Stacy-Ann Elvy (NYLS): Towards a New Democratic Africa: The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Nicholas Alden Kahn-Fogel (Arkansas): Western Universalism and African Homosexualities. Ericka Albaugh (Bowdoin): States of Languages and Languages of States: Natural and Unnatural Language Spread in West Africa. Beth Whitaker and Jason Giersch (UNC): The Politics of Exclusion: Explaining Anti-Immigration Attitudes in Africa. C. Omar Kebbeh on The Gambia and migration in Africa's "Smiling Coast". Adam Welz on the war on African poaching: Is militarization fated to fail? Mark Leon Goldberg and Mading Ngor on South Sudan’s somewhat disappointing first two years. Snatched from a marketplace in Sudan and sold into slavery at the age of six, William Mawwin became one of millions of people in the world enduring some form of involuntary servitude. Fear and hunger threaten to overwhelm one of Africa’s most tragic countries, the Central African Republic. Zambia isn’t a failed state in the traditional sense — there’s no dictator, no child soldiers — but most of its 14 million people live on less than $1 per day; how did things get this way, and can they ever get better? The global elite’s favorite strongman: Paul Kagame is an international hero for reforming Rwanda — but cleaning up a country doesn’t come without moral hazards. Six months on from the French-led liberation, the people of Timbuktu are still reeling from the Islamist assault on their ancient heritage and way of life. Can Africa tell its own stories? Simon Allison wants to know.

Cass Sunstein (Harvard) and George Loewenstein and Russell Golman (Carnegie Mellon): Disclosure: Psychology Changes Everything. This time there really will be a government shutdown — and that's not all bad (and more). How well does contemporary fiction address radical politics? Pankaj Mishra and Jennifer Szalai on the challenges of portraying extreme political ideas. David Frum on the rules for covering mass shootings. The carnage continues: By the weekend, the Navy Yard shooting will be out of the news — we'll forget Aaron Alexis' name, and with a few months, another mass killer will take his place. From The Baffler, Siva Vaidhyanathan on how Eric Schmidt has moved from the Googleplex to the Davosplex; and enough with the mindless demonization of our overclass: Forbes columnist Harry Binswanger demands more perks for the one percent. John Tierney on the rational choices of crack addicts. Jonathan Weil on the food fight on the Harvard Law School blog. Coring the Big Apple: James Surowiecki on inequality in New York City. Meet the obscure U.N. body that will decide Syria’s fate. Zines have gone institutional: Harvard acquires a collection of 20,000 zines and related material. Rachel Alexander on why Democrats are winning — because Americans are lazy. Should your brain be able to take the Fifth? Nita A. Farahany warns of the “coming siege” against freedom of thought. Sarah Laskow on the photo BuzzFeed wishes it hadn’t used.

Douglas Laycock (Virginia): Religious Liberty and the Culture Wars. James Aber (Oxford): Where the New Left Meets the Religious Right: Home-Schooling and American Political Development. Sky L. Ammann (Wisconsin): Is There an Attendance Effect? Examining the Causal Link between Religious Attendance and Political Participation. Paul A. Djupe (Denison) and Amanda Friesen (IUPUI): An Integrated Model of Religious Influence on Political Participation. Jay Jennings (Temple): Religious Motivation and Racial Prejudice. From the Christian Post, Assemblies of God leader George O. Wood denies that speaking in tongues is in decline in Pentecostal churches; Hell is real and growing, Pastor Ed Young Jr. says; and Dan Delzell on how to reverse weird feelings about Christianity. Ditto Boys: Jeff Sharlet on Westmont College, a “feeder school” to the upper ranks of the Christian conservative movement. Blue Ridge Christian Academy, a creationist school that gave “Dinosaurs-Genesis” science test, closes due to lack of funds. From Alternet, Amanda Marcotte on the 5 most absurd, self-pitying gripes of the Christian Right; and on how weird Christian Right beliefs impact America: What you see on Breitbart or the Blaze or the 700 Club is just the tip of a massive iceberg of what’s really going on in conservative Christian circles. Welcome to Creation, the Christian music fest where the flock rocks.