Jeremy Rabkin (George Mason): The Constitution and American Sovereignty. A review of Beyond the Revolution: A History of American Thought from Paine to Pragmatism by William H. Goetzmann. A review of American Political Thought. How do you erect an entire museum to an idea as divisive and abstract as patriotism? A trip to Atlanta’s newest tourist attraction invites the question. The Pledge of Allegiance is un-American: Shouldn't the government pledge allegiance to the people rather than the other way around? Europe and America couldn't be more different, right? Not so fast. Bruce Bartlett on the Europeanization of America: Would it really be so bad? Frenemies: Roland Flamini on the testy relationship between Obama and the EU. The European Council on Foreign Relations says Europe must stop "fetishizing" the American relationship. Friedrich Schiller as Europe's tragedian: "The mediocrity of the Europeans is redeemed in American circumstances, and the peoples emerge as heroic protagonist rather than as tragic hero". A review of Christian Democracy and the Origins of European Union by Wolfram Kaiser. For all the gloom about Europe's single market, it remains an admirable project. The Lisbon Treaty creates an EU president, sure — but it's the new foreign policy czar who might really change the world. The EU is giving itself better means to conduct foreign policy, but does it have the will? The EU has inadvertently become the best democracy promotion organization the world has ever known. The introduction to The Unfinished Democratization of Europe by Erik O. Eriksen. A review of Euroclash: The EU, European Identity, and the Future of Europe by Neil Fligstein.
James Ingram (McMaster): The Politics of Claude Lefort's Political: Between Liberalism and Radical Democracy. Ben Golder (UNSW): Foucault, Anti-humanism and Human Rights. From Borderlands, a special issue on Jacques Ranciere and Queer Theory, including Todd May (Clemson): There are no Queers: Jacques Ranciere and post-identity politics; Hector Kollias (King’s): How Queer is the Demos? Politics, sex, and equality; Richard Stamp (Bath Spa): The Torsion of Politics and Friendship in Derrida, Foucault and Ranciere; and Paul Bowman (Cardiff): Aberrant Pedagogies: JR, QT and Bruce Lee. A review of Hatred of Democracy by Jacques Ranciere. A review of L'esprit du nihilisme. Une ontologique de l'Histoire by Mehdi Belhaj Kacem. A review of The Aesthetics of Disappearance by Paul Virilio. An interview with Chantal Mouffe, author of The Democratic Paradox. A review of The Transparency of Evil by Jean Baudrillard. An interview with Daniel Bensaid, author of In Praise of Profane Politics. A review of Unlearning or "How NOT to Be Governed?" by Nader N Chokr. A review of Soft Subversions: Texts and Interviews 1977-1985 by Felix Guattari. A review of Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics by Graham Harman. The phrase "baggy monster" couldn't be a more appropriate epithet for Luce Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman: a still controversial and poorly understood (but much quoted and referenced) work. A review of Logics of Worlds: Being and Event II by Alain Badiou. Daytime TV, enduring love: Alain Badiou can't get a word in, but Emily Bronte's doomed lovers speak volumes. A review of Pocket Pantheon: Figures of Postwar Philosophy by Alain Badiou.
Herwig J. Schlunk (Vanderbilt): Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Lawyers. The Death of the Cool: Cool was once associated with reticence, savoir-faire, and irony, none of which is much practiced or regarded these days. From Wired, writer Evan Ratliff tried to vanish — here’s what happened. To learn and to serve: EJ Dionne on the case for a civilian ROTC. "General Hospital" is the most violent show on television — and why an A-list star would agree to be on it. From Utne, a look at how to rob a bank and get caught. From Esquire, here are 2009's top 23 radicals and rebels who are changing the world and 13 renegade artists challenging the future of our culture. Ticket Masters: How Woodstock laid the groundwork for today's demand that everything be free. Strange Geographies: An article on village life in Vanuatu. As a new generation discovers artist Genesis P-Orridge, he fulfills a quixotic long-term project: turning himself into his late spouse. Levi Johnston: He's hot, he's cute, he's playing hardball — who can resist this Playgirl-posing bad boy? (and more) From the Journal of World-Systems Research, a symposium on Giovanni Arrighi's Adam Smith in Beijing. A look at what Oprah Winfrey did for talkshow TV. When the human genome was first sequenced nearly a decade ago, the world lit up with talk about how new gene-specific drugs would help us cheat death — well, the verdict is in: Keep eating those greens. The introduction to The Political Economy of Trust by Henry Farrell. Britt Peterson reviews The Queen of the Ring: Sex, Muscles, Diamonds, and the Making of an American Legend by Jeff Leen (and more and more).
From TLS, was art in ancient times always plundered art? A review of Art as Plunder: The Ancient Origins of Debate about Cultural Property by Margaret M. Miles. Should cultural treasures, acquired under dubious circumstances, be returned to their places of origin? A review of African Art and the Colonial Encounter: Inventing a Global Commodity by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir. The art world goes local: In a shaky global art market, collectors stick close to home; shopping for Midwestern masterworks. From Afterall, Joshua Decter on art and its cultural contradictions: "What does it mean to encounter a work of art in the midst of economic and social ruination?" Has conceptual art jumped the shark tank? To see why works of conceptual art have an inherent investment risk, we must look back at the whole history of art, including art’s most ancient prehistory. Beauty, art, and Darwin: It is possible that we have a kind of built-in moral resistance to the runaway pathologies now visible in the arts — where did that resistance come from? AC Grayling on how artists produce work as a result of internal or external stimuli — the only aim should be to cause a reaction. From Resurgence, has the commodification of Banksy’s art taken the edge off his work? Art need not be edgy, so long as it's about community — no matter how self-effacing, maudlin and bourgeoisie that community is. In art we lust: At second blush, classic works are allowed to rise to their full erotic potential. Richard Eyre on why it's time to rethink our ideas about what makes great art (and responses).