (and more). Ayn Rand's capitalist paradise is now a greedy land-grabbing shitstorm. Some Southern members of Congress apparently haven’t gotten over the Civil War". David Berlin on chimes of freedom: Were the ’60s really so special? A product of the war on terror, Communications Management Units (CMUs) have cut hundreds of Americans — most of whom are Muslim — off from the outside world, often by labeling their acts of dissent "terrorism".

Christian Downie (UNSW): Three Ways to Understand State Actors in International Negotiations: The Case of Climate Change in the Clinton Years (1993-2000). Robert V. Percival (Maryland): Presidential Power to Address Climate Change in an Era of Legislative Gridlock. Sarah Anderson (UCSB) et al: Mobilization, Polarization, and Compromise: The Effect of Political Moralizing on Climate Change Politics. Brian Berkey (Stanford): Climate Change, Moral Intuitions, and Moral Demandingness. Charles C. Mann on how to talk about climate change so people will listen. Diana Liverman on how to teach about climate without making your students feel hopeless. Will a social movement rise up against global warming? Robert Jay Lifton on the climate swerve. Stop obsessing about global warming: Amartya Sen on how environmentalists are ignoring poor countries' needs. Joe Strupp on why The Washington Post is running a series of editorials on the "existential threat" of climate change. The president has a new strategy to forge a climate change accord — but what about escalation? Obama’s climate deal doesn’t need the Senate. Rebecca Leber on how GOP extremism isn't just hurting America — it's hurting our planet; and on how we're stuck with the global warming "hiatus" myth for years to come. Robert Frank on shattering myths to help the climate. Even if you stupid libtards are right, environmentalism is futile and we should just all prepare for an earlier-than-expected deliverance unto the loving arms of Jesus. No arguments seem to sway right-wing politicians and commentators in the United States and Australia, says John Quiggin — will we have to wait for demography to do its work? Eduardo Porter on reducing carbon by curbing population.

From the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, a special issue on Understanding Chinese–African Interactions in Africa. How “rogue” is China’s aid? Cullen S. Hendrix and Marcus Noland on how China is hardly unique in shaping its foreign policy around natural resource needs. Ali Wyne on 5 reasons China has no friends. Minxin Pei on how China and America see each other — and why they are on a collision course. Robert Farley on Asia's greatest fear: A U.S.-China war. The introduction to Strategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.-China Relations in the Twenty-First Century by James Steinberg and Michael E. O'Hanlon. David An (George Washington): The Enemy of My Enemy: Ideas and Information in Strategic Triangles. M. Taylor Fravel (MIT): Things Fall Apart: Maritime Disputes and China's Regional Diplomacy. Bernard D. Cole on the history of the twenty-first-century Chinese navy. Xiaoyu Pu (Nevada) and Randall Schweller (OSU): Status Signaling, Multiple Audiences, and China's Blue-Water Naval Ambition. Hans-Dieter Evers (Bonn): Understanding the South China Sea: An Explorative Cultural Analysis. Hans-Dieter Evers (Bonn): Governing Maritime Space: The South China Sea as a Mediterranean Cultural Area. Peter A. Dutton on China's maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas. Eric Posner on how China can sink all the boats in the South China Sea: International law won’t stop big countries from bullying littler ones. “Today's Hong Kong, Tomorrow's Taiwan”: Grace Tsoi on emerging solidarity between Hong Kong and Taiwan activists promises more headaches for Beijing. The Black Iron Cage: Albert Wu on Taiwanese protesters in an age of global unrest.

Ben Saul (Sydney): Terrorism as a Transnational Crime; and Terrorism and International Humanitarian Law. Kai Ambos and Anina Timmermann (Gottingen): Terrorism and Customary International Law. Harmen G. Van der Wilt and Inez L. Braber (Amsterdam): The Case for Inclusion of Terrorism in the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Desi Valentine (Athabasca): Locating the Post-Colonial in Popular Cultural Texts. Campbell R. Harvey (Duke): Bitcoin Myths and Facts. V. Bradley Lewis (CUA): The Neo-Thomist Theory of the Common Good and Catholic Social Teaching. Adrian Pabst (Kent): Catholic Social Thought and Post-liberal Political Economy. Richard C Chen (Pepperdine): Suboptimal Human Rights Decisionmaking. Sahar F. Aziz (Texas A&M): Bringing Down an Uprising: Egypt's Stillborn Revolution. From Media Fields, a special issue on playgrounds, which investigates the connections between media, space, power, and various approaches to “play” across culture and society. From Faith and Philosophy, Kenneth L. Pearce reviews The Puzzle of Existence: Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?, ed. Tyron Goldschmidt. On religious and psychiatric atheism: Michael Fontaine on the success of Epicurus, the failure of Thomas Szasz. Can Semercioglu on Zizek as an Islamist. Hugh Eakin is in the heart of mysterious Oman. Max Fisher on a surprising map of the world's most and least religiously diverse countries. Derrick Clifton on 17 things white people need to know about #YesAllBlackPeople. Joshua A. Krisch on the evolution of everything in one handy simulation: A new computer simulation maps the early universe through 13 billion years of cosmic evolution, and may help astrophysicists study dark matter.

A new issue of the Space Colonization Journal is out. NASA administrator Charles Bolden touts deep space exploration: We can only survive if we are a multi-planet species. Meet Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, the couple who could be the first humans to travel to Mars. A look at how genetic research can help people colonize other planets. How many people does it take to colonize another star system? Sarah Fecht investigates. Will we eventually be able to colonize other stars? Nick Beckstead on a preliminary review. Some argue that with billions of stars in our galaxy, there must be other civilizations — but others say intelligence is so rare on Earth; why would we expect to find it elsewhere? Stepping up search for alien lifeforms on far off worlds: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program recently announced two new methods to search for signals that could come from life on other planets. Arecibo observatory picks up mysterious radio burst from beyond the Milky Way. To find aliens, we should look for industrial, polluted wastelands. We'll find alien life in this lifetime, scientists tell Congress. Seth Shostak on how our politicians are keeping us from finding alien life: It wouldn't cost that much to launch a good space exploration program. Mark Strauss on how scientific error delayed the search for alien life. David Waltham on how we’ll never meet the real ET because of climate change. From WSJ, alien abductees over the Moon to find a close-encounter group: Those who believe they've met ET share stories, quiche. How would Christianity deal with extraterrestrial life? Mark Strauss wonders. Joshua Rothman interviews Douglas Vakoch, the man who speaks for Earth.

The inaugural issue of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is out. Krzysztof Nawratek (Plymouth): Carl Schmitt’s and Jacob Taubes’ Guide for Urban Revolution. Jonathan S. Davies (De Montfort): Coercive Cities: Reflections on the Dark Side of Urban Power in the 21st Century. Theresa Enright (Toronto): Global Regimes of Metromobility. Mahvish Shami (LSE) and Hadia Majid (LUMS): The Political Economy of Public Goods Provision in Slums. Michelle Wilde Anderson (UC-Berkeley): The New Minimal Cities. David S. Bieri (Michigan): Are Green Cities Nice Places to Live? Examining the Link between Urban Sustainability and Quality of Life. They really are concrete jungles: While urban development might seem like a blight on the environment, the truth is actually much more complicated. Andreas Bernard on the most important invention in the history of the modern city: Without the elevator, the skylines of the world's greatest metropolises would look much, much different. Emily Badger on why cars remain so appealing even in cities with decent public transit. Save our cities from tourists: For the world's greatest cities, tourism has become both a blessing and a curse. Can your city be brought back from the dead? Annalee Newitz investigates. Daniel Whittall reviews The New Urban Question by Andy Merrifield. Mike Bithell reviews The New Science of Cities by Michael Batty. A mysterious law that predicts the size of the world's biggest cities. Oliver Wainwright on the world's first indoor city: A greatest hits mashup of London and New York. Richard Falk on a tale of two cities: Istanbul and Rome. Max Page on the Roman architecture of Mussolini, still standing: One of the world’s great cities bears the signature of a Fascist dictator, and nobody wants to talk about it.

Peter Harris (Texas): Global Gatekeepers: How Great Powers Respond to Rising States. Sharon Hannes (Tel Aviv): Super Hedge Fund. Jan-Peter Hartung (SOAS): Who Speaks of What Caliphate? The Indian Khilafat Movement and the Aftermath. From the Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies, Daniel Gorman Jr. (Rochester): Revisiting Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. From The Point, James M. Wilson on the drama of cultural conservatism. Ferguson’s booming white grievance industry: Joan Walsh on Fox News, Darren Wilson and friends. OK, fine — let's talk about “black-on-black” violence. Christopher Ingraham on how three quarters of whites don’t have any non-white friends. Charles Kenny on how earthquakes cost more in rich countries but devastate poor ones. The Force of humor is strong in this book: Catherine Thureson reviews Star Wars: The Unofficial Joke and Riddle Book by R. U. Kidding M.E. There are few phrases I dislike more than “it is what it is” — it grates me something awful; however, if there is one person that would have hated it more than any of us, it’s T. W. Adorno. Jonathan Chait on Cornel West and the insular world of the Obama-hating Left. American Douglas McAuthur McCain — could there be any name less befitting a jihadist? — killed waging jihad for ISIS in Syria. What accounts for this Seinfeldian election year? Annie Lowrey on the election about nothing. Confessions of a grade inflator: Between the grubbing and the blubbering, grading fairly is just not worth the fight. Raphael Boleslavsky and Christopher Cotton on the unrecognised benefits of grade inflation.

Allison Christians (McGill): Regulating Tax Preparers: A Global Problem for the IRS. Tanina Rostain and Milton C. Regan (Georgetown): The IRS Under Siege. Allen D. Madison (South Dakota): The Futility of Tax Protester Arguments. Scott McLemee reviews American Tax Resisters by Romain D. Huret. For both death and taxes, a moral principle that ought to guide a person’s (or a collective’s) actions has been transmuted into a matter of bureaucratic rule compliance and public relations management. Jeremie Rostan on the ethics of corporate income taxation and corporate income tax sheltering. How House Republicans are helping people (and corporations) cheat on their taxes. The Republican civil war over taxes is coming. Can taxing the wealthy strengthen democracy? Deborah Boucoyannis investigates. Big oil companies pay 23.3 percentage points less in tax than the rate typically imposed on corporations, according to a new report. Don't believe the crocodile tears over high corporate tax rates. Edward D. Kleinbard (USC): “Competitiveness” Has Nothing to Do with It. Democrats want to ban government contracts for companies that leave the U.S. to avoid taxes. Danny Vinik on Obama's next target: Corporate tax avoiders. Jared Bernstein on how the White House can stop companies from moving their mailbox to foreign tax shelters. Michael Hiltzik on closing loopholes that let U.S. firms avoid taxes by using inversions. Danielle Douglas on the companies abandoning the U.S. to dodge taxes. As U.S. firms flee to Europe, can Washington get its act together on tax reform? Bryce Covert on how ditching the U.S. for lower taxes doesn’t always pay off. Justin Fox on the conversation we should be having about corporate taxes. Dean Baker on how to think about the corporate income tax. Now Burger King is renouncing its US citizenship — let’s eat somewhere else. Burger King plans to buy Tim Horton’s and destroy Canada.

Greg Simons (Uppsala): Ukraine and the Questions of Boundaries and Nationalities. Timothy Frye (Columbia): What Do Voters in Ukraine Want? A Survey Experiment on Candidate, Language, Ethnicity and Policy Orientation. Svetlana Vladimirovna Panina-Burke and John J. A. Burke (Almaty): Eastern and Southern Ukraine’s Right to Secede and Join the Russian Federation. MiGs and monks in Crimea: Russia flexes cultural and military muscles, revealing dire need for balance of uti possidetis and internationally recognized self-determination. Annexation of Crimea divides an artist colony founded on tolerance. Timothy Garton Ash on Putin’s deadly doctrine: “Protecting” Russians in Ukraine has fatal consequences. Moscow dreamed of transforming southeastern Ukraine into a client state — but the Kremlin's plans are fraying as Kiev pushes back. The fighting in eastern Ukraine intensifies as pro-Russian rebels lose ground, raising fresh questions over the plans of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Justin Fox on an economic explanation for Putin’s recklessness. Joshua Rovner on what Ukraine means for how we study war: The fight in Ukraine tells us a lot about what counts as "winning" and "losing" a war. Kimberly Marten on why arming Ukraine is a bad idea. A wild and crazy thought to avert a Russo-Ukrainian war: Why not propose UN peacekeepers for eastern Ukraine? How to beat down a bully: There's only one way to stop Putin's ugly new doctrine of irregular intervention — hit back even harder. Is Russia's humanitarian convoy a Trojan horse? Linda Kinstler investigates. Katie Zavadski on how Russia is inching closer to war in Ukraine with convoy “invasion”. Putin's “humanitarian” convoy is simply a pretext for the war the Kremlin's been planning for months. David Frum on how Russia is already invading Ukraine.