David Pozen, Eric L. Talley, and Julian Nyarko (Columbia): A Computational Analysis of Constitutional Polarization. Nestor M. Davidson (Fordham): The Dilemma of Localism in an Era of Polarization. Gilles Serra (CIDE): Should We Expect Primary Elections to Create Polarization? A Robust Median Voter Theorem with Rational Parties. Martin Fieder and Susanne Huber (Vienna): Political Attitude and Fertility: Is There a Selection for the Political Extreme? Andy Carr (Hastings): “Politics are Rather a Form of War”: How Partisan-Ideological Polarization Endangers American Constitutional Democracy. Want to reduce political polarization? Save your local newspaper (and more). How policy decisions spawned today’s hyperpolarized media: The demise of the Fairness Doctrine played an underappreciated role in fomenting media tribalism.

Allison J. Steinke on the political polarization phenomenon. What are the real fault lines dividing Americans? George Hawley reviews Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order. Why are urban and rural areas so politically divided? Rural residents feel left behind by the globalized economy and alienated from big cities’ multiculturalism. Only about a tenth of Americans think both parties are too extreme. As the rhetoric escalates: Andy Fitch interviews Lilliana Mason, author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity. The oppression of the supermajority: The defining political fact of our time is not polarization — it’s the thwarting of a largely unified public. When political conflict led to compromise, not enmity: James T. Kloppenberg reviews If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved by Michael Tomasky.


Cristina Bicchieri and Eugen Dimant (Penn) and Silvia Sonderegger (Bristol): It’s Not A Lie If You Believe It: Lying and Belief Distortion Under Norm-Uncertainty. Lorenzo Casini (IMG LUcca): Global Administrative Law. Kamala Harris’s plan to dramatically increase teacher salaries, explained. Baseball is the only sport that justifies optimism on Opening Day. Zack Beauchamp interviews Pete Buttigieg on his vision for the economy, military interventionism, and the role of gender in the 2020 campaign (and more). Margaret Leslie Davis on the quest to acquire the oldest, most expensive book on the planet. Democrats’ voting-rights push could begin a Third Reconstruction. Is it possible that one day English will no longer be the world’s lingua franca?

Charles Edward Andrew Lincoln (BU): The Contractual and Tax Implications of The Phantom of the Opera. The share of women in legislatures around the world is growing, but they are still underrepresented. Did Mueller really find “no evidence” of Trump-Russia collusion? The fight over “collusion” is still more complicated than it might seem. A former federal prosecutor has some thoughts on the Barr Gambit. The death of the Robert Mueller myth and the liberal “field of dreams”. The CliffsNotes on the Mueller report won’t do. Trump wants to campaign on the Mueller report in 2020. What was the foodie: Food culture has never been bigger — it’s also never been more controversial.


Workism is making Americans miserable: For the college-educated elite, work has morphed into a religious identity — promising transcendence and community, but failing to deliver. How to write about burnout in the gig economy: Maddie Crum on narratives of disconnected work life. Why are young people pretending to love work? How to save Americans from the hell of work: Elites are “miserable” in their jobs, millennials are burned out — can religion, loosely defined, help us reclaim our free time and find meaning in our lives? Here’s to naps and snoozes: American work culture, seeping around the globe, threatens to ruin the pleasures and benefits of public, communal sleep. The political case for more free time: Some people are burnt out while others are simply exploited — we can organize around the shared interest of making our free time actually free.


Federico Maria Ferrara and Thomas Sattler (Geneva): The Political Economy of Financial Markets. The biggest economic story of the year is the Federal Reserve rethinking its inflation target. Adam Gopnik reviews Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely by Andrew S. Curran and Catherine and Diderot: The Empress, the Philosopher, and the Fate of the Enlightenment by Robert Zaretsky. Carefully smash the patriarchy: Carol Gilligan, author of the feminist classic In a Different Voice, reminds us that we’re all humans. Recession worries move to DEFCON 3. Why are we getting so many robocalls? One step closer to an elusive peace in Afghanistan. The introduction to No Go World: How Fear is Redrawing Our Maps and Infecting Our Politics by Ruben Andersson.

Florence Chee (LUC): An Uber Ethical Dilemma: Examining the Social Issues at Stake. From Vice, what’s the future of the feminist movement? 12 leading voices respond. Christopher Wolfram on aspect ratios of historical societies and their relation to climate. What happens if Obamacare is struck down? Why Trump’s new push to kill Obamacare is so alarming. White economic anxiety evaporated after the 2016 election — now black economic anxiety is on the rise. Mueller grand jury “continuing robustly”, prosecutor says. Mueller’s many loose ends: What comes next now that the probe is finished.. The Joe Biden and Anita Hill controversy, explained. Wading through the sludge: Cass Sunstein reviews Administrative Burden: Policymaking by Other Means by Pamela Herd and Donald P. Moynihan.


A different kind of theory of everything: Physicists used to search for the smallest components of the universe — what if that’s not the point? Sabine Hossenfelder on the double life of black holes. Philosophers on a physics experiment that “suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality”. Do we actually experience the flow of time? Subjective experience must inform physics and philosophy, but it should be assessed carefully. Scientists reverse time inside a quantum computer. Have dark forces been messing with the cosmos? Astrophysicists scramble to patch a hole in the universe, rewriting cosmic history in the process. Natalie Wolchover interviews Priyamvada Natarajan, an astrophysicist who maps the universe’s terra incognita.

A big bang of physics: A review essay on yearning to know our universe by Dan Falk. Adam Gaffney reviews Universe in Creation: A New Understanding of the Big Bang and the Emergence of Life by Roy Gould. The universe’s ultimate complexity revealed by simple quantum games.


Samuel Elgin (Yale): The Epistemology of Identity. Gregory H. Shill (Iowa): Should Law Subsidize Driving? Europe just passed sweeping new copyright rules that Big Tech hates (and more). Kelsey Piper on why disaster relief is so hard: Tragedies from the Midwest to Mozambique leave us wanting to help — it’s not easy. Does talking about books make us more cosmopolitan? Caroline Criado-Perez on the deadly truth about a world built for men — from stab vests to car crashes. Scott McLemee reviews Rupture: The Crisis of Liberal Democracy by Manuel Castells. What is better for a country, to be big or to be small? Wolfgang Streeck on reflections on political scale. The Pentagon is putting $1 billion toward the wall — and House Democrats can’t stop them. Lyndsey Stonebridge on why Hannah Arendt is the philosopher for now.

Paul Raekstad (Amsterdam): The New Democracy: Anarchist or Populist? The Rohingya are not going home to Myanmar — can Bangladesh cope? Emergency powers and Trump: Why Trump’s executive actions might be legal yet unconstitutional. Washington politicians spin competing storylines on Mueller report. The Mueller investigation was no failure — only by the extremely high standard of Watergate was it anticlimactic (and more and more). Polls: Mueller probe’s conclusions haven’t boosted Trump’s approval rating (yet). Quinta Jurecic on how no one who matters has read the Mueller report yet. Indicative votes: How parliament will try to change Brexit. How the Jussie Smollett case became part of a larger controversy around believing survivors.


Dispute erupts over Mueller’s findings on Trump, Russia and obstruction of justice. “The debate is not at all resolved”: Is the Mueller report really a dud? Steve Benen on Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, and a “boiling frog” problem. The Mueller probe was an unmitigated success: The scandal is how much corruption it exposed — and how much turns out to have been perfectly legal. The questions about the Russia scandal we still need answered. Will we ever see the full Mueller report? Sean Illing interviews Renato Mariotti on Barr’s rushed process and why Congress should demand more (and more and more). AG Barr in the spotlight over decision on obstruction allegations (and more and more and more). Mueller isn’t all powerful — we need an election interference commission.

Trump now says Mueller acted honorably after months of disparagement. Trump and his allies plan to use Barr’s summary of Mueller report as a cudgel against critics. Trump and GOP allies want investigation of Mueller probe’s roots. Some conservatives say the end of the Mueller investigation is the beginning of new investigations — of Democrats. Trump didn’t collude with Russia — so why does he love Putin so much? Russia urges Trump to grab chance for new ties after Mueller. Mueller’s Trump report has Moscow in ecstasy, opening the way for more Putin plots. Russia is a threat to American democracy, with or without collusion.

Conclusion of Mueller probe raises anew criticisms of coverage. After Mueller report, news media leaders defend their work. No, the media didn’t over-hype “Russiagate”. Journalists weren’t part of a conspiracy — they were doing their jobs. Serious journalists should be proud of — not bullied over — their Russia reporting.

Disappointed fans of Mueller rethink the pedestal they built for him. Robert Mueller and the collapse of American trust: The reaction to AG William Barr’s Mueller letter reveals a disturbing truth about America. Trump, the Mueller report, and democracy: Jeffrey C. Isaac on very preliminary thoughts on an unfolding story.


Timo Walter (Erfurt) and Leon Wansleben (LSE): How Central Bankers Learned to Love Financialization: The Fed, the Bank, and the Enlisting of Unfettered Markets in the Conduct of Monetary Policy. After the death of alt-weeklies, alt-alt-weeklies. Why Britain is suddenly facing a constitutional crisis. The end of the end of history: What does it mean to live in a world in which history has rusted under the monstrous weight of the permanent now? How misogyny is already shaping the presidential race. If Trump’s border wall becomes reality, here’s how he could easily get private land for it. Trump administration now says entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

From Studies in Social Justice, a special issue on the Politics of Literacies. John K.M. Ohnesorge (Wisconsin): Comparing Impeachment Regimes. The 2020 authenticity primary: A diverse slate of Democratic presidential candidates challenge what we see as “authentic”. The U.S. is thinking of invading Venezuela — that’s unlikely to lead to democracy. Ali Shames-Dawson reviews Why Does Patriarchy Persist? by Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider. The federal courts are running an online scam. The panic over yield curve inversion, explained: A key financial indicator says a recession is coming soon (maybe). A world built on sand and oil: Laleh Khalili on when natural resources become essential commodities. Roiled by staff uproar, civil rights group looks at intolerance within.


From Lawfare, Mikhaila Fogel, Quinta Jurecic, Susan Hennessey, Matthew Kahn, and Benjamin Wittes on what to make of Bill Barr’s letter (and more). What we still don’t know about the Mueller probe. Washington’s first reactions to the Mueller report summary. “If you took it all in in one day, it would kill you”: What Mueller’s investigation has already revealed. Even without Mueller’s report, Congress had all the facts it needed. Every report on past presidential scandal was a warning, why didn’t we listen? Robert Mueller’s predecessors investigated Watergate, Iran-contra and Bill Clinton — they told us that checks and balances aren’t enough.

Neal K. Katyal on the many problems with the Barr letter (and more). Marcy Wheeler on Rod Rosenstein’s unfortunate vocabulary: Defining a criminal investigation by “links” and “collusion”. Has the president been exonerated? (and more) Donald Trump isn’t being charged with obstruction — but Mueller didn’t exonerate him. If Trump obstructed justice, he can’t be exonerated. Trump’s legal troubles are far from over even as Mueller probe ends (and more and more and more). Mueller’s report didn’t indict Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, or anyone for the Trump Tower meeting — why? Subpoenas, sentencings and Stone: What will become of the special counsel’s unfinished business?

Democrats skeptical after Trump’s attorney general exonerates him. Barr’s startling and unseemly haste: The attorney general’s letter will do little to bridge the partisan divide. House Democrats want Attorney General Bill Barr to testify on the Mueller report. Eric Levitz on what Mueller’s (apparent) dud means for Democrats. Disappointed Democrats shrug: 2020 election about health care, economy. The Barr letter is a massive political victory for Trump. Mueller was Trump’s nemesis — now he’s his greatest asset. Robert Mueller was never going to end Donald Trump’s presidency — it was always up to Mitch McConnell.


Susanna Siegel (Harvard): The Problem of Culturally Normal Belief. Paolo Canofari (LUISS) and Alessandro Piergallini and Giovanni Piersanti (Rome): The Fallacy of Fiscal Discipline. From NYRB, a review essay on Chernobyl by Sophie Pinkham. From “no problem” to no deal: How Brexit supporters embraced the cliff edge. Sam Byers on how Britain is drowning itself in nostalgia. Sady Doyle on the media gaslighting of 2020’s most likable candidate. Nobody knows anything about “electability”: When pundits anoint Biden — or Sanders or O’Rourke — as the likeliest to beat Trump, they’re making lots of dubious assumptions. It’s not just Paul Manafort — this is why white-collar criminals often evade harsh punishment.

From The Intercept, who the Justice Department decides to prosecute as a domestic terrorist has little to do with the harm they’ve inflicted or the threat they pose to human life: A series. What is the Congressional Progressive Caucus for? “Women here are very, very worried”: Afghan women used to be championed by almost everyone — now they’re all but forgotten. Joe Rogan’s podcast is an essential platform for freethinkers who hate the Left. There’s a bigger difference between 0 and 1 than you think: This is a great example of how fragile polling can be. The Electoral College’s real problem: It’s biased toward the big battlegrounds. Hellscape 2021: Why a second loss to Trump could produce an existential crisis for Democrats. Is human life absurd?

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