From the Journal of Democracy, Olivier Roy (EUI): There Will Be No Islamist Revolution; and Hillel Fradkin (Hudson): Arab Democracy or Islamist Revolution? From Qantara, an interview with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi; and an interview with Egyptian political scientist Ammar Ali Hassan ''The Constitution is a catastrophe''. Two years after the beginning of the Arab Spring, the promise of revolutions remains unclear; what we have learned: social media is a very inadequate tool for revolutionary change. The Arab Spring and the Internet: Roundup of recent studies that bring a scholarly, data-driven lens to questions around the Arab Spring. As the chaotic transition towards democracy continues in North Africa and Yemen, the fighting in Syria is intensifying — and, less noticed, opposition to the Arab monarchies is growing. This could be the birth of an independent Kurdish state: The great losers in the breakup of the Ottoman empire could be winners in the wake of Syria's civil war and the Arab spring.
From The Weekly Standard, Gertrude Himmelfarb on compassionate conservatism, properly understood. Mali is not a Stan: When it comes to covering Africa's latest conflict, it's suddenly amateur hour. For the past 40 years, Amanda Feilding, countess of Wemyss and March, has worked tirelessly to break down taboos surrounding LSD and other psychoactive drugs. Does the “end of history illusion” really exist or has hype and stylish presentation generated an illusory illusion? Christine Kim interviews Ai-jen Poo, one of Time and Newsweek’s most influential people of 2012, who works to address a swiftly aging population, and an exploited workforce, by reforming domestic labor standards. Who will be the new Miramax? An excerpt from Inside Track for Independent Filmmakers: Get Your Movie Made, Get Your Movie Seen and Turn the Tables on Hollywood by Adam Leipzig.
Nancy H. Hornberger (Penn) and Karl F. Swinhart (Chicago): Bilingual Intercultural Education and Andean Hip Hop: Transnational Sites for Indigenous Language and Identity. Paolo Massa and Federico Scrinzi (Bruno Kessler): Manypedia: Comparing Language Points of View of Wikipedia Communities. On the Spanish island of La Gomera, an ancient whistling language that once seemed to be dying out is now undergoing a revival. Barbara King on Jared Diamond, a New Guinea campfire, and why we should want to speak five languages. From Geocurrents, is it English or Engelsk? Asya Pereltsvaig on Indo-European languages that have recently received much attention in the press and the blogosphere (and part 2 and part 3); and Taiwanese linguist Sung Li-may races to save the dying Kanakanavu language. Tackling the faux pas of the German language: From "doner murders" to "moors' heads," German is full of discriminatory terms.
From The Hairpin, Nicole Cliffe and Edith Zimmerman debate Amazon and other blog affiliate programs (and part 2). Christiane Hoffmann and Rene Pfister on Germany and Israel, a relationship full of misunderstandings. How close are we to Doomsday? The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says we’re five minutes to midnight. Christopher Matthews on the economics of immigration: Who wins, who loses and why. From FDL, a book salon on How Sex Became a Civil Liberty by Leigh Ann Wheeler. Luc Christiaensen and Lorraine Telfer-Taivainen on measuring poverty over time. Will machines ever master translation? Language translation is proving to be one of the hardest tasks to automate — and one of the most important. Jane Shilling reviews The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz. Holy crap! 27 percent of Americans believe God will determine the Super Bowl’s outcome.
From Grantland, from a new series on the Winners' History of Rock and Roll, here is part 1: Led Zeppelin, part 2: Kiss, part 3: Bon Jovi, and part 4: Aerosmith. Did the American songbook kill jazz? Jazz has venerated its own traditions for so long that the music seems stale and the audience is gone. Can recordings of classical music ever be in concert with concert hall performances? The quasi-Marxist pop star: A listen to Ke$ha’s body of work suggests that there is much more going on under the surface than is perhaps apparent at first glance. Mary McCarthy writes in defense of Air Supply: Making love and 70s soft rock sonnets out of nothing at all. Benjamin Shapiro on reasons why it's impossible to get laid on tour. Research suggests alternative music taste in teens predicts criminal behavior. Mark my words, internet: melodica virtuosity will have its day on YouTube.
Joan Barcelo-Soler (NYU): Contextual Effects on Subjective National Identity and Nationalist Vote in Catalonia. Gregory Slysz on why the quest to establish a European "national" identity will fail. Gordon N. Bardos on how the spectre of separatism haunts Europe. Nationalism is a virus, federalism the cure: John Thornhill reviews De la Democratie en Europe by Sylvie Goulard and Mario Monti. The preface from The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities by Harris Mylonas. From The Guardian, was the first world war accompanied by a rising literary nationalism? The Rest is Noise festival is set to examine the ways in which national spirit permeated the cultural landscape in the years either side of 1914. From The Globalist, the Germans did not have an overseas empire in the 18th century — how did they still become a force in trade, science, religion and exploration?; and how did Germany link its own ideas to those emerging from France, North America and South America in the late 18th and 19th centuries? Alex Danchev reviews The Nation Made Real: Art and National Identity in Western Europe, 1600-1850 by Anthony D. Smith.
Franita Tolson (Florida State): Benign Partisanship. Amir Ganjavie (Toronto): Role of Utopia for Design of Future Cities: Utopia in Urban Planning Literature. Martijn Koster (Utrecht) and Monique Nuijten (Wageningen): From Preamble to Post-project Frustrations: The Shaping of a Slum Upgrading Project in Recife, Brazil. The introduction to The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future by W. Patrick McCray. James Kalb on cultural assimilation, a threat to Catholic identity. What do mathematicians do? Jason Rosenhouse wonders. The New Power Map: Aviezer Tucker on world politics after the boom in unconventional energy. Carolyn Brighouse reviews Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time by Tim Maudlin. Enda O’Doherty reviews Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment by Stephen Kotkin.
Surya Deva City (Hong Kong): Can Robots Have Human Rights Obligations? A Futuristic Exploration. Josh Blackman (South Texas): Robot, Esq. John Niman on rise of the military robot. Has the robot uprising already happened? Dominic Basulto wonders. Martin Ford on why robots are worse for the economy than you think. Ben Richmond on what the Czech play that coined the term “robot” tells us about today's robonomics. The FDA approves first robot for hospital use. How will humans and robots coexist? Robots will be everywhere in 2030, but not necessarily as humanoid domestic help. Dick Pelletier on sentient machines, the next step in human evolution. From Wired, better than human: Kevin Kelly on why we should let the robots take over; and Helene Mialet on Stephen Hawking, Vader and being more machine than human. Behavioural acceptance of existing superhumans: V.R. Manoj on the path to equal acceptance of the differently abled.
Jorge Heine (Wilfrid Laurier) and Joseph F. Turcotte (York): Tweeting as Statecraft: How, Against All Odds, Twitter Is Changing the World’s Second Oldest Profession. Formidable and exacting, Jacques Barzun was one of America's greatest public intellectuals and a presence at Columbia for fifty years; on the occasion of Barzun's death at 104, fellow critic John Simon remembers him. What if there were some economic issues upon which libertarians and left-liberals agreed? Max Borders interviews Dean Baker. Eleven leading academic associations have written an open letter condemning the government's plans for open access publishing as a “rushed policy” which poses a real threat to the “international standing of British Universities and research”. Two conservatives who sit on the boards of mainstream right-wing groups control a PAC that gave thousands of dollars to a racist organization.
Linda S. Bosniak (Rutgers): Birthright Citizenship, Undocumented Immigrants and the Slavery Analogy. Geoffrey Heeren (Valparaiso): Persons Who Are Not the People: The Changing Rights of Immigrants in the United States. Research suggests hispanic immigrants are assimilating just as quickly as earlier groups. From FDL, a book salon on Killing the American Dream: How Anti-Immigration Extremists Are Destroying the Nation by Pilar Marrero. Whose body is this? Forensic scientists are working to identify the anonymous corpses of thousands of unlucky immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. Rebecca Hamlin reviews Run for the Border: Vice and Virtue in U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings by Steven W. Bender. From Wonkblog, Dylan Matthews on five things economists know about immigration; and Sarah Kliff on the insanely confusing path to legal immigration, in one chart. Taking off: Pedro Salazar Ugarte on Mexico’s demographic challenge. Is Mexico the new Land of Opportunity? Kent Paterson wonders. What country’s legislature made the greatest stride in attacking climate change last year? Let’s try Mexico.