Bernard E. Harcourt (Chicago): On the American Paradox of Laissez Faire and Mass Incarceration. Paul Gowder (Iowa): Can the Market Save the Eighth Amendment? Andre Douglas Pond Cummings (WV): “All Eyez on Me”: America's War on Drugs and the Prison-Industrial Complex. From Nola.com, an 8-part series on “Louisiana Incarcerated: How we built the world's prison capital”. Those who favor the continued criminalization of marijuana should look towards the past: The prohibition of alcohol in the United States stemmed from similar motives, and ended up as an abysmal failure (and more). From Open Democracy, a special report on the costs of "supermax" long-term isolation. Bail is busted — how jail really works: Thousands of New Yorkers are stuck behind bars because they're too broke to get out. Get high for free: If pot were truly legal, joints would cost only a few cents (and more). Emily Badger on th stunning geography of incarceration. Out of sight, out of mind: Ralph Nader on prisons as growth industry.
Francesco Francioni (EUI): Realism, Utopia and the Future of International Environmental Law. Timothy Meyer (Georgia): Global Public Goods, Governance Risk, and International Energy. Adam Millard-Ball (McGill): The Tuvalu Syndrome: Can Geoengineering Solve Climate’s Collective Action Problem? From the Journal of Public Economic Theory, a special issue on Managing Climate Change. From Monthly Review, Fred Magdoff on harmony and ecological civilization: Beyond the capitalist alienation of nature. Leave It to Beavers: Can they help us adapt to climate change? The best ideas money can buy: The prize pool for environmental innovation challenges increased twelvefold in the past ten years and shows no sign of easing up — but does crowd-sourcing solutions pay off for the world as well as for the winners? From io9, could we build a weather machine to stop climate change? James Howard Kunstler on why technology won't save us. David Roberts on getting used to being in charge of the planet.
Lorenz Engi (Zurich): Are Human Rights Moral or Juridical Rights? From Swans, Raju Peddada on the Great Swami Vivekananda, a man who influenced the influencers. A review of Loser Sons: Politics and Authority by Avital Ronell. “The statues walked,” Easter Islanders say; archaeologists are still trying to figure out how — and whether their story is a cautionary tale of environmental disaster or a celebration of human ingenuity. Here is a study of pocket money as a proxy for family income. While the various technology trade shows and video game expos are supposed to be about the technology and the games, considerable attention is paid to booth babes. On Art and Authenticity: Films without celebrities may seem more genuine, but in real life we’re much like movie stars. Ritchie S. King on what members of Congress do after they leave.
A new issue of Ethics and Global Politics is out. Steven R. Ratner (Michigan) and Robert E. Goodin (ANU): Democratizing International Law. Par Engstrom (UCL): The Future of Human Rights in a Global Order of Change and Continuity. Gianluigi Palombella (Parma): Global Legislation and Its Discontents. Armin von Bogdandy (MPIL) and Ingo Venzke (Amsterdam): In Whose Name? An Investigation of International Courts' Public Authority and Its Democratic Justification. From German Law Journal, a special issue on the ruptures in international law. The conviction of Charles Taylor is welcome news, but don’t be fooled: The international criminal justice system is in deep trouble. A review of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy by William Dobson (and more). Is the International Criminal Court the best way to stop war crimes? A review of The International Human Rights Movement: A History by Aryeh Neier.
Daniel P. Aldrich (Purdue): The Politics of Natural Disasters. From The Awl, Maria Bustillos on our billionaire philanthropists. From Smithsonian, an article on Rudolph Valentino, aka the "Latin Lover," and his enemies. We make fun of a lot of terrible men on internet dating sites — but terrible women are giving them a run for their money (lots and lots of money). From GQ, is this the end for critics? Johann Hari investigates. From FDL, a book salon on Atlas Drugged: Ayn Rand Be Damned! by Stephen L. Goldstein. Atlantic history: Bernard Bailyn recommends reading on three centuries of empire, conflict and slave trading between the Americas, Europe and Africa. What other people think about us matters — here’s why. From Nerve, Ben Reininga looks at Cosmo's 44 most ridiculous sex tips and 36 terrible sex tips for men.
A new issue of New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry is out. From Triple C, Marx is back: A special issue on the importance of Marxist theory and research for critical communication studies today. From The Utopian, Ron Tabor on Marxist philosophy (and part 2). It is a paradox of Western Marxism that it insisted on its own geopolitical specificity — the West — and yet made its particularity a universal condition for the excluded Rest. From Green Left Weekly, who, or what, killed the US Socialist Workers Party? (and more) Stuart Jeffries on why Marxism is on the rise again. From New Left Review, T. J. Clark supplies notes for a rethinking of left politics that would recognize the impasses of the present and the horrific legacies of the past, while abandoning the mirages of futurity (and a response). For a New Left International: An interview with Jason Chrysostomou and Michael Albert, founders of the International Organisation for a Participatory Society (and more).
Michael Johnson Jr. (WSU): Race, Aging and Gay In/Visibility on US Television. From Comparative Law Review, a special issue on Duncan Kennedy’s The Three Globalizations of Law and Legal Thought: 1850-2000. Music as a weapon: Chris Brkich on using popular culture to combat social injustice. Reality denial: Edward S. Herman and David Peterson on Steven Pinker's apologetics for Western-imperial violence. From Sojourners (reg. req.), nothing but the blood: Kathryn Reklis on what vampires can teach us about consumer capitalism and human desire. From Ars Technica, where Lion stumbled, Mountain Lion regroups and forges ahead. From Jacobin, Laura Agustin on sex as work and sex work. Peter Singer is not the Anti-Christ: Charles C. Camosy on his book Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization.
A review of Reckoning with Markets: Moral Reflection in Economics by James Halteman and Edd Noel. Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky (self-appointed messiahs of the nanny state) on how too much faith in markets denies us the good life (and more and more). Is it relevant that, well, to put it bluntly, people do not seem to understand much about market economics? Derek Thompson on 10 things economics can tell us about happiness. New research suggests that more money makes people act less human — or at least less humane. Gertrude Himmelfarb on Adam Smith and the morality of the invisible hand. One of the best-kept secrets in economics is that there is no case for the invisible hand. Why do people who consider themselves pro-free market take radically different positions on the mobility of capital and labor? John Paul Rollert on what Adam Smith knew about inequality. As economics teachers struggle to make sense of a post-crisis world, they may have an unlikely army of helpers — ants. A review of The Prosperity of Vice: A Worried View of Economics by Daniel Cohen. Johannes Steenbuch on creativity and the ethics of productivism.
A new issue of Latin American Journal of Economics is out. Nora Lustig (Tulane), Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva (Colegio de Mexico), and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez (UNDP): The Decline in Inequality in Latin America: How Much, Since When and Why. Nora Lustig (Tulane) and Darryl McLeod (Fordham): Inequality and Poverty Under Latin America’s New Left Regimes. Brazil's economic rise is forcing it to deal with a problem it long regarded as the sole concern of rich countries like the United States: the need to secure its borders and slow down a flood of drugs, illegal immigrants and other contraband. Something extraordinary is happening in Peru. Ecuador’s plan falters: The Yasuni initiative seemed to break a deadlock: it proposed the world should compensate Ecuador for not extracting oil from a biodiverse national park — but the money is not rolling in (and more). The first half of 2012 has been mixed for Latin America. Cocaine Incorporated: How the world’s most powerful drug traffickers run their billion-dollar business.
Jack M. Balkin (Yale) and Sanford Levinson (Texas): The Dangerous Thirteenth Amendment. From Acculturated, a symposium on the relationship between conservatism and pop culture. Mark Schmitt on how Obama's skills on the campaign trail explain his haplessness in the White House. A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary $21 trillion of wealth offshore — as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together. Craig Venter wants to solve the world's energy crisis. Why aren't we talking about the one thing mass murderers have in common? Erika Christakis on the overwhelming maleness of mass homicide. From The Weekly Standard, capitalism’s brave new world: We have seen the future, and it microtasks; and civil society reconsidered: Gertrude Himmelfarb on how little platoons are just the beginning. Calling all hipsters: Hipster Olympiad kicking off in Berlin. Bankers Gone Wild: James Surowiecki on how financial regulations take the wrong approach.