Rosa Brooks (Georgetown): Lessons for International Law from the Arab Spring. From e-flux, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige on the Lebanese Rocket Society. lana Rothkopf reviews Political Parties in Palestine: Leadership and Thought by Michael Broning. Worth an estimated $27 billion, the enigmatic Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has very public holdings, but the private origins and exact size of his massive fortune are the subject of continued debate between bin Talal and prominent media outlets. Peter Gordon reviews A Concise History of the Arabs by John McHugo. Volker Perthes on the changing map of Middle East power. Qatar and the Syrian revolution: Why is the small Gulf state playing such a big role in Syria’s revolution? Leah Caldwell on Syria, on the cusp of hipness, then fading. The Next Arab Idol: Maysoon Zayid on Palestine's boy wonder and stereotype buster.


Jeffrey W. Alexander (Wisconsin): Civilization and Enlightenment: A Study in Computer Gaming and History Education, Surveying Student-Players of Civilization IV. From The Boston Globe’s “Ideas” section, Courtney Humphries on how we’re already building the metropolis of the future — green, wired, even helpful; now critics are starting to ask whether we’ll really want to live there; and Finn Brunton on the long, weird history of the Nigerian e-mail scam: 200 years ago, a near-perfect con was already snagging our imaginations — and wallets. Offsets are not the answer to disaster funding: A tornado puts Oklahoma's Republican senators to the test. About that dissertation: Jason Richwine on being the media’s villain of the week. Zack Beauchamp on the inside story of the Harvard dissertation that became too racist for Heritage. Brink Lindsey on why people keep misunderstanding the “connection” between race and IQ.


Alan Hyde (Rutgers): Overcoming Citizenship: Six Practical Steps for Overcoming the Hierarchy of Nationality. Marshall Poe interviews Azar Gat, author of Nations: The Long History and Deep Roots of Political Ethnicity and Nationalism. Whither nation building? Harris Mylonas on the lessons for Iraq, Syria, and Mali. Clansmen into Englishmen: Is there hope for the emergence of a well-functioning, rational state in the Middle East, in the Congo? Birth of the Nation: Pierre Manent on how this surprising political form became the framework of Western civilization. Shona Jackson on her book Creole Indigeneity: Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean. Helen Gao on China, the land of many nationalisms. The EU and its nations: Good to see the Brits are still focused on the real threat. You can download Part 1 of Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism: Bringing Theory Back In by Paul James (2006).


Magali Reghezza-Zitt (ENS) and Samuel Rufat (Cerg): What Resilience Is Not: Uses and Abuses. Max Dunbar reviews Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell. Ron Unz on our American Pravda: The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud — what are they missing today? Michael Tomasky on the Right’s scandal hypocrisy: How can people who just a few years ago were defending executive privilege suddenly become such ferocious advocates of presidential transparency? No, they can’t: Aaron David Miller on why American presidents always disappoint us. Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton on why rituals work: There are real benefits to rituals, religious or otherwise. Kafka's inner life: William Giraldi on a portrait of the author before his name became an adjective. Daniel Dennett's seven tools for thinking: An excerpt from Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.


From the new Nautilus magazine, a special issue on What Makes You So Special. Angela Potochnik reviews Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality by Helen Longino. The first chapter from The Unpredictable Species: What Makes Humans Unique by Philip Lieberman. Decoding human evolution: New technologies allow for an unprecedented look at the origins of homo sapiens — they tell us where we came from, and with whom we mingled. Evolution shaped genes in humans and dogs that correspond to diet, behavior, and disease, according to a new study. Leslie Jamison on the uses and abuses of the human body: Can you understand human history through the history of the human body? Annalee Newitz on how humans will evolve over the next million years (and an excerpt from Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction on how human evolution prepared us to survive future disasters).


The inaugural issue of ThirdFront: Journal of Humanities and Social Science is out. The first chapter from The Pity of Partition: Manto's Life, Times, and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide by Ayesha Jalal. Scientists and an atomic subcontinent: In India and Pakistan, leaders have rarely weighed the consequences of their actions — instead, they have simply reacted to events and circumstances. Ahmed Rashid on Pakistan: A new beginning? Blasphemy, free speech, and rationalism: An interview with Sanal Edamaruku. Rafia Zakaria on the real Pakistan: It would seem that the sorrows of the subcontinent are neatly divided into two — on one side lie the shroud-covered bodies of terror’s victims. Rohit Chopra reviews Citizenship and its Discontents: An Indian History by Niraja Gopal Jayal. Haris Anwar on how Pakistanis want their trashy TV, too.


Elinor Ostrom (Indiana), Christina Chang (CAFOD), Mark Pennington (Queen Mary), and Vlad Tarko (George Mason): The Future of the Commons: Beyond Market Failure and Government Regulation. From TED, Peter Singer on the why and how of effective altruism (and more). Charlotte Allen goes beyond the pale: At “white privilege” conferences, a lengthening list of victims issue an ever-more-detailed indictment of Western civilization. The voice of a silent world: Jacques Cousteau was willing to go to whatever lengths were necessary to protect the seas. A young Houston couple is planning to give away $4 billion, but only to projects that prove they are worth it — can they redefine the world of philanthropy? You are less beautiful than you think: Ozgun Atasoy on how Dove's viral video gets it wrong. Why ban the sale of cigarettes? Here is the case for abolition.


Daniel Kreiss (UNC) and Mike Ananny (USC): Responsibilities of the State: Rethinking the Case and Possibilities for Public Support of Journalism. Can partisan media contribute to healthy politics? John Sides investigates. Establishment journalism: Gilles d'Aymery on how cable news networks carry the same news, with the same advertisers, hour after hour, with only a different political leaning but all owned by the Establishment. Laurie Penny on the view from somewhere: The fallacy of bland and faceless reporting hurts journalism by allowing bias and prejudice to masquerade as hands-off objectivity. Curtis Brainard on how “balanced” coverage helped sustain the bogus claim that childhood vaccines can cause autism. Lydia DePillis on how to make journalism work on Facebook and Tumblr: The social networks' experiments in journalism ignored their most valuable asset — data.


David Herzig (Valparaiso): Justice for All: The IRS Reimagined. Michael Miller on reform after the IRS scandal: Don’t bet on it. Think the IRS was bad? Try the spying on Occupy activists (and more). From Reuters, Felix Salmon on how technology redefines norms and on why public companies should have public tax returns. Matthew Yglesias on the idiocy of taxing profits: Want Apple to stop dodging taxes? Then scrap the foolish corporate income tax. James Polchin on how Sebastiao Salgado photographs of nature are undeniably beautiful, but they also portray a typical Western gaze. Nine decades ago, Marcus Garvey was convicted of mail fraud — his supporters have alleged a conspiracy ever since. Maggie Koerth-Baker on why rational people buy into conspiracy theories. Dominic Davies reviews Prose of the World: Modernism and the Banality of Empire by Saikat Majumdar.


From Analecta Hermeneutics, a special issue on “Refiguring Divinity: Continental Philosophy of Religion”. Andrew F. March (Yale): Rethinking Religious Reasons in Public Justification. From the latest issue of Ctrl-Z, Nicole Pepperell (RMIT): The Exorcism of Exorcism: The Enchantment of Materiality in Derrida and Marx. Peter Danchin (Maryland): The Tangled Law and Politics of Religious Freedom. Thomas C. Berg (St. Thomas): Secular Purpose, Accommodations, and Why Religion is Special (Enough). Michael Hauskeller (Exeter): Something That Matters: The Religious Dimension of Moral Experience. Theocharis Grigoriadis (FUB): Religious Origins of Democracies and Dictatorships. Jeroen Temperman (EUR): Are State Churches Contrary to International Law? Troels Engberg-Pedersen reviews Paul, Philosophy, and the Theopolitical Vision: Critical Engagements with Agamben, Badiou, Zizek, and Others. Ray Pennings reviews Why Tolerate Religion? by Brian Leiter. Without the Bible, can there be democracy?

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