Richard Wilcox (GWU): The Effect of United Nations Peace Operations on Post-Civil War Human Rights. Frederic Megret (McGill): From Peacekeeping to R2P: The Protection of Civilians as the UN's New Raison D'Etre? David Williams reviews Humanitarian Intervention and the United Nations by Norrie MacQueen. Amending the UN Charter: Kalpana Murari on making the United Nations work for global commons. Roger Morgan reviews Governing the World: The History of an Idea by Mark Mazower. From UN Chronicle, open access and closed minds: Nalaka Gunawardene on balancing intellectual property and public interest in the digital age. An interview with Robert Kirkpatrick, director of UN Global Pulse, on the value of Big Data. Ali Wyne has some thoughts on the United Nations. Psy makes the U.N. cool: What happened when YouTube’s breakout star met the U.N. secretary-general? Attention all UN enthusiasts and history buffs: The UN History Project, a new project collecting archival history of the United Nations and international institutions, has been launched. Obama's secret plan to give the United Nations control of the military and the Internet has been exposed. Back to work: Colum Lynch on 7 things the U.N. can finally get around to doing now that the U.S. election is over.
Daniel L. Thornton (FRB-St. Louis): The Federal Reserve's Response to the Financial Crisis: What It Did and What It Should Have Done. A review of Child Care in Black and White: Working Parents and the History of Orphanages by Jessie Ramey. The man who smelled too much: William Nowell got a windfall and got off the streets; the only problem were his neighbors — and his foul odor. Should we have a new constitutional convention? John Paul Stevens reviews Framed: America’s Fifty-One Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance by Sanford Levinson. Seth Goldin on how everything you think you know about the McDonald’s coffee case is wrong. Political animals: Research into group decision-making in social animals has shown that ants, fish, birds, and bees have all discovered strategies to make intelligent group decisions — if they can do it, we can do it, right? Peter Stone reviews The Science of Language: Interviews with James McGilvray by Noam Chomsky. Yarden Katz interviews Noam Chomsky on where artificial intelligence went wrong. Are taxes too damn high? Grover Norquist and Andrea Louise Campbell debate.
From Poroi, a special issue on Future Tense: Iowa looks ahead to the next four years. Alan Haworth on Obama’s debt to Rawls: Anyone who doubts the ability of philosophy to influence “real world” politics should study the text of Obama’s victory address. Michael Scherer goes inside the secret world of the data crunchers who helped Obama win. Forget Nate Silver: Meet Ruy Teixeira, the guy who called 2012 in 2002 (and more). An interview with Victoria Bassetti, author of Electoral Dysfunction: A Survival Manual for American Voters. Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez and Tom Ginsburg on five voting systems even worse than the Electoral College. You're not moving to Canada: Adam Alter on the psychology of post-election melodrama. The Five Nations of American Politics: Joel Kotkin on why it's all about Ohio. For a guy who made his fortune from gambling, Sheldon Adelson sure is a lousy better. David Weigel on how the "Super PACS wasted a lot of money on stupid crap" is becoming a popular election wrap-up theme. Dean Baker on why climate change, not the national debt, is the legacy we should care about. Forget about 2012: The race for the White House in 2016 has already begun.
Herman L. Boschken (SJSU): Global Cities are Coastal Cities Too: Paradox in Sustainability? Steven Aoun on Hurricane Sandy as the perfect storm in every way. Rena Silverman on why New York City is the worst place for a hurricane. The civilizing power of disaster: Where was all the chaos, looting, and mass-panic during Hurricane Sandy? Genius: Ben Paynter on the Nickelback story. Life after TED: Ideas conferences have lost their spontaneity, says Richard Saul Wurman — so he staged a $16,000-a-ticket event. The world’s largest fashion retailer: From an unfashionable corner of economically disheveled Spain, Zara has conquered the “fast fashion” market by learning a new way to understand shoppers all over the world. The myth of the coach and the problem with college sports: Simon van Zuylen-Wood reviews Paterno by Joe Posnanski. Brass politics: A look at how retired military officers are shaping elections. Solving the afterlife: Vinnie Rotondaro interviews John Martin Fischer, a philosopher who was awarded a five million dollar grant to oversee a philosophical, theological, and scientific study on the question of immortality.
From Cracked, Jack O'Brien on 6 dumb celebrities who are way smarter than you think. Many scholars and critics warn that TV and the Internet are dumbing us down — but, if that's true, why are children around the world performing better on IQ tests? From The Wall Street Journal, are we really getting smarter? Americans' IQ scores have risen steadily over the past century — James Flynn examines why (and more); and Bryan Caplan reviews Are We Getting Smarter? Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century by James Flynn (and more). If the significance of the “Flynn Effect” is appreciated, we will stop looking at IQ trends as exotic numbers and see them as signs of social problems, changing social relationships, and what aging does to our minds. From This Side of the Pond, Marie Cummings on the Flynn Effect and teens, and on IQ and generational differences. Which genes are responsible for intelligence? Kayt Sukel wants to know. Intelligence and the stereotype threat: Annie Murphy on how social factors can have a powerful influence on intelligence. If intelligence is the norm, stupidity gets more interesting: One researcher wonders if scientists, instead of seeking genes that can account for intelligence, should be trying to find mutations that can erode it.
Henrik Juel (Roskilde): Social Media and the Dialectic of Enlightenment. Are social networks risky?: Mehmet Sahinoglu and Aysen Dener Akkaya on assessing and mitigating risk. "Freshwater will be the new oil": Alexander Gorlach interviews Vint Cerf, one of the "fathers of the internet," on innovation, social networks, and the future of human society. Meet Scott Vener, the music man making Myspace cool again (or trying to). Turning memes into gold: An interview with Ben Lashes, the world’s premier meme agent. Chris Horton on Google’s utopian quest: Benevolent tech monopoly of the future? Kim Zetter on how a Google headhunter’s e-mail unraveled a massive net security hole. Is Wikipedia going commercial? It started out as the greatest free resource on the Web, but now the encyclopedia is drawing profit-seeking writers. Dominique Cardon on the Internet and its democratic virtues. Charles Graeber goes inside the mansion — and mind — of Kim Dotcom, the most wanted man on the net. From Daily Dot, Fernando Alfonso on 4chan's 9 most memorable controversies; and Lindsey Weber attempts what no person has before: a list of lists of lists of lists.
Simon Luechinger and Christoph Moser (KOF): The Value of the Revolving Door: Political Appointees and the Stock Market. Susan Marks (LSE): Four Human Rights Myths. Kieran Oberman (UCD): Immigration as a Human Right; and Can Brain Drain Justify Immigration Restrictions? The prospects for labor law reform may seem laughably remote — all the more reason to rethink strategy now, before the next chance; after 60 years of law tilted toward employers, it’s time to make labor organizing a civil right. Who’s the greatest Jewish athlete? An interview with Franklin Foer about Jewish jocks, and how they changed sports history. Molly Redden on how the “fiscal cliff” is Wall Street’s chance to court Democrats again (and more by Jonathan Cohn). By popular demand: James Fallows on one last immersion in the world of the Atlas Shrugged guy. From the Brennan Center for Justice, Keesha Gaskins and Sundeep Iyer on why we need redistricting reform; and Lawrence Norden on simple solutions to fix voting machines. Hunting number 113: The periodic table of the elements just got a new member; at least, maybe it did — it’s hard to tell.
From Businessweek, a special section on city planning: How can we make our cities more sustainable, efficient, and prosperous in the years ahead? From GeoCurrents, an article on mapping “global cities”. From the Toronto Review of Books, a review of Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey. Matt Bevilacqua on using Google Street View to see a city’s personality. Hamburg’s HafenCity is unique in the extraordinary efforts made in pursuit of a “planned urbanity”. P.H. Liotta and James F. Miskel on megacities: The past, present and predictions for the future. Nate Berg on where urban land growth is about to explode. Laura Vaughan reviews Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities by Carl H. Nightingale. Rebel cities: Occupy Wall Street staged a rebellion against corporate corruption and economic inequality in Manhattan’s parks and streets, but the battle for the city began with nineteenth century electrification of Broadway. Matthew Thomas Clement reviews Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham. Will the city of the future look as insane as this?
Ittay Nissan-Rozen (HUJ): Doing the Best One Can: A New Justification for the Use of Lotteries. From FDL, a book salon on Don’t Buy It: The Trouble With Talking Nonsense About the Economy by Anat Shenker Ororio. Lach De Crespigny and Julian Savulescu on the continuing tragedies of home birth and the rights of the future child. How do we care for future people? J. Hughes on Buddhist and Jain ideas for reproductive ethics (and part 2 and part 3). How to buy a daughter: Choosing the sex of your baby has become a multimillion-dollar industry. Tigers need tourist traps: Ralf Buckley on how the best protection many endangered species have is tourism dollars. Dave Zirin on the lockout lawyers destroying sports. When its banks failed, Sweden made a miraculous turnaround — could the U.S. imitate it? Jennifer Miller reviews A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving by Eugene Bardach. David Callahan on why Obama should raise taxes on the middle class. Meet the real Sons of Anarchy, an anti-fascist motorcycle club in Athens, Greece, patrols the community, fighting neo-Nazis who attack immigrants.
James E. Parco (Colorado College): For God and Country: Religious Fundamentalism in the United States Military. From FDL, a book salon on Irregular Army: How the US Military Recruited Neo-Nazis, Gang Members, and Criminals to Fight the War on Terror by Matt Kennard. Aaron B. O’Connell on the permanent militarization of America (and more by Stephen Walt). The Few, the Proud, the Infantilized: Bruce Fleming on how America's military academies have become mockeries of their own ideals. From Small Wars Journal, Peter J. Munson on military culture and its implication for the future force. Brian McAllister reviews The Generals: American Military Command From World War II to Today by Thomas E. Ricks. General failure: Thomas Ricks on how a culture of mediocrity has taken hold within the Army's leadership ranks — and why America's military future depends on uprooting it. From Foreign Policy, soldiers these days need less muscle and more maturity, so why do we still focus on recruiting 18-year-olds?; and why are all these advocacy groups aligning themselves with the military? There are changes afoot for the women’s uniforms in the interest of “gender neutrality”.