David Barrowclough (Cambridge): The Wonderful Discovery of Witches' Unearthing the Occult: Necromancy and Magic in Seventeenth-Century England. A neo-Darwinian — yet apparently value-free — approach to studying English society: Krishan Kumar reviews Very Different, but Much the Same: The Evolution of English Society Since 1714 by W G Runciman. Is debt really that bad? Jaume Ventura and Hans-Joachim Voth on the towering debts, rapid tax hikes, and constant state of war that led to Britain’s Industrial Revolution, showing that the devil is in the detail when assessing sovereign debt. Tony Quinn on John Bull and its famous Bullets prize competitions. Harriet Ward (Sussex): “While the Unemployment of the 1930s was Still Regarded as a Tragedy, that of the 1980s was not”: How and Why did the Perception of Unemployment Change Under Thatcher? Fear in those blue eyes: David Runciman reviews Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants by Charles Moore.

Andrew Iliadis (Purdue): The Right to Nonparticipation for Global Digital Citizenship. Sara Lipton on the words that killed medieval Jews. Why can’t anyone agree on the definition of “domestic terrorism”? Americans attracted to ISIS find an “echo chamber” on social media. Should doctors operate on intersex babies? M.C. was born with ambiguous genitalia, a rare condition that doctors addressed with surgery; now, in a landmark lawsuit, M.C.’s parents are challenging the medical mainstream — why does a surgeon decide what sex a child should be? Paul Ryan’s beard triggers a style debate. Erik Malinowski on the funky little football phone that sold a million magazines: In the late ‘80s, a mid-level marketing guy at Sports Illustrated wondered, “Could you put a phone inside a football?”, and the answer was a resounding — and industry-changing — yes.

Yaacov Yadgar (Bar-Ilan): Traditionism. Xavier Marquez (Victoria): An Epistemic Argument for Conservatism. Aaron Edlin (Berkeley): Conservatism and Switcher’s Curse. They want America to fail: The Tea Party far Right hates the GOP — and their own country. Aram Bakshian Jr. reviews The Conservative Rebellion by Richard Bishirjian. Tony Sobrado on the paradox of conservative political philosophy in contemporary America. Peter Berkowitz on the right way forward for conservatism: Despite the rise of Donald Trump and big Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and Obamacare, Republicans can get out of their funk if they unite around what’s best in the conservative tradition. Jonah Goldberg on fusionism, 60 years later. Cheerfully insane National Review music video is Oh Sweet Jesus!

James Hankins (Harvard): George of Trebizond, Renaissance Libertarian? The most misunderstood libertarian: Alberto Mingardi reviews Herbert Spencer: Legacies, ed. Mark Francis and Michael Taylor. An interview with David D. Friedman on his vision of the state and how he feels it can be pushed back. The hostile response to Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism raises a question: Why are rightists economic optimists? Chris Dillow on the sad death of free market pessimism. Jorg Spieker reviews Engaging Enemies: Hayek and the Left by Simon Griffiths. Can you sustain an economic philosophy solely by begging the question? Matt Bruenig wonders.

When it comes to foreign policy, the GOP’s candidates for president in 2016 are either ignorant or insane. Doug Ahler and David Broockman on how Donald Trump is a textbook example of an ideological moderate. Britney Summit-Gil on radicals, revolutionaries, and the Trumpization of the great American middle. GOP contenders prep for loud, ugly holiday season: Trump will “ruin Christmas for America”, says a Rubio consultant. Andrew Prokop asked 6 pollsters if Trump could win the general election — here’s what they said. Nate Cohn on how Donald Trump could win, and why he probably won’t. Adele Stan on the Chaos Party: If you find comfort in the notion of a Republican Party in disarray, you may wish to reconsider.

Sonia Silva (Skidmore): Political Evil: Witchcraft from the Perspective of the Bewitched. Bring back antitrust: Despite low inflation and some bargain prices, economic concentration and novel abuses of market power are pervasive in today's economy — harming consumers, workers, and innovators; we need a new antitrust for a new predatory era. Adam Johnson on how CNN’s debate on “terror” omitted the kind that kills the most Americans. Rebecca Traister on the election and the death throes of white male power. Jamie Raskin on Bush vs. Gore’s ironic legal legacy: “When the Supreme Court has intervened in the electoral process, it's been to subvert voting equality”. Jared Bernstein how facts don’t do what they want them to. Ben Yagoda on “shall”, “should”, and the fate of the Earth. Jim Kerstetter on why some start-ups are called tech companies and others are not.

From The Chronicle, scholars of gun violence describe their lonely battles: Two university researchers say they’re optimistic that their work will have long-term benefits — but the sometimes-vitriolic response they receive can be deeply frustrating; Eric Kelderman on how guns on campus became a live issue in Wisconsin; don’t make me part of your gun culture: Linda Van Ingen, a historian facing active-shooter defense training, resents how the burden of violence is being placed on educators; and Margaret Olin on how fear might affect grades: An instructor wonders whether the likelihood of concealed guns in her classroom would make her go easy on certain students (and more). College instructor apologizes after leaving a gun in his classroom. A committee at the University of Texas at Austin has recommended that the university allow people with concealed-handgun permits to carry their guns in classrooms (and more). A look at how states expanded gun rights after Sandy Hook school massacre. Thresholds of violence: Malcolm Gladwell on how school shootings spread. Ana Swanson on why violence is so contagious.

Shelly Kreiczer-Levy (ACLB): Consumption Property in the Sharing Economy. From Room for Debate, should companies have responsibility for all contract workers, even if they don’t employ them directly? Michelle Chen on how bad the sharing economy is for workers — and this is how reformers and activists might win protections for Silicon Valley’s so-called “independent contractors”. With the rise of the “gig economy” has come a debate over who is an employee, and who is truly an “independent contractor” — do we need to create a new category of worker just for the Uber era? Marina Gorbis on designing a new operating system for work. Jeff Spross on why America’s sharing economy needs a massive expansion of the welfare state. Think outside the boss: Trebor Scholz on cooperative alternatives to the sharing economy.

Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider on why the sharing economy must share ownership. The post-ownership society: Monica Potts on how the “sharing economy” allows Millennials to cope with downward mobility, and also makes them poorer. Will you fight for your right to help Airbnb make money from you? Tom Slee on Airbnb’s business in New York City. In the new world of work, is Uber the villain or a hero? Rana Foroohar wants to know. On the road to nowhere: Uber drivers are getting creative in their fight for basic workplace rights. Seattle will allow Uber and Lyft drivers to form unions.

Why revolution is no longer possible: Byung-Chul Han on how the tough logic of capitalism prevails even at the heart of the sharing economy — as nice as it may be to share, no one gives away anything for free. Shane Ferro on how no one is actually sure if the “sharing economy” even exists. Sarah Kessler on how the “sharing economy” is dead, and we killed it: Five years ago, everybody was excited about the idea of using tech to borrow things like power drills — in practice, though, not so much.

Robert J. Rhee (Florida): Why Credit Rating Agencies Exist. Clifford Backman on the “Greater West” and sympathetic suffering. Sometimes, starting the Y-axis at zero is the best way to lie with statistics. From Marx to Microsoft: Benjamin Brandall on the origins of flat design and how it was almost ruined. Gabriel Sherman on the three-way, mostly civilized family contest to become Times publisher. Did Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson just secretly buy Nevada’s biggest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal? Margaret Levi and Barry Weingast on how Douglass North won a Nobel prize for explaining economic history, and why some countries were rich and most were poor. Ian Millhiser on Justice Ginsburg’s ominous warning about creeping corporate power. Abortion by wire coat hanger is not a thing of the past in America.

Daniel Tutt (GCAS): Islamic Political Utopianism. Asifa Quraishi-Landes (Wisconsin): The Sharia Problem with Sharia Legislation. From National Review, Reihan Salam on how the Muslim world contains multitudes. Can mostly Christian countries integrate Muslims? Claire Adida, David Laitin, and Marie-Anne Valfort’s Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-Heritage Societies shows what must be done. The first chapter from What Is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic by Shahab Ahmed. How she wants to modify Muslims: Max Rodenbeck reviews Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The introduction to The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s London by Nile Green. Soft power: Fariha Roisin on how pop star Zayn Malik is rebuilding the modern Muslim man in an age of Islamophobia.

The rise of hate search: What we type into Google gives us a glimpse of our darkest impulses — it can also predict anti-Muslim crimes. Dearborn Muslims protested ISIS, and you can probably guess what happened next. Robber calls Indian-American store clerk ISIS “terrorist” and shoots him in the face. Caitlin Macneal on the stunningly long list of anti-Muslim hate crimes since San Bernardino. As Trump rages on, Democrats try showing solidarity with American Muslims.

Alison McQueen (Stanford): Political Realism and Moral Corruption. The globe’s hottest year just keeps getting hotter. David Roberts on the conceptual breakthrough behind the Paris climate treaty. Mark Thoma on the economic hurdles for beating global warming. Philip Bump on why this National Review global temperature graph is so misleading. Sulome Anderson on the people making Captagon, the drug ISIS fighters take to feel “invincible”. Hamilton Nolan on why terrorism is a sideshow. Fox News contributor Bo Dietl champions profiling people with certain facial hair as anti-terrorism measure. What the hell happened to Mickey Kaus? Ben Smith on how a godfather of Democratic political blogging became obsessed with immigration — and came around to Donald Trump. David Robson on the countries that don’t exist: There really is a secret world of hidden independent nations, with their own populations, governments and football leagues — in fact, you’ve almost certainly visited one without realising.

From National Review, Conrad Black on why Donald Trump is the good guy. Who, if anybody, is advising Donald Trump? The GOP frontrunner’s statements appear to be drafted on the fly. Ron Kampeas on 3 ways Sheldon Adelson could handle Donald Trump. Mark Thomas on how Donald Trump’s divisiveness is bad for the economy. Jeff Guo on what Donald Trump and dying white people have in common. From “white power” to Nazi salutes: How toxic can Trump rallies get? How Donald Trump mainstreamed Ted Cruz. Tim Alberta goes inside the secret meeting where conservative leaders pledged allegiance to Ted Cruz. We have an epic confrontation between two master who have trained for decades in the arts of assholery and bullying — but their powers equally matched, it is a stand off. Will elites blow up the GOP? Patrick Buchanan wonders.

Matthew Ward (Southern Mississippi): They Say Bad Things Come in Threes: How Economic, Political and Cultural Shifts Facilitated Contemporary Anti-Immigration Activism in the United States. David Noriega on the anti-immigration activist who set the stage for Donald Trump: Maria Espinoza’s Remembrance Project pioneered the political strategy of using the stories of families of Americans killed by undocumented immigrants to argue for restrictions on immigration. Trump and the riot of the elites: Skeptics of Mideast immigration understandably want to guard against terrorist blowback created by U.S. intervention there. Do conservatives really want to ban only Muslim immigrants? There is little evidence that Christian immigrants are welcome, either. The rights of refugees who do wrong: Nelson Kargbo was a child soldier from Sierra Leone given asylum in America — then the government tried to send him back. The number of child migrants arriving on the US’s doorstep has doubled since last year.

From The Atlantic, David Frum on America’s immigration challenge: Coming to the United States would benefit millions — but policymakers seldom ask whether their arrival would benefit the United States. Esther Yu-Hsi Lee on the prison-to-deportation pipeline that keeps punishing immigrants. Remember that shot fired a few months ago in the Great Immigration vs. Wages War? Turns out it was a dud. You can’t cut unemployment by keeping out immigrants: The Fed — not immigrants — controls the labor market.