Rainfall and Democracy: Why have some countries remained obstinately authoritarian despite repeated waves of democratization while others have exhibited uninterrupted democracy? Stanford's Stephen Haber and the University of Washington's Victor A. Menaldo argue that "settled agriculture requires moderate levels of precipitation, and... eventually gave birth to the fundamental institutions that under-gird today’s stable democracies."

From Foreign Policy, travel writing ain't what it used to be: If you like your adventure stories devoid of any eating, prayer, or love, try the classics. Travel writing is dead: Eat, Pray, Love was just the nail in the coffin — an ardent traveler looks at an entire genre gone narcissistic and brainless; and travel writing lives: the nostalgists are wrong — in fact, travel writing is better than ever, and it's got more to tell us about our globalized world than dry policy writing does. Flavorwire lists 10 seminal books for world travelers. The latest edition of The Best American Travel Writing includes four essays which you can read at World Hum. Financial Times looks at the end of the guidebook: "Travel publishers are piling into the smartphone app market, hoping to persuade customers that it's worth paying for software that comes with their book's trusted tone and voice." Tony Hiss on ten books and a movie that evoke "deep travel." Maximiliano Korstanje "put[s] the non-places theory under scrutiny considering that there is no place in the world that can be termed non-place."

In the 1930s Wilhelm Reich, perhaps best known as the author of The Sexual Revolution, developed the theory that it was possible to explain the basic concepts of Marxian economics without employing complicated economic terms and arguments. Socialist Standard publishes for the first time in English an article he wrote in 1935 under his pseudonym of Ernst Parell for the Zeitschrift für politische Psychologie und Sexualokonomie while in exile in Denmark.

Multicultural steampunk is a prime example of how someone can grasp the “punk” banner by the handle and wave it for themselves.

Maebh O'Gorman (UCD): Global Warming: A Tragedy of the Commons. George Caffentzis (USM): The Future of "The Commons": Neoliberalism's "Plan B" or the Original Disaccumulation of Capital? Tara Murphy (CSIS): Security Challenges in the 21st Century Global Commons. From the Washington Quarterly, Abraham M. Denmark (CNAS): Managing the Global Commons; Ross Liemer (Tsinghua) and Christopher F. Chyba (Princeton): A Verifiable Limited Test Ban for Anti-satellite Weapons; Shawn Brimley (DoD): Promoting Security in Common Domains; and can India be a partner in shaping the global commons? James Grimmelmann (NYLS): The Internet Is a Semicommons. From Utne Reader, a series of article on the case for the commons, including an interview with Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom; and a new political dawn. An interview with Herb Reid and Betsy Taylor, authors of Recovering the Commons: Democracy, Place, and Global Justice.