Anca Parmena Olimid (Craiova): Notes Towards a New Geopolitics in the Balkans: Old National Ideologies Vs. New Religious Beliefs. From Studies of Transition States and Societies, Abel Polese (TLU): Language and Identity in Ukraine: Was it Really Nation-Building?; and Donnacha O Beachain (DCU): Social and Political Perceptions of the Borat Phenomenon in Kazakhstan: Evidence from a Case Study of University Students. Europe’s ugly little dictatorship: Paul Wells on Alexander Lukashenko’s violent, corrupt, economically and morally bankrupt government. From the Oxford Handbook of the Russian Economy, here is the entry on privatization. What happened when Turkmenistan’s President for Life died? Frozen ties: A review essay on Russia. Propagandastan: Why is the Pentagon spending tens of millions of U.S. tax dollars to whitewash the image of Central Asian dictatorships? Life as an expat reaches Latvia: Surprised to find himself living there, Robert Cottrell is even more surprised to find it beguiling. From the Toronto Review, can Kyrgyzstan keep its democracy? Dmitri Trenin on integrating Russia’s post-imperium. Andrew Barnes on how the field of the political-economy of post-communism has evolved over the past 20 years. Martin W. Lewis on mega-nationalist fantasy maps of the Balkans. From Salon, Justin Elliot on Obama’s Central Asian human rights disaster; and dictators rely on D.C. front men: Professors and lobbyists tout Central Asia's autocrats in Washington. From NYRB, Timothy Snyder on Ukraine’s last chance. I like Mostar: are there really no tourists who want to go to Bosnia? James Kirchick on Belarus, the land of no applause. The Civil Archipelago: How far can the resistance to Vladimir Putin go?

A new issue of Postcolonial Text is out. Taiki Takahashi (Hokkaido): Neuroeconomics of Suicide. From Wired, Benjamin Wallace on the rise and fall of Bitcoin. The notion that we can constantly make ourselves better is, in theory, a great idea — but when does it become too much? From Forbes, Steve Denning on the dumbest idea in the world: Maximizing shareholder value. From TED, Kevin Slavin on how algorithms shape our world. During economic hardship, we need to save less and spend more — and rethink our relationship to consumer culture: An excerpt from Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture Is Good for the Economy, the Environment, and Your Soul by James Livington. A review of I'll Have What She's Having: Mapping Social Behavior by Alex Bentley, Mark Earls and Michael J. O'Brien. From Cato Unbound, Morgan Fox on public opinion, political disconnect, and the marijuana market. From The Village Voice, Jen Doll on How to Be a New Yorker. His Own Private Idaho: Last February, while buying hay, he was cornered by federal agents and arrested for violent crimes tied to the Boston Mob, and the town wondered — who the hell is Jay Shaw? From Fast Company, Neal Ungerleider on Google Earth, foreign wars, and the future of satellite imagery. Threesomes, fishnets, dirty talk, those are the vanilla sorts of fantasies we admit to — then there's the truly filthy porn we actually watch when we're alone. Advertising is a poison that demeans even love — and we're hooked on it. Think of me as evil: Guy Shrubsole on advertisers, ethics, and social engineering. New research confirms that social complexity enriches cognitive growth — could having more Facebook friends actually make you smarter? The 9/11 Truth Movement: Dave Thomas on the the top conspiracy theory, a decade later.

Cynthia Godsoe (Brooklyn): Parsing Parenthood. A new study shows that becoming a father leads to a sharp decline in testosterone. A review of Our Fathers, Ourselves: Daughters, Fathers, and the Changing American Family by Peggy Drexler. It does take a village: A review of Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy. A review of 21st Century Motherhood: Experience, Identity, Policy, Agency. What if the secret to success is failure? Why our children’s success and happiness may depend less on perfect performance than on learning how to deal with failure. What happens when you take three American kids and throw them in a classroom 5,000 miles from home where they can’t speak the language? Acceptance is protection: How can parents support gender nonconforming and transgender children? The Two Year Window: Jonathan Cohn on the new science of babies and brains — and how it could revolutionize the fight against poverty (and more). An interview with Rosalind C. Barnett, author of The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children. Beating babies in the name of Jesus: Frank Schaeffer on the shady world of right-wing "discipline" guides. An article on 11 sounds that your kids have probably never heard. Are boys’ brains different from girls’ brains? Scientists debate the question. A review of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen. Does sport make your kids smarter? From Cracked, a look at 5 terrible things you can't stop your children from doing and 5 parental dick moves you hate (until you're a parent); a letter to parents about the fake "teen crazes" on the news; and 4 signs of adulthood for reluctant grown ups.