Gerard N. Magliocca (Indiana): "Too-Big-To-Fail" States. A look at the states most likely to go bankrupt: Find who's in the deepest debt — it isn't who you think. The 50 Worst States in America: American States are fond of trumpeting their superlatives — but if you're all so great, how come the country's giving off the distinct odor of failure? The United States of Shame: Whether it’s a fat population, high rate of STDs or excessive tax rate, it turns out that every state ranks dead last in at least one unsavory category (and a response: The United States of Awesome). The Secession Solution: Kirkpatrick Sale on a data-based plea for the Independent States of America. What would it look like if red states formed their own country? It has long been true that California on its own would rank as one of the biggest economies in the world — but how do other American states compare with other countries? “50 and 50” is an ongoing project where fifty designers from across the US will each reinterpret their state’s motto. Here is a map of the US showing Google's autocomplete suggestions for states. From Cartophilia, a look at a map on food by state. America is a nation of Smiths, Johnsons, and Sullivans, but also of Garcias and Nguyens — see what surnames proliferate in your part of the country. Welcome to Utopia: A historical guide to Massachusetts's quest for perfection. A look at the prehistoric treasure in the fields of Indiana.

Andreas Follesdal (Oslo): Rawls in the Nordic Countries. Alberto Chilosi (Pisa): The Long March of Italian Communists from Revolution to Neoliberalism: A Retrospective Assessment. Yiannis Kokkinakis (Crete): Grasping for the Thread: Greece and the Ongoing Global Crisis. Where is the geographical midpoint of Europe? The question is straightforward enough, but the answer isn’t. Voodoo Economics: Why has Romania slapped an income tax on witches? In Search of Lost Paris: Luc Sante reviews The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps by Eric Hazan and Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb. In Norway, start-ups say ja to socialism. British Hispanicism: For many Britons, there is a certain long-standing fascination with Spain. Gotland, the largest island in the Baltic Sea, experiences such idyllic weather that roses bloom in the middle of December. Is Belgium a failed state, and why is Belgium a country in the first place? (and more) From Crooked Timber, what’s the deal with Deutschland? A seminar on the European consequences of changes in Germany’s political economy. A review of Xenophobe’s Guide to the Estonians by Hilary Bird, Lembit Opik, and Ulvi Mustmaa. The Swiss and their guns: The relationship may be changing in Europe’s best-armed nation, which will vote on how to store guns for its standing militia. In a minor rebellion against tradition, growing numbers of Swedes about to marry are picking new names.

Annemarie Bridy (Idaho): Is Online Copyright Enforcement Scalable? From multilateral bureaucrat to populist patriot: An article on Mohamed ElBaradei's personal revolution. Back to the Future with Peter Thiel: The hedge-fund billionaire says we need more innovation — and less herd-thinking — to open a new frontier. From Greater Good, Philip Zimbardo on the psychology of evil and of heroism. With one of the world’s highest corporate tax rates, the US still raises less revenue from corporations than it used to — the reason is in the tax code. Bet Giorgis is a church built into stone, in a town frozen in biblical times. Immanuel Wallerstein on the Second Arab Revolt: Winners and losers. The Real CSI: How America’s patchwork system of death investigations puts the living at risk. From Student Pulse, an article on fascism, a political ideology of the past. The (sex) life of man: Were our ancestors free-loving communists? Every once in a while a paper hits the big time and the author gets his or her 15 minutes in the Warholian sun — that’s what’s happening to Daryl J. Bem and his paper, “Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect”. Why fear the Arab revolutionary spirit? Slavoj Zizek on how the western liberal reaction to the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia frequently shows hypocrisy and cynicism. A review of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World by Nicholas Shaxson (and more).

D. Aaron Lacy (SMU): Represent: Hip Hop Culture, the NBA Dress Code and Employment Discrimination (and more). Curtis Fogel (Guelph): A Hockey Night in Canada: An Imagined Conversation between Theorists. Does Sports Illustrated's Lance Armstrong expose prove doping? Ryan O'Hanlon breaks down ESPN’s Race and Sports Survey. Does football have a future? Ben McGrath on the N.F.L. and the concussion crisis. George B. Kirsch on the patently false baseball myth that refuses to die. You should worship Kelly Slater: Why does the world's greatest surfer get no love? Caltech is considered one of the nation’s top research institutions, but it has trouble winning men’s basketball games. A book salon on Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love by Dave Zirin. When they’re not hitting a ball, the world’s leading sports stars are stabbing at the keys on their phone. Beyond Yao: An article on the future of Chinese basketball. White up the middle: How pro football changed the American racial psyche. In ESPN’s SportsCenter, the fan still finds solace — even order — in chaos. Making a racket: Claire Davis and Elizabeth Swinbank on the science of tennis. Peaked performance: Paul Kix on the case that human athletes have reached their limits. All hail Barcelona, the world's greatest soccer team. Despite the injuries, violence is why we like the sport — and that if the game is stripped of its physical cruelty, it will no longer be football.

George E. Edwards (Indiana): Assessing the Effectiveness of Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from the Birth of the United Nations to the 21st Century: Ten Attributes of Highly Successful Human Rights NGOs. From Ethics and International Affairs, Edward C. Luck (IPI): The Responsibility to Protect: Growing Pains or Early Promise?; a review essay on books about the Responsibility to Protect doctrine; a review of Genocide: A Normative Account by Larry May; and a review of The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality by Ayelet Shachar. Peter Singer on his book The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. Beware those who sneer at "human rights imperialism": If universal rights are dismissed as "western", where does that leave Iranians, Tunisians and Sudanese battling for them? Martin Lewis on the failure of the Failed State Index. Solutions to social problems and why they work: To beat back poverty, pay the poor (and part 2). Trends in human population that will shape our future: An interview with Robert Kunzig, Senior Environment Editor of National Geographic. Top 10 aspiring nations: Here's a sampling of places vying for independence — some with more legitimate claims for freedom than others. An interview with Branko Milanovic on economic inequality between nations and peoples. The Jasmine Revolution: How did the Tunisian protests and other recent uprisings get such fanciful names?

A new issue of Church and State is out. Nicholas J. Reo (Michigan) and Kyle Powys Whyte (Michigan State): Hunting and Morality as Elements of Traditional Ecological Knowledge. From LRB, Adam Shatz reports from Egypt: Mubarak’s last breath (2010). From New York, as a web-porn tsunami continues to wash over us, what’s the damage? Yet another media industry nearly destroyed by the Internet; a youth culture more sexualized and chaste at the same time; and adult bedrooms full of three-ways, with two real people subjected to the tyranny of a busty projection. Martin Peretz is not sorry — about anything: The ever-combative former leader of The New Republic helped toughen up modern liberalism, so he’s not about to let some lily-livered lefties take him down. Is Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, a puppet master of the news media? He would like you to think so, but The New York Times’s dealings with him reveal a different story. The great French essayist Montaigne recognised that our inbuilt capacity for sympathy depends on our physical proximity to others — recent neurological research appears to back him up. The Arab Spring: Arthur Kroker on the contradictions of Obama's charismatic liberalism. Smoke and mirrors: It's time for Washington to stop giving cigarette makers an open door to developing markets. Science proves you're stupid: A review of Robert Burton's On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You Are Not.

From Logos, Jeff Madrick on economic recovery with no growth strategy. Republicans claim the poor caused the global financial collapse — new economic evidence proves they're wrong. More and more and more on American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism 1865 - 1900 by H.W. Brands. It’s the unions, Jack: Why America’s working class would fare better in a social democracy. A review of Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System by Barry Eichengreen (and more). The Competition Myth: It’s a misdiagnosis to say that America’s economic problem is a lack of competitiveness. Tyler Cowen announces his new "kindle single" The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better. A book salon on All The Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. Robert Shiller argues that rising inequality in the US was a major cause of the recent crisis, and little is being done to address it — he chooses books that give insight into human nature. What industrial safety can teach us about preventing financial meltdowns. From Democracy, two historians trace our economic mess and growing inequality to that dismal decade — the 1970s. Dean Baker on the tidal wave of nonsense on demography. Why do people who work in finance earn so much more than the rest of us?

Jeremy Waldron (NYU): The Principle of Proximity. Corey L. Brettschneider (Brown): The Value Theory of Democracy. Scott Anderson (UBC): The Enforcement Approach to Coercion. You can download the book Normative Interests and Chosen Obligations by David Owens. The introduction to Liberalism without Perfection by Jonathan Quong. The first chapter from The Real World of Democratic Theory by Ian Shapiro. What is a good life? An excerpt from Justice for Hedgehogs by Ronald Dworkin. From the Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies, a symposium on Will Kymlicka’s book Multicultural Odysseys; and a symposium on Adrian Vermeule’s Law and the Limits of Reason. The first chapter from Michael Oakeshott's Skepticism by Aryeh Botwinick. What we owe the audacious Athenians: Andre Glucksmann on the original birth of freedom. Could we plausibly believe in the fundamental tenets of classical liberalism and, at the same time, support the state’s raising of immigration barriers? Ed Rooksby on liberal citizenship, socialism and the state. A review of Measuring Justice: Primary Goods and Capabilities. Mark Lilla on China’s strange interest in Leo Strauss and other Western philosophers. More on A Brief History of Liberty by David Schmidtz and Jason Brennan. Michael Sandel explains why justice is at the heart of contemporary political debate. A review of Contemporary Debates in Political Philosophy.

The inaugural issue of Scope Magazine is out. From Foreign Affairs, Clay Shirky on the political power of social media; do the tools of social media make it possible for protesters to challenge their governments? Malcolm Gladwell argues that there is no evidence that they do; and Stephen Cook and Jared Cohen answer questions about the protests in Tunisia. Here’s an idea for a new website – I love From The L Magazine, is obsessive "curation" ruining Brooklyn? Tom McCormack wants to know. From e-flux, a special issue on Idiot Wind: On the Rise of Right-Wing Populism in the US and Europe, and What It Means for Contemporary Art by Paul Chan and Sven Lutticken. Their own private Europe: American conservatives have long used the myth of a failing Europe to argue against progressive policies in America. The new world of porn is revealing eternal truths about men and women. Is democracy good for peace? Limited democracies and weak dictators may escalate conflicts. Here are four reasons why Egypt’s revolution is not Islamic. The slow-photography movement asks what is the point of taking pictures? Eric Alterman on how Marty Peretz undermined liberalism: As editor-in-chief of The New Republic, Martin Peretz spread the virus of liberal self-hatred. Charlie Rose is the anti-Twitter: The US talk-show host has made his name with his easy-but-serious interview technique. Brains and Brawn: Does weight lifting make you smarter?

Kyla Tienhaara (RIN): A Tale of Two Crises: What the Global Financial Crisis Means for the Global Environmental Crisis. Today, engineers are capable of radical, large-scale climate manipulation; Erika Engelhaupt investigates the global management strategies they are designing to control temperature spikes on Earth. Only recently have economists begun thinking systematically about directed technical change as a major weapon against global warming. How fences could save the planet: As politicians get bogged down in debating complicated strategies to fight climate change, Mark Stevenson meets an Australian accountant with an amazingly simple idea. John Carey on calculating the true cost of global climate change. Thomas Schelling on the economics of global warming: Melting glaciers, rising incomes, and food. Does helping the planet hurt the poor? No, if the West makes sacrifices, says Peter Singer. From Monthly Review, John Bellamy Foster on capitalism and degrowth — an impossibility theorem; Fred Magdoff on ecological civilization; and a review of Blackout: Coal, Climate and the Last Energy Crisis by Richard Heinberg. Scientists say that 2010 topped the temperature and precipitation charts, providing fresh evidence that global warming is real. Dire prediction for the Year 3000: Even if humans stop producing excess carbon dioxide in 2100, the lingering effects of global warming could span the next millennia. Can we trust climate models? Increasingly, the answer is "yes".