From Boston Review, a symposium on why regime change doesn’t work: Our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan came after more than a hundred attempts at regime change all over the world, producing civil war and failing to promote democracy — even with the removal of Muammar Qaddafi, our Libya expedition shows we haven’t learned our lesson (and a series of responses). Inside Obama's War Room: How he decided to intervene in Libya – and what it says about his evolution as commander in chief. A review of State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire by Stephen Glain (and more). 5 principles critical to successful nation-building: A review of Jeremi Suri's Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama (and more and more). Inside the world's largest embassy: Welcome to the Vatican-sized US Embassy in Baghdad, home to a $2 million dead lawn and the world's worst bar scene. Anatol Lieven reviews Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb's Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama and Dov S. Zakheim's A Vulcan’s Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan. A review of Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform by Paul R. Pillar. Breaking: Nobody knows what to do about Pakistan. What's the United States up to in Asia? From Military Times, a special report by Sean D. Naylor on The Secret War in Africa. Here are 6 b.s. myths you probably believe about America's "enemies".
Joel F. Murray (UC-Davis): Death and Taxes: How the Late 20th Century Transformation of American Political Culture Ended a 70-Year Political Consensus on the Estate Tax. A review of Joshua Rubenstein’s Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary’s Life (and more). Nathalie Tocci and Koen Vlassenroot on collapsing "government", emerging "governances". Fire researchers have shattered dozens of arson myths in recent years, yet American courts continue to convict people who are likely innocent of the crime. A review of The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey D. Sachs (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Scientists who model ethnic violence find that in Switzerland, separation is key to peace. An interview with Diana Lobel, author of The Quest for God and the Good: World Philosophy as a Living Experience. As the "Arab Spring" turns to fall and New York's "Occupy Wall Street" protest continues to draw international headlines, a new model of social and political protest has emerged. Alex Klein on the well-intentioned lie that led to Occupy Wall Street’s downfall. From Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Ideas, an interview with Tony Horwitz, author of Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War (and more). On billionaires, secretaries and taxes: The better way to reform the tax code, and make it a bit more progressive, is to go back to an old idea — a progressive consumption tax.
Peter J. Boettke (George Mason), Alexander Fink (Leipzig) and Daniel J. Smith (Troy): The Impact of Nobel Prize Winners in Economics: Mainline vs. Mainstream. A review of Roads to Wisdom: Conversations with Ten Nobel Laureates in Economics by Karen Ilse Horn. John B. Davis (Marquette): Pluralism and Anti-Pluralism in Economics: Homo Economicus and Religious Fundamentalism. A review of Material Markets: How Economic Agents Are Constructed by Donald MacKenzie. Nudge thyself: Economists have more to learn from the natural sciences if they are to claim a realistic model of human behaviour. Worldly philosophers wanted: When economists tackle small problems, they lose any vision about what the economic system should look like. Econometrician Mark Thoma explains what he does, and why there’s such a battle of ideas (and models) in economics. Economists at Harvard and MIT have just released what they claim to be the crystal ball of economics: a model for predicting a nation’s future growth more accurately than any other techniques out there. Why economic models are always wrong: Financial-risk models got us in trouble before the 2008 crash, and they're almost sure to get us in trouble again. Economics has met the enemy, and it is economics. Economics is fun: Daniel Hamermesh explains how his discipline creeps into all kinds of unlikely areas. "Do not pass Go, do not collect $200": Saul Levmore on monopolies as an introduction to economics.
A new issue of the Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences is out. Alexi Gugushvili (EUI): Material Deprivation, Social Class and Life Course in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. From the Journal of International Security Affairs, a special section on Russia. The growing bonds between central Asian states and China have a human-rights cost for Uyghurs across the region. I do (not): An article on bride-napping in Kyrgyzstan. Why is the Orthodox Church of Russia reclaiming the castles and churches of former East Prussia, now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, appropriated in 1917? From Slate, Joshua Kucera on Kazakhstan's rapid rise and uncertain future. The former Soviet republics: 15 siblings with little in common. Vladimir Putin wants to create a "Eurasian Union" to integrate the independent republics of the former USSR into a single economic — and eventually political — super-state. Jacob Heilbrunn writes in defense of Vladimir Putin. A review of Popular Support for an Undemocratic Regime: The Changing Views of Russians by Richard Rose, William Mishler and Neil Munro. Has “once-democratic” Ukraine finally joined her Slavic siblings Belarus and Russia in a retreat to authoritarianism? The Georgian Parliament votes to recognize the 19th-century killings and deportations of ethnic Circassians by czarist Russia as genocide. In need of a vodka tonic: Can Russia admit it has a problem? A look at 5 unintentionally hilarious Soviet versions of good ideas.
John C. Berg (Suffolk): From Madison to Wall Street: Assessing the Electoral Consequences of Protest on the Left. From Foreign Policy, here is a list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. The end of evil: Neuroscientists suggest there is no such thing — are they right? The European Union exists in a no-man’s-land between democracy and technocracy: Henry Farrell reviews The End of the West: The Once and Future Europe by David Marquand. The myth of the Fourth Reich: The spectre of history looms over the eurozone crisis and Germany’s role in it, but it has less to do with Nazism than with the traumas and economic woes of the 1920s. The monoculture is a myth: Three TV networks? Music dictated by MTV? Nostalgia for a shared past creates false history — we have it better now. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what a lender of last resort looks like: Felix Salmon on the Morgan Stanley bailout. Matthew Yglesias on how the Fed's generosity made $13 billion for America's biggest banks. Jacques Barzun reviews Why Trilling Matters by Adam Kirsch. The GOP is not without options, but the Democrats are in the driver's seat: Now there are two triggers — one is an extremely progressive spending trigger worth $1.2 trillion that goes off on January 1, 2013, and the other is an extremely progressive tax trigger worth $3.8 trillion that goes off on January 1, 2013. A look at 6 absurd pirate myths everyone believes (thanks to movies).
Jerry L. Anderson (Drake): Protection for the Powerless: Political Economy History Lessons for the Animal Welfare Movement. Deborah Rook (Northumbria): The Use of Wild Animals in Circuses. Protecting animals used in circuses: A survey of state anti-cruelty statutes. White Rhino, Black Market: Why old stuffed rhinos now command top dollar. The crusade for a cultured alternative to animal meat: An interview with Nicholas Genovese. From Rorotoko, Harriet Ritvo on her book Noble Cows and Hybrid Zebras: Essays on Animals and History; Kathy Rudy on her book Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy; and Joe Roman on his book Listed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Act. A review of Survivors: The Animals and Plants that Time Has Left Behind by Richard Fortey. How many species are there on Earth? A study says 8.7 million, but it’s tricky. Our animals, ourselves: Wild beasts have always mirrored both our primordial pride and our deepest fears. Pet lovers, pathologized: In a nation where hunting and meat eating is idealized, affectionate relationships between humans and animals are seen as a type of illness. Once an icon, bad breeding has earned the German Shepherd a reputation for being sickly and dimwitted. A review of In Defence of Dogs by John Bradshaw. The cult of cats: Throughout history, humans have projected their dreams, fears and peculiarities onto felines — why? Deep Intellect: Sy Montgomery goes inside the mind of the octopus. Animal in mind: Vigdis Broch-Due on people, cattle and shared nature on the African savannah.
Adam B. Cox (NYU) and Adam Hosein (Colorado): Immigration and Equality. Stephen J. Larin (Queen's): Conceptual Debates in Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration. Christian Giordano (Fribourg): Paradigms of Migration: From Integration to Transnationalism. Julian M. Lehmann (Interights): Rights at the Frontier: Border Control and Human Rights Protection of Irregular International Migrants. Michael A. Clemens (CGD): Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk? Gil S. Epstein (Bar Ilan) and Ira N. Gang (Rutgers): Migration and Culture. Leah Briones (Flinders): Rights with Capabilities: Towards a Social Justice Framework for Migrant Activism. “Where on earth is everybody?” The evolution of global bilateral migration: 1960-2000. Passport to the Total State: It is important to remember that there once was a world in which people traveled freely across borders without paperwork to visit families, pursue education, conduct business, and mingle. Doctors Without Borders: Letting medical professionals and other skilled workers from the developing world emigrate is a good deal for everyone. A review of Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and Meera Balarajan (and more and more and more and more and more and more). When immigration is a crime: What is left of the right to migrate once held sacred by theologians and jurists alike?
Edward Lee (IIT): Copyright, Death, and Taxes. Has secularisation eroded our understanding of history? Gauging gender: Solving the puzzles of human sexuality will require an interdisciplinary approach involving both the sciences and the humanities. From Vox, a look at how Germany could save the euro; and the Eurozone could come to tatters temporarily, but the European ideal is so powerful that crisis and division will not permanently prevail. Europe against the Left: It is hard to overstate the novelty of the European Union. The camp is the world: Luis Moreno-Caballud and Marina Sitrin on connecting the Occupy movements and the Spanish May 15th Movement. The rise of cryptofascist Hollywood: Fans were shocked when Batman writer Frank Miller furiously attacked the Occupy movement; they shouldn't have been, says Rick Moody — he was just voicing Hollywood's unspoken values. Kropotkin's heirs apparent: Alan Ryan on Occupy Wall Street, a refreshingly rational anarchist movement. Introductio ad absurdum: Nick Skiadopolous on the merits of a militant abstinence (and part 2 and part 3). Is Superman a Democrat? Haley Sweetland Edwards writes on politics and superheroes. The Michael Walzer Affair: An excerpt from Unjust Honoris Causa: Chronicle of a Most Peculiar Academic Dishonor by Aleksandar Jokic and Milan Brdar. The introduction to Enigmas of Identity by Peter Brooks. Keep smiling — the world is doing fine, say American authors.
J. David Velleman (NYU): Virtual Selves. Johanna T. Sprondel (Humboldt), Thiemo Breyer (Heidelberg), and Maren Wehrle (Freiburg): Cyberanthropology: Being Human on the Internet. Antonio A. Casilli (Telecom ParisTech): Bums, Bridges, and Primates: Some Elements for a Sociology of Online Interactions. From First Monday, Lee Knuttila (York): User Unknown: 4chan, Anonymity and Contingency; and Robert W. Gehl (Utah): Ladders, Samurai, and Blue Collars: Personal Branding in Web 2.0. A review of Worm: The First Digital World War by Mark Bowden. How to build the great online library: The minds behind the Digital Public Library of America are thinking very big — can they succeed where others have failed? Clive Thompson on why kids can’t search. Cutting the cord: A look at how the world's engineers built Wi-Fi. Felix Salmon on the future of online advertising. Colleges across have started snapping up .xxx domains, but not for the reasons RedTubers would hope. Does Baidu's Robin Li have the hardest job in the world? From Cracked, Daniel O'Brien on the 4 worst things about writing for the Internet; a look at 6 innocent-sounding topics that are guaranteed flame wars; and here are the 5 most overused jokes on the Internet. Internet Memes 101: Here's a guide to online wackiness, the Internet memes you should know. Here is the epic A to Z guide of expressions that should be retired from the Internet (and IRL).
A new issue of Cosmos and History is out. An interview with Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala, authors of Hermeneutic Communism: From Heidegger to Marx. A review of Radicalism in French Culture: A Sociology of French Theory in the 1960s by Niilo Kauppi. A review of The Red Flag: Communism and the Making of the Modern World by David Priestland. A review of Critical Theory to Structuralism: Philosophy, Politics, and the Human Sciences, ed. David Ingram. A review of Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism by Kieran Allen. Is the phrase "critical theory" a useful distinction or unconscious smugness? An interview with Terry Eagleton, author of Why Marx Was Right. Wendy Brown on her book Walled States, Waning Sovereignty. A review of Critical Theory and Democratic Vision: Herbert Marcuse and Recent Liberation Philosophies by Arnold Farr. Before October: Roland Boer on the unbearable romanticism of Western Marxism. Simon Glendinning on Derrida and the promise of democracy. The Age of Occupation: Jon Wiener reviews Eric Hobsbawm's How to Change the World: Reflections on Marx and Marxism. An interview with Ben Agger, co-editor of A Journal of No Illusions: Telos, Paul Piccone, and the Americanization of Critical Theory (and more). Jeffrey J. Williams on the brief, wondrous life of the theory journal. John Riddell on black liberation and the Communist International. A review of Democracy in What State? by Giorgio Agamben et al. Andrew McAfee on why he won't quote Marx. Mary Gabriel on how Marx came to discover the alienation of labor, and on the humble origins of Marxism’s founding document. In the second of his series on Roland Barthes, political theorist Andrew Robinson presents the French author's theory of myths.