Abdulmalik Mousa Altamimi (Leeds): The UN's "Responsibility to Protect" and the Muslim World’s Need for Regulated Democracies. Haider Ala Hamoudi (Pittsburgh): Arab Spring, Libyan Liberation and the Externally Imposed Democratic Revolution. Achim Vogt (FEF): Jordan's Eternal Promise of Reform. From the Journal of Democracy, Alfred Stepan (Columbia): Tunisia’s Transition and the Twin Tolerations; and Abdou Filali-Ansary (Aga Khan): The Languages of the Arab Revolutions. From CyberOrient, Mohammed el-Nawawy (QUC) and Sahar Khamis (Maryland): Political Activism 2.0: Comparing the Role of Social Media in Egypt’s “Facebook Revolution” and Iran’s “Twitter Uprising”; and Jens Kutscher (FAU): Islamic Shura, Democracy, and Online Fatwas. Kelly McEvers on how the United States looked the other way while Bahrain crushed the Arab Spring’s most ill-fated uprising. Why has the Arab Spring not sprung in Saudi Arabia? The Arab Spring uprisings were not prompted by religion as in Iran 1979 — but some think the Arab winter may bring a counter-revolutionary Muslim Reformation. Will democracy change the Middle East's borders?

From Ephemera, a special issue on work, play and boredom. From New York, a cover story on How to Make It in the Art World. Robert Guffey explores the hidden links between Charles Fort and Andre Breton, visionaries at the margins of consensus reality whose subversive synchronistic and surreal practice resonates to this day — an excerpt from Cryptoscatology: Conspiracy as Art Form. From The Monkey Cage, Gregory Koger addresses the most important policy question of the millenium: should we build a Death Star? Young, wealthy and gay, Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge have begun to emerge as key players on the national political stage. How do pairs matched in physical attractiveness form if people are unaware of their own attractiveness? Liberals and centrists need to figure out that a significant conservative block wants pain and wants inequality and thinks that they are intrinsically good, godly, natural things and that without them the world is a worse place. Jason Stanley on the practical and the theoretical: When we discover that a plumber can prove a theorum or philosopher can hit a jump shot, why are we surprised?

From Out.com, why is the corrupt gay politico still around? Conservatives and “homo-bestiality”: Why do right-wing extremists keep linking gay sex to animal abuse? Dan Savage talks about his campaign to help gay kids — and why the GOP primary results freaked him out. Growing up gay in the 1990s: Has that much changed for today's gay youth? An interview with Mark McCormack, author of The Declining Significance of Homophobia: How Teenage Boys Are Redefining Masculinity and Heterosexuality. Is homophobia a "phobia"? There is now empirical evidence that homophobia can result from the suppression of same-sex desire. Here are the ten hottest homophobes on the Internet. When the facts don't matter: Same-sex marriage isn't hurting anyone — so why are so many people still afraid of it? An interview with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, editor of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform. A review of The End of Straight Supremacy: Realizing Gay Liberation by Shannon Gilreath. A review of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States by Joey Mogul, Andrea Ritchie and Kay Whitlock.

Gwen Bouvier (Glamorgan): How Facebook Users Select Identity Categories for Self-presentation. Rob Horning on social graph vs. social class. Is Facebook making us lonely? For all the connectivity of the social-media age, research suggests that we have never been lonelier. Can one Facebook group make a sexual map of the world? How the biggest Facebook group ever never was. Gawker goes inside Facebook's outsourced anti-porn and gore brigade, where "camel toes" are more offensive than "crushed heads". Kathy Benjamin on 9 ways Facebook is changing people’s lives. Facebook has the power of a nation state, but is it living up to its moral responsibilities? A look at why Facebook poses a far greater threat to the Web than Apple (and more). Facebook for the rich and famous: An interview with Matt Quinn. Rise of the Facebook-killers: At the pinnacle of the social network's success, its critics are busy building its replacements. Facebook IPO: How much money does the social network make off each user? Jack Stuef on the dark side of Facebook memes. No one is really looking at the bigger, underlying picture, the fact that social curation isn’t really social at all — it’s not social, it’s selfish.

From the latest issue of the Forum for Inter-American Research, Jonathan Hart (Alberta): Haunted by Spain: The Past and Identities in English and French America; and Livia Savelkova (Pardubice): Indigenous Peoples: Creating New “Borderlines“? Facing the Camera: How much does a photograph really capture the essence of a person? From The Philosopher's Stone, Robert Paul Wolff on a critique of Keynes (and part 2 and part 3). Joel Osteen worships himself: At a D.C. rally, it's clear that the megachurch pastor's childlike faith is really about the power of narcissism. A review of Language: The Cultural Tool by Daniel Everett (and more and more). From Lapham’s Quarterly, body language: Arika Okrent on what hand motions can teach us about language, ethnicity and assimilation. Graca Machel, the renowned humanitarian and activist, is to be the new president of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. A review of The Myth of Sex Addiction by David J. Ley. On Los Angeles New Yorkifying: If skyscrapers popped up and mass transit displaced cars, would Hollywood lose its charm, or just become more livable?

From The New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann on Timothy Noah, Charles Murray, and the politics of America’s inequality. An interview with Frances Fox Piven on rising inequality, poverty, and the condition of the safety net, as well as her sudden and un-intentioned notoriety. US radicals came up a century ago with sound proposals for a maximum income, enforced through progressive taxation, to ensure that the rich couldn’t so easily buy political influence, as well as to adjust inequality. Felix Salmon on how the 1% think about their wealth. The big split: Alec MacGillis on why the hedge fund world loved Obama in 2008 — and viscerally despises him today. Too crooked to fail: Bank of America has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed — so why does the government keep bailing it out? If a blunder you committed cost your employer $4 million, how long would you stay employed? In America today, a CEO can cost his company $4 billion and still collect both a paycheck and a bonus. Michael Kazin on why "crony capitalism" is as American as apple pie. A review of American Property: A History of How, Why, and What We Own by Stuart Banner.

From Marxist Left Review, Tom Bramble on Australian imperialism and the rise of China. Is there a "right" kind of homelessness? The people sleeping out at Occupy Sydney are making a public statement about inequality and housing affordability. Indonesia's counter-terror unit Detachment 88 is funded and trained by Australia — why are we so involved with a unit whose work includes counter-separatist activities? The government of Western Australia has recently decided that the “fly in; fly out” model of Pilbara employment is inefficient, and that more workers should reside permanently in the region. The Sonorous Roar of Cannons: James Halford on national feeling in Mexico and Australia. Peace Be Upon You: Is Australia a Christian nation? The fracas that engulfed the country's prime minister during Aboriginal protests on Australia Day speaks volumes about a society still coming to terms with its past. From Socialist Alternative, how does the 1 percent rule? The Royal Me: How Australians’ disdain for authority has led to an epidemic of secession. Did early humans ride the waves to Australia?

From Politics and Culture, a special issue on revisiting Thorstein Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class, including Aaron Stuvland (George Mason): Thorstein Veblen and the “Spirit” of Capitalism; Gavin Mueller (George Mason): The Hipster Labor of Conspicuous Leisure; and Andrew Pendakis (Alberta): Poor Plenum: Veblen and The Economics of Philosophy. Eliane Glaser on why people act against their best interests. Meet Eric Hardmeyer, Occupy Wall Street's favorite banker. “Something for all, so that none may escape”: Christian Garland on reworking the critique of consumption. Are straight people born that way? The best scientific argument we have for the innateness of straightness is that evolution would favor it, but a poll of sexologists raises some interesting questions about arousal. Supervolcanoes are one of nature’s most destructive forces, but given that there are no recorded observations of super-eruptions — the last occurred 74,000 years ago in Indonesia — scientists don’t fully understand how they work. A new kind of novel is taking over — is the “hindered narrator” a step forward for fiction?

From Common-place, Kenneth Cohen on the manly sport of American politics or, how we came to call elections "races". From Vanity Fair, a look at how How Aaron Sorkin's West Wing inspired a legion of Lyman wannabes; and in a selection from his biography of Barack Obama, David Maraniss interviews both the president and Genevieve Cook — the “mystery woman” of Obama’s New York days — for a portrait of the leader as a young man. From Gawker, Max Read on a guide to Barack Obama’s coolness for politicians and journalists. A look at how Bill Maher managed to occupy an important place in the national conversation. Dave Weigel on why it pays to play the heretic for pundits. From Jacobin, Belen Fernandez on Tom Friedman’s war on humanity. Bill Ayers tells the remarkable story of hosting dinner for Tucker Carlson and Andrew Breitbart. An interview with Thomas Frank, author of Pity the Billionaire: The Hard Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right. Any way you slice it, to mix metaphors, we are not in Kansas anymore: Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols on political advertising. From Cracked, a look at 5 ways to spot a B.S. political story in under 10 seconds.

Hammad Sheikh and Jeremy Ginges (New School), Alin Coman (Pitt) and Scott Atran (CNRS): Religion, Group Threat and Sacred Values. From Hope’s Reason: A Journal of Apologetics, where would Christian apologetics be if it were not for challenges to the faith? Ian Clary remembers Christopher Hitchens. An interview with Charles Taylor on his book Secularism and Freedom of Conscience. One Jesus for liberals, another for conservatives: New research shows how believers tailor Christian teachings to fit their own political viewpoint. Why do the religious insist on presenting a united front? For all their aspirations for transcendent truth and higher purpose, religions behave like any other worldly individual or organisation and end up doing what protects their secular interests, not what most aligns with their values. Do Catholics and Muslims worship the same God? Robert Spencer wonders. Does Calvinism make people jerks? Kevin DeYoung investigates. Pimpin' may not be easy, but try being a moderate Christian. Chuck Smith says the End Times means a bright outlook for the Christian church.