Bill Nasson (Stellenbosch): Dabbling in History: More Apprenticeship than Sorcery. From Full Stop, a review essay on historians and their problems by Michael Fisher. Christopher Heaney on experimental narratives and history, William Cronon, storytelling, and James Joyce. Ignas Kalpokas reviews Rhetoric and the Writing of History, 400-1500 by Matthew Kempshall. L.D. Burnett on the reluctant historian. From IHE, Serena Golden interviews Robert Townsend, author of History's Babel: Scholarship, Professionalization, and the Historical Enterprise in the United States, 1880-1940; and a new documentary puts cultural historian and academic gadfly Russell Jacoby on screen — Scott McLemee gets a front-row seat. David Armitage on the “international turn” in intellectual history. The shape of history: Marc Parry on Ian Morris, historian on a grand scale (and more).
Peter C. Caldwell (Rice): The Welfare State as the End of Western Civilization: Conservative Critique in the Early Federal Republic of Germany. Catholic hospitals, kindergartens and nursing homes — which are primarily tax-funded — are causing problems for Germany's social welfare state, but some politicians are fighting back. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt on Europe’s battle over symbols: Multiculturalism has created separate societies within the same territory. Rewriting the history of Muslims in modern Europe while addressing current Islamophobia: Historian Lucette Valensi has taken up a challenge that would have sent most of her colleagues running. Mick Power reviews A Secular Europe: Law and Religion in the European Constitutional Landscape by Lorenzo Zucca. Three out of four “persecuted” Christians lose their ECHR discrimination cases.
Gerhard Michael Ambrosi (Trier): Aristotelian Accounting. Whether it’s drinking coffee in Seattle, smoking hookah in Istanbul, sipping sake in Tokyo, or eating ibogaine in the jungles of Cameroon, drug use is deeply ingrained in the cultural traditions of humanity. Look inside any book published since 1970 and you will find the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) — but perhaps not for much longer. Beyond Kickstarter: May Honan on why one site shouldn’t dominate crowdfunding. Peter Christoff interviews Jared Diamond on The World Until Yesterday. What do the violent obliteration of New York City and the self-destruction of the police have in common? According to The Anti-Banality Union, these are two key motifs in “Hollywood’s dream diary”. Obama will abolish the suburbs: Jeff Turrentine on the Agenda 21 conspiracy to “wipe out freedoms of all U.S. citizens”.
Marjan Malesic (Ljubljana): The Contemporary Military: Between Public Indifference and Trust. Gregory E. Maggs and Lisa M. Schenck (GWU): Modern Military Justice: Cases and Materials. Peter Siminski, Simon Ville University, and Alexander Paull (Wollongong): Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries. The soldier as sexual aggressor: Soldiers can degenerate into barbarians during times of war. The Rape of Petty Officer Blumer: Sabrina Rubin Erdely goes inside the military's culture of sex abuse, denial and cover-up. Ian Birchall reviews Arms and the People: Popular Movements and the Military from the Paris Commune to the Arab Spring. Ben Wadham and Amy Hamilton on camouflage: Using visual arts and sociology to understand the military. Why is the Marine Corps fighting with the Navy over a camouflage pattern? E. Reid Ross on the 5 least intimidating military uniforms around the world.
Ezio Di Nucci (UDE): Habits, Nudges, and Consent. From Counterpunch, David Rosen on the Great One, Two Punch: Socialize costs, privatize profits. Yochai Benkler on the dangerous logic of the Bradley Manning case. Over the past century, the average IQ in industrialized countries has risen to keep pace with the complexity of modern life; IQ researcher James Flynn discusses why those gains have occurred and whether they are likely to continue. Caleb Hannan on the ten weirdest members of Congress. Colin Lecher on how we know nothing about the correlation between videogames and violence — why are we still debating this? David Ropeik on the messy (and risky) ways that governments try to manage risks. Amos Jones reviews The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader. Molly Ball on 5 false assumptions political pundits make all the time.
From Pacific Standard, how the Gini Coefficient, an equation cooked up by Mussolini’s numbers guy, came to define how we think about inequality — from Occupy Wall Street to the World Bank to the billionaires at Davos. One of the more interesting ironies of history is that Jacob Marschak, the man who laid the foundation for modern quantitative finance, began his career as a Marxist revolutionary. Scientists’ contributions to finance: Clive Cookson reviews The Physics of Finance by James Owen Weatherall. Outsmarting con artists: Laura Carstensen has co-founded a research center aimed at preventing catastrophic incidents of financial fraud. Good fences make good bankers: Too Big to Fail becomes Too Big to Jail — an update. Chris Arnade on why it’s smart to be reckless on Wall Street. Banker prep: Kevin Roose on how getting a Wall Street internship became a cottage industry. The way they live now: Michael Lewis reviews Capital by John Lanchester.
Vivian E. Hamilton (William and Mary): Liberty without Capacity: Why States Should Ban Adolescent Driving. Marissa Mayer thinks feminists are a drag — is she right? (And Sheryl Sandberg is not going to be your mentor.) How badly will casino mogul Sheldon Adelson's bribery admission hurt Republicans? The sexual caterwaul: Michael Hinds reviews The FBI’s Obscene File: J. Edgar Hoover and the Bureau’s Crusade Against Smut by Douglas M Charles. Rebecca Boyle on why Obama's picks for energy and environment chiefs show he means business on climate change. Charles Foster on medical law: A very, very, very, very short introduction. Which long magazine profiles of Aaron Swartz should you bother to read? Adrian Chen investigates. Kevin Hartnett on every possible photograph that could ever exist. Stefan Kanfer reviews Jews and Words by Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger.
Rafael Domingo (Navarra): The New Global Human Community. Ming-Sung Kuo (Warwick): On the Constitutional Question in Global Governance: Global Administrative Law and the Conflicts-Law Approach in Comparison. Grainne De Burca (NYU), Robert O. Keohane (Princeton) and Charles F. Sabel (Columbia): New Modes of Pluralist Global Governance. Peter J. Spiro (Temple): Sovereigntism's Twilight. Willem van Genugten (Tilburg): The UN: A Law-maker on the Move. James Crawford (Cambridge): The Term of Office of the UN Secretary-General. Joanna Harrington on incorporating UN General Assembly declaratory texts into domestic law. Natalie Beinisch reviews What’s Wrong with the United Nations (and How to Fix It) by Thomas G. Weiss. Jesse Walker reviews Here Come the Black Helicopters! UN Global Governance and the Loss of Freedom by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann.
From The Atlantic, Peter Osnos on the enduring myth of the “free” Internet: We somehow have come to believe that information is free, but people with Internet access pay substantial sums to get it — sums many can't afford. Massimo Pigliucci on how information doesn’t want to be free. Michael V. Copeland on why the Internet needs a Plan B. Stop pretending cyberspace exists: Treating the Internet as a mythical country makes us dumber. Is smart making us dumb? A revolution in technology is allowing previously inanimate objects — from cars to trash cans to teapots — to talk back to us and even guide our behavior; but how much control are we willing to give up? The Quantified Man: Klint Finley on how an obsolete tech guy rebuilt himself for the future. Mark Hurst on the Google Glass feature no one is talking about. Goodbye MSN, messenger of the nineties: you completed me.