A new issue of the Goettingen Journal of International Law is out, including a special section on the International Criminal Court; Bernhard Kuschnik (EICC): Humaneness, Humankind and Crimes against Humanity; and Johanna Fournier (Bucerius): Reservations and the Effective Protection of Human Rights. Andreas Follesdal (Oslo): Universal Human Rights as a Shared Political Identity: Necessary? Sufficient? Impossible? A review of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History by Samuel Moyn (and more and more and more and more). An interview with Jean Bricmont on the abuse of human rights discourse, relations with Iran and the value of international law. Onur Bakiner (Yale): History, Ethics, Politics: Rethinking the Legacy of Truth Commissions. A review of United Nations Justice: Legal and Judicial Reform in Governance Operations by Calin Trenkov-Wermuth. Eric Reeves on the annoyance of international justice. The July conviction of Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch — the 68-year-old head of the Khmer Rouge’s leading torture center — by a special UN–Cambodian criminal court has been seen as a breakthrough in international justice. A review of The Politics of Genocide by Edward Herman and David Peterson (and more). If we’ve learned anything from the trials for genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda, Bosnia, and now Cambodia, it’s that they don’t dispense victor’s justice — the sentences lean toward the light side. Paul Kagame is proving to be a pliant Western ally, but a shocking new UN report shows why the Rwandan president can no longer claim to be a victim — and it's time to hold him accountable (and more and more). A review of A Time for Machetes: The Rwandan Genocide — The Killers Speak by Jean Hatzfeld.

A new issue of Triple Canopy is out. From the inaugural issue of Konturen, a special section on Political Theology and the Question of the Border, including Tracy McNulty (Cornell): The Gap in the Law and the Border-Breaching Function of the Exception; Peter U. Hohendahl (Cornell): Political Theology Revisited: Carl Schmitt's Postwar Assessment; and Leonard Feldman (Oregon): Schmitt, Locke, and the Limits of Liberalism. Is Canada’s use of “traditional ecological knowledge” in resource planning an environmental advance or just a political sop to native tribes? A review of Invasion of the Mind Snatchers: Television's Conquest of America in the Fifties by Eric Burns. Fantasy Politics: Is it time to awaken from the American dream? From TED, Eric Berlow on how complexity leads to simplicity. The Unstoppable Infomercial: Even an economic downturn can’t prevent these sometimes bizarre products from selling. In the first intercollegiate "muggle" Quidditch match Middlebury College slaughtered Princeton 100-0 — take that Princeton, you can’t be good at everything. Will birth control solve climate change? The Era of Error-Tolerant Computing: Errors will abound in future processors — and that's okay. There's little money to be made in actually curing people — the question is, should we give drug companies financial incentives to develop antibiotics? The scholar of revolution Alexander Rabinowitch in Berlin: "I'm not fomenting revolution, I'm studying it". Marcus Boon on his book In Praise of Copying. The introduction to Scripting Addiction: The Politics of Therapeutic Talk and American Sobriety by E. Summerson Carr. Dean Baker on why the economy's current problem has nothing to do with deficits. From The New Yorker, will New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg run for President in 2012?

New research shows the importance of Archaea, one of three domains into which all living things are classified, for understanding all of biology. The origin of complex life: It was all about energy. Bacteria ‘R’ Us: Emerging research shows that bacteria have powers to engineer the environment, to communicate and to affect human well-being — they may even think (and more). An interview with Helene Guldberg on books on man and ape. The persistent paradox of human uniqueness: Does the example of a forgotten Darwin critic have any lessons for us? The chaos theory of evolution: Forget finding the laws of evolution — the history of life is just one damn thing after another. The Gates of Immortality: Did biology evolve a way to protect offspring from the ravages of aging by creating a physical barrier that separates the parent from its young? From Slate, some animals live for 400 years — what can they teach us about extending life?; and here is a modest proposal to slow aging and extend healthy life. Brooke the Immortal: An American child may hold secrets to aging. How beer, Oprah and Sergey Brin can help cure aging: An interview with Aubrey de Grey. From Wired, why breasts are the key to the future of regenerative medicine. Here are the top five reasons transhumanism can eliminate suffering. Human being in an inhuman age: What does it mean to be human amidst super-human technological advances? Think transhumanism is a relatively new social and intellectual phenomenon? Guess again — George Dvorsky revisits the proto-transhumanists Diderot and Condorcet. The “bodily turn” in philosophy began to emerge well before the current millennium, though its progress continues unabated. Keith Norbury on technology, ethics, and the real meaning of the “Rapture of the Nerds”. Kyle Munkittrick on why we need Gattaca to prevent Skynet and global warming.

From Vice, an article on the forgotten starts of 1970s terrorism. The Palin Network: A who’s who and what’s what of the inner circle of the leading Republican shadow candidate. A review of Parting Shots: The Undiplomatic Final Words of Our Departing Ambassadors. How the cell phone is changing the world: The impact of the ubiquitous device extends from politics to business, medicine, and war. As NPR celebrates its 40th anniversary with a new oral history, VF.com puts faces to the public-radio network’s biggest names. The Lies of Islamophobia: John Feffer on the three unfinished wars of the West against the Rest. You always hear about how New York’s Times Square was more fun way back when, when hookers and porno ruled, before America’s terror mayor Rudy G. “took back the streets” by banishing the Squeegee Men and welcoming Disney into the fold, and maybe it was — but more aptly, it was a different era. Online comments maybe not a total waste of time: Conversations on news sites show how information and ideas spread. A review of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Matt Taibbi on how the courts are helping banks screw over homeowners. Is this a "golden age" for air travel? Travelers of the 21st century, count your blessings. Pretty good for government work: Warren E. Buffett says thanks are in order for an economic meltdown averted. In Treatment: In Argentina, psychoanalysis is as common as Malbec. Whit Stillman is Running Late: First Things tracks down the revered director as he makes his first new movie in twelve years — if he hurries. In a newly published exchange of letters, Michel Houellebecq and Bernard-Henri Levy prod, parry, and spar. A review of The Fear of Barbarians by Tzvetan Todorov.

Corey Robin (CUNY): Conservativism and Counterrevolution. Jan-Werner Mueller (Princeton): Comprehending Conservatism: A New Framework for Analysis. A review of Conservatieve Vooruitgang (Conservative Progress). From The Point, what conservatism is for: Jonny Thakkar on why conservatives should read Marx; and James M. Wilson on the drama of cultural conservatism. Why conservatives love war: From Edmund Burke through Francis Fukuyama, conservative thinkers have been drawn to the idea, if not the actuality, of combat. From Five Books, Brink Lindsey recommends books on traditional and liberal conservatism (and more); and an interview with Peter Berkowitz on books about liberty and morality. Do Republicans want to bring back Social Darwinism? The policies they promote could come from the mouths of heartless 19th century industrialists. Kim Phillips-Fein on the roots of the conservative grievance industry. The Forgotten Conservative: An assessment of Revilo P. Oliver. No more “Party of No”: How conservatives can reclaim their heritage of prudent reform. If "ideas have consequences," what's the consequence of having none? Declarations of conservatism's demise after the 2008 election were greatly exaggerated; as the opposition, American conservatives are in their element. A look at how conservative intellectuals romanticize the Tea Party. Joe Carter on God and Man in the conservative movement. George W. Bush's Decision Points is a terrifying journey into the authoritarian mind. From H-Net, a review of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media's Role in the Rise of the Right by James Brian McPherson; and more on David Farber's The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism: A Short History. A review of No Right Turn: Conservative Politics in a Liberal America by David Courtwright. A look at how Russell Kirk gave shape to a conservative movement that would transform late–20th century America from a family farmstead in Mecosta County in Michigan. Why fighting global warming should be a conservative cause.

From Geocurrents, a special series on the nation, nationalities, and autonomous regions in Spain, including the nation/nationality of Catalonia, the contested regionalism in Andalusia, Leon, and Asturias, the paradoxes of Basque politics, the parallel paths of the Basque County and Scotland, the Basques of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and a look at Spain and the fallacy of the nation-state. A grim tale of judges and politicians: The scary effect of constitutional courts on the politics of the European Union. From Berlin Review of Books, Germany goes global: Farewell, Europe? Doug Bandow on the incredible shrinking militaries of Europe. Slavoj Zizek on why the far Right and xenophobic politicians are on the rise in Europe. Is Finland the best country in the world? In praise of laziness: An investigation into 14th-century heresy explains why the French refuse to get off their derrieres. An interview with Francisco Louca about the Bloco de Esquerda in Portugal, the least known organization of the new anti-capitalist left in Europe. European man of many faces: Cain vs. Abel. Are Balkan women more promiscuous? New research has revealed that agriculture came to Europe amid a wave of immigration from the Middle East during the Neolithic period — with their miracle food, milk. Why do the French strike so much? New documents released by the Foreign Ministry in Berlin shed new light on the dramatic negotiations that led to East and West Germany becoming one. A review of An Economic History of Europe: Knowledge, Institutions and Growth, 600 to the Present by Karl Gunnar Persson. Who’s racist now? An article on Europe’s increasing intolerance. Love in a cold climate: Nordic countries revisit an old idea — union. A review of Understanding Euroscepticism by Cecile Leconte. Zygmunt Bauman is now writing for Social Europe Journal.

Timothy Martell (Murray State): Hobbes on the Simulation of Collective Agency. From FrumForum, Nils August Andresen on why America’s top students tune out the GOP (and more). The rise of anti-Muslim hate: What accounts for the increase of Islamophobia in the US and Europe? The put-ons of personal essayists: Authors' voices are often ventriloquized. Hans Rosling reframes 10 years of UN data with his spectacular visuals, lighting up an astonishing — mostly unreported — piece of front-page-worthy good news: We're winning the war against child mortality. Is there a secular body? Or, in somewhat different terms, is there a particular configuration of the human sensorium — of sensibilities, affects, embodied dispositions — specific to secular subjects, and thus constitutive of what we mean by “secular society”? Why liberals love the acerbic comedian Louis CK. If you read Outside, stay home: When we celebrate a hiker who sawed off his hand, we pay tribute to an idiot and ignore countless smarter climbers. This is the News: Here's a Beginner’s Guide to Democratic Mind Control. How pain can make you feel better: Scientists find a strange connection between physical pain and positive emotions. Peter Berkowitz reviews Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations: A William F. Buckley Jr. Omnibus (and more on Buckley). Black Swans: What if Gaussian engineering is clear, simple, and wrong? Rick Perlstein on the continuous readjustment of expectations downward: For historians like Jefferson Cowie and Judith Stein, that was the key experience of the 1970s. Frozenology: Tony Wood on how Siberia is melting. From Transcript, a special issue on Prose Fiction from Turkey. Equipping the soldier of the future: New weapons, gear, clothes coming your way.

Andrey Korotayev (RSU): The World System Urbanization Dynamics: A Quantitative Analysis. William A. Fischel (Dartmouth): The Evolution of Zoning Since the 1980s: The Persistence of Localism. Urban-rural divide no more: An increasing number of urban dwellers are retreating to the country — and taking the city with them. Witold Rybczynski, author of Makeshift Metropolis: Ideas About Cities, on the cities we want (and part 2 — and a review). Could the increasingly complex systems needed to manage the next generation of megacities become our first true artificial intelligence? An interview with Saskia Sassen: Forget London and New York, the rest of the world should want to be the next Miami. A review of The Wealth and Poverty of Regions: Why Cities Matter by Mario Polese. Boosters still maintain that big cities remain unique centers for social uplift, but evidence suggests this is increasingly no longer the case. From New Geography, Zachary Neal on why city size does not matter much anymore. How to shrink a city: Not every great metropolis is going to make a comeback — planners consider some radical ways to embrace decline. Megacities: Here is Foreign Policy's guide to the coming urban age. From H-Net, a review of books on North African and Middle Eastern cities. How will climate change impact urbanites and their cities? Matthew Kahn on his book Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future. Alphabet City: What does a city’s signage tell you about its character? The introduction to Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City. Sustainable urban mobility in 2020: To make the car of the future, we need to make the city of the future. Here is a radical public transportation solution straight out of a sci-fi novel.

From the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal's The University Bookman, a review of Shame and Glory of the Intellectuals and Unadjusted Man in an Age of Overadjustment by Peter Viereck; a review of Every Intellectual’s Big Brother: George Orwell's Literary Siblings by John Rodden; a review of Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher by Peter J. Stanlis and Practical Mystic: Religion, Science, and A. S. Eddington by Matthew Stanley; and the mystery of the universe is not its age, size, depth, or future, but the fact that, within it, we find someone who seeks to know what it is. Siberia is the Pacific Ocean of land: an enormous place that consumes not only much of the planet but the imaginations of many. A review of The Flight of the Intellectuals by Paul Berman and The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism by Theodore Dalrymple. Designers Yalin Fu and Ihsuan Lin recently unveiled a plan for a new skyscraper in Mumbai, but what separates it from others is its occupants: the Moshka Tower is not for the living, but the dead. Researchers find that assuming a powerful body position helps you feel powerful, act more self-confident and raise testosterone. An interview with Thomas Sowell, author of Dismantling America. Here are 5 ways stores use science to trick you into buying crap. Too Big To Be Governed: Financial reform will fail if industry writes the rules. Tim Wu on the future of free speech: Private censorship is as big a threat as government censorship. From The New Yorker, Louis Menand on Dick Cavett and the battles for late night. The arrest of Waleed Hasayin, a blogger who skewers Muhammad, has drawn attention to the collision between a conservative society and the Internet under the Palestinian Authority.

From ISR, Scott McLemee reviews The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad by Tariq Ali; and an interview with Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, on Obama’s national security state. You can download the book Reaching for a New Deal: Ambitious Governance, Economic Meltdown, and Polarized Politics in Obama’s First Two Years. The introduction to Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition by James Kloppenberg (and more). Can Obama rise again? Michael Tomasky reviews Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics by Ari Berman and The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism by Roger Hodge. From TAP, the Obama presidency is far from over, but little survives of the original theory behind it. The president on whom so much depends is a peculiar person, stranger than any of us realised when we voted for him — he may be most real to himself when he is promising something. The Big Lie: Andrew Sullivan on how little falsehoods and out-of-context quotes are adding up to a deceitful narrative about the president. If you were Barack Obama, you'd hate the press, too. The 2010 Midterms: How Barack Obama was undone by his own brand of social movement politics. Midterm Postmortem: There is much we do not know, but political-science research suggest some provisional answers. Greedy Geezers: Older voters’ fury hurts the Democrats. From TNR, a new interpretation of the election results: Job loss and liberal apathy; Jonathan Chait on the myth of divided government; and Jonathan Bernstein on the prospects for political reform in the coming year (and part 2 and part 3). Heads we lose, tails you win: Why do liberals tack rightward after every election?