The US came into being within an empire, alongside other empires, and found its place in a world order rooted in European-Atlantic expansion — so, while President Obama has changed the tone and emphasis of foreign policy, his overall goal remains to ensure US power and authority. John Mearsheimer on Imperial by Design: Like his two most recent predecessors, President Obama is embarking on a foreign policy bent on global domination, which only intensifies America's terrorism problem and fails to prepare for a rising China. America is still the richest and most powerful country on earth thanks to geography says historian Ian Morris, but if history is any guide then China will be next — and things could get violent. What if US influence goes into retreat? A review of Washington Rules by Andrew Bacevich, How Wars End by Gideon Rose, and The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-strapped Era by Michael Mandelbaum. After Hegemony: A review of Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope by Chalmers Johnson, and The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas by Steven Weber and Bruce W. Jentleson. The United States has quietly asked allies like Yemen and Pakistan for some extraordinary favors in its war on terrorism — is it really so terrible if WikiLeaks forces them to explain those demands? An interview with John Lewis Gaddis on the history of international relations.

A new issue of Air and Space Power Journal is out. Individual and Society: Ivonaldo Leite on the dialectical conception of history. The love that dares to constitute an evolutionary mystery: A review of Animal Homosexuality: A Biosocial Perspective by Aldo Poiani. In Kyrgyzstan, bride kidnapping is considered an old tradition. Demography favors Democrats, as the influence of Latinos and millennials grows, while geography favors the GOP, as the fastest-growing states are solid red — a look at America’s political horizon. The new census data may favor Republicans, but long-term demographic trends favor Democrats. Geocurrents takes a look at the oddities and anomalies of Svalbard. Understanding "Ba Ba Ba": Research is teasing apart the phonetic components of babble, along with the interplay of neurologic, cognitive and social factors. Look: What your reaction to someone's eye movements says about your politics. Change has come to the entertainment industry: The story of what did happen, and what the pirate kings have done since then, is highly instructive if you want to understand what's going on in the digital world right now. Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager is a recently retired financial wizard and co-author with n+1 of Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager (and part 2). Narrative dignity, hidden memories: Ariel Dorfman on a meditation on reconciliation, from Chile to South Africa and Beyond.

A review of A History of Natural Philosophy: From the Ancient World to the Nineteenth Century by Edward Grant. A review of Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe by Martin Bojowald. A review of Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe Roger Penrose. The first chapter from How Old Is the Universe? by David A. Weintraub. No evidence of time before Big Bang: Latest research deflates the idea that the universe cycles for eternity. A new test that takes data from several realms of physics could explain what really happened in the first sliver of a second after the Big Bang. Our cosmos was "bruised" in collisions with other universes: Astronomers find first evidence of other universes (and more). Dark matter and dark energy are typical examples of what is known in the philosophy of science as “theoretical entity”. From Smithsonian, a special section on Mysteries of the Universe. Science "faction": Is theoretical physics becoming "softer" than anthropology? A look at Stephen Wolfram's search for the computer program that governs the universe. Dave Munger test-drives two newly unveiled tools for understanding vast sets of cultural and scientific data. Rapid shifts are the hallmark of climate change, epileptic seizures, financial crises, and fishery collapses — deep mathematical principles tie these events together. Pi in the sky: Is mathematics a divine language? Zap, you're smart! Mild brain shock stimulates math skills.

From, do Americans care about politics? Anthony Fowler and Ryan D. Enos investigate; and John G. Geer on campaign negativity: As American as apple pie. A review of Put the Seat Down and Other Brilliant Insights for an Awesome First Year of Marriage by Jess MacCallum. Does the Air Force Academy have the right mix of civilian and active-duty professors? Politicians lie: We know it and we don't care. The Storming of St. Barth’s: St. Barth’s, the ultimate winter playground, faces an existential threat. Which shipping company is kindest to your packages? A review of The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan. Esquire goes inside the final days of the election Harry Reid couldn't win. Pregnant Man?: Here is a first-person narrative of having a child through surrogacy, responses to that narrative by other law professors and the surrogate, and a concluding response and epilogue. Do political scandals really distract us from important issues? The Ghost of Gaffes Past: A selection of gaffes from the 2010 campaign that we should forgive. Football and sex: 2010 World Cup unsettles a myth. What happens when you unleash an entrepreneurship evangelist on an education school? The first chapter from The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters by Diane Coyle. Crime Conundrum: Why are rates of violence and theft dropping in the recession?

Richard Stith (Valparaiso): On the Legal Validation of Sexual Relationships. Graham Mayeda (Ottawa): Who Do You Think You Are? When Should the Law Let You Be Who You Want to Be? (a chapter from "You've Changed": Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity). An interview with Stuart Biegel, author of The Right to be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America's Public Schools. From The Scavenger, the biological body and its given heterosexual proclivities is normalized as a justification for the cultural meanings of men and women, but sex and gender indeterminacy needs to become a part of a radically pluralized sex/gender system — and bisexuality does not reinforce the gender binary; Sasha Sanford on how to create safer spaces for sex and/or gender diverse people; Anastasia Powell on sex, power, and the real problem with "raunch"; and a look at why sex positivity is a sham. Sex and civilization, the body as battleground: Is liberated sexuality destructive to the social order? Sure! An interview with Eric Anderson, the chronicler of homophobia's disappearance. What would Jesus do about sex trafficking? Annie Lobert is spreading the word about the dark side of prostitution, as well as God's love for hookers. A review of Sex, Lies, and Pharmaceuticals: How Drug Companies Plan to Profit from Female Sexual Dysfunction by Ray Moynihan and Barbara Mintzes. Gay activists are taking a cue from Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, but are their struggles the same?