Margaret Boittin (York), Greg Distelhorst (MIT), and Francis Fukuyama Stanford): Reassessing the Quality of Government in China. Patrick Francois, Francesco Trebbi, and Kairong Xiao (UBC): Factions in Nondemocracies: Theory and Evidence from the Chinese Communist Party. Speculation grows Xi Jinping will defy China rule on leadership retirement. From NYRB, a review essay on the Cultural Revolution by Ian Johnson. China wants to give all of its citizens a score — and their rating could affect every area of their lives. Ian Johnson interviews Christopher Rea, author of The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China.

Shucheng Wang (CUHK): Tripartite Freedom of Religion in China: An Illiberal Perspective. Ian Johnson on the role of Chinese religion in environmental protection. Resettling China's "ecological migrants": Miaomiao Lake Village is just one of the new communities built to accommodate the world's largest environmental migration project — but residents are struggling to adapt. China starts cancelling under-construction coal plants. Your balcony fell off, vaccines are overheated? Chabuduo — how China became the land of disastrous corner-cutting.


They’ve got you, wherever you are: Jacob Weisberg reviews The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu; and Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez. Tim Cook confirms: Tech met with Trump to ask for billions in tax breaks. Forgive me, techies, but here are the seven reasons why Silicon Valley likes Trump. Silicon Valley's power brokers want you to think they're different — but they're just average robber barons. Blinded by “technology”: Bob Hughes, author of The Bleeding Edge: Why Technology Turns Toxic in an Unequal World, on how another world should be easy — what’s hard is imagining it when somebody’s brandishing an iPhone in your face. The first chapter from Technology Differences over Space and Time by Francesco Caselli.


America's top case study: Trump’s personality provides for a fascinating psychological case study. Sarah Kendzior on applying the Billy Bush principle to Donald Trump (don't be a sycophant). Justin Davidson on Donald Trump’s war against facts. Don’t be fooled: Closing the Trump Foundation doesn’t solve Trump’s conflict of interest problems. From Vox, a guide to the most powerful jobs in the Trump administration and the people filling them. Rick Perry, as energy secretary, may be pressed to resume nuclear tests. White nationalist Richard Spencer tries to distance the “alt-Right” from Trump. “Alt-Right” groups will “revolt” if Trump shuns white supremacy, leaders say.

Hungarian Miklos Haraszti: I watched a populist leader rise in my country — that’s why I’m genuinely worried for America. If the very worst happens, it won’t be because we didn’t know that it might happen — we have all been amply warned.


From Law, Ethics and Philosophy, a symposium on “Four Puzzles on Gender Equality” by Philippe Van Parijs. Sergei M. Guriev (Sciences Po) and Daniel Treisman (UCLA): What Makes Governments Popular. Russia, Turkey, Iran eye dicing Syria into zones of influence. Venezuela military trafficking food as country goes hungry. Cynthia Banham on civil society resistance in liberal democracies in a time of rising non-accountability. The rules of the game: Eric Maskin and Amartya Sen on a new electoral system. Politicizing Star Wars: Dan Hassler-Forest on anti-fascism vs. nostalgia in “Rogue One”. Climate change driving birds to migrate early, research reveals. Climate scientists swing back, launch anonymous hotline for government employees to report Trump meddling.


“We want to rock the boat”: American “progressives” are teaming up with Russia to push for a “Calexit”. Why dictators hate chess: Jacob Weisberg interviews Garry Kasparov on Vladimir Putin’s meddling and America’s response. “What the Russians did was utterly unprecedented”: The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, criticizes Donald Trump, and the leader and members of his own party, for mishandling a “grave danger” to the republic. Trump on alleged election interference by Russia: “Get on with our lives”. Obama administration is close to announcing measures to punish Russia for election interference. Senator Lindsey Graham says Russia can expect hard-hitting sanctions.

In Russia, it’s not the economy, stupid: A president’s popularity used to depend on growth — now it depends on geopolitics. What does Putin really want? Trump’s presidency will show us. Trump’s call for a nuclear arms race isn’t a warning to Putin — it’s an invitation.


Facebook’s problem isn’t fake news — it’s the rest of the Internet. Wikipedia is fixing one of the Internet’s biggest flaws. Tom Vanderbilt reviews Wasting Time on the Internet by Kenneth Goldsmith. How free web content traps people in an abyss of ads and clickbait. Richard Seymour reviews This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture by Whitney Phillips; Gendertrolling: How Misogyny Went Viral by Karla Mantilla; Bad Clowns by Benjamin Radford; and Trolls: An Unnatural History by John Lindow. We asked 8,500 Internet commenters why they do what they do. Reddit is tearing itself apart. What 4chan memes will go mainstream in 2017? The Dark Web is mostly full of garbage. The Internet trends toward crap.


From Columbia Journalism Review, a special section on Covering Trump, including Nic Dawes on maneuvering a new reality for US journalism; and what Trump could (and couldn't) do to restrict press freedom. Gawker's demise and the Trump-era threat to the First Amendment: Hulk Hogan's smashing legal victory shows us that publishing the truth may no longer be enough. Donald Trump's real threat to the press: Worry about the Espionage Act, not libel laws. As Trump era nears, is the media ready for the challenge? Winter is coming: Prospects for the American press under Trump. How journalists covered the rise of Mussolini and Hitler: Reports on the rise of fascism in Europe was not the American media's finest hour. Dan Gilmore on Trump, free speech, and why journalists must be activists.

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