Fikret Elma and Sarvar Gurbanov (Qafqaz): Central Asia in the Globalization Process. Jorn Gravingholt (GDI): The Political Economy of Governance Reforms in Central Asia. Pavel K Baev (PRIO): How Afghanistan Was Broken: The Disaster of the Soviet Intervention. From Asia Times, Fabrizio Vielmini on how US risks chaos on “new Silk Road”. The first chapter from Warriors of the Cloisters: The Central Asian Origins of Science in the Medieval World by Christopher I. Beckwith. Eric McGlinchey on how the era of apparent political stability in Central Asia is coming to a close. Ilan Greenberg on the opacity of Central Asia. From Eurasianet, Joanna Lillis on Kazakhstan, where bling knows no bounds; and is Kazakhstan's Zhanaozen to be wiped off the map? Farangis Najibullah investigates. Joshua Kucera on Central Asia's zone of misfortune. Kyrgyzstan’s disappearing kindergartens: Preschool attendance is the basis for a successful education, but it’s a luxury many in this Central Asian country can no longer afford. Morgan Lerette on how Afghanistan will survive without us. Corruptistan: Meet the oil barons, fashion divas, and ruling families of Central Asia. Does a personality cult grow in Astana? Kazakhstan faces a three-fold problem when it comes to human trafficking.

Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Jennifer M. Urban, and Su Li (UC-Berkeley): Privacy and Advertising Mail. From Archeology, a look at the top 10 discoveries of 2012. Geoffrey Best reflects on a lifetime collecting books and the difficulties — emotional and financial — of parting with them. Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler — a friend of Congo's president — has amassed a fortune via private deals for mining assets in the world's most destitute nation. An interview with Jared Diamond, author of The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? Guns and the pain economy: James Livingston on how love for the NRA and survivalism fits into an old pattern. Why won’t we talk about violence and masculinity in America? Soraya Chemaly wants to know. A rule is to break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy angers the Tea Party. From Cato Unbound, Howard Ball on physician assisted death in America: Ethics, law, and policy conflicts. In praise of empty souls: Martha Stout reviews The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton. Why are we afraid of homeless people? Madison Moore wonders.

From Johns Hopkins Magazine, publishing scientific research might help prevent the next pandemic, but there is legitimate fear that critical information could fall into the wrong hands. Can we stop modern-day mad scientists? Science is a risky business, argue leading researchers in a special Discover roundtable — you have to gamble big to win big. Elsa Moriarty on 6 elaborate science experiments done just for the hell of it. How might intellectual humility lead to scientific insight? W. Jay Wood wonders. Don't take it too hard: A study of scientific papers’ histories from submission to publication unearths some unexpected patterns. Joseph Grcar on comments and corrigenda in scientific literature: How self-correcting is the written record of scientific and engineering endeavors? From The New Atlantis, Matthew C. Rees looks back on the debates over Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; and Joseph V. Kennedy on the sources and uses of U.S. science funding. Science’s Fantasy Island: Why biologist with big bucks Eric Peterson established a research base off the coast of Canada. Data do-gooder: Data-Kind unites scientists with social organizations to solve problems.

From the latest issue of Journal of Art Historiography, Francis Halsall (NCAD): Making and Matching: Aesthetic Judgement and the Production of Art Historical Knowledge; and Jenni Lauwrens (Pretoria): Welcome to the Revolution: The Sensory Turn and Art History. From NYRB, a review essay on Lincoln by James M. McPherson. Liberty is a slow fruit: Louis P. Masur on Lincoln the deliberate emancipator. Jonathan Chait on the bracing political reality of gun control (and more). What’s so funny? Tim Lewens reviews Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-engineer the Mind by Matthew M. Hurley, Daniel C. Dennett and Reginald B. Adams, Jr. Would being well-rounded and cosmopolitan mean that academic critics could lose their jobs, going the way of journalists, the dodo, and glaciers? From the latest issue of The Futurist, Patrick Tucker interviews Stephen Wolfram on science and a new kind of prediction. What does a climate scientist think of Glenn Beck's environmental-conspiracy novel, Agenda 21? Sue-Mari Maass on rent control — a comparative analysis. Lisa Downing reviews Dominatrix: Gender, Eroticism, and Control in the Dungeon by Danielle J. Lindemann.

From The American Prospect, a special issue on a Strategic Plan for Liberals: What’s the road map for a progressive future?; and Mike Konczal on the Great Society's Next Frontier: Now that Obamacare — the largest expansion of the social-safety net in the last 60 years — is safe, what's next for the liberal economic project? With the re-election of Barack Obama, the word “liberal” has suddenly reappeared in force. Liberalism is in crisis — and it’s one that conservatives shouldn’t let go to waste. Bhaskar Sunkara on Naomi Klein as “The Anarcho-Liberal”. Sheldon Richman on Rachel Maddow's blind deference to government power. Lawrence Lessig on why a Democratic Tea Party is the best hope for fixing corrupt government. From AlterNet, Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Carl Davidson on how the Left can become a true political force to be reckoned with. How big should the new Occupy be? A rebooted movement confronts a modern constraint. You can download Occupy Everything: Reflections on Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, ed. Alessio Lunghi and Seth Wheeler. Shawn Gude on Occupy anti-politics: Even as we on the democratic left offer impassioned critiques of our political system we mustn’t eschew politics. Wes Vernon reviews 50 Things Liberals Love to Hate by Mike Gallagher.

A new issue of Conservation is out. Erika J. Techera (UWA): Climate Change, Legal Governance and the Pacific Islands: An Overview. Jonathan Collins (UCLA): Me Against the World: A Quantitative Analysis of the Relationship Between Race and Climate Change. Robert V. Percival (Maryland): Human Rights and the Evolution of Global Environmental Law. David Roberts interviews Al Gore on carbon taxes, natural gas, and the “morally wrong” Keystone pipeline. Good gas, bad gas: Burn natural gas and it warms your house — but let it leak, from fracked wells or the melting Arctic, and it warms the whole planet. Thinking the unthinkable: What if America’s leaders actually want catastrophic climate change? Dave Lindorff wonders. From Monthly Review, John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark on the planetary emergency. Some lessons from Texas: Until recently, Americans thought ecological threats occurred in faraway places. Why are TV weathercasters ignoring climate change? You definitely don't need these weathermen to know which way the wind blows. Rebecca Boyle on 7 gift ideas for the climate change denier in your life.

A new issue of Lo Squaderno is out. Jeremy C Bradley (LSBF): Virginia Woolf and the Judicial Imagination. From The Brooklyn Rail, against a narcotic culture whose primary desire is stupefaction: Andrea Scrima interviews Rainer J. Hanshe, founder of Contra Mundum Press; and Gabriel Don interviews Elizabeth Koke and Amy Scholder, editors of Pussy Riot! A Punk Prayer for Freedom. Why you might never have married the love of your life without books. To teach evolution, you have to understand creationists. In Funds We Trust: James Surowiecki on the debate over entitlement funding. Joanne Silberner on morphine, the cheap, effective pain-relief drug denied to millions. Olivia Harrison reviews Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism by Judith Butler. Could boredom be curable? An elusive human annoyance may finally be yielding its secrets. Flourishing within the limits: John D. Thomson on prosperity with growth. There are some DIY publications that more than compensate for the rest, and can be relied upon to deliver not only quality, but something different as well — Paraphilia magazine is up there with the best of them.

Daniela Cammack (Harvard): Aristotle on the Virtue of the Multitude. Nelson Lund (George Mason): A Woman's Laws and a Man’s: Eros and Thumos in Rousseau's Julie, or The New Heloise (1761) and The Deer Hunter (1978). Nandita Biswas Mellamphy (UWO): Nietzsche and the Engine of Politics. Menachem Mautner (Tel Aviv): Religion in Politics: Rawls and Habermas on Deliberation and Justification. James Sherman (Toronto): Figuring Out What to Value: A Formal, Dynamic, Endogenous Model of Rational Deliberation about Final Ends. Elizabeth Phillips on her book Political Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). John C. Rao interviews Christopher A. Ferrara, author of Liberty, the God That Failed: Policing the Sacred and Constructing the Myths of the Secular State, from Locke to Obama. Sophia Mason on Father James Schall’s “Final Gladness”: With a nod to Belloc, the respected theologian retires. Peter Berkowitz on Burke between liberty and tradition. What is the meaning of philosophy for politics? Santiago Zabala wonders. Here are the papers from the conference “John Rawls: Past, Present, Future” at Yale University.

Marc Rysman (BU) and Julian Wright (NUS): The Economics of Payment Cards. From Popular Science, and the winner is: Your choice for the most important invention of the last 25 years. Swati Pandey reviews Twentysomething: Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck? by Robin Marantz Henig and Samantha Henig. From Knowledge@Wharton, an interview with Gretchen Rubin, author of Happier at Home. Oh God, what have we done? Jackson Lears reviews Inside the Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Ray Monk. The notion that dozens of people losing their lives in an act of violence in a public facility should not be an object of political reflection is truly bizarre — so where does the specter of "politicization" come from? Here’s “Death Travels West, Watch Him Go”, an essay by Mike Newirth on the gun culture, the massacre culture, and the Market, tragically relevant today even though published in The Baffler way back in 2001. If the Newtown massacre doesn't change us, no shooting ever will. The new online journal Political Concepts offers a growing lexicon of essays ruminating on the inherent (or not so inherent) political nature of common objects, categories, and ideas.

From Imprimis, is America exceptional? Norman Podhoretz says yes. Is America exceptional?: Jarrett Stepman and Eli Zaretsky, representing the Right and the Left, respectively, debate U.S. superiority. Mark Rice on American Exceptionalism: “The United States is a country of great achievements, deep flaws, and immense potential”. Maribel Morey on defining American democracy differently. The Great Secession: Would it really be the highest form of patriotism? Gary Younge on the irony of Right-wing secessionist fantasies. G. Jeffrey MacDonald on a surge in secessionist theology. Marc Herman on 10 steps to a breakaway state: A secessionist’s guide. From FDL, a book salon on The Last Myth: What the Rise of Apocalyptic Thinking Tells Us About America by Mathew Barrett Gross. It's hard to make it in America: Lane Kenworthy on how the United States stopped being the land of opportunity. Four types of family cultures — the Faithful, the Engaged Progressives, the Detached and the American Dreamers — are molding the next generation of Americans. The United States of Mind? Asya Pereltsvaig on U.S. geography of personality (and more).