Susan Condor and Steve Fenton (Bristol): Thinking Across Domains: Class, Nation and Racism in England and Britain. From Open Democracy, Tom Nairn reviews English Nationalism and Euroscepticism: Losing the Peace by Ben Wellings; and can Labour build a Britain that works together? John Lanchester looks at the nation’s finances. Alastair Hill reviews Nick Clegg: The Biography by Chris Bowers. Michael Kenny on why our parties must respond to the rise of Englishness. Tom Mills interviews Robin Ramsay, author of Well, How Did We Get Here? A Brief History of the British Economy, Minus the Wishful Thinking. Ian Thomson reviews Bang! A History of Britain in the 1980s by Graham Stewart. Ed Miliband’s anti-immigrant stance is based on a declared “one nation” vision borrowed from the Tories. Between boxing lessons and books on Plato, the American professor Danielle Allen has campaigned for Obama and is now lending Ed Miliband a hand. Philippe Sands and Helena Kennedy write in defence of rights. Vernon Bogdanor reviews Making Thatcher’s Britain by Ben Jackson and Robert Saunders and The Conservatives Since 1945 by Tim Bale (and more). Among the thugs: Jason Farago reviews Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right by Daniel Trilling.
Seema Mohapatra (Barry): Global Legal Responses to Prenatal Gender Identification and Sex Selection. Adam Petersen reviews In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth by Richard M. Gamble. What's wrong with gay sex? An excerpt from The Philosophy Gym by Stephen Law. How a team of scholars decrypted a secret language — and discovered the last known work of Roger Williams. Why has climate legislation failed? An interview with Theda Skocpol. Through the looking glass: When a South Korean reporter headed north across the DMZ, she entered a parallel universe that was, and remains, curiouser and curiouser. Genetic diversity exploded in recent millennia: Vast number of human DNA variants arose only in the past 5,000 years. Ed Yong on what tree-climbing pygmies tell us about foot evolution. Should you go to grad school? Ron Rosenbaum tells his story. The number of development groups trying to make the world a better place is impressive and staggering — but behind the numbers is a basic question: Which ones work?
Robert Wolf (Wisconsin): Religious Giving as a Guide to the Principles of Good Taxation. Susan Pace Hamill (Alabama): Tax Policy inside the Two Kingdoms. Whispers of faith in a postmodern world: The myth of secularism triumphant in the arts is just that — a myth. Beginning the Pagan Restoration: The old ways need to be rebuilt, and Paganism will become something new and different, rooted in the ancient and fulfilling the needs of today. Frederic March reviews Damned Good Company: Twenty Rebels Who Bucked the God Experts by Luis Granados. Greg Laurie on things to do before Jesus returns. Why is God still absent from Downton Abbey? Todd Dorman wonders. Work, rest and pray: Can the ancient rules most monks still live by really make any kind of spiritual sense in today’s world? The prevalence of mental disorders among those who “do God” alone is an indictment of churches' failure to meet their needs. Christine Jeske on the myth of the Christian nut job: Relax — non-Christians think your faith is less weird than you do. Why is my God, or your God, better than someone else’s God? Adrienne Crezo on 11 upstart religions rooted in pop culture. What would Jesus do online?
Dragan M. Mitrovic (Belgrade) and Marko S. Trajkovic (Nis): The Realistic Concept of the Law. Steven J. Burton (Iowa): Normative Legal Theories: The Case for Pluralism and Balancing. From Christianity Today, Laura Ortberg Turner on why we should celebrate beautiful women — with a few caveats. Neil H. Buchanan on President Obama’s least bad options: Understanding two independent constitutional justifications for exceeding the debt ceiling, and exploring two ways to do so. Chris Lehmann reviews Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet by John G. Turner (and more). Boyd Cothran reviews Go East, Young Man: Imagining the American West as the Orient by Richard V. Francaviglia. A look at weird incorrect facts from childhood that other people have kept in their heads without reconsidering until the moment it hits them. From Aeon, for the first time in history we could end poverty while protecting the global environment — but do we have the will? John Quiggin wonders. President Obama has a bunch of ideas for reducing gun violence — so which proposals could have the biggest impact on gun crime, and which ideas could prove ineffective?
Daniel Bodansky (Arizona State): The Who, What, and Wherefore of Geoengineering Governance. Stephen Gardiner (Washington): The Desperation Argument for Geoengineering. Some see geoengineering as an easy out, a parachute for an irresponsible world — they have a point, but people deploy parachutes when their only other option is to crash and die. Is "geo-engineering" really just gardening? When it comes to attempts to actively steer the environment toward a desired outcome via geoengineering, there are some international treaties and national regulations — but most have no teeth. Pacific Ocean hacker speaks out: Is Russ George a "rogue geoengineer," salmon savior or something else? Under repair, forever: Geoengineering sounds like something from a science fiction novel, but we actually do it every day. Terraforming Earth: Kim Stanley Robinson on why geoengineering doesn’t have to be science fiction. Crossing the climate “red line”: We cannot afford to let another year go by without significant action; 2013 must be the year that we shift gears, learn how to use the brakes, and save our planet from being damaged beyond repair.
A new issue of International Journal of Qualitative Methods is out. Michael Murphy (RHUL): A Sketch of a Cosmopolitan Approach to the Social Sciences. Michael Guggenheim and Monika Krause (Goldsmiths): How Facts Travel: The Model Systems of Sociology. Randall J. Jones (UCO): The Theoretical Value of Forecasting in Political Science. Eric S. Schliesser (Ghent): Adam Smith and Anti-Mathematics. Patrick Baert (Cambridge): Positioning Theory and Intellectual Interventions. Gary King (Harvard): Restructuring the Social Sciences: Reflections from Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. An interview with Harvard’s Gary King on data, social science and media connections. Michael Hudson reviews The Social Economics of Thorstein Veblen by David Reisman. From Academe, Roberto J. Gonzalez reviews Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State by David H. Price (and more); and Ellen Marakowitz reviews Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965–2009 by Zachary M. Schrag. Raju J Das on thinking/writing theoretically about society. Reza Javaheri on fighting for the social sciences in Iran.
Pakistan’s leaders received a powerful one-two punch Tuesday as the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the prime minister in a corruption case and a firebrand cleric led thousands of protesters in a second day of anti-government demonstrations in the capital. Joshua Spivak on why Democratic presidents keep choosing Republicans as their defense chiefs. “Survival of the wrongest”: David H. Freedman on how personal-health journalism ignores the fundamental pitfalls baked into all scientific research and serves up a daily diet of unreliable information. Scared of genetically modified food? It might be the only way to feed the world. How game theory explains Washington's horrible gridlock: Mohamed A. El-Erian on why Congress can't even reach a mini-bargain — and why kicking the can down the road will remain the most likely outcome. Is the global economic establishment taking a progressive turn? William Greider on how a recent conference at the influential Peterson Institute began to acknowledge inhumanities that globalization boosters have long ignored. Why are conservatives obsessed with making women breed?
Robert L. Tsai (American): The Politics of Hate. Antonis Vradis (LSE): The Right Against the City. Mariona Lloret (UPF): Populism, Fascism and Caudillismo in the United States: The Case of Huey P. Long. From the inaugural issue of Fascism: Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies, Roger Griffin (Brookes): Studying Fascism in a Postfascist Age: From New Consensus to New Wave?; Nigel Copsey (Teesside): Fascism Studies (and the “Post-Fascist” Era): An Ideal Meeting Ground?; Wim van Meurs (Radboud): The Wall in Fascism Studies; Sven Reichardt (Konstanz): Violence and Consensus in Fascism; and Marjan Schwegman (KNAW): Questioning Fascism. Ian Thomson reviews Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini’s Italy by Christopher Duggan (and more). Il Duce calendars and beer mugs: Mussolini cult alive and well in Italy. Julia Gronnevet covers the trial of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo and writes about her courtroom experience. The 12-year-old son of neo-Nazi Jeffrey Hall is accused (and found guilty) of shooting his father to death in May 2011 — the case hinges on whether the boy knew his actions were wrong when he pulled the trigger.
From Wired, an advanced and well-orchestrated computer spy operation that targeted diplomats, governments and research institutions for at least five years has been uncovered by security researchers in Russia. Academic paper largely clears President Obama of blame over failure to pass climate legislation through Congress: Theda Skocpol accuses the DC-based environmental groups of political malpractice, saying they were blind to extreme Republican opposition to their efforts. Ezra Klein on the most depressing graphic for members of Congress: Ever wanted to be in Congress? This slide will make you reconsider. The United Nations backs French military intervention in Mali (while the US may provide airlift for operations, but no ground troops). Warren Ellis fixes gun control in America — with drones. Hunter Walker on the men who want to build an armed castle commune for “patriots”. Kevin Drum on lead and crime: A linkfest. One of the things about the Wall Street Journal editorial that makes it so consistently entertaining is that its supply-side enthusiasts are so bad at their jobs they don’t even know how to do propaganda right.
From Transhumanity, Eric Schulke on why we owe the pursuit of indefinite life extension to our ancestors; Marios Kyriazis on bio-philosophical arguments for human biological immortality: There will be no reason that denies “non-ageing” — but “if they say no”?; the mere possibility of life extension causes anxiety in people who hear of it and want to “punish” the messenger; David Pearce on humans and intelligent machines: Co-evolution, fusion or replacement?; Dirk Bruere writes in praise of the Borg: “Resistance is futile – you will want to be assimilated!”; although we may merge, be absorbed by or voluntarily become that new species it will inevitably lead to the extinction of the current Human genome and phenotype, not to mention the more vague “Human mentality”; and from humanism to transhumanism: It is now clear that humans are not the end of evolution, but just the beginning of a conscious and technological evolution. John Matson interviews Cameron Smith on how multigenerational space exploration missions and colonization might change the human genome and thus shape human evolution. The Great Filter theory suggests humans have already conquered the threat of extinction.