Anastasia Stoyanova (HU Berlin): Economic Correlates of Far-Right Electoral Support. Why liberal democracy only dies when conservatives help: Matt O’Brien interviews Daniel Ziblatt, author of Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy. I saw the decline of a democracy: Patrick Kingsley on what his reporting in Turkey told him about how its autocratic president is seizing power (and more). Trump’s trampling of political norms spurs strongman comparisons. Jacob T. Levy on the shortcut to serfdom: In the face of resurgent right-wing populist and nationalist authoritarianism in the world, it is worth reconsidering the legacy of The Road to Serfdom and of Hayek’s work to bolster liberalism.

Pierre Schlag (Colorado): The American Road to Fascism. Rick Perlstein on fascism for dummies: Will stupidity mitigate despotism? Fighting fascism: Americans in the Spanish civil war have a lesson for today. “We must not be enemies”: Amitai Etzioni on globalist values and community values. So is the wave of populist nationalism finished? Hardly. Pranab Bardhan on understanding populist challenges to the liberal order. Refugee stasis: The camp is the end of the liberal order, the end of the post–World War II world, the end of human rights. The end of globalisation? Don’t be so sure — liberalism in economics and governance may be under attack but reports of its death have been exaggerated.


The inaugural issue of Secrecy and Society is out. Noya Rimalt (Haifa): When Rights Don’t Talk: Abortion Law and the Politics of Compromise. Sure China and Russia are cooperating in the building of a new silk road, but who will win the battle for Central Asia? Emboldened by Rouhani’s win, Iranians seek further reforms. With DHS position, Clarke would be the first “patriot” leader to hold a federal post. An ADL report finds right-wing and “radical Islamic” terror in the U.S. are equally serious threats. How Roger Ailes unleashed a new, misogynistic conservatism. Hoax article in social-science journal gets a rise out of some scholars. Why can’t a woman invest more like a man? Sheila Ohlund on gender differences in investment behaviour.

What Donald Trump needs to know about Bob Mueller and Jim Comey. Joe Lieberman is Donald Trump’s ideal patsy. What does the president owe, and to whom does he owe it? A special counsel can investigate criminal misconduct — but he can’t examine the bigger questions surrounding Donald Trump. Josh Marshall on “financial crimes” and why Trump is right to worry. This Trump-Russia investigation could last for years.


VP Mike Pence was never informed about Flynn. How long can Mike Pence play dumb? The vice president accelerates his efforts to stay above the fray — it’s getting much harder. Pence’s claims of ignorance come with risks. Vice President Pence has a growing credibility problem. In light of Flynn revelations, Mike Pence has some explaining to do. Will Trump’s scandals bring down Pence, or put him in the Oval Office? President Pence: Veep starts fundraising amid Trump scandals. Should we wish for a President Pence? Don’t fear President Pence, liberals — welcome him. President Mike Pence would be in for a world of pain: Being Trump’s No. 2 is hard — replacing him would be far harder.


From NYRB, a review essay on Saudi Arabia by Nicolas Pelman. Low crude prices and the war in Yemen have sent a shock through Saudi Arabia’s budget and forced it to revise its social contract even as it seeks to diversify its businesses. Saudis see writing on the wall, move to get economy off oil before it’s too late. Michael Stephens and Thomas Juneau on Saudi Arabia: Why we need this flawed ally. Daniel Benaim on what we know about Donald Trump’s Middle East policy. Ishaan Tharoor on the surreal strangeness of Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia. Donald of Arabia: He didn’t do anything embarrassing — but he did commit the United States to a deeper alliance with the very leaders who are part of the problem.

Michael A. Newton (Vanderbilt): An Assessment of the Legality of Arms Sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Context of the Conflict in Yemen. What America’s new arms deal with Saudi Arabia says about the Trump administration: It puts human rights aside to make a buck. To Trump, human rights concerns are often a barrier to trade. How Trump hurts the spying business: When the administration embraces autocrats or ignores human rights, it hurts the C.I.A.’s ability to recruit good spies. Here’s why the Saudis love Trump: As far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, Trump’s anti-Muslim rabble-rousing is just red meat for the American rubes.

P.C. Trump abandons “radical Islamic terror”. “I think Islam hates us”: A timeline of Trump’s comments about Islam and Muslims. Kevin Drum on the road to Riyadh, starring Donald Trump. There’s an old tweet to celebrate every occasion. There really is a tweet for everything.


Trump is a president gripped by delusions of absolute power. Daniel Kurtz-Phelan on the malice of Trump’s incompetence. President Trump, desperate dealmaker: The president is cutting deals, but all of the available evidence suggests that he is getting played. The president is not a child — he’s something worse. Tony Schwartz: “I wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’ with Trump. His self-sabotage is rooted in his past”. Yes, Trump is dumb, but is Trump actually smart? The scariest thought: What if Donald Trump just doesn’t know what he’s doing? Daniel W. Drezner on that thing Trump did: Introducing the Generic Trump White House Scandal Column Generator.


Mona Lilja, Mikael Baaz, Michael Schulz and Stellan Vinthagen (Gothenberg): How Resistance Encourages Resistance: Theorizing the Nexus between Power, “Organised Resistance” and “Everyday Resistance”. How Andrew Cuomo profits from a Republican Senate. We'll need new security standards when hackers go after the Internet of Things. Teen magazines have always covered more than fashion — you just didn’t notice. Meet Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the Left radical who will likely be Jackson, Mississippi’s next mayor. Does money make us selfish? Philip Goodchild on money, trust, and self-interest. Researchers develop measures to capture moral judgments and empathy. 1,750 for a copy of Oz magazine.


Karen Turner interviews Ellen Mickiewicz, author of No Illusions: The Voices of Russia’s Future Leaders, on how Russians watch the news. Cynthia Hooper goes inside Russia’s alternate media reality. Russia has weaponized fake news to sow chaos: The Kremlin’s influence campaign goes far beyond Trump’s victory — and their latest unsuspecting targets are American conservatives. Russia has set up a website to “expose” Western media stories as fake news. Russophobia has been an allegation levied against independence-minded Poles in the late 19th century and pro-Western dissidents in the late 20th century — but it was Putin’s regime that essentially weaponized the Russophobia smear in the early 21st century.


Eric Franklin Amarante (UNLV): Why Don’t White Supremacists Pay Taxes? Why the IRS puts white-nationalist groups in the same category as orchestras, planetariums and zoos. They hate the US government, and they’re multiplying: J. Oliver Conroy on the terrifying rise of “sovereign citizens”. White male terrorists are an issue: We should discuss who gets named a terrorist, and why. This is what emboldened white supremacists look like. Heather Pool (Denison): Sovereignty, Legitimate Authority, and White Domination: South Carolina and the Confederate Battle Flag. Gary Shapiro on the meaning of our Confederate “monuments”. David Graham on the stubborn persistence of Confederate monuments.

Russia is our friend: Sanford Schram on the alt-Right, Trump and the transformation of the Republican Party. Meet Jack Posobiec, the “alt-Right” troll with a press pass in White House. What happens when the pro-Trump media get actual scoops? Major scoops by former trolls have short-circuited the bullshit detector of the mainstream media (and more). Cloudflare, a prominent San Francisco outfit, provides services to neo-Nazi sites like The Daily Stormer, including giving them personal information on people who complain about their content. The WeSearchr meltdown is a reminder that some very rich people are funding the alt-Right. Someone is giving Donald Trump news from an Internet troll and neo-Nazi fundraiser.

His kampf: Richard Spencer is a troll and an icon for white supremacists — he was also The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood’s high-school classmate. Why Richard Spencer wants to ban football. John Stoehr on exposing the fraud that is Richard Spencer.

Did South Park accidentally invent the alt-Right? Now 20 years old, the satire foreshadowed the counter-elite mood of today. What the Kek: Explaining the alt-Right “deity” behind their “meme magic”. Pepe the Frog was killed by his creator — but his alt-Right legacy lives on.


Trump’s legislative agenda slows to crawl in Congress. Chaos in Washington dimming prospects for GOP tax cuts. Chaos on Capitol Hill as Republicans reel from latest Trump controversy. Thoughts and prayers for all the GOP lawmakers concerned about Trump’s behavior. 8 reasons that G.O.P. leaders haven’t deserted Trump. A scandal-plagued White House is unraveling Republican unity in Congress. Trump is testing the GOP’s limits: After a week of controversies, and with midterms not too far away, it’s no longer impossible to envision congressional Republicans turning against the president. Congressional Republicans are quietly shifting on Trump. The dam of GOP resistance to Trump oversight is showing some cracks (and more). When Will Republicans dump Trump? Spoiler alert — not yet, and maybe never.

From Vox, the 25th Amendment, explained: How a president can be declared unfit to serve; and the suddenly relevant debate about whether a president can be prosecuted, explained. It’s tougher than it should be to impeach Donald Trump: Trump isn’t the disease — he’s the symptom. Here’s how Trump could survive — even if we learn the worst. Republicans should offer Trump a golden parachute. Is the Comey memo the beginning of the end for Trump? Trump, pumped and dumped: Does America have President Pence in its future? Trump doesn’t embody what’s wrong with Washington — Pence does.


Terry S. Kogan (Utah): How Photographs Infringe. From Cultural Anthropology, can an infrastructure be evil? A series of articles on evil infrastructures. Salim Teja on how Trump is helping Canada beat America. Trump nominates actual fascist David Clarke for Department of Homeland Security. McMaster’s credibility is on shaky ground after defending Trump (and more). When will Trump’s “mad dog” get put down? The president has given Defense Secretary James Mattis almost unprecedented power — but Trump won’t tolerate his disobedience for long. Why sci-fi fans are morally loose: How the literary genres you prefer reveal — or shape — your sense of what is ethical.

Trump wants to create an “Arab NATO” — what exactly does that mean? Stephen Miller is writing the big speech on Islam that Trump is delivering in Saudi Arabia (and more). Donald Trump wants to shorten his time at Israel’s Holocaust Memorial to a brisk 15 minutes. Trump rules out moving Israel embassy to Jerusalem for now, official says. Trump’s overseas trip must be canceled — the risks are too great.

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