Ellen Lust (Yale): Why Now? Micro Transitions and the Arab Uprisings. Anthony Billingsley (UNSW): Writing Constitutions in the Wake of the Arab Spring: The Challenge of Consolidating Democracy. From the Journal of Democracy, Lucan Way (Toronto): Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Lessons of 1989; and Zoltan Barany (Texas): Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Role of the Military. From The Hedgehog Review, “our revolution is civil”: An interview with Asef Bayat on revolt and change in the Arab world; and whither political Islam and the “Arab Spring”? Ahmed H. al-Rahim investigates. From The National, a review of books on the Arab Spring. On the edge of the Arab Spring: Avoiding the worst of the protests in the region, Jordan is changing anyway. Who said Gaddafi had to go? Hugh Roberts wants to know. A review of Disordered World: Setting a New Course for the Twenty-First Century by Amin Maalouf. Requiem for the Arab Spring: What does history teach us about the Arab Revolutions? Immanuel Wallerstein on the contradictions of the Arab Spring. From The European, do it yourself, Egypt: Democratization in Egypt cannot be successful unless the economic realm is liberalized as well; Arab democratization cannot proceed without economic development — the history of the EU can provide a roadmap for the Arab world; and during the chaos of the early Arab Spring, the protesters in Bahrain became barely audible — this was exactly what the country's hardliners had wished for. A look at the unexpected renaissance of the Arab League.
Peter Wagner (ICREA): The Democratic Crisis of Capitalism: Reflections on Political and Economic Modernity in Europe. A review of States of Credit: Size, Power, and the Development of European Polities by David Stasavage. From Swans, Manuel Garcia, Jr. on Aron, OWS, and Libya: An analysis of the roots of political beliefs, from post World War II and the Paris Intellectuals, to deindustrialization and the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Libyan Revolution. Hans Georg-Moeller on Niklas Luhmann, the Radical and Occupy Wall Street. From FT, the world’s most prestigious consultancy prides itself on its intellectual prowess and ethical standards, but this year, an insider trading scandal surrounding former McKinsey luminaries has left staff and alumni reeling. Glenn Greenwald on PolitiFact and the scam of neutral expertise (and more at TAP). Before "Airplane!" there were the Airport movies: There's nothing quite like the movies if you want to learn what people's hopes and dreams were during the period in which they were made. A look at how The Boston Globe of 1900 imagined the year 2000. Why do Congresswomen outperform Congressmen? Sarah F. Anzia and Christopher R. Berry on the Jackie (and Jill) Robinson Effect. In different epochs, the hat became a symbol of the dignity of the one wearing it; today, it still survives as a reminder of an ancient vision of courtesy. A look at 7 creepy urban legends that happen to be true.
Moritz Hetzer and Didier Sornette (ETH Zurich): A Theory of Evolution, Fairness, and Altruistic Punishment. The Human Genome Project, then and now: An early advocate of the sequencing of the human genome reflects on his own predictions from 1986. An interview with Aubrey de Grey on how to live forever. Is the brain good at what it does? A review essay. Darwinian philosophy unleashed: A review of Darwin, God, and the Meaning of Life: How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew by Steve Stewart-Williams. Why do we care about our ancestors? The rise of genetic testing has made genealogy more popular than ever — and transformed our concept of identity. Aki Nikolaidis on cognitive enhancement: Which path will we take? Culture in humans and apes has the same evolutionary roots, researchers show. Life extension offers a desirable alternative to a short life, but what is it that we actually want to extend? After his work on telomeres, which won a Nobel Prize in 2009, Jack W. Szostak took up a new challenge: understanding the origins of life. A review of The Origin of Our Species by Chris Stringer. What would humanity be like without aging? A review of The Postmortal by Drew Magary. Human evolution, no easy fix: Nature seems to have activated a time bomb, and our complexity is only a short-term fix. Paleoanthropologist Tim White on the origins of homo sapiens and what a 4.4 million-year-old skeleton he found in Africa tells us about our common past. A look at 6 mind-blowing ways genetic engineering might save your life.