Jordan M. Barry (USD): Political Free Riding. Armin Schafer (Max Planck): Republican Liberty and Compulsory Voting. Christopher S. Elmendorf (UC-Davis) and David Schleicher (George Mason): Informing Consent: Voter Ignorance, Political Parties, and Election Law. How much do voters know? “The first lesson you learn as a pollster is that people are stupid” (but stupid voters are people, too). Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal; the ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit. A review of Attention Deficit Democracy: The Paradox of Civic Engagement by Ben Berger. From TED, Michael Huemer on the irrationality of politics. Political animals: Chris Mooney’s The Republican Brain and Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind link psychology and neuroscience to ideological values. The introduction to The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It by Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson. From The New Yorker, Ezra Klein on George Edwards and the powerless presidential bully pulpit. Here are Congressman Jeff Flake’s opening remarks in the brief debate over his amendment to defund the NSF political science program.
From Human Geographies, Zsofia Papp and Agnes Raffay (Pannoni): Factors Influencing the Tourism Competitiveness of Former Socialist Countries. Russian-born, American-trained economist Andrei Shleifer on seven things he learned about transition from communism. Pravda may be gone, but Russia’s propaganda machine is stronger than ever, thanks to cable network RT. David Satter on his book It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past. The stillborn project of a Eurasian Union: Andreas Umland on why post-Soviet integration has little prospects. A passport to utopia: The satirical NSK State movement was founded in socialist Yugoslavia in 1984 — it has now opened four embassies. A review of The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc (and more). The Red Army loved it, foreigners despised it: How Maotai became the world's only Socialist luxury brand. A review of Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc by David Crowley and Susan Reid. How Gogol explains the post-Soviet world (and Chekhov and Dostoyevsky): The case for (re)reading Russia's greatest literary classics.
A new issue of Foreign Service Journal is out. Joan Stivala (ANU): Death Before Dishonour! Suicide of Christian Victims of Rape. From Enculturation, a roundtable on “Master Hands”, a 1936 film sponsored by the Chevrolet Motor Company that shows the inner workings of a Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan. The trouble with Black Studies: Fierce debate breaks out yet again about an ever-controversial field of scholarship — Scott McLemee keeps his eyes on the prize. From SSRC’s Possible Futures blog, Matthew Noah Smith on Occupy’s May Day: All play doesn’t work. Dating fashionable middle-aged people: Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325–1515 is like many medieval storybooks. The healing power of sex: Put aside your stereotypes about the sex industry and consider that many people, of all sexes and genders, can find the work empowering and healing. Mythos and logos: Paul Kingsnorth on an introduction to Dark Mountain’s aims and its history. Society of the spectacle: Benjamen Walker explores situationism and the legacy of French philosopher Guy Debord's famous phrase (and more).
Lena Ekelund (SUAS) and Hakan Jonsson (Lund): How does Modernity Taste? Tomatoes in the Societal Change from Modernity to Late Modernity. From M/C Journal, a special issue on coffee. From AHR, a special section on Food in Our Culture. Did people eat fruits and vegetables in prehistoric times? A review of Ancestral Appetites: Food in Prehistory by Kristen Gremillion. A review of Calories and Corsets: A History of Dieting over 2000 Years by Louise Foxcroft. If you were to point to the most marvelous product kicking around in your pantry right now, would it be your loaf of bread? A review of Aaron Bobrow-Strain's White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf. A review of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller. Battle for the banana: An excerpt from Something's Rotten in Compost City: A Primer on the Politics of Food by Spring Gillard. An interview with Tyler Cowen, author of An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies (and more and more and more and more and more). From New York, is the Brooklyn artisanal movement a step forward for food? A new book on food panics puts the "pink slime" scare into perspective.
From Slate, the extreme right-wing parties winning across the continent have one thing in common — they want to withdraw from the world. Europe's far right goes mainstream: Does it mean multiculturalism is a failure? From The New Federalist, what hope is there for European democracy? Delors, Solana, Beck, Cohn-Bendit and others on creating a bottom-up Europe: We want to establish a counter model to the Europe of elites and technocrats, and re-establish its political creativity and legitimacy. Michael Sivy on 4 ways the euro could fail: All courses of action appear to lead to an eventual financial crisis of some sort, but moderate progrowth policies are the best bet to minimize the damage. Are there any alternatives to austerity? Six ideas for fixing Europe. The euro is killing southern Europe: What Spain (and Portugal, and Greece, etc.) could learn from Argentina’s successful default and devaluation. Times are very tough, but the future of Greece may not be as bad as it looks. Your tweetable fact: A monetary union might make more sense for every nation starting with the letter "M" than it does for the euro zone. Just how historically implausible was the euro zone? The truth is, radical as it may be in theory, the EU is hugely unsexy in practice.
The inaugural issue of the Journal of Ethnographic Theory is out, on the g-factor of anthropology: Archaeologies of kin(g)ship. Alex de Waal (Tufts), Jens Meierhenrich (LSE), and Bridget Conley-Zilkic (Tufts): How Mass Atrocities End: An Evidence-Based Counter-Narrative. Jack Balkin on why the health-care mandate is clearly a tax — and therefore constitutional. Far too slow to make headline news, desertification is nevertheless putting the lives of more than one billion people at risk, and sooner or later, will require the urgent attention of the international community. Max Berger on why Occupy can't — and shouldn't — become the progressive Tea Party. “I want to be like Jesus”: Cornel West is a self-proclaimed prophet who believes in the virtues of love and justice — but in his own life, he can’t seem to find either. It is, of course, quiet possible for a film about cryonics to be good — even great — and still be bad for it; Freezing People is Easy offers substantial possibilities for both of those elements to be in play. Does American democracy still work? Brad DeLong wonders. Will Smith tries cheerleading and finds that it's not all about pompoms.
A new issue of Open Journal of Philosophy is out. Jonathan Allen Green (Northwestern): Hume's “False Philosophy” and the Reflections of Common Life. From Purlieu, Jared Bly (North Texas): From Counterfeiting to Convalesence: An Essay on Nietzsche's Coinage; Jesus Zamora-Bonilla (UNED): Positivism is a Humanism (A Liberal Manifesto); and an interview with J. Baird Callicott, a foundational thinker within environmental philosophy and ethics. From the latest issue of Plato, Georgia Mouroutsou (Humboldt): The Allegory of the Cave: The Necessity of the Philosopher’s Descent; Satoshi Ogihara (Tohoku): The Choice of Life in the Myth of Er. From The Philosopher, Jim Danaher on Plato’s Cave and the bicameral brain. Cambridge University’s Philip Allott on first understanding Plato's Republic. A review of Virtue and Politics: Alasdair MacIntyre's Revolutionary Aristotelianism. Julian Friedland on why philosophy is not a science (and more). From the Journal of Nietzsche Studies, a review of books on Nietzsche. A look at how Averroes’s writings on Aristotle shaped Western philosophy as we know it.
David Todd (Cambridge): Protectionism as Internationalist Liberalism: Birth and Spread, 1789-1914 (and more). Simon Springer (Otago): Neoliberalism as Discourse: Between Foucauldian Political Economy and Marxian Poststructuralism. Mathieu Hilgers (ULB): The Historicity of the Neoliberal State; and The Three Anthropological Approaches to Neoliberalism. Simon Springer (NUS): Neoliberalism and Geography: Expansions, Variegations, Formations. Jerrold A. Long (Idaho): Overcoming Neoliberal Hegemony in Community Development: Law, Planning, and Selected Lamarckism. Sirvan Karimi (York): Contradictions of Capitalism and Their Ideological Counterparts: The Neo-Liberal Project and the Concept of "Social Capital". Colin Crouch on his book The Strange Non-death of Neo-liberalism. From Scottish Left Review, Francis Stuart writes in praise of regulation; and to understand the world of the deregulation agenda it is useful to understand the history of red tape. From continent., here is a neo-liberalism crash course (get your former state enterprises cheap, now! Two for one on prisons!).
From Crime magazine, over the years, thanks to movies like The Silence of the Lambs, public perception about serial killers has become more mythical than factual — in reality, there is no real profile for this rare breed of killer. The mystery of the domestication of the horse has been solved. From TNR, writers discuss whether it makes sense for Obama to run as a populist. Six more months: What can Obama and Romney say? Why do our best and brightest end up in Silicon Valley and not D.C.? America's wunderkinds once looked to politics to make a difference on issues like healthcare reform — now they come to Google Ventures asking Bill Maris for money (while the “unselfconscious, non-ironic use of ‘best and the brightest’ suggests part of the problem”). Much to answer for: Glenn C. Loury on James Q. Wilson’s legacy. Andrew Ferguson and Liberty magazine covered the Libertarian National Convention from the floor of the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). I’m an article about the Internet that you repost on the Internet. Just put me down as "undecided" — every major is terrible!
Aaron Duggan (PGI): Get Lost! The Psychic Value of Wilderness Adventures in the Lives of Children. Judith Cashmore (Sydney): The Link Between Child Maltreatment and Adolescent Offending: Systems Neglect of Adolescents. From Kairos, Zbigniew Kotowicz (CFCUL): Children, Insanity and Child Psychiatry c.1800 - 1935. What's wrong with the teenage mind? Children today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later — the result: A lot of teenage weirdness. The unacknowledged prejudice against kids: A review of Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl (and more and more). A single close friendship can ease a boy’s passage through middle school — but what if your son can’t find a pal? With the exuberance of a teenager, but the wisdom of a scholar, Danah Boyd analyzes and dissects our online behavior — for teens, she says, it's not so different from hanging out at the mall. Are secular television shows with moral messages good for Christian children? A thing or two about twins: Discovering why identical twins differ — despite having the same DNA — could reveal a great deal about all of us.