Hai-Anh Dang (World Bank): Vietnam: A Widening Poverty Gap for Ethnic Minorities. Can East Timor dodge the “resource curse”? Despite oil and gas riches, signs of wealth remain scarce in the impoverished country. From The New York Times Magazine, Luke Mogelson on the Dream Boat: More than a thousand refugees have died trying to reach Christmas Island — but faced with unbearable conditions at home, they keep coming; and a game of shark and minnow: The shell of a forsaken ship has become a battleground in a struggle that will shape the future of the South China Sea and, to some extent, the rest of the world. Walter Lohman on the South China Sea and the lessons of history. Michael Auslin on the day America lost Asia. James Fallows on how to think about the Chinese air-defense news. Troubled skies over troubled waters: China announces a new air defence zone, causing neighbours to protest about the latest escalation of territorial disputes in the East China Sea (and more). Heather Timmons and Lily Kuo on how China’s air defense zone isn’t the only way the country is exercising its new military muscle. Joe Pappalardo on what a shooting war in the East China Sea might look like. Taiwan military: China able to invade by 2020. Economic experiments and the battle for East Asia: Ely Ratner on why the race for dominance in East Asia is about economic strength, not military power. Peter Gordon reviews Poverty in the Midst of Affluence: How Hong Kong Mismanaged Its Prosperity by Leo F. Goodstadt.

John O. Hayward (Bentley): Religious Pretenders in the Courts: Unmasking the Imposters. Patrick H. O'Neil (Puget Sound): The Deep State: An Emerging Concept in Comparative Politics. From NYRB, here be monsters: Marina Warner reviews Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps by Chet Van Duzer and Sea Monsters: A Voyage Around the World’s Most Beguiling Map by Joseph Nigg. Meet Ryan Shapiro, the punk rocker who can liberate your FBI file. Henry Aaron and Harold Pollack on why now's not the time for liberals to say "I told you so" about Obamacare. Did the feds fix HealthCare.gov? Maggie Fox, Mike O'Brien and Mark Murray on how we’ll know. How will we know Obamacare is working? The media will stop covering it. John Cassidy on why liberalism will survive Obamacare. Brad Plumer on 103 different ways to reduce the deficit. George Dvorsky on how we'll swear in the future. USA Today lets go top climate reporter Dan Vergano, embraces confusionist Bjorn Lomborg. Eugene Brennan reviews Reflections on Anti-Semitism by Alain Badiou, Eric Hazan and Ivan Segre. Dukakis and the Tank: Josh King on the inside story of the worst campaign photo op ever. Susan B. Glasser on the price of smart power: Will Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran come at the cost of Syrian lives? Jacqueline Millner on why Yoko Ono still matters. Gawker Media has more readers than the top-circulation U.S. magazines — who's out-of-touch now? A to Zine: Sabrina Ricci on a guide to understanding zines. Gavin Jamieson on 5 “crazy people” who were right all along.

Wilson Ray Huhn (Akron): Slaves to Contradictions: 13 Myths that Sustained Slavery. William M. Carter Jr. (Pittsburgh): The Promises of Freedom: The Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment. Does the Gettysburg Address distract us from the real Lincoln? Sean Wilentz on the politician behind the oratory. Was the Gettysburg Address a mistake? Chuck Thompson on why Lincoln was far too kind to the South — and we still are. Amy Crawford on the slaves who sued for freedom: New research uncovers a little-known force for abolition — captives who took their masters to court. Jacqueline M. Allain on sexual relations between elite white women and enslaved men in the Antebellum South. Can America face up to the terrible reality of slavery in the way that Germany has faced up to the Holocaust? Elizabeth Anderson on American conservative politics and the long shadow of slavery. 150 years of racism: Attitudes in the American South. David Cole on how to uphold racial injustice. The new nullification movement: Ari Berman on how some states are reviving disenfranchisement schemes that date back to the antebellum South (and more and more). Richard L. Hasen on how courts should think about Republican efforts to make it harder to vote. Leader of Colorado's secessionist movement says the problem they're fighting is the "urbanization of America". The RNC seems pretty sure that racism has ended. From Mobilizing Ideas, a symposium on Right-Wing Extremism, Racist Movements, and Fights for Racial Justice (and part 2). Linda Kinstler and Kevin Mahnken on why Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s new miniseries about civil rights matters more than ever.