Daniel Bessner (Washington) and Stephen Wertheim (Cambridge): Democratizing U.S. Foreign Policy: Bringing Experts and the Public Back Together. “It's just weird”: A former employee on Rex Tillerson’s empty State Department. The silence of Rex Tillerson: Sooner or later, someone needs to explain what Trump’s foreign policy is — but the secretary of state does not seem to understand his job. Trump promised an “unpredictable” foreign policy — to allies, it looks incoherent. Trump aide admits there actually isn’t a “Trump doctrine”. Who is a better ally for the United States, China or Russia? President Trump may have to choose. Robert Farley on 5 big reasons U.S.-China ties could go up in flames (and on a path to war).

Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are the problem — a staff shake-up won’t fix anything. Ed Kilgore on why Trump may push to kill the legislative filibuster. Republicans have huge ambitions for this Congress — they’re already running short on time. The McConnell Era: In many ways, the failures we’re experiencing in governance and politics today are bound up in the way Mitch McConnell has chosen political gamesmanship over policy (and more). The Jeff Sessions agenda: The attorney general is undermining the Department of Justice’s core mission from within. The sanctuary-cities executive order is Trump’s next legal train wreck. How Obama’s legacy impacts the battle between pragmatism and the ideologues.

Carmen G. Gonzalez (Seattle): Global Justice in the Anthropocene. Helen Kopnina (Leiden): Nobody Likes Dichotomies (But Sometimes You Need Them). Kyle Whyte (Michigan State): Is it Colonial DeJa Vu? Indigenous Peoples and Climate Injustice. The women on the front lines of climate change: Women around the globe are disproportionately affected by climate change, but this gives them an edge in preparing for an uncertain future. Black lives should matter more to the environmental movement: Trump’s attacks on EPA regulations don’t just worsen climate change — they harm vulnerable communities, too. Here’s how environmental justice leaders are pushing forward in the Trump era.

Jessica McCain (Georgia): Where Birds Flock to Get Together: The Who, What, Where, and Why of Mate Searching. Trump threatens via Twitter to “solve the problem” in North Korea. Five ways the North Korea situation could spiral out of control: “Eventually they’ll go too far, and the situation will unravel”. Why would Assad use sarin in a war he’s winning? To terrify Syrians. The cruel hypocrisy of Trump’s sudden concern for Syrian children. Intersectionality and its discontents: Jennifer C. Nash reviews Intersectionality: Origins, Contestations, Horizons by Anna Carastathis; Intersectionality (Key Concepts) by Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge; and Pursuing Intersectionality, Unsettling Dominant Imaginaries by Vivian May. Matthew Desmond’s Evicted just won the Pulitzer for nonfiction — it’s all housing advocates can talk about.

Thread: “Trump has trafficked in anti-Semitism since the start of his campaign. Sean Spicer’s comments cannot be removed from this context”. Sean Spicer is the perfectly awful spokesman that Donald Trump deserves. “Spicer’s statement was made on behalf of a president who, in 2015, minimized a chemical gas attack that killed 5,000”.

Nicholas Chesterley (Oxford) and Paolo Roberti (Bologna): Populism and Institutional Capture. Ray Dalio, Steven Kryger, Jason Rogers, and Gardner Davis on populism, the phenomenon: How it typically germinates, grows, and runs its course. What if the “populist wave” is just political fragmentation? Chris Gilson and Artemis Photiadou interview Eric Kaufmann on cultural values and the rise of right-wing populism in the West. Populism is the result of global economic failure: Political revolts are inevitable in a world where employees are wage slaves and bosses super rich. No easy answers: Why left-wing economics is not the answer to right-wing populism (and a response).

Kenneth Rogoff on growing out of populism. How does populism turn authoritarian? Venezuela is a case in point. Thea Riofrancos on democracy without the people: What if populism is not the problem, but the solution?

Mila Sohoni (San Diego): The Case of the Frozen Trucker: A Collage and Homage. Ian Millhiser on 9 terrible things Neil Gorsuch could do in his first full term on the Supreme Court. Get used to Justice Gorsuch — he might still be on the Supreme Court in 2050. Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation shattered political conventions — here is why. Ian Millhiser on a simple plan to end the Supreme Court confirmation wars for good — this can’t go on. The Supreme Court will never be the same: Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed by the Senate, the filibuster is dead, and no one knows what happens next. How Merrick Garland could torment Trump: The spurned Supreme Court nominee has had a lot to say about deregulatory initiatives like the one the president’s pushing.

Patrick R. Grzanka (Tennessee), Emily S. Mann (South Carolina), and Sinikka Elliott (NCSU): The Neoliberalism Wars, or Notes on the Persistence of Neoliberalism. Luca Mavelli (Kent): Governing the Resilience of Neoliberalism through Biopolitics. Dawn L. Rothe and Victoria E. Collins (Eastern Kentucky): The Integrated Spectacle: Neoliberalism and the Socially Dead. From Syndicate, a symposium on The Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling the Economy from Jesus to Foucault by Dotan Leshem. Are consumer movements inherently neoliberal? From Public Seminar, Michael Quirk on the uses and limits of anti-neoliberalism; and what do you mean when you use the term neoliberalism? Jeffrey Goldfarb asks his American friends, colleagues, students and comrades on the academic Left.

In defence of neoliberalism: The “neoliberal era” has done more to reduce global poverty than any other time in history.