Joseph Fishkin (Texas): The Dignity of the South. From Southern Spaces, an excerpt from Finding Purple America: The South and the Future of American Cultural Studies by Jon Smith; and Steve Suitts on voting rights, the Supreme Court, and the persistence of Southern history. Allen Mendenhall reviews Superfluous Southerners: Cultural Conservatism and the South, 1920–1990 by John J. Langdale. Kareem Crayton reviews The New Mind of the South by Tracy Thompson. As the North rests on its laurels, the South is rising fast. Wayne Urban reviews The New Southern University: Academic Freedom and Liberalism at UNC by Charles Holden. Louis Menand on voting rights and the Southern way of life. Is the South dragging the rest of the nation down? Allen Barra on why poor white Southerners keep voting for policies that screw them and how this hurts the rest of the nation. John Jeremiah Sullivan follows James Agee into the Southern interior. Prisons are never welcoming places, but there’s something particularly lurid about the idea of southern prisons, at least historically. Joseph Goulden reviews The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South by Bruce Levine. Fortress White America: Republicans long ago embraced a whites-only political strategy and continue to reap their rewards in Southern states. In the South, the GOP is A-OK with being the white people party.

Maryam Tayebinik and Marlia Puteh (UTM): Txt Msg N English Language Literacy. Loot Pretorius (UFS): The Use of Official Languages Act: Diversity Affirmed? Last native speaker of the Livonian language died age 103. Asya Pereltsvaig on (Serbo-)Croatian: A tale of two languages — or three, or four? EU prepares to adopt Croatian its 24th official language as costs mount, calls for English rise. “Professor, you're dividing my nation”: In Iraqi Kurdistan, tongues are tied by politics. Baktun, the world’s first Maya language telenovela, is a great achievement for indigenous communities — finally, Mayans have the right to be entertained by the same kind of poorly-written, overacted, predictable melodramas the rest of us have absolutely adored for years. Why “bad” English isn’t: Peggy Kalb on how Yale’s grammar non-discrimination team wants you to let go of your prejudices. A linguist has concluded that a new language, with unique grammatical rules, has come into existence, created by children in a remote area of Australia. How are native English speakers handicapping themselves by not learning other languages? Cape Verde proposes that Galicia, Curacao and Macau join Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Did Neandertals have language? A recent study suggest that Neandertals shared speech and language with modern humans.

A new issue of Triple Canopy is out. Shane Chaddha (Manchester): Elinor Ostrom Goes to Outer Space: An Association of Space Appropriators. Brian J. Phillips (CIDE): How Does the Kingpin Strategy Affect Violence? The Case of Mexico. From The Economist, Amartya Sen responds to Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya: “I have resisted responding to Mr Bhagwati’s persistent, and unilateral, attacks in the past, but this outrageous distortion needs correction”. John Cassidy on why the GOP needs to lose the presidency for a third time. Reed Johnson on the mystery of the Voynich Manuscript. Dieneke Hubbeling reviews All We Have to Fear: Psychiatry’s Transformation of Natural Anxieties into Mental Disorders by AV Horwitz and JC Wakefield. Ezra Klein on how sexism clouds the Fed succession saga. The introduction to Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes by Ruthann Robson. Ignore the haters: Law school is totally worth the cash. Christian Right fights porn in the dorm. An interview with Michael Shenefelt and Heidi White, authors of If A, Then B: How the World Discovered Logic (and part 2). A revolution is taking place in how to visualise information: A review of Data Points: Visualisation That Means Something by Nathan Yau, Facts are Sacred by Simon Rogers, and The Infographic History of the World by James Ball and Valentina D’Efilippo.

Michel Rosenfeld (Cardozo): Recasting Secularism as One Conception of the Good among Many in a Post-Secular Constitutional Polity. John Fisher (Ballarat): Relating with God Contributes to Variance in Happiness, over that from Personality and Age. How social conservatives won: An excerpt from The Catholic Labyrinth: Power, Apathy, and a Passion for Reform in the American Church by Peter McDonough (and more on stereotypes and realities in Catholicism). One nation, without God: Atheism can’t and won’t replace religious rituals — but that’s not what most atheists want anyway. From Relevant, Eddie Becker on 8 things he wishes Jesus had never said. A right to believe: You are entitled to believe what you will, but your beliefs must be subject to criticism and scrutiny just like mine. Steve Jones's scientific retelling of the Bible in The Serpent's Promise is lively and amusing, but it is hard to tell what audience the book is intended for. Some theological sleight-of-hand with words: An excerpt from Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole by Stephen Law. From the Socjournal, Timothy McGettigan on why God is irrelevant. Does End Time belief really cause climate change apathy? Robin Globus Veldman investigates. From Crisis, who is Bob McCarty, why should he be fired? Abraham Riesman on the curious religions of multiplayer video games.

Albana Shehaj (Michigan): Post Socialist Slovakia and Albania: Diverging Nationalist Paths. Ruben Durante (Sciences Po), Paolo Pinotti (Bocconi), and Andrea Tesei (Queen Mary): Voting Alone? The Political and Cultural Consequences of Commercial TV. Joan Barcelo-Soler (NYU): The Battle for the Secession: Catalonia Versus Spain. A utopia towards peace? If you haven’t heard of the Andalucian town of Marinaleda or know little of its politics, you should find out. Olga Khazan on the secret to Finland's success with schools, moms, kids — and everything. From NLR, what's become of the German Greens? Joachim Jachnow wants to know. Reluctant hegemon: Germany, now the dominant country in Europe, needs to rethink the way it sees itself and the world. Davide Scarso reviews Living Thought: The Origins and Actuality of Italian Philosophy by Roberto Esposito. When Italians chat, hands and fingers do the talking. France is in the grip of a crisis — as both its economy and European influence weaken, scandal has hobbled its political elite; the country needs drastic overhaul, but President Hollande does nothing but waver and hesitate. Europe’s dirty little secret: Europe prides itself on its democratic credentials — so why is a tiny band of underdog dissidents having such a hard time fighting the continent’s last dictator? Contrary to popular belief, migration from Muslim countries is one reason why Europe is becoming more secular, not less.

From the inaugural issue of International Journal of Social Science Studies, Ricard Zapata-Barrero (Pompeu Fabra): Utopian Political Theory and Migration without Borders; Dafna Shir-Vertesh (Ben-Gurion): Love Has (NO) Boundaries: Researching a Sexual Taboo; and Asnat Dor (YVC): Don’t Stay Out Late! Mom, I’m Twenty-eight: Emerging Adults and Their Parents under One Roof. From Rolling Stone, Janet Reiman on Jahar's World: He was a charming kid with a bright future — but no one saw the pain he was hiding or the monster he would become. Humans are the real threat to life on Earth: An excerpt from Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott. After Zimmerman verdict, NRA says “stand your ground” is a human right. Stuart Thomson on Norm Macdonald’s weird, wonderful Twitter book club. Obamacare skeptics are deluding themselves: Conservatives think the law is unraveling — but implementing the Affordable Care Act is going to be a huge success. From TLS, back to the real: What do we lose when we replace access to manuscripts with digitization? John Marshall on Progressive Senescent Columnist Fogeyism (PSCF), an increasingly common ailment in an aging America. The Ivy League Babbitt: Emily Schrader on the social and political prescience of Harvard’s humanist. The NSA’s massive data center is coming online ahead of schedule — and it's more powerful than you thought.

Stefan Andreasson (Queen’s): Conservatism. Kristopher A. Nelson (UCSD): Embracing the Opposition: The Conservative Appropriation of Liberal Critiques. From The University Bookman, a symposium on Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind at six (and more by Gerald Russello on Kirk’s unwritten constitutionalism). From The Utopian, Philip Mirowski on the thirteen commandments of neoliberalism. Can libertarian populism save the Republican Party? There’s a new name being floated around as the solution to the current electoral woes of the GOP — Ross Perot (and more). Friends, students, and colleagues remember one of our finest traditionalist scholars, George W. Carey (1933-2013). Can conservatives reconcile with the United Nations? David Bosco interviews Kenneth Anderson and Brett Schaefer. Jada Thacker on how the concept of “limited government” is Right-wing bunk: Try to find anything remotely like it in the Constitution. Meet the conservatives who campaigned for apartheid South Africa: Grover Norquist, Jack Abramoff and Jeff Flake all spent their early years trying to end the divestment movement. Josh Marshall on keeping it real on “neo-Confederate libertarians”. Rachel Weiner on the libertarian war over the Civil War. “And don’t call me a conservative”: The only thing worse than describing a libertarian policy wonk as a “conservative” is to slash his prose.

Marcello Di Paola (LUISS): Wittgenstein Gone Wild. Sarah Schindler (Maine): Banning Lawns. Carter Dillard (Emory): What Is the Primary Right? A Manifesto for Rewilding the World: How a mass restoration of ecosystems offers us hope where there was little hope before (and more). Alan Thornett on population and the environment: time for a rethink. Reuters exposed: Publication openly hostile to climate coverage, top editor doubts climate science. In Arming Mother Nature, Jacob Darwin Hamblin argues that environmentalism is rooted in cold war plans to abuse nature for military ends. Is perennial thinking the solution to conquer world hunger while saving the environment? The International Center for Climate Governance has just released the first-ever ranking of the most world-renowned think tanks that conduct research in the field of climate change economics and policy. Michael Munger on recycling: can it be wrong, when it feels so right? A conversation with Ted Nordhaus, the head of a green think tank who thinks that environmentalism is dead, nuclear energy and gas are alive, and maybe the conservatives had it right all along. The culture of nature: George Monbiot on how the ignorance and philistinism of those who attack nature lovers knows no bounds. Bruno Latour on the political theology of nature. 25 years after Exxon Valdez oil spill, company still hasn't paid for long-term environmental damages.

From Numeracy, a special issue on financial literacy. Ciprian Bogdan (Babes-Bolyai): Intersubjectivity and Techno-science: Jurgen Habermas. From Vice, Chris Gethard on learning about humanity on public transportation; and will charging people money to have kids save the world from overpopulation? Joseph Cox investigates. David Derbyshire on how wine-tasting is junk science. Jenn Abelson on Western Sahara: Why Africa’s last colony can’t break free. Bruce Bartlett on “financialization” as a cause of economic malaise. Sheila Bair on everything the IMF wanted to know about financial regulation and wasn’t afraid to ask. Vince Miklos on maps of vast empires that no longer exist. 40 years after Roe, doctors warn that reproductive rights are in grave danger. Why are the intellectuals’ views on self-interest wrong? Janna Woiceshyn wonders. The Speaker is mute but not unintelligible: Jennifer Senior on what John Boehner is thinking. James Ishmael Ford on a few words in favor of Jezebel: Is Jezebel the baddest of the bad girls of the Bible? From LARB, Kaya Genc interviews Thomas Roueche and Izzy Finkel: Turkey is just a thread that ties all these interesting ideas together. From Brooklyn Magazine, Kristin Iversen on how casual sex became a privilege of the rich. Here is the page on “Human Differences: Culture, gender, and sexuality”. Want to star on Reality TV? Here's how.

A new issue of Parameters is out, with special sections on drones, nuclear weapons and grand strategy. Daniel Drezner (Tufts): Military Primacy Doesn’t Pay (Nearly As Much As You Think). Duncan Bell (Cambridge): Before the Democratic Peace: Racial Utopianism, Empire, and the Abolition of War. War is destruction — so why, asks MG Zimeta, does the “existential threat” of an airborne toxic event in Syria and beyond, instil such horror. Why are we so afraid of chemical weapons? In tomorrow’s wars, battles will be fought with a 3-D printer. Julia Muravska reviews Cyber War Will Not Take Place by Thomas Rid. From RAND Review, in a series of essays, authors draw on the historical record of "minimalist international interventions", conducted on behalf of partner governments, to identify the kinds of limited efforts that could offer the greatest promise for Afghanistan and other countries in the years ahead. David Francis on the end of the military industrial complex. From the new Defense One, Shawn Brimley on why the next QDR is the last chance for sanity; Sam Brannen on building a better soldier-diplomat; and Gregory D. Foster on why the Founding Fathers would object to today’s military. How West Point and Annapolis are like East Berlin: Bruce Fleming reviews Carved from Granite: West Point Since 1902 by Lance Betros. Who serves in the U.S. Military? Asya Pereltsvaig maps enlisted troops and officers.