From Foreign Affairs, a special section on the Iran debate: To strike or not to strike? (and reponses) From The New York Times Magazine, a cover story: Will Israel attack Iran? Joshua Pollack on how to prevent war with Iran (and more). From The Monkey Cage, Matthew Fuhrmann on military strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities: Are they likely and will they work?; and how do states act after they get nuclear weapons? Iran’s navy may not be a match for the US, but the Strait of Hormuz offers plenty of ways for it to make life tricky. Is a nuclear Iran really to be feared? After proliferation: Joshua Rovner on how to deter Iran when it goes nuclear. Should the West just let Iran enrich uranium? Jeremy Bernstein on Iran: The scientists and the Bomb. Is Iran's offer to talk nukes a win for the West? (and more) Despite a nearly decade-long atomic scare, there is still no firm evidence of an Iranian nuclear bomb. Can Europe's oil embargo force Iran to back down on its nuclear program? Martin W. Lewis on the dream — or nightmare — of “Greater Iran”.
Antti Kauppinen (TCD): What Is Wrong With Economic Inequality? From Social Research, a special issue on The Body and the State: How the State Controls and Protects the Body. From Archaeology, a look at the top 10 discoveries of 2011. How to break Murphy's Law: The introduction of verification and checking procedures can improve structural safety and performance and so prevent the application of the "law". From LRB, Slavoj Zizek on the revolt of the salaried bourgeoisie. His ascent to cultural superstardom has been fuelled by his comic talent, but jokes are a serious business for Slavoj Zizek. Mat Callahan on distinguishing friend from foe in the intellectual property debate. Jacques Verges, lawyer who seeks out and associates with nazis and antisemites and downplayed the horrors of the Holocaust to defend a Nazi war criminal, has been invited to take part in a public event at the University of London. Dialectic of Counter-Enlightenment: Martin Jay on the Frankfurt School as scapegoat of the lunatic fringe. A scientist has dreams filled with carrots screaming, crying and begging to die.
A new issue of Religion and Liberty is out. From Religions, Casey Borch and Matthew West (Alabama) and Gordon Gauchat (UNC): Go Forth and Multiply: Revisiting Religion and Fertility in the United States, 1984-2008; Rebecca Y. Kim (Pepperdine): Religion and Ethnicity: Theoretical Connections; R. Khari Brown (Wayne State): The Connection between Worship Attendance and Racial Segregation Attitudes among White and Black Americans; Stephen M. Merino (PSU): Neighbors Like Me? Religious Affiliation and Neighborhood Racial Preferences among Non-Hispanic Whites; Todd Matthews, Lee Michael Johnson, and Catherine Jenks (West Georgia): Does Religious Involvement Generate or Inhibit Fear of Crime?; Jeanne Halgren (Minnesota): The Park 51/Ground Zero Controversy and Sacred Sites as Contested Space; and Karam Dana (Harvard) and Matt A. Barreto and Kassra A.R. Oskooii (Washington): Mosques as American Institutions: Mosque Attendance, Religiosity and Integration into the Political System among American Muslims. So what if America is the most religious nation? If you compare creed and deed, the claim is hollow.
From Workplace, a special issue on Narratives of Academic Labor. How big-time sports ate college life: Should a stadium (or court) be at the center of college culture? How football and basketball hijacked the American campus. Critics claim the SAT can be gamed — if that's the case, why are they still so important in college admissions? The disposable academic: Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time. It is college and university leaders, not Occupy protesters, who have politicized issues of free speech, writes P.J. Rey. What is college for? Why preparing young people for jobs should be the business of high school, not college. Catherine Liu on her book American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique. Could apprenticeships replace college degrees? You aren't the exception: Nate Kreuter explains why so many grad students ignore warnings about the job market — and why that makes it even more important for Ph.D. programs to talk about the realities. An interview with Emery Petchauer, author of Hip-Hop Culture in College Students' Lives.
Joxerramon Bengoetxea (Basque Country): Seven Theses on Spanish Justice to Understand the Prosecution of Judge Garzon. From the Journal for Communication and Culture, Adrian Costache (UBB): On the Philosophical Styles of the Times: Some Questions Concerning the Meaning of Deconstruction; Dana Irina (UBB): A Culture of Human Rights and the Right to Culture; Adina Nicoleta Gavrila (UBB): Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? Arguments For and Against the Centuries-Old Punishment; and Codruta Cuceu (RA): Milestones in the Critique of the Public Sphere: Dewey and Arendt. The real value of the international hacker imaginary is not just in the way it produces a general subject, but the way it self-authorizes to intervene in the social interest. An interview with Maria Popova, creator of Brain Pickings. The Alpha and the Omega of Risk — The Significance of Mortality: The first chapter from Acts of God and Man: Ruminations on Risk and Insurance by Michael Powers. For better government, don’t kill all the lawyers. David Ropeik on the psychology of why the government should limit our use of cell phones while we drive. A look at 5 "modern" medical procedures (are thousands of years old).
Chris Ashford (Sunderland): (Homo)Normative Legal Discourses and the Queer Challenge. From The Chronicle, a special section on Queer Studies, Queer 2.0 and the Q Factor. Surprisingly, queer theorists have rarely encountered Shakespeare — since neither the terms “queer” nor “theory” existed when Shakespeare was writing, how can we export the amalgam of those terms to his works? The myth of the tragic gay death: Parsing the controversy behind Andrew Embiricos. A UN milestone: LGBT rights treated as human rights. Michael Bronski on the meaning of LGBT history. A look at how advertising shapes the image of gayness in America. Kevin Hogan may be fired from his teaching job for having a porn past, but — asks teacher and porn actor Conner Habib — is anyone clear why? Catching up with Gert Jonkers: Looking back at 10 years of Butt upon the release of its final issue. Donovan Lessard on a critique of the "post-gay" thesis. Nadja Sayej on the gayest story ever told: Why did The New Yorker reject this R. Crumb cover?
Andreas Rasche (Warwick) and Dirk Ulrich Gilbert (Erlangen-Nurnberg): Institutionalizing Global Governance: The Role of the United Nations Global Compact. A largely overlooked change by USAID will have major repercussions for international aid efforts in the future — the gist? USAID no longer has to “buy American”. A review of All Business is Local: Why Place Matters More Than Ever in a Global Virtual World by John Quelch and Katherine Jocz. From Foreign Policy, a special issue on the world economy. In praise of brain drain: Want to help the developing world? Hire away its best minds. A review of Borderless Economics: Chinese Sea Turtles, Indian Fridges and the New Fruits of Global Capitalism by Robert Guest. Who wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Where ancient history meets modern politics: The world's most controversial cultural sites. Is microfinance pushing the world’s poorest even deeper into poverty? Meet Ertharin Cousin, the new head of the World Food Program. The US outlines big plans for UN reform. A look at how the toppling of the Libyan dictator legitimizes R2P Doctrine. A dose of counterintuitive optimism: Charles Kenny is out to prove that things aren't as bad as they seem.
Eric A. Feldman (Penn) and Ronald Bayer (Columbia): The Triumph and Tragedy of Tobacco Control: A Tale of Nine Nations. The Age of Ships: Michael Anton on a time before passenger jets, when ocean liners were “the greatest of the works of man”. From NYRB, do the classics have a future? Mary Beard investigates. Winifred Gallagher, author of New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change, on exploring your inner neophiliac, on curiosity and boredom, and on Aristotle’s ideal, killed by the Web. David Bank on self-organization and the hierarchy of institutions. Gladwell vs. Shirky: A year later, scoring the debate over social-media revolutions. The Pirate Bay’s new plan to destroy capitalism: The piracy giant's offering up an idea that, if it goes right, could topple the economy and change digital exchange as we know it. A review of Occupy! Scenes from Occupied America by Astra Taylor, Keith Gessen et al. While the difficulties of winter have taken their toll, Occupy Wall Street organizers say they are confident that an "American Spring" is in the making. Here is a list of 5 rulers whose idiot siblings nearly screwed the world.
From Wired, Steven Levy on Facebook, Spotify and the future of music. Is everyone musical? One sonic pioneer thinks so — and he has the technology to prove it. Music and sex: Music is largely a primeval tool to gain the favour of mates. Music gets deep inside us and inspires great writing too, says Alex Ross. Robert Rose discovers unwritten history: Punk music was actually discovered a decade before its “emergence” was “officially” documented, in the outskirts of Lima, Peru. The rise of punkademia: How do you study a movement that doesn’t want to be studied? Top 10 sing-along songs: Queen's "We Are the Champions" is officially the number 1 catchiest song, say academics. The revolution will be amplified: Is the Occupy Movement liberating music? Jan Swafford on the wild, sublime music that composers write on their deathbeds. A review of Infinite Music: Imagining the Next Millennium of Human Music-Making by Adam Harper. Mommy, what's a ho? How to find good hip-hop songs for your kids to listen to. Mozart vs. the Gangstas: How classical music is changing young lives. What does a conductor do? A critic decides to find out — by stepping up to the podium himself.
Benjamin Powell (Suffolk) and Matt Zwolinski (USD): The Ethical and Economic Case Against Sweatshop Labor: A Critical Assessment. Andrew W. Lo (MIT): Reading About the Financial Crisis: A 21-Book Review. In a book devoted to economic anxieties in France, two economists well known in the blogosphere try to make their field accessible while conveying its complexity. Capitalism in historical perspective: It is not capitalism that has come to an end but a mode of politics that seeks to guarantee market stability, argues economic historian Werner Plumpe. A review of Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey. The invisible hand meets the invisible gorilla: Diane Coyle on the economics and psychology of scarce attention. IMF chief economist Oliver Blanchard draws the lessons from 2011’s economic and policy developments. Kenneth Rogoff on rethinking the growth imperative. If you are a banker what you want is risky, high interest rate loans without the risk; sooner or later it follows that what the bankers need to do above all else is to elevate financial contracts above democracy.