Daniel M. Butler and Joshua Revesz (Yale): Are Ambitious Legislators More Productive When They Run for Higher Office? Nicholas Stephanopoulos (Chicago): Our Electoral Exceptionalism. Richard L. Hasen (UC-Irvine): End of the Dialogue? Political Polarization, the Supreme Court, and Congress. An interview with James Fishkin on deliberative democracy, parliamentary discontent, and the future of the two-party system. The introduction to Local Elections and the Politics of Small-Scale Democracy by J. Eric Oliver, with Shang E. Ha and Zachary Callen. Should voting be mandatory? Voting is not optional in 23 countries — here's why the United States should become the 24th. Shame on you, voter! Jason Brennan on a case for not voting. Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson, authors of The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It, on making democracy safer for governing. An excerpt from The Democracy Index by Heather Gerken on how lack of election data impacts policies to combat voter fraud. Two political scientists are publishing a study of the presidential election — as it's happening; Scott McLemee looks at the work-in-progress.
Georg Erber (DIW Berlin): What is Unorthodox Monetary Policy? Past Horizons profiles John Lewis Burckhardt, the man who discovered a “lost” wonder of the world. The difference between being lied to, and lied for: David Ropeik on why we let politicians lie. From Comment, products become obsolete; people grow — which legacy of leadership is likely to stand the test of time? Valerie Jarrett is the other power in the West Wing. The tip jar shall be the downfall of this Great Republic, evidence from 2012 and 1916: Tipping is an aristocratic conceit — “There you go, my good man, buy your starving family a loaf” — best left to an aristocratic age. Here’s another way the rich are different from you and me: they give proportionately less to charity — especially when they live in neighborhoods full of other rich people. Jeremy Stangroom on having sex when drunk — a moral dilemma.
Robin Bradley Kar (Illinois): On the Proto-Indo-European Language of the Indus Valley Civilization (and Its Implications for Western Prehistory). Turkey might be the geographic origin of languages from English to Hindi, according to epidemiological tracking techniques. An interview with Tore Janson, author of The History of Languages: An Introduction. Why are languages so different — and disorderly? Philip Ball wants to know. One language dies every 14 days; by the next century nearly half of the roughly 7,000 languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear, as communities abandon native tongues in favor of English, Mandarin, or Spanish — what is lost when a language goes silent? A look at how math can help save a dying language. Will it matter if we speak different languages in the future? While proponents of universal English language teaching for development may not intend to collude in linguistic domination, they fail to achieve any of their well-intentioned aims because they ignore the fact that language is not only about communication but also about legitimacy. Dive into the weird world of invented languages with Aidan Flax-Clark, linguist Arika Okrent, and an array of language inventors.
Samantha Besson and Alain Zysset (Fribourg): Human Rights Theory and Human Rights History: A Tale of Two Odd Bedfellows. When politicians need sex ed: Don't be embarrassed, lawmakers — throw your sexual health questions into the gym teacher's "question box". Mic Wright on the success of Buzzfeed and why newspapers are struggling to adapt to the digital revolution. Joe Biden isn’t finished: The Paul Ryan selection shone a spotlight on the vice-president; he’s ready for it — no matter what just came out of his mouth. Emily M. Bass on Occupy Wall Street protester's petition to overturn court orders requiring Twitter to turn over Tweets, location data and other information. Time to cut it out: Is male circumcision a harmless ethnic signifier or the infliction of genuine harm on a child? The introduction to Archives of Authority: Empire, Culture, and the Cold War by Andrew N. Rubin.
Samuel J. Levine (Touro): A Look at the Establishment Clause Through the Prism of Religious Perspectives: Religious Majorities, Religious Minorities, and Nonbelievers. Rachel Gillum (Stanford): Examining Muslim Americans' Confidence in U.S. Government Institutions. An interview with Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum, authors of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. The Frozen Chosen: Alaska Jews talk about life on America's Last Frontier. Do present-day Americans still exhibit traces of those austere English Protestants who started arriving in the country in the early 17th century? Daniel McCarthy on how Protestantism lost its mind. Germany treats Scientology as a cult and a threat to democracy — the U.S. should follow its example. Robert Kraynak on the liberal Catholic legacy: From strict separation to “social justice”. Paul McGlasson on his book No! A Theological Response to Christian Reconstructionism. Peter Beinart on why Americans need to wake up to attacks on U.S. Muslims. God as a drug: James Wellman, Katie E. Corcoran and Kate Stockly-Meyerdirk on the rise of American megachurches. God himself is the "what" — Jonathan Edwards spent his life studying the "where," "when," "why," and "how." A new survey shows how uncomfortable the Republican base is with Muslim and Arab people. Mark Noll reviews When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God by TM Luhrmann.