Florian Foos (Zurich), Lyubomir Kostadinov (WWF), Nikolay Marinov (Mannheim), and Frank Schimmelfennig (ETH Zurich): Does Social Media Promote Civic Activism? A Field Experiment with a Civic Campaign. Yannis Theocharis (Mannheim Centre): Does Facebook Increase Political Participation? Evidence from a Field Experiment. Is Facebook luring you into being depressed? Chelsea Wald on how social media encourages us to follow those we envy. Science says Facebook is ruining your life. Annie Lowrey and Abraham Riesman on saying good-bye to all that Twitter. Over the past couple of weeks, a new genre of the “goodbye Twitter” essay has emerged, one that is as baffling as it is annoying. From The Idler, is technology killing conversation? Carlos Lozada on Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, the book that will have everyone talking about how we never talk anymore.

Anil Dash is against “don’t read the comments”: We’ve made a habit out of telling people not to read the comments online — but what started as a cynical in-joke has become a bad habit, and an excuse for enabling abuse across the web. Claude S. Fischer on how smartphones aren’t anti-social. Constant connection: We used to believe technology made us lonely — a whole new body of research says it doesn’t.


Mehdi Boussebaa (Bath): Professional Service Firms, Globalisation and the New Imperialism. The neuroscience of fear is incomplete without an account of philosophy and politics: Simon Wolfe Taylor reviews Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety by Joseph LeDoux. Danielle Paquette on the disturbing differences in what men want in their wives and their daughters. Reeves Wiedeman on the rise and fall of a Fox News fraud: Wayne Simmons used CIA credentials to get on TV and work with the Pentagon, but prosecutors say it was all a lie. The billionaire battle to own the Sun: Warren Buffett controls Nevada’s legacy utility, Elon Musk is behind the solar company that’s upending the market — let the fun begin. Anti-abortion groups join battles over frozen embryos. The first chapter from Invitation to Peace Studies by Houston Wood.


From WSJ, Donald Trump has done something rare in politics: Create a new coalition of voters. Donald Trump is the harbinger of the Republican Party apocalypse — and the GOP paved the way for its own destruction. Tucker Carlson on how Donald Trump is shocking, vulgar and right — and, my dear fellow Republicans, he’s all your fault. Low-information candidate worried about low-information voters: “They don't have a clue what you’re talking about, and yet these are people who vote”, something Ben Carson actually said. The Republican establishment can fix its problems by picking a name out of a hat — seriously: Game theory concepts of “focal points” and “credible commitment” provide a simple — albeit radical — solution to the problem facing moderate/establishment Republicans.

Potemkin ideologies: Paul Krugman on how the Republican and Democratic parties, as revealed by their primaries, are not at all symmetric. Ezra Klein on Hillary Clinton and the audacity of political realism. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are actually fighting about Barack Obama; it’s a debate over what Obama accomplished — and what he didn’t. No more Mr. Nice Bernie: To go negative, or not to go negative — that is the question facing the Bernie Sanders campaign. Andrew Prokop on Bernie Sanders's political revolution, explained. Bernie’s Wall Street plan is actually not enough: Mike Konczal on three ways he can make his plan a real threat to the finance industry. Dana Milbank on why Democrats would be insane to nominate Bernie Sanders.

Why do the Iowa caucuses matter? Because everyone thinks they do. Jennifer Daniel on what it’s like to live in Iowa before the caucuses.


James Cleith Phillips (Berkeley): Why are There So Few Conservatives and Libertarians in Legal Academia? An Empirical Exploration of Three Hypotheses. More than equality: Hilary Wainwright on reasons to be a feminist socialist. Steven Weinberg, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in physics and professor at the University of Texas at Austin, won’t allow guns in class, despite a new state law that will allow concealed weapons across campus. Heidi Beirich on why the government must prosecute the Oregon protestors: There must be a price for reckless and unlawful behavior. Robinson Meyer on the difficulty of talking about doomsday: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists wants you to think about it every year, but is their methodology still relevant? Megyn Kelly is not a hero — she’s a fearmonger like Donald Trump (and more: "They saw Muslims", isn't that enough to call cops?).


Mike Hill (Albany) and Warren Montag (Occidental): The Economic Imagination. Anthony Randazzo (Reason Foundation) and Jonathan Haidt (NYU): Are Economists Influenced by Their Moral Worldviews? Evidence from the Moral Foundations of Economists Questionnaire. Are economists driven by ideology or evidence? Mark Thoma investigates. The introduction to Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the Work of a Maverick Economist by L. Randall Wray. Steven Pearlstein on Olivier Blanchard, the smartest economist you’ve never heard of. Mike Bird on 13 women who transformed the world of economics. Robert B. Reich on how economics is too important to be left to economists. David Leiser and Zeev Kril (Ben-Gurion): How Laypeople Understand Economics. Egmont Kakarot-Handtke on how the intelligent non-economist can refute every economist hands down.

Dani Rodrik on economists vs. economics. N. Emrah Aydinonat reviews Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik (and more and more and more and more). Justin Fox on how academic publishing is all about status; and on how economics went from theory to data. Can economics change your mind? Noah Smith on how most of what you learned in Econ 101 is wrong. Do economics experiments have anything to do with reality? Philip Roscoe on how economics is itself one of the biggest problems we face today. Federico Fubini on the closed marketplace of economic ideas. Marshall I. Steinbaum and Bernard A. Weisberger on how economics was once radical — then it decided not to be. From Stanford University Press, a blog series on heterodox economics. Labor economics are having a moment — and so is Larry Mishel.


Barry R. Weingast (Stanford): Adam Smith’s Industrial Organization of Religion: Explaining the Medieval Church’s Monopoly and Its Breakdown in the Reformation. Garry Wills reviews Augustine: Conversions to Confessions by Robin Lane Fox. Matthew Minerd (CUA): Natural Law and History in the Moral Philosophy of Jacques Maritain. Steven Douglas Smith (San Diego): The Tortuous Course of Religious Freedom. The synod has been a sham — faithful Catholic leaders should walk out: Steve Skojec on how the church is making a dangerous turn toward heresy in its positions on divorce and homosexuality. Do conservative Catholics want a divorce? Ross Douthat on the plot to change Catholicism. Catholic theologians ask New York Times to stop letting Ross Douthat write about theology. Purging daily demons: What’s behind the popularity of exorcisms? Catholics are going to freak when we find aliens.


Malcolm Langford (Oslo): Why Judicial Review? The millennial generation is young, gifted and held back: The world’s young are an oppressed minority — unleash them. The triumph of the will: Josh Marshall on the Donald Trump debate drama and his “bitch slap theory of politics”. What happened to the battle for the soul of the Republican Party? Instead of a debate about their party's future, conservatives are faced with an insurgent they can't stand and a demagogue they can't trust. Joan Walsh: “Why I’m supporting Hillary Clinton, with joy and without apologies”. Does David Brock, shock troop for Hillary Clinton, help or hurt her? What happened to Jane Mayer when she wrote about the Koch brothers. Why is Martin Shkreli still talking? Allie Conti wants to know. In Oregon, “this is less the end than it is the beginning”: After Tuesday’s arrests and shooting of an anti-government protester near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, what happens next?


Jan Kubik (Rutgers): What’s the Situation of East Central Europe (ECE) Ten Years after Accession? Radenko Scekic (Montenegro): The Media and the Wars in Western Balkans in the Last Decade of the XX Century. Piro Rexhepi (NYU): Mainstreaming Islamophobia: The Politics of European Enlargement and the Balkan Crime-Terror Nexus. Ian Bancroft on the return of Balkan solidarity: Deep-seated mistrust and apathy among the people of the Balkans has been replaced with actions of transnational solidarity brought about by the region’s natural disasters, disgust at political corruption and the ongoing refugee crisis. Why do comic books love to use (and misuse) a fictional version of Eastern Europe? Harry Merritt on the forever-doomed Eastern Europe of our imaginations.

Ivan Krastev on why Poland is turning away from the West. Janos Kis on Orban’s politics of fear and hatred in Hungary. The European Union struggled hard to pull Moldova on its side; however now the tide is turning, Europe remains silent on the ongoing protests in Chisinau (and more and more). The last European: Juan Moreno on how Romanian driver Viktor Talic navigates the soul of the EU.


Matt Zwolinski (San Diego): A Critique of Ayn Rand’s Theory of Rights. Ayn Rand made me a communist: Jacob Bacharach on how an adolescent love affair with Atlas Shrugged opened up the world of radical politics. Bernie Sanders isn’t electable, and here’s why: It’s not really that he’s too lefty — it’s that once he does come under attack, most Democrats won’t go to the mat for him. Bernie Sanders at a crossroads: Attack Hillary Clinton or stay positive? The real reason Trump is winning evangelical support: They’re just not that “religious”. Donald Trump is wrecking the conservative movement: Heather Digby Parton on how the billionaire is exposing its most toxic secret. Ann Selzer is the best pollster in politics: Clare Malone on how her old-school rigor makes her uncannily accurate. Gossip isn’t a flaw — it’s a necessary social skill.


Peter H. Bent (UMass): The Political Power of Economic Ideas: Protectionism in Turn of the Century America (and more). The real story of how America became an economic superpower: David Frum reviews The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 and The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy by Adam Tooze. The introduction to The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics by Jefferson Cowie. Brad DeLong on how future economists will probably call this decade the “longest depression”. Paul Krugman on austerity’s grim legacy; on despair, American style; on the Obama boom; and reviews The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon (and more and more). Goodbye, golden age of growth (and part 2).

What is holding back the economy? Umair Haque on why no one will implement the best solution to economic stagnation. Could the economy tank in 2016? 23 economic forecasts for the new year. Mark Thoma on how the political party of the president matters for the economy.

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