From New York, “I’m having a friendship affair”: A look at the intensely obsessive, deeply meaningful, occasionally undermining, marriage-threatening, slightly pathological platonic intimacy that can happen between women. Anna Wiener on what women actually say to each other: In a culture that often underrates female friendships, About Women: Conversations Between a Writer and a Painter, a new book of conversations between two friends, is invaluable. Rachel Vorona Cote on the art of loving and losing female friends: Friendship is not a pale imitation of sexual romance — it is a romance unto itself. Phoebe Maltz Bovy on the female friendship myth: Lacking a gang of female friends is a greater stigma than being single. Emily V. Gordon on why women compete with each other.
Derek Edyvane (Leeds): The Passion for Civility. From the Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics, here is the entry on Bernie Sanders by Jason Hannan. In Europe, Bernie Sanders would be Center-Right. Lauren Fox on how the Oregon militia is turning out to be its very own worst enemy. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) says Obama is “the most racially-divisive president” since slavery — worse than presidents who owned slaves, signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, put all Japanese Americans in camps, and made interracial marriage a felony. Cable Neuhaus on El Chapo, Rolling Stone’s necessary risk and other musings on the start of the new year in magazine media. Madeleine Morley interviews Alice Audley of Blogosphere, a magazine all about blogs, written by bloggers for the blogging and social media community. Matthew Cunningham-Cook on five reasons tariffs are great.
From PUP, the introduction to In the Blood: Understanding America’s Farm Families by Robert Wuthnow. Coal, guns, freedom: A week in the life of the town that keeps your lights on. What do you get when you mix corporate interest with religiously motivated temperance? Joe Pinsker on why breweries are so rare in the American South. Alice Hines on how Utah became a bizarre, blissful epicenter for get-rich-quick schemes. Jesus vs. Aliens: Arielle Milkman on the culture war raging in Roswell, New Mexico, the UFO capital of the world. Jack Hitt on discovering the Deep South’s cliches all over again. Andrew Moore on how the arid landscape of the Great Plains is home to generations of pioneer homesteaders — and the ruins they left behind. What the Rust Belt can teach us about white flight, gentrification, and brain drain: With a focus on why people leave, we ignore at least half of the migration story.
IH8YRST8: Jess Stoner studies drivers across the country for signs of license-plate prejudice — or, why everyone loves Vermont drivers and hates Texans. Bloom and bust: Phillip Longman on how regional inequality is out of control — here’s how to reverse it. W. Ralph Eubanks on the land that the Internet era forgot.
Justin R. Pidot (Denver): Governance and Uncertainty. Will Wilkinson on the saying that “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice” and “Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue”. Does Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump mean the Tea Party is (or should be) dead? Not so fast, say Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, and Matt Kibbe. Fox News focus group so mad they can’t do racism in public any more. Elizabeth Bruenig on what explains the Trump-Sanders crossover vote: They speak to the same American anxieties — even though they offer radically different solutions. Compassionate biology: David Pearce on how CRISPR-based “gene drives” could cheaply, rapidly and sustainably reduce suffering throughout the living world. Will Davies on the political economy of David Bowie. Here is a conversation between Zizek and Lacan.
Monica M. Gerber and Jonathan Jackson (LSE): Justifying Violence: Legitimacy, Ideology and Public Support for Police Use of Force. Ana Swanson on the forgotten way African Americans stayed safe in a racist America. A modern-day lynching: Craig Anderson was headed home to celebrate his birthday with his partner — instead, he became the victim of a brutal and violent form of racism that many in Mississippi had thought long gone. The disproportionate risks of Driving While Black: An examination of traffic stops and arrests in Greensboro, N.C., uncovered wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct. Wiley Hall reviews The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America by D. Watkins. Nightmare on Main Street: Zandria F. Robinson on racial violence and the problem of convention.
The real “Ferguson effect”: Brittney Cooper on black death, white “safety” and the growing hopelessness among young people of color. Chris Lebron on the inheritance of disaffection: For America’s black and brown citizens, holding on to the hope of a bright future requires an act of imagination. Megan Ming Francis on how to make government care about black lives. Eddie Bruce-Jones on black lives and the state of distraction.
From the Boston Globe’s Ideas, a special issue on Donald Trump. The white man pathology: Stephen Marche goes inside the fandom of Sanders and Trump. Rembert Browne on what it’s like not to look white at a Trump rally. Oregon militiamen continue to dig in, sparking fears of permanent damage at seized wildlife refuge. “These buildings will never, ever return to the federal government”. Oregon militia could face more than 10 years in prison, legal experts say. When black protesters took over a wildlife refuge in 1979, they were removed in 3 days. In Oregon, myth mixes with anger. Domestic terrorism: Phillip Martin on how conservative politicians play down threat from the far Right. Alan Pyke on the crackpot alternative legal system that threatens to escalate the Oregon standoff. Has the sovereign citizen movement hijacked the Oregon standoff? Behind the Oregon standoff, you’ll find big questions about democracy.
Jane Meyer on the secrets of Charles Koch’s political ascent: Two new documents reveal the political blueprint the billionaire developed 40 years ago, heavily influenced by the ultraconservative John Birch Society. A view from the fringe: Thomas Mallon on the John Birch Society and the rise of the radical Right. Alison Kinney on how the Klan got its hood: Members of the Ku Klux Klan did not wear their distinctive white uniform until Hollywood and a mail-order catalog intervened. Tom Rice on how the Ku Klux Klan seized cinema to become a force in America. Sam Biddle on the shitty memes of the KKK. Stormfront dating forum reveals the ugly truth about white supremacist romance.
C.J. Pascoe (Oregon): Good Guys Don’t Rape: Gender, Domination and Mobilizing Rape. Kevin Drum on how Donald Trump is a mediocre businessman. Emily Thorson on how debunking Donald Trump won’t work if you repeat what he got wrong. Elizabeth Drew on the new politics of frustration. Padraig O’Malley on why it’s too late for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine: The two-state solution is even less likely today. If I ruled the world, by Umberto Eco: “Encourage more people to attend university, but don’t make courses easier”. After Cologne, we can't let the bigots steal feminism: Why can't we always take sexual assault as seriously as we do when migrants and Muslims are involved as perpetrators? Here are the papers delivered by participants at the Themes on Territory, Justice, and Rivers Workshop (4-5 June 2015).
Gabor Halmai (Eotvos Lorand): Religion and Constitutionalism. Amy Erica Smith (Iowa State): Authoritarianism and Church Influence on Ideology and Behavior. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Northwestern): Expert Religion: The Politics of Religious Difference in an Age of Freedom and Terror. The first chapter from Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion by Elizabeth Shakman Hurd. Kamila Klingorova and Tomas Havlicek (Charles): Religion and Gender Inequality: The Status of Women in the Societies of World Religions. Jeremy Sabella reviews The Rebirth of Latin American Christianity by Todd Hartch and Latino Mennonites: Civil Rights, Faith and Evangelical Culture by Felipe Hinojosa. Joseph Morrill Kirby (ICS): On the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) versus the New Atheists. Americans are in the middle of the pack globally when it comes to importance of religion.
David Barnhizer (Cleveland State): “Something Wicked this Way Comes”: Political Correctness and the Reincarnation of Chairman Mao. Is the Tatler list of important people a Marxist plot? Obama frees American hostages in Iran while the conservative media fumes. Arendt among the Americans”: How did her adopted nation influence her thinking? Restoring King: There is no figure in recent American history whose memory is more distorted than Martin Luther King Jr. (and more) Quoctrung Bui and Margot Sanger-Katz on why the government owns so much land in the West. Jonathan M. Ladd on how the New Republic lost the battle over American liberalism: Interracial politics and skepticism of sending troops overseas became essential to liberalism, leaving the magazine behind. Emily Badger on the problem with too much parking.
Should progressives re-litigate Obamacare? Paul Krugman on how there are many reasons to think that it just wouldn’t work. Put the public option back on the table: It can help bridge the huge divide on health care between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It’s time to start taking Bernie Sanders seriously. You say you want a revolution, Bernie? Sanders’s theory of political change isn’t as plausible as Hillary Clinton’s. Jonathan Chait on the case against Bernie Sanders: Great person to have in the Senate — terrible choice to be presidential nominee. Don’t be fooled by Bernie Sanders — he’s a diehard communist. Nate Silver on how Donald Trump is really unpopular with general election voters. Portrait of a party on the verge of coming apart: With the Iowa caucuses just two weeks away, can Republicans reconcile themselves to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, or will the GOP break into pieces?
Cass Sunstein (Harvard): (1) Do People Like Nudges?; (2) Which Nudges Do People Like?; and (3) The Rise of Behavioral Economics: Richard Thaler’s Misbehaving (and more). Unless you are Spock, irrelevant things matter in economic behavior: Richard Thaler on how people are not as rational as economists would like to believe, but there are ways to nudge people into doing what’s best for them (and more). Nicolas Cornell (Penn): The Aesthetic Toll of Nudging. Andres Moles (CEU): Nudging for Liberals. Christopher McCrudden (QUB) and Jeff King (UCL): The Dark Side of Nudging: The Ethics, Political Economy, and Law of Libertarian Paternalism. Heidi M. Hurd (Illinois): Fudging Nudging: Why “Libertarian Paternalism” is the Contradiction It Claims It’s Not.
Matthias Weber (Vilnius): Behavioral Economics and the Public Sector. Philipp Hacker (Humboldt): More Behavioral vs. More Economic Approach: Explaining the Behavioral Divide between the US and the EU. Harvard Jesse Singal on what the White House’s Behavioral Sciences Team discovered in its first year. Frank Pasquale on why “nudges” hardly help: The reason there’s so much unhealthy eating isn’t undisciplined individuals — it’s the existence of junk food itself.