Ivo Wallimann-Helmer (Zurich): The Republican Tragedy of the Commons: The Inefficiency of Democracy in the Light of Climate Change. From The Atlantic Monthly, what if we never run out of oil? New technology and a little-known energy source suggest that fossil fuels may not be finite; this would be a miracle — and a nightmare; and we can't address climate change without carbon reduction, but we also can't afford to neglect a vital second option: carbon capture. Kevin Drum on why cap-and-trade in Europe is working just fine. From Harvard Law Review, Richard Lazarus, Ann Carlson, and Michael Gerrard offer their comments on President Obama's pledge to combat climate change with executive action. Earth Day once mattered — why doesn't it anymore? Michael Kazin on how the environmental movement has failed to connect climate change to the everyday lives of people. Burn our planet or face financial meltdown — not much of a choice.
Charles C. Jalloh (Pittsburgh): What Makes a Crime Against Humanity a Crime Against Humanity? From the The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics, here is the entry on “Borders” by Anssi Paasi. Did the Occupy Wall Street movement waste its moment in the sun? Martin Sandbu reviews The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement by David Graeber, Meme Wars: The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics by Kalle Lasn and Adbusters, and Occupy: Three Inquiries in Disobedience by WJT Mitchell. Nomy Arpaly reviews Against Absolute Goodness by Richard Kraut. Old white men and their guns: David Karol on how the tribalism of gun owners gives them their political firepower. The trouble with speeches: Demosthenes was the greatest orator in classical history — he also stoked the flames of the Greek pride that persists to this day.
Houston Wood (Hawaii Pacific): Religion and Violence: An Introduction. Esther Moller reviews Religion in an Age of Imperial Humanitarianism, 1850-1950. From Foreign Policy, Buddhist monks have been major instigators of the recent violence against Muslims in Burma; and weren’t Buddhists supposed to be pacifists? Their religion may stress peace, but some Buddhists are showing that they’re entirely capable of violence in the name of faith. Chip Berlet on why we need to understand the apocalyptic worldview of a small group of radical Muslims. Jessica Frazier reviews And Man Created God: Kings, Cults and Conquests at the Time of Jesus by Selina O'Grady. Richard Wolin on Biblical blame shift: Cherry-picking from shaky evidence, the German Egyptologist Jan Assmann argues that the ancient Hebrews sparked centuries of religious violence. Barak Mendelsohn reviews Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective.
Ben Bradford (Oxford), Jonathan Jackson (LSE), Mike Hough (London): Police Legitimacy in Action: Lessons for Theory and Practice. Jane Bambauer (Arizona): Defending the Dog. The British overseas territory of Pitcairn Island, midway between Auckland, New Zealand, and Panama, could almost be a testing ground for Hobbes versus Rousseau. Middle Earth v. Duniverse and the different worlds of Tolkien and Herbert: Mark Wegierski compares and contrasts two of the 20th century’s most successful fantasy writers. Joshua Kurlantzick on his book Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government. Scientists create an imaginary library of every chemical compound that could exist. The case for less: Tim Wu reviews Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler.
Eric Schickler (UC-Berkeley): New Deal Liberalism and Racial Liberalism in the Mass Public, 1937–1968. Meera E. Deo (Thomas Jefferson): Separate, Unequal, and Seeking Support. Kimani Paul-Emile (Fordham): The Regulation of Race in Science. W. Ralph Eubanks on how DNA ancestry testing can turn our notions of race and ethnicity upside down. Thomas Sowell on intellectuals and race: There is nothing unusual about different racial and ethnic groups having different achievements (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). Jamelle Bouie on making (and dismantling) racism: Racism was built with policy as much as it was with prejudice. Can an honest conversation about race be inoffensive? The larger the group, the smaller the chance of forming interracial friendships, a new study shows. David Rose on the 5 weirdest things that can cause you to be more racist.