Andrzej Kobylinski (UKSW): From Nihilism to Communism: In Search of the Philosophical Roots of Totalitarian Regimes. Stanislav Markus (Chicago) and Martin Mendelski (Luxembourg): Institutional Complementarity, Economic Performance and Governance in the Post-Communist World. Ondrej Cisar (Charles): Social Movements after Communism. Towards an intellectual history of post-socialism: The introduction to Thinking Through Transition: Liberal Democracy, Authoritarian Pasts, and Intellectual History in East Central Europe After 1989, ed. Michal Kopecek and Piotr Wcislik. A bastion for democracy in an illiberal world: Twenty-five years after it was founded to promote openness in the post-Soviet era, the Central European University is grappling with new threats to democracy. Igor Jovanoski (SEEU): Laclau in the Balkans: Translating “Populist Reason” in an Illiberal Political and Cultural Context. Just how democratic are the former Yugoslav countries today?

Natalie Koch (Syracuse): Why No “Water Wars” in Central Asia? Lessons Learned from the Aral Sea Disaster. A perfect storm in Central Asia: For years, the five ex-Soviet republics have enjoyed surprising stability — but Russia’s economic crisis is shaking their foundations. With U.S. and Russian support, Tajikistan’s iron-fisted dictator Emomali Rahmon crushes religious expression and democratic protest. Should the U.S. worry about tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in central Asia? Akhilesh Pillalamarri on the weird case of the Uzbek language: Central Asia’s history under the Soviet Union resulted in distorted nomenclature and language across the region.

Daniel Howard-Snyder (Western Washington): Does Faith Entail Belief? Alexander A. Boni-Saenz (Chicago-Kent): Sexual Advance Directives. Pedro T. Magalhaes on Max Weber and Carl Schmitt: Crossroads of crisis. Philippe Huneman and Anouk Barberousse on the Tripodi Hoax. Meet the most hated man in the Pentagon: Company executives accuse Shay Assad of pursuing a “personal vendetta” by hounding firms large and small to justify what they charge for weapons or services. The so-called alien megastructure just got even more mysterious. Maddie Crum on why it’s time for a new word to describe modern relationship statuses. The first chapter from Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction by Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller and Steven Goldfeder.

In 2007, Trump was forced to face his own falsehoods, and he did, 30 times: For two straight days, lawyers for a reporter Trump had sued asked the businessman question after question on the same theme — Trump’s honesty. Kathy Kiely interviews David Cay Johnston, author of The Making of Donald Trump. The Trump campaign has been a disaster for the Trump brand. It may be true that Donald Trump has read the Constitution — but it’s unclear if he understands it. Jim Rutenberg on how Trump is testing the norms of objectivity in journalism. Don’t blame Nietzsche for Donald Trump: Stanley Fish on how “facts” may not be what they used to be, but philosophers aren’t responsible for the GOP candidate’s slippery grasp on reality.

Charlotte Werndl (LSE): On Defining Climate and Climate Change. A study suggests humans have made most of the planet’s ecosystems “unsafe”. From Boston Review, a forum on the New Nature: It is impossible to divorce nature from human influence — can that influence be democratic? The unnatural kingdom: If technology helps us save the wilderness, will the wilderness still be wild? A wild way to save the planet: Jedediah Purdy reviews Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life by Edward O. Wilson (and more). Could we set aside half the Earth for nature? Renowned biologist E.O. Wilson wants to set aside half of the planet as protected areas for nature. Bron Taylor (Florida): The Sacred, Reverence for Life, and Environmental Ethics in America. In New Zealand, lands and rivers can be people (legally speaking). Rebecca Jarvis reviews The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory, ed. Teena Gabrielson, Cheryl Hall, John M. Meyer and David Schlosberg.

The inaugural issue of Continental Thought and Theory is out (“What does intellectual freedom mean today?”) Catalina Arguello Gutierrez, Hugo Carretero-Dios, Guillermo B. Willis, and Miguel Moya Morales (Granada): Joking about Ourselves: Effects of Disparaging Humor on Ingroup Stereotyping. Who are the trolls? Malcolm Harris reviews This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture by Whitney Phillips. Michael Lipka on 10 facts about atheists. Meet the men behind your favorite women’s websites. Wikileaks is now in the biz of pushing Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories. Ben Shattuck reviews Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse by Eric Jay Dolin. Matt Novak on why America beat the Russians at building the Internet.

“Second Amendment People” solutions: Trump’s Clinton “joke” was no coincidence — the GOP espouses a right to bear arms whose logical conclusion is political assassination. Here’s the thing about “just joking”. Anyone who thinks Trump was “just joking” about shooting Clinton is missing the point. Donald Trump’s most WTF moments happen when he tries to speak conservative: Dara Lind on why Trump’s comments on subjects like guns and abortion end up sounding monstrous. Stranger in a strange land: For Trump, conservatism is a foreign realm to visit on the way to his final destination. Inside Donald Trump’s meltdown: Sinking polls, unending attacks and public blunders have the GOP reconsidering its strategy for November. Republicans support Trump’s behavior until it endangers their reelection: Letting Trump run wild exposes GOP’s lack of principles.

Michael J. Graetz (Columbia): “Death Tax” Politics. The earth belongs to the living: We are averse to damning children to a lifetime spent paying off their parents’ debts, yet we provide a mechanism for them to spend a lifetime living off their parents’ wealth. Tyler Antone LeFevre on justice in taxation. Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky): Why Tax Wealth Transfers? A Philosophical Analysis. Is the U.S. due for radically raising taxes for the rich? That’s what has usually happened whenever a large proportion of Americans have been upset with the distribution of their country’s wealth. Mark Thoma on tax hikes on the wealthy: Good or bad for growth? Lane Kenworthy on how the record over the past century offers no observable adverse effect of high overall levels of taxation on either economic growth or employment growth. The best sin tax is a carbon tax.