From Foreign Policy, it’s hard to find people who are optimistic about the future of Russian democracy — Leon Aron explains why he’s one of them; and can Russia reform its outmoded military without scaring the United States? In a new report, Russian opposition leaders describe the presidential perks enjoyed by Vladimir V. Putin, including palaces, a fleet of jets and droves of luxury cars. Putin’s God Squad: After years of repression under Communist rule, the Orthodox Church is back at the heart of Russian politics. Nicholas Breyfogle and Jeffrey on Russia and the race for the Arctic. Snow Job: Siberia is the West’s new hunting ground for young girls to morph into supermodels — and the industry is warping their lives. Amy Knight on Russia and the new struggle with Putin. Leonid Kosals on Russia between chaos and dictatorship. John M. Handley reviews The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia by Angus Roxburgh. Russia’s toughest prisons: what can the Pussy Riot band members expect? The fifth problem: How Moscow State University discriminated against Jewish applicants using deceptively simple problems. Yvonne Howell reviews When Pigs Could Fly and Bears Could Dance: A History of the Soviet Circus by Miriam Neirick.

A new issue of Common Ground is out. Neil Gershenfeld (MIT): How to Make Almost Anything: The Digital Fabrication Revolution. The challenges of a Darwinian approach to psychological disorders: Martin L. Lalumiere reviews Maladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory. Michael Lind on the case against a “grand bargain”: A deal that cuts entitlements would be bad for mainstream Americans — and besides, what's the rush? A new form of western deviance: William Skidelsky reviews You Aren’t What You Eat: Fed Up With Gastroculture by Steven Poole. Garson Romalis on why he is an abortion doctor. Insert coins to continue: Can a video game company, a Greek economist, and the largest barter market in history stop the recession — and save capitalism? Jernej Amon Prodnik reviews Towards a Critical Theory of Surveillance in Informational Capitalism by Thomas Allmer. Do people really walk in circles when they’re lost? Matt Soniak investigates. Open seas: James Holmes on how the Arctic is the Mediterranean of the 21st century. An interview with Mark Kingwell, author of Unruly Voices: Essays on Democracy, Civility and the Human Imagination.

Geoffrey Heeren (Valparaiso): Persons Who Are Not the People: The Changing Rights of Immigrants in the United States. From The Social Contract, a special issue on the victims of immigration. From The New Yorker, James Surowiecki on why it pays to have immigrants stay; and the party next time: As immigration turns red states blue, how can Republicans transform their platform? Harold Meyerson on the future of the white man's party. Why immigration reform won't solve the GOP's huge problem with minorities. Timothy McGettigan on Barack Obama and the death of white Republican privilege. Michael Tomasky on how the Right is still racist. Chrissie Long on the impact of immigration on anti-Hispanic hate crime in the United States. Jonathan Cohn on stuff white people like. Death in the desert: Are American vigilantes murdering undocumented immigrants in Arizona? An interview with Jeff Biggers on the Arizonification of America. Chris Barsanti reviews What’s the Matter with White People? Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was by Joan Walsh (and more and more). Obama can only do so much: Angry older whites have to decide if they want to secede from our multiracial future.

From the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Rainer Hegselmann (Bayreuth): Thomas C. Schelling and the Computer: Some Notes on Schelling's Essay "On Letting a Computer Help with the Work". A look at how a “Dream Team” of behavioral scientists advised the Obama campaign. John Wenzel reviews Totally Mad: 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity and Stupidity. It's MAD's world, but is there any room left for it anymore? Eli Saslow on how GOP’s Red America is forced to rethink what it knows about the country. Karl Steel reviews Monsters, Gender and Sexuality in Medieval English Literature by Dana M. Oswald. Changing savings habits: Can financial education in grade school have long-term effects? Robert Wright on the real David Petraeus scandal. Joan Walsh on the real Petraeus scandal. Felix Salmon on the deliciousness of Rolling Jubilee. The truth about Ben and Jerry’s: Contrary to myth, the sale of Ben & Jerry’s to corporate giant Unilever wasn’t legally required. Kathryn Doyle interviews Roger Musson, author of The Million Death Quake: The Science of Predicting Earth’s Deadliest Natural Disaster.

Matthew Hollow (Durham): Pre-1900 Utopian Visions of the “Cashless Society”. From’s Past Imperfect blog, Mike Dash on the neverending hunt for utopia: Through centuries of human suffering, one vision has sustained — a belief in a terrestrial arcadia that offered justice and plenty to any explorer capable of finding it. Ian James reviews Existential Utopia: New Perspectives on Utopian Thought. Civilisation is making humanity less intelligent: The simplicity of modern life is making us more stupid, according to a scientific theory which claims humanity may have reached its intellectual and emotional peak as early as 4,000 BC. State Purposes: Terrell Clemmons on utopian creep and the struggle for human rights and freedom. Utopia is a fantasy about a supposedly perfect society; if Distributism is Utopian and Capitalism is not, it is because Capitalism is not only a fantasy, but also a nightmare. The ends of humanity: Socialism is dead, and the transhuman future looms — is there any way to recover a sense of global purpose? George Dvorsky on the 7 best case scenarios for the future of humanity.

From Words Without Borders, a special issue on Banned Chinese Writers. From China Left Review, a special issue on Democracy: Critiques and prospects. Rogier Creemers (Oxford): Neo-Liberal Leninism with Chinese Characteristics: China's Complicated Media Governance. Kevin K.S. Tso (Hong Kong): Fundamental Political and Constitutional Norms: Hong Kong and Macau Compared. Are Chinese societies more susceptible or inclined to corruption? Patrick Kim Cheng Low investigates. Inconvenient Truths: Hannibal Rhoades on de-bunking China’s plan to settle nomadic populations. George Walden reviews Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao's Famine by Yang Jisheng. Cyril Pereira on the dangers of patriotic education: Hong Kong is right to be cautious, as events have shown in China. Waiting for the great eighteenth: On the eve of China’s eighteenth party congress, life in Beijing is changing in increasingly obvious ways. China has hipsters, too: A study of the country's "cultured youth". Hong Kong loves weird English names — they're becoming more common, and they're not getting any less odd. Carrie Gracie on Kublai Khan, China's favourite barbarian.

From Skepsi, a special issue on (De)Parsing Bodies. Charles Eisenstein on why Occupy's plan to cancel consumer debts is money well spent. Maps tell us as much about the societies that produced them as the cities, continents and oceans they represent: Carl Wilkinson reviews A History of the World in Twelve Maps by Jerry Brotton and On the Map: Why the World Looks the Way it Does by Simon Garfield. A post-election honor roll: Ezra Klein on who to trust more now that the election is over. When Adam Kotsko decided to write a book on awkwardness, telling people about the project initially served as an all-purpose gimmick, redefining any awkward situation as “research”. George Scialabba on progress and prejudice. Andrew Potter reviews The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? by Doug Saunders. Phil Bowermaster on human exceptionalism and why the questions matter. You wouldn't know it by watching the news or reading the paper, but America's banks are on the largest crime spree the country has ever known. Wiley partners with TED: New instructor materials help educators incorporate TEDTalks into curriculum.

A new issue of the International Journal of Zizek Studies is out. C.G. Bateman (UBC): Sovereignty's Missing Moral Imperative. From the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, a special issue on the work of Eric Santner, author of The Royal Remains: The People's Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty. A review of Hermeneutic Communism: From Heidegger to Marx by Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala. From the Marx and Philosophy Review of Books, Joseph Spencer reviews Dialectics and Contemporary Politics: Critique and Transformation from Hegel through Post-Marxism by John Grant; Bryan Smyth reviews The Philosophy of Recognition: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives; and Guy Lancaster reviews The Apprentice’s Sorcerer: Liberal Tradition and Fascism by Ishay Landa. Georgia Warnke reviews Reason, Tradition and the Good: MacIntyre's Tradition-Constituted Reason and Frankfurt School Critical Theory by Jeffery L. Nicholas. The Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics is hosting a conference on “Thinking the political: The work of Ernesto Laclau” from April 10 to April 12, 2013.

A new issue of Philosophy in Review is out. From Boston Review, a forum on debt relief, including a lead essay by Mike Konczal, and responses by Dean Baker, Tamara Draut, Jacob S. Hacker and Nathaniel Loewentheil, and Barbara H. Fried. From New York, John Heilemann on the 2013 Campaign: Now that Obama won the election, the race to decide the future begins; Jonathan Chait on how we just had a class war — and one side won; and Frank Rich on how Republicans are not the only ones afflicted with post-fact syndrome. Advanced analytical methods, based on radioactivity and radiation, have recently revealed that therapeutic dental filling was in use during the Stone Age. Valerie Tarico on why Bible believing Republicans say what they do and actually mean what they say about rape. How Fox News created a new culture of idiots: An excerpt from Assholes: A Theory by Aaron James. Felix Salmon on the problem with the Red Cross. Shock as royal website baldly states: Camilla will never be queen. Martin Stack reviews The Economics of Beer. Will President Obama seize the moment on climate change? (and more)

From Highbrow magazine, Keli Goff on the disturbing rise in hate group activities as elections neared. From The Village Coice, John Surico on how the racist Tweet war against Obama comes to New York. From the John Birch Society’s The New American, James Heiser on how Obama’s reelection is boosting gun stocks and sales. A review of State of White Supremacy: Racism, Governance, and the United States. From e-flux, John Miller on the politics of hate in the USA (in 3 parts). From, are military hate groups on the rise? Ward Carroll investigates. Season Butler reviews Irregular Army: How the US Military Recruited Neo-Nazis, Gang Members, and Criminals to Fight the War on Terror by Matt Kennard. Khaled A Beydoun on how white supremacy is the new national security threat. Robert Killian risked his life to infiltrate the violent subculture of neo-Nazis in Florida; in the end, it cost him dearly. Federal agents arrest dozens of members of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and charged them with murder, kidnapping, racketeering and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.