From the Naval Postgraduate School's Strategic Insight, a special issue on Extended Deterrence, Security Guarantees, and Nuclear Proliferation: Strategic Stability in the Gulf Region, including Shahram Chubin (CEIP): Extended Deterrence and Iran; and Lewis A. Dunn (SAIC): Strategic Reassurance if Iran “Goes Nuclear”: A Framework and Some Propositions. From Tehran Review, Shervin Nekuee on Najaf, the cradle of Iranian politics today. A review of Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia by Robert Lacey. From the IJBS, Kusha Sefat on how Saudi Arabia does not exist. From NYRB, a review of books on Dubai. From The National, a review of books on Beirut. Marjo Buitelaar and Nirvana Saad (Groningen): Ramadan in Contemporary Cairo: Consumption in the Name of Piety and Authenticity. The Pharaoh Must Fall: In the lead up to the 2011 presidential elections Egypt is witnessing the emergence of never before seen resistance to its out of touch and decrepit despot. Latter-day sultans: A clique of fortunate sons in the Middle East is set to take over their fathers' sclerotic dictatorships, but this is not regime change — monarchy is back. From The Washington Quarterly, Alastair Crooke on the shifting sands of state power in the Middle East. Western academics continue to debate the best means of promoting democracy, but in reference to the Arab world they misread the reasons for the democratic deficit. David Hirst is the voice of reason in Middle East journalism. Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh on the perils of making art about sex and politics in the Middle East.

A new issue of the Journal of Global Social Work Practice is out. From Culture Unbound, a special section on surveillance, including Henry Krips (Claremont): The Politics of the Gaze Foucault, Lacan and Zizek. From Electric Literature, here are five arguments against e-reading. Ever wonder what happens to unclaimed baggage? One place it goes is Scottsboro, Alabama, to the Unclaimed Baggage Center, where previously lost or forgotten items find a new home. A review of Exploring Happiness: From Aristotle to Brain Science by Sissela Bok. A review of Short: Walking Tall When You’re Not Tall at All by John Schwartz. Why can’t anyone take a joke any more? Douglas Murray wants to know. A review of The Management Myth: Debunking Modern Business Philosophy by Matthew Stewart. Bookstore Tourism is a national grassroots effort to support indie bookstores by promoting them as a group travel destination. When did we all turn blond? Now it’s apparently permissible to openly commit tonsorial treason by abandoning one’s roots. A review of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army By Jeremy Scahill. In fear of fear: This, indeed, is the sort of deadlock that makes for dreadful recessions — demand stays sluggish, while gun-shy firms can’t talk themselves into the same damn-the-torpedoes boosterism that helped sustain prior booms. A review of books on advertising. On HTMLGIANT and networking in the literary scene: An interview with Blake Butler. When narcissism becomes pathological: A certain amount of self-regard is healthy, but when it is characterised by an insatiable need for attention and a chronic lack of empathy, the results can be frightening. An essay on vampires and vampirism and the pathological roots of a myth.

From State of Nature, a special issue on academia. Mark Auslander (Brandeis): The Other Side of Paradise: Glimpsing Slavery in the University's Utopian Landscapes. From Eurozine, a special section on the bonfire of the universities: University strikes in 2009/10 coincide with the ten-year anniversary of the Bologna process, a debate enflaming (not only) Europe. For University of Alberta’s Indira Samarasekera, running a university is an exercise in high-stakes risk management. Zaytuna College's motto is, "Where Islam meets America"  — it's the first Muslim college in the United States. A GAO study finds 15 for-profit colleges used deceptive recruiting tactics. From Business Week, a look at the pros and cons of B-School. Simon Balto writes in defense of ethnic studies and American history. From The Chronicle, Richard Vedder writes in defense of college rankings. From The Consumerist, here are 5 reasons why every single college ranking is a pile of crap. The Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings, unlike U.S. News and World Report and similar guides, asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country. Kevin Carey on the case for building new public universities. From Dissent, Jeffrey Williams  on universities and the perils of philanthropy. An academic Rip Van Winkle: David Hiscoe returned to academe after more than 20 years in the corporate world and found that what had driven him away has only become worse. "We have decided not to die": Focusing on California and the subprime model of state education, Marina Vishmidt interviews people who have practical and analytic experience of the university occupations movement. Never mind Tolstoy: "This is kind of our protest to say that we're in charge of our sexuality", says one campus sex columnist.

From Identity in the Information Society, a special issue on the next generation in the evolution of privacy. The naked choke: Documenting a lifelong love affair with extended bouts of unconsciousness. While engineers can be judged almost instantly by the quality of their work, a longer-term view is required when examining the reputations of our politicians. What do you do with these things? An interview with Andrew Pettegree, author of The Book in the Renaissance. A review of People of Shop & Awe by Adam Kipple, Andrew Kipple, and Luke Wherry. An interview with William Powers, author of Hamlet's Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. A review of The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow (and more and more and more). If science has not actually killed God, it has rendered Him unrecognisable. The End of Civilization as We Know It? A Duke Magazine Forum explores the future of reading; and the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition may be the most intensely difficult intellectual contest ever designed for undergraduates. Bishkek Blunder: Did Kyrgyzstan's government facilitate ethnic cleansing? A review of The Man With The Golden Touch: How The Bond Films Conquered The World by Sinclair McKay. The first chapter from The Axe and the Oath: Ordinary Life in the Middle Ages by Robert Fossier. A review of Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda by Carolyn de la Pena. Take the Evolution Challenge: To gain real knowledge of humanity, every field needs to drink from the "cup" of evolutionary theory. Who's got more Twitter influence, you or Hugo Chavez? See how world leaders are using the Internet to increase their political capital.

From State of Nature, a special issue on labor movements. Unions have been in decline for decades; Jake Rosenfeld details the shocking extent of this decline and its inequality-increasing effects. From Policy Review, John McGinnis and Max Schanzenbach on the case against public sector unions. But he looked good on paper: Out of necessity, tech startups are changing the way workers are screened and hired. A labor war ended: SEIU and UNITE HERE come to terms. A review of Occupy! A Short History of Workers' Occupations by Dave Sherry. A review of Solidarity for Sale: How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and Undermined America’s Promise by Robert Fitch. Eliseo Medina, SEIU's new secretary-treasurer, is a champion of immigrant rights and an innovator in the fight to unionize marginalized service-industry workers. The explosion of low-wage jobs is due, for the most part, to the declining bargaining power of America's employees. From ARPA, a review of books on the everyday world of work. From Socialist Standard, surely having to work for a wage or a salary is a modern form of slavery; and what happens when you swap your wage-slavery for a rucksack? You get communism. E.J. Dionne Jr. on why he misses Big Labor. Too big not to organize: An international coalition of unions tries to unionize capitalism’s core, the banks. Robert Kuttner on the case for presidential action: There is a lot the administration can do without legislation. Why do CEOs make so much money? Almost anybody can be a CEO: Chief executive "success" essentially demands no more than greed and a developmentally arrested ego. Robert Reich on how to end the Great Recession: To fix the U.S. economy, we must finally deal with wage inequality. Can spending money on welfare actually save jobs?