Tanisha M. Fazal (Columbia): Why States No Longer Declare War. From Edge, Daniel C. Dennett on Leon Wieseltier on Steven Pinker: Pomposity can be amusing, but pomposity sitting like an oversized hat on top of fear is hilarious. Daniel Luzer on the lives of dictators’ wives: The fancy clothes and charitable works aren’t incidental — the dictator’s spouse is an important part of maintaining power. Tom Slee on Six Degrees of Omidyar: As I find out more about how venture capital can erode sharing and public commons, one name appears time and time again. Erik Voeten on academics, policy makers, blogs, and the trouble with op-eds. Tenured professors make worse teachers: A study finds undergrads fare better when taught by non-tenture-track faculty. Sports Illustrated is basically doing free investigative work for the NCAA and essentially reinforcing the power of the real abusers — the NCAA cartel that colludes to prevent players who generate millions of dollars for their schools from being paid for their services. Meet the encryption aficionados who know how to hide from the NSA's watching eye. Why does a fancy purse say “stay away from my man”? Charles Lister on sorting the good guys from the bad among Syria's rebels. Is Syria setting itself up for international prosecution? Colin Dickey reviews The Summits of Modern Man: Mountaineering after the Enlightenment by Peter H. Hansen. Maxed out on Everest: Mark Jenkins on how to fix the mess at the top of the world.

Facundo Alvaredo and Anthony B. Atkinson (Oxford), Thomas Piketty (PSE), and Emmanuel Saez (UC-Berkeley): The Top 1 Percent in International and Historical Perspective (and more). From Distilled, David Cichon on how we learned to stop worrying and love capitalism; and Daniel Baker on how Wall Street probabilities aren’t just flipping coins; on technocracy after Reinhart Rogoff: This was not just a spreadsheet error; on why Big Data will not solve macroeconomics; and on refuting Greg Mankiw: Why his critique of the Great Gatsby Curve fails under scrutiny. Kitty Stewart reviews The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills by David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu. Mariana Mazzucato on the myth of the “meddling” state: The truth is that from Silicon Valley to Singapore, innovation relies heavily on state funding — it’s time for the private sector to give something back (and more and an excerpt from The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths). How do people work together at all? Tim Harford on a story of two researchers, Garrett Hardin and Lin Ostrom, who attacked the question in very different ways — and with very different results. The Coase Theorem is widely cited in economics — Ronald Coase hated it. John Cassidy on Ronald Coase and the misuse of economics. Leo Charbonneau on how Marina Adshade has attracted international attention by turning the dismal science into something sexy. What is economics good for? Alex Rosenberg and Tyler Curtain wonder (and a response).

Megan Jane Davis (UNSW): Indigenous Struggles in Standard-Setting: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Gregg McClymont, Labour MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, takes on musician, playwright and independence advocate Pat Kane on the question that will be put to Scottish residents next year in a referendum: should Scotland be an independent country? Abortion rights, long considered sacrosanct in Canada, are suddenly up for debate — is this the start of a new culture war? Andrea Bennett and Kin Fu want to know. Niki Seth-Smith on UKIP and the rise of English nationalism. Conservatism on top down under: Meet Tony Abbott, the next prime minister of Australia. Mark Beeson on Abbott’s foreign policy future: Anglosphere or regional friend? Jonathan Crowe on a fantasy map of the United States, Australia, Great Britain, and Ireland. “U.K.'s Muslims should learn from Jews”: Multiculturalism has had its day, says outgoing chief rabbi of Great Britain. Steven Lydon on why it’s time to start teaching philosophy as a formal subject in Irish secondary schools. Matthew Green on the lost world of the London coffeehouse. Why the Australian economy is the next great test for macroeconomic theory and policy. Is Ulster doomed? The demographic data does seem to suggest it, ceteris paribus, and yet there are two credible — or at least thinkable — alternatives. British nannies show the way for nudging Americans in the "right" direction.

Dan Patroc (Romanian Academy): How to Theorize in Humanities. From New York, a special issue on Michael Bloomberg (and more and more). Hyperbolic space for tourists: Viktor Blasjo on how a creature accustomed to Euclidean space would fare in a world of hyperbolic or spherical geometry, and conversely. Joanna Scutts on Dorothea Brande: Wake Up and Live! reveals the connection between the radical individualism of 1930s self-help manuals and fascist politics. Rightbloggers go peacenik on Syria; prefer war with Iran, Obama. Choire Sicha six lesser-known "golden ages" of media, 1991–2005. Chris Arnade on how the wealthy “make mistakes”, the poor go to jail. Roger Angel is one of the world's most brilliant and audacious engineers — could he design the next energy revolution? Testes size correlates with men's involvement in toddler care. From The National Interest, Kim R. Holmes on Syria and the moral follies of humanitarian warfare. Fiona Duncan on the Wintourian Candidate: With high theory and unstable irony, Not Vogue strives to liberate us from the seductions of corporatized fashion. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari stepped down Sunday at the end of his five-year term, becoming the first democratically elected president in the country’s history to complete his full term in office. Explainer: What is cute aggression? Mike Abu on the exploitation and crushing capitalism of Fashion Week.

Jan Kunnas (Stirling): The Theory of Justice in a Warming Climate. From Grist, David Roberts on how conservative hostility to science predates climate science and the futility of “just the facts” climate science; and can climate science be rendered conservative-friendly? Cass Sunstein on how people don’t fear climate change enough: “the world is unlikely to make much progress on climate change until the barrier of human psychology is squarely addressed”. Al Gore explains why he’s optimistic about stopping global warming. Evan McMorris-Santoro on Al Gore’s Incredible Shrinking Climate Change Footprint: The former vice president set out to create the Apple Computer of climate change — from a sweeping, expensive “blitz” to a “niche” effort in digital media. With climate journalism like this, who needs fiction? If Rachel Carson had been a better scientist while at Johns Hopkins, she might never have become the science writer who sparked the environmental movement. The new climate radicals: Ken Ward and Jay O'Hara are reminiscent of the human-centered, Quaker-inspired anti-nuke founders of Greenpeace. Keith Kloor on the future of conservation. Does millionaire Russ George deserve a Nobel Prize or a prison sentence? The man who calls himself "Greenfinger" takes on the controversial practice of geoengineering. Keystone cops: Ryan Lizza on testing the president on climate change (and more).

From Quest, a special issue on Israelis and Palestinians seeking, building and representing peace — a historical appraisal. From The Washington Diplomat, Michael Oren, Israel’s man in Washington, bids “shalom”; Reza Pahlavi, son of Iran’s last Shah: “I am my own man”; and Najib Ghadbian went from teaching students the complexities of the Middle East at the University of Arkansas to grappling with those complexities firsthand as the Washington envoy for a coalition of rebels battling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Starting the Revolution: Egyptian activist Ahmed Salah gives a gripping first-person account of the 2011 Tahrir Square protests that toppled the Mubarak regime. From TNR, Marc Tracy on some advice for American Jews visiting Israel: Stop ignoring Palestinians; and sire, how much would you spend to stop the next Arab Spring? The revolution that wasn’t: Hugh Roberts reviews The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life by Roger Owen; Adaptable Autocrats: Regime Power in Egypt and Syria by Joshua Stacher; Raging against the Machine: Political Opposition under Authoritarianism in Egypt by Holger Albrecht; and Soldiers, Spies and Statesmen: Egypt’s Road to Revolt by Hazem Kandil. Marilyn Booth reviews Mapping Arab Women’s Movements: A Century of Transformations from Within. No space for a middle place: Nael Shama on how genuine liberalism that allies neither with the Islamists nor the army and its regimes is a minority position in Egypt, and a friendless one.

From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on what was, is and will be popular. You can download Contemporary Culture: New Directions in Art and Humanities Research, ed. Judith Thissen, Robert Zwijnenberg, and Kitty Zijlmans. From The Conversation, a look at Australia’s 2013 election results and the future: Experts respond. Did the NSA secretly make a major math breakthrough? Joe Kloc wonders. Matt Buchanan on how the N.S.A. cracked the Web. Kevin Drum on how the Snowden disclosures finally hit 12 on a scale of 1 to 10 (and more). Everything Snowden knows about following the rules he learned from the NSA; somebody, somewhere in the agency must be perversely proud of what he’s done. What happened to the Onion? Two words: The Internet. Jamil Zaki on how psychological studies are not about you. Slavoj Zizek on why Syria is a pseudo-struggle: The ongoing struggle we see is a false one, lacking the kind of radical-emancipatory opposition clearly perceptible in Egypt. Rebecca Greenfield on why we can’t help ourselves from caring about things that don’t matter. Istvan Aranyosi on Dawkins's accusers and the new "Oriental". Roxane gay on why we read New York Times wealth porn. Jonathan Chait on how John Boehner may save America after all: “Usually we associate cashing in on K Street with selling out your principles. In this case, selling out would actually allow Boehner to fulfill his principles”.

Robert S Taylor (UC-Davis): Illiberal Socialism. From Socialist Review, is Leninism finished? Alex Callinicos challenges the critics and argues that Leninism remains indispensable (and a response by Ian Birchall and a reply by Callinicos); and Ed Rooksby on why it's time to realign the left: Radical left parties such as Syriza in Greece and the Front De Gauche in France have made significant gains recently — but what about Britain? (and a response by Mark L. Thomas). The Global Power Project: Andrew Gavin Marshall on Exposing the Transnational Power Class; Identifying the Institutions of Control; the Influence of Individuals and Family Dynasties; Banking on Influence with JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo; and more. Duane Rousselle on anarchism as institution. Jon Hochschartner on the case for a more democratic, less narrow International Socialist Organization. Richard Seymour on how there's never been a better time to be a socialist. In defense of indoctrination: Katie Halper — comic, writer, blogger, unabashed liberal, and more — sets satire aside to share insights gleaned from making “Commie Camp,” her documentary and loving tribute to Camp Kinderland. You can download Social Democracy After the Cold War, ed. Bryan Evans and Ingo Schmidt. Dan Poulton reviews The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty-First Century by Seumas Milne. Frank Ellis on evil in the east, communism’s European legacy.

From Wonkblog, “The Tuition is Too Damn High” is a 10-part series on the causes and consequences of — and potential fixes for — the skyrocketing costs of higher education. Oh, we may say our colleges are the best in the world while we secretly believe they’re an overpriced rip-off, but leave it to Thomas Frank to ask whether they’re the best in the world at committing the rip-off. Haley Sweetland Edwards on America’s worst community colleges: The San Francisco Bay Area’s economy may be high tech, but its community colleges are the bottom of the barrel. Kevin Carey on those self-defeating lobbyists at One Dupont Circle: Higher education's representatives in Washington are making themselves vulnerable to an accumulation of outrage. Claire Goldstene on the emergent academic proletariat and its shortchanged students. Keith O’Brien on the trouble with grade inflation: It works — easy A’s really do open doors, suggests a new study. Asha Rangappa on how the path to getting into an elite school has long been shrouded in mystery — it’s up to us, the admissions officers, to lift the veil. The Complainers: Graham Hillard goes online with The Chronicle of Higher Education. The use of journal rankings to rate individual papers, scientists, and even programs has upset loads of people in academia; one paper’s solution: Get rid of journals. Michael Billig on why academics can’t write. Martin Kicho on dissertations with titles that warrant a double-take. Christina H. Paxson on the economic case for saving the humanities.

John Protevi (LSU): Evolution, Neuroscience, and Prosocial Behavior in Disasters. From Insurgent Notes, Matthew Quest on C.L.R. James’s conflicted intellectual legacies on Mao Tse Tung’s China. Charlie Smith on why a nascent Vancouver Island separatist movement matters. You can download Sociocultural Systems: Principles of Structure and Change by Frank W. Elwell. Amanda Hess on how marriage is the new middle-class luxury item. Trevor Timm on how the NSA misleads the public without technically lying. Ian Leslie on why Malcolm Gladwell is underrated: “There, I said it”. From TNR, Gordon Silverstein on how Obama just increased executive power again; and Julia Ioffe on Rand Paul's Syria Bible thumping: Why does he only seem to care about the country's Christians? The introduction to Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change by Edmund Phelps. Bruce Schneier on how the US government has betrayed the Internet — we need to take it back. Jester and Priest: John Connelly on how the great Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski went from being an anticlerical scourge to an apostle of John Paul II. From Mute, is black a colour, the absence of colour or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Eugene Thacker considers the philosophical implications of blackness. Jonathan Chait on how Republicans and business are getting along just fine: “In American politics you go to war with the coalition you have” (and more).