From the Congressional Research Service, a report on Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy. "The more time I spend on Iran, the less I think this is about religion": Naheed Mustafa interviews Laura Secor, author of Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran (and more). Mohamad Bazzi on why Trump's tough talk on Iran will backfire. Karim Sadjadpour on how America could stumble into war with Iran. Trump administration risks war with Iran over nothing. The introduction to The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen's London by Nile Green. You can download Iran After the Deal: The Road Ahead, ed. Paolo Magri and Annalisa Perteghella (2015).
Wendy Lynne Lee (Bloomsburg): The Commodification of Endangered Species and the Pathologies of Capital: Lowland Gorillas, Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles, Purple Pig-Nosed Frogs, Sumatran Elephants, and Male Baby Chicks. Yes, the Endangered Species Act should be reformed. Christopher Cox reviews Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species by Ursula K. Heise. World's mammals being eaten into extinction: First global assessment finds 301 species are primarily at risk from human hunting for the bushmeat trade. Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century. Scientists: We shouldn't bring back extinct species. Killing animals at the zoo: At Danish zoos, surplus animals are euthanized — and dissected before the public.
Democracy in the United States is strong, but showing some cracks — that is the conclusion of a new survey of 1,571 political scientists. Yes, our "flawed" democracy just got downgraded — here's why. Democracy can unravel around us, without any grand announcements of its death; recognising the epistemological obstacles to acknowledging this unraveling can help us appreciate the urgency of the situation we are beginning to face. Thread: "1. Democratic norms die slow deaths when citizens accept them as the new normal; it's important to catalog their erosion in the past month". Aziz Huq and Tom Ginsburg on how to lose a constitutional democracy.
Where we are now: George W. Bush defends the Constitution to rebuke Trump (and more). Trump embraces "enemy of the people", a phrase with a fraught history. Carlos Lozada reviews On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder.
Michael Harry Sinanian (Michigan): Jailbreak: What Happens When Autonomous Vehicle Owners Hack into Their Own Cars. Josh Blackman (South Texas): Self-Plagiarism. A bigger problem than ISIS: The Mosul Dam is failing — a breach would cause a colossal wave that could kill as many as a million and a half people. David Cay Johnston on another cabinet pick with secret ties to Putin and oligarchs. Udall floats plan to confirm Gorsuch, Garland to SCOTUS together. Steve Benen on why Trump's falsehoods about autism matter. A transgender boy just won the Texas girls' state wrestling championship, and people are not happy. Ryan Felton on why Uber is doomed. Old school: Scott Beauchamp on the bold new franchise of adulting.
Ishaan Tharoor on an act of American terror in Trump's heartland. "This President has blood on his hands": Anger at Indian's shooting in Kansas. Pressure builds for Indian engineer's Kansas shooting death to be called hate crime. Supriya Kelkar on Donald Trump's silence.
What is philosophy's point? It's not discovering truth (in 5 parts, and philosophers push back) Adam Briggle and Robert Frodeman on why policy needs philosophers as much as it needs science. Philosophy used to be a staple of television and the newspapers; not any longer — so where did all the philosophers go? Carole Cadwalladr interviews Daniel Dennett: "I begrudge every hour I have to spend worrying about politics". Skye Cleary interviews Olivia Goldhill on writing popular philosophy. Charlotte Blease on how philosophy can teach children what Google can't. Brent Silby on teaching philosophy in schools: A Socratic dialogue. Robert Sinnerbrink reviews Teaching Plato in Palestine: Philosophy in a Divided World by Carlos Fraenkel.
Trump and Paul Ryan head for a clash over the budget, and ideology. Will the Trump era finally kill Paul Ryan's wonkish cred? As Republicans gingerly begin to dismantle Obamacare, his reputation as an earnest number-cruncher is showing serious cracks. How Trump split conservatives three ways: A guide to the new intellectual camps that could reshape American politics. The crisis of conservative convictions: Many of the Never Trump opinion writers who pushed Trumpian policies in the Obama years are quiet now. Our Forger in Chief: Trump's attacks on the press and science aim to prevent us from knowing the world as it truly is. Trump shock factor fading in Washington: Republicans, once unnerved, are now shrugging off many of Trump's more audacious statements.
Elizabeth Popp Berman (Albany) and Catherine Paradeise (Paris-Est): The University under Pressure. Charlie Eaton, Jacob Habinek, Adam Goldstein, Cyrus Dioun, Daniela Garcia Santibanez Godoy, and Robert Osley-Thomas (UC-Berkeley): The Financialization of US Higher Education. Sandra Delgado and E. Wayne Ross (UBC): Students in Revolt: The Pedagogical Potential of Student Collective Action in the Age of the Corporate University. From NYRB, a review essay on college financing by Rana Foroohar. Molly Hensley-Clancy on how America's student loan giant dropped the ball. What a $2-billion loss really means for Harvard and its endowment. Don't donate to your alma mater — give to students in debt. The first chapter from Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt by Beth Akers and Matthew M. Chingos.
Michael Nunez on how ITT Tech screwed students and made millions. How to stop for-profit colleges: Lawmakers are cracking down on them for shady business practices — but Tressie McMillan Cottom says bigger forces are at play. An excerpt from Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy by Tressie McMillan Cottom. Lynn Pasquerella on how higher education should be a public good, not a private commodity.
Pao-chen Tang (Chicago): Of Dogs and Hot Dogs: Distractions in Early Cinema. Can a cat make a community? Animals bring people together — and more sociologists should study them. Feral cats are an ecological disaster. Good thing cats are adorable, because they get away with a lot of crap. Colin Dickey reviews Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer by Peter P. Marra and Chris Santella (and more and more and more and more). Michael Cholbi (CPP): The Euthanasia of Companion Animals. The case against pets: A morally just world would have no pets, no aquaria, no zoos, no fields of sheep, no barns of cows — that's true animal rights.
Taylor Shelton (Kentucky): The Urban Geographical Imagination in the Age of Big Data. A new typology of global cities: The seven types of global cities driving the world economy. Megacities will gobble up the best farmland, leaving humans hungry. Why we should build our cities upward, not outward. From Vox, Bogota closes its roads every Sunday — now everyone wants to do it; how Barcelona is taking city streets back from cars; and economists are underestimating the costs of letting small Rust Belt cities shrink. How to build the better cities of tomorrow? It takes careful planning — and political science research.
From Literary Hub, a symposium on President Trump, One Month Later. Nixon's former attorney sees "echoes of Watergate" in President Trump's first month. The story of the week is Trump, Russia and the FBI — the rest is a distraction. What lay behind Russia's interference in the 2016 election and what lies ahead? Evan Osnos, David Remnick, and Joshua Yaffa on Trump, Putin, and the new cold war. Daniel Bessner on why Michael Flynn's foreign policy ideas will live on in Trump's White House. Sebastian Gorka is the Islamophobic huckster in the White House (and more). Senior Trump aide Sebastian Gorka forged key ties to anti-Semitic groups in Hungary. H.R. McMaster breaks with administration on views of Islam. McMaster has the Islamophobes worried, and that's a good thing. We looked at the new national security adviser's writings — turns out he's the anti-Bannon. Will Trump take "brutally forthright" advice from McMaster?
Donald Trump can do a lot with the "deep state": Even if the deep state isn't real, the idea of one could do real damage. Why the leaks won't stop: President Trump may rage and fume, but as long as there are holdouts in the government who disagree with him, there's very little he can do to stop them from leaking. In sweeping move, Trump puts regulation monitors in U.S. agencies. Trump's big agenda: Reagan started it, Bush expanded it — now conservatives are poised to privatize everything in sight.
Trump will likely sell out his working-class white base — here's how. Trump voters, your savior is betraying you. At least so far Trump has needed to sustain a pretty continuous level of just batshit crazy stuff to keep his numbers in the 40% approval range. Nate Silver on why polls differ on Trump's popularity. Trump is unpopular, but not as unpopular as liberals think.