political theory: archives
some links might not work anymore--sorry
return to homepage
|news room||town square||ivory tower|
[Mar 31] From
Taylor of Liberia is arrested and deported, faces
judgment, with relief
and jubilation for many.
From Israel, the greatest challenge to drafting a new constitution
will be to lend coherence to Israel's dual identity as a state that is
both Jewish and democratic.
From France, where a
mood of deep conservatism lurks, and where politicians need to level
with the people
on the need to embrace change, protests have led to riots in the
students occupying campuses. What sets them apart from their hippy
A review of
Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape and the Making of Modern
Germany. A look
inside Beijing's global campaign to make
Mandarin the number one language in the world. China to give
Chinese names to Antarctic islands.
What do you think,
is Vietnam a small country, or not? Jagdish Bhagwati on fighting
the phone invasion at 30,000 feet.
Former deputy prime minister of Malaysia
Anwar Ibrahim on cultivating the seeds of democracy.
It's as if Iran as a whole
needed someone to deliver the nation from its current plight.
Martin Peretz on
America and the Israel lobby: Why The New Republic doesn't determine
America's Middle East policy.
A review of
Fooled Again: how the right stole the 2004 election and why they'll steal the
next one too (unless we stop them).
An article on
the rebirth of outrage: There's an epidemic of it.
In a Blue State of Mind:
Liberal pundits chase issues—all the wrong ones.
Amid a growing controversy about Antonin Scalia,
the freelance photographer who captured the moment has come forward
with the picture.
Ok, so Bush is no Lincoln.
How about a Truman? And
National Review's John Podhoretz and Poweline's John Hinderaker
question Jill Carroll's "well-treated" remarks, suggest "Stockholm
[Mar 30] From Argentina, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo mark a thirty-year milestone and a significant victory in the fight for human rights. From Zimbabwe, a book on the War of Liberation sparks heated debate. From Israel, where the election changed everything, voters accept a plan to separate themselves from the Palestinians with a security barrier and a final redrawing of the border. From Spain, with the Basques, a political nightmare began as a shared dream. Despite the action on the streets, the French left has yet to confront the ideas of the self-hating elite. No globalization, please, we are French: Populist posturing comes head to head with Chirac's stealth globalization. From Foreign Policy, what we're seeing and hearing on Iran today seems awfully familiar: Some have already decided they want to hit Iran hard; and an article on the coming natural gas cartel: U.S. dependency on imported natural gas could be painful. Jimmy Carter on why the proposed nuclear deal with India is just one more step in opening a Pandora's box of nuclear proliferation. A hot seat for the World Bank's new president, Paul Wolfowitz. The first chapter from States, Scarcity, and Civil Strife in the Developing World. From the CFR, a Q&A on prosecuting terrorists. Yes, the US got it wrong, Niall Ferguson says, but it doesn't need to apologise. An interview with Julia Sweig, author of Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century. From The Globalist, an article on George Bush and the benefits of an uncomplicated worldview. Soldiers in Iraq are finding that the basic tenets of Greek and Roman stoicism can help relieve stress in the combat zone. Same as the old boss: Will Josh Bolten change anything in Bushworld? Think tanks for sale: An analysis of a series of e-mails between Jack Abramoff and the head of a nonprofit on whom Abramoff showered much cash. And the Center for Responsive Politics launches a free online database on lobbying
[Mar 29] From India, among the poor and most vulnerable, Smarajit Jana has found a way to slash the incidence of HIV--by organizing sex workers as any other labor collective. From Russia, President Vladimir Putin is accused of plagiarizing thesis. From Belarus, Macbeth of Minsk: President Lukashenka is entering the troubled Act III of his rule. On March 28, France will prepare itself for another round of strikes and protests against new work legislation. 100 ways to become German: Take a look at the German citizen test proposed by the state of Hesse. Who says Germans aren't funny? China introduces a tax on disposable chopsticks. UN peacekeepers are redeployed to a western town in Côte d’Ivoire two months after they were withdrawn. A review of Law and Globalization from Below: Towards a Cosmopolitan Legality, a review of Securing Borders: Detention and Deportation in Canada, and a review of Mexican Law. From Time, an interview with Newt Gingrich on the challenges the GOP faces in retaining control of Congress, but Charlie Cook says a race-by-race analysis signals that the GOP has a good chance of retaining control. A maverick no more? EJ Dionne on John McCain. Today the Clintons have replaced the Kennedys as the primary objects of conservative rage. Chief of Staff Andrew Card resigns, Joshua Bolten to take over: Is Bush shuffling the deck and listtening to critics? Invisible Men: Did Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl mislead the Supreme Court? Antonin Scalia made an "obscene gesture" in responding to a question from a reporter. An interview with James Hansen, a science adviser unmuzzled. And the inaugural World Baseball Classic was an instant success. What was more surprising were some of the outcomes (Damn you, Cuba!)
[Mar 28] From France, an interview with Jacques Attali on the strikes and student unrest. From Belarus, with Minsk's central square cleared of protesters, the prospects for democracy look bleak. But that's not necessarily the case. The forces behind Ukraine's pro-western Orange Revolution were dealt a stunning blow in the country's election after losing to the pro-Russian party of Viktor Yanukovych. Jürgen Habermas on a United States of Europe. From Cafe Babel, a series of essays on Israel-Europe: a love-hate relationship? Has Latin America ever had such a unifying figure? ¡Epa! It's George W. Bush, the accidental revolutionary. Breaking the Special Relationship: We're still friends with the British, right? From Scientific American, does globalization help or hurt the world's poor? The check is in the mail: Does the money immigrants send home do any good? Richer and poorer: An article on measuring poverty in the United States. Are you a thrillionaire or a realionaire? An article on the five kinds of rich people. From Slate, a conspiracy theory: How the Supreme Court can decide its thorniest case; and do death sentences really give victims relief? From TNR, Jonathan Chait on Bush's dangerous inaction on chemical security. A look at President Bush's curious case for more hierarchical disaster response. Procrastinator in Chief: Today’s messes are being left for future presidents to clean up. From TAP, Christopher Buckley's new film Thank You For Smoking falsely portrays public health-advocates and industry lobbyists as two sides of the same moral coin. Read all over: James Surowiecki on the surprising resilience of newspapers. The FEC proposes new rules that leave almost all Internet political activity unregulated except for campaign ads. Why is everyone so happy in Silicon Valley again? A new wave of start-ups are cashing in on the next stage of the Internet. And this time, it's all about ... you. From The Atlantic Monthly, an article on internet dating and the science of falling in love. And are some people really luckier than others, or is it all in their heads?
[Mar 27] From Canada, a review of The Colour of Justice: Policing Race in Canada; and "Finder's keepers, losers weepers" is a saying that rules on the playground, but what about in a courtroom? The people of Finland have a word for their renowned fortitude and resilience. Could an outsider get in on their secret? An article on malaria at a crossroads. Mad cow isn't the only disease in recent years to soar into high-flying panic and then collapse into the "I wonder whatever happened to...?" category. A Difficult Country: An article on Pakistan and the case for Developmental Realism. Party professionals: What Thailand's embattled prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has in common with Silvio Berlusconi and Tony Blair. Like the battles over civil rights and abortion, the contest over immigration in the US has been joined as much in the naming of things as in the writing of laws. Why is Michael Steele a Republican candidate? Peter Beinart reviews Crashing the Gate, and more on Take It Back (and an excerpt) and Rebel-in-Chief (and an excerpt). An article on the prospects of progressive theater under capitalism. Naomi Wolf and Henry Mansfield debate the politics of manliness. So-called divas are a dime a dozen these days. And most of them don't deserve the name. When a woman wears an 'event' dress, there is more going on than whether it looks good or not. It's the surpluses that matter. As the baby boomers deal with the final days of their aged parents, a question often lurks: Will anything be left over for an inheritance? A review of House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live. And a review of Pets in America: A History
[Weekend] From Spain, creating a process that will deliver permanent peace to Euskadi will be arduous; and tourism in Catalonia has become more about mass than class. But the Spanish authorities have had enough. New elections will gauge frustration at faltering progress since the Orange Revolution. But three new instant histories remind us how far Ukraine has come. On Bolivia's longing for access to the coastline it lost through war: A look at why landlocked countries face multiple handicaps in belonging fully to the world. Saudi Arabia's baby boomers, born after the 1973 oil embargo, are redefining the kingdom’s relationship with the modern world. Good versus evil isn't a strategy: Madeleine Albright on why Bush's worldview fails to see that in the Middle East, power politics is the key. Joseph Stiglitz on Bush’s bad-faith energy policy. Is Bush following in Lincoln's footsteps? No, seriously... Jonathan Chait is against red state snobbery. David Duke and white nationalists seek to reposition their minuscule movement at a time when their signature issues have been co-opted by pseudo-populist media personalities and the GOP. When their own government fails, Republicans turn around and use their incompetence to argue that government can never work anyway. The GOP who brought you the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004, have been test-marketing another TV ad campaign. More on Crashing the Gate. Lewis Lapham is set to retire after 28 years. And oh, the stories he could tell. And a look at why Americans know more about The Simpsons than the Constitution
[Mar 24] From Ecuador, President Alfredo Palacio declares a state of emergency. From Belarus, Arche publicist Andrej Dynko is arrested, sentenced to prison for "hooliganism". From Spain, the Basque ETA announces a permanent cease-fire; and Catalonia wins the right to call itself a "nation" for the first time in a deal intended to keep the country together. From France, Alain Touraine on why the protests are not a sign of political hope but rather of fear and distrust. Anthony Giddens says EU's 'big three' are in crisis, and an interview. How can the British learn to live together more successfully? Compulsory community service for young people. An interview with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel. In 1990, Germany celebrated reunification of a country divided. But the real German division sees the North pitted against the South. Jimmy Carter on how colonization of Palestine precludes peace. Hobbes in Sudan: What a world without U.S. power looks like. How to go global: A quiet revolution is occurring in what America expects of its friends. The battle of ideas: Public intellectuals are thriving in the US. It may sound strange to ask what’s happened to Chris Matthews. But in recent months, he’s been even worse than usual. The New Republic gets mad as hell! The Hillary Juggernaut: The rank and file may be against her, but numbers (and dollars) don't lie. Why Clinton may already be unstoppable. Idaho's Democrats are stuck between clinging to a storied past and coping with a Republican-dominated present. But hope grows. And supercomputer Mr. Right (Wing) offers the same heartless responses you can expect from today’s leading human right-wingers
[Mar 23] From Venezuela, Hugo Chavez is drawing a following from all over and turning Caracas into the new leftist mecca. The first chapter from The Evolution of the Trade Regime: Politics, Law, and Economics of the GATT and the WTO. IMF's Rodrigo Rato on new priorities for an era of globalisation. Instead of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, both sides just want to contain it. From Truthdig, an interview with Vermont Rep. Bernie Sanders. Bob Kiss, a member of the Vermont Progressive Party, defeats a heavily favored Democrat and a Republican to become Mayor of the city of Burlington. Bill Moyers on why it is time to drive the money changers from the temple of democracy. Here's an op-ed In Defense of Pork. "Net Neutrality" battle heats up: Giant telecoms use shock and awe to confound and confuse. From AJR, it’s healthy for news organizations to be much more open about their decision making. But is the transparency movement getting out of hand? It's not too late for imaginative newspapers to save themselves. What would a new-era newspaper look like? The Washington Post launches a conservative blog--and provokes a 'firestorm'. An interview with Ben Bradlee, former editor in chief of WaPo. Who knew what evil once lurked in the hearts of The Morning News writers? Arsonists, accomplices, troublemakers all, here are nine lives of crime, cut short. Once a band gets to the recording studio, lawyers often grab the microphone. Scott McLemee asks a musicologist if that’s a good thing. Ian Buruma reviews The R. Crumb Handbook. An article on how games are unleashing the human imagination. And a review of Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero
[Mar 22] From Great Britain, the postwar working class felt betrayed by immigration and new welfare rules; and there's no human right to wear a jilbab: How did schoolgirl dress become a matter for the Law Lords? From France, Dieudonné's one-man show is all the rage but his act is virulently anti-semitic. A review of Philippe Roger's The American Enemy: A Story of French Anti-Americanism. An emotionally appealing populist politics is bringing angry, raw, egalitarian nationalists to the centre of Europe’s political arena. Why are pro-European liberals not more anxious? Democracy of Europe is Luciano Canfora's contribution to a series initiated and edited by the French historian Jacques Le Goff. But the book is creating a scandal. Alexander Lukashenko is claiming victory, but the young protestors in Minsk will not be written out of the story of Belarus’s election. The EU's "conditional engagement" policy has failed to stem the Belarusian regime's increasing authoritarianism. Sweden has set itself the goal of achieving total independence from oil by 2020. From New York Observer, "Politicians and pundits are afraid," says Russ Feingold. Will he become the Eugene McCarthy of '08 Primaries? An interview with Lewis Lapham on the case for impeachment. Charlie Cook finds national polls indicate that Republicans are at least as bad off as Democrats were in 1994, prior to losing control of Congress. Social conservatives and the GOP: Can this marriage be saved? A Homophobe comes out: Free at last! Twelve Caesars of the Neo-Con Empire: An Adventure in Historical Parallelism, starring Ronald Reagan as Augustus, Bill Clinton as Claudius and George Bush II as Nero. There's a new theory about what's behind everything that's wrong with the Bush administration: manliness. David Brooks on why all politics is thymotic. And what drives people to pursue a political career? Is it idealism, ideology or because they enjoy being bossy? And how much can politicians expect to influence events?
[Mar 21] From Canada, Charles Taylor defended his position against the reprinting of the caricatures, and more. An article on Sierra Leone and Liberia, and the prospects for development, peace and prosperity, and more on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. An article on the increasing importance of African oil. From Cafe Babel, a series of articles on the Common (Criminal) Market. A review of Yob Nation: The Truth About Britain’s Yob Culture. A review of The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977. A review of The People on the Street: A Writer's View of Israel. From American Diplomacy, it is surely time to ask: W(h)ither State? From New York, The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll: A new generation of conspiracy theorists is at work on a secret history of New York’s most terrible day. A look at how the "Impeach Bush" chorus is growing. Productivity Madness: The press swallows $3.8 billion worth of junk economics. From Seven Oaks, a review of Stutter. Is the sun setting on OJ? Feelin' Their Thizzle: How the culture of Ecstasy has changed as the drug moved from raves to hip-hop. And all the cool kids are doing it: ITMFA
[Mar 20] From The National Interest, an essay on Geopolitical Jihad, and why Jihad is as virtual as it is real; a profile in defiance: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and an article on The Osirak Fallacy. Some experts in the United States have been thinking the undiscussable: If all other options are worse, could the world learn to live with a nuclear Iran? Instead of using threats to try to halt Tehran's nuclear programme, the West should support Iranian moderates in their desire for a strengthened democracy. Why are we trying to reheat the Cold War? Anatol Lieven wants to know. Since the cold war, the earth has become more peaceful. Why doesn't it feel that way? Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is not competent to lead our armed forces. Fred Barnes on why Condi Rice, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove need new jobs. A look at why it doesn't matter if Bush replaces his White House staff. A look at how President Bush increasingly uses rhetorical straw-man arguments to combat unnamed critics. Michael Lind reviews Bruce Bartlett's Impostor. Think the unthinkable: It’s 2009, and our government is decapitated in a terrorist attack. Who will become Speaker? Who'll sit on the Supreme Court? Bruce Ackerman speculates. From TAP, a cover story on The New New Gore: Five years ago, Al Gore was the much-mocked pol. Today? C’mon, admit it: You like him again. Can Rahm Emanuel save the Democrats? An interview with Ned Lamont who is running against Joe Lieberman in Connecticut’s Democratic primary. An interview with Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of Daily Kos. Lobbyists in Love: With power couples, conflict of interest is what makes them interesting. Mixed Drinks: More from Nerve's History of Single Life. Older women like sex. That less-than-earthshaking claim has raised eyebrows and ire. And tired of waiting for the right guy to come along, more and more women are just looking for the right sperm. But choosing a donor is only the beginning
[Weekend 2e] Media and technology: From CJR, an editorial on failing to mourn the end of the Golden Age of newspaper monopoly; a look at the coverage of global warming in the Arctic Circle; a map of the world of the Iraqi stringers that Western media rely on; David Glenn profiles the intrepid Walter Pincus of The Washington Post; an x-ray of the publishing industry in light of the Frey affair; and and Jack Shafer recalls when Tom Wolfe went Electric. From The Weekly Standard, a review of An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government and other Goliaths, and a review of Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots and the Rise of People-Powered Politics. From The New Yorker, James Surowiecki on the end of network neutrality and the future of the Internet. Traditional media companies are making a huge push onto the internet. The eBay of intellectual property will launch this April, allowing companies to buy and sell technology patents both on the auction floor and online. And an interview with Eben Moglen, the longstanding legal counsel for the Free Software Foundation
[Weekend] From Canada, Paul Martin officially resigns as leader on the Liberal Party. From China, are human rights higher than sovereignty? From Open Democracy, in advocating a written constitution rather than achievable reforms, critics of a plan to revive Britain's fading democracy are making the best the enemy of the good. From Transitions Online, critics say Russian society's growing intolerance of minorities is largely down to the acts and words of media, politicians, and police; and as Kosovo moves toward independence, its leading public figures are debating whether there is a Kosovar national identity. An interview with Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey. Only a small proportion of the clothes that go to charity shops will be put on sale in this country. Most of them are bought by rag traders and sent to Africa where they are resold. So who wins from the arrangement? An interview with Fred Pearce, author of When the Rivers Run Dry: Water--The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century. Let China sleep, runs Napoleon’s famous saying, for when she wakes, she will shake the world. Two hundred years later, a rising China is indeed starting to convulse the world. Violence and suicide are the flipside to India and China's development - something their leaders have at last recognised. Henry Kissinger on the US-India partnership. From National Journal, both Barack Obama and John Thune arrived in the Senate a little more than a year ago amid sky-high expectations. How are they doing now? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledges death threat against her. Where might Claude Allen have learned you can get the things you want without having to pay for them? Though uniformly reviled in Washington, the alternative minimum tax could act as a fiscal safety net in the next decade by producing automatic tax increases to help cover rising entitlement costs. And a review of The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise
[Mar 17] News from around the world: From Barbados, what is negrocrat? From Uganda, the recent victory of President Yoweri Museveni was given the thumbs up by EU election observers. Did they get it right? From Belarus, considered a dictator by many, Alexander Lukashenko could dash western hopes for regime change by winning a third term on Sunday, where an identity crisis stems from a weak nation-building process in the late nineteenth century. From Great Britain, if Tony Blair is not thinking about stepping down, he should be; and one street contains a litmus test of the problems facing assimilation of Muslim communities in a global city. From France, entr'acte: An article on guidance for our time from the Age of Enlightenment. Is there any such a thing as a "Francophone" identity? Brad DeLong on Europe’s free riders, and an article on the next welfare state. From Axess, this is not a clash of civilisations. It is possible to aspire to universal values, but the prerequisite is that all cultures and religions are open to critical debate; and some Muslim women feel that the veil provides dignity and protection, but it can control their inner life, even after they stop wearing one. James Galbraith on why quitting Iraq won't undo the real damage of the war. Immanuel Wallerstein on the friendship between the United States and India. Jeffery Sachs on development aid for development's sake. It may be possible to destroy much of the world's long-lived radioactive waste, if a new experiment in Japan proves successful. And a review of Global Games
[Mar 16] American culture, history, and more: From The New Yorker, a review of The Playmate Book: Six Decades of Centerfolds. A review of Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity and the Women Who Made America Modern. A review of The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy. A review of Decade of Nightmares: The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America. An interview with Norman Lear on the constitution, the Christian right, and the strange ethics of "The Sopranos". An interview with Tom Wolfe. A review of Mark Twain: A Life. An excerpt from the introduction to The New York Stories of Henry James. A review of American Prophet: The Life & Work of Carey McWilliams. American culture has always warmed to what's cool. A review of An Offer We Can't Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America. A review of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. A look at the current state of race relations, and how one troublesome word, "Wigger", came to define and defame an entire social stereotype. A review of Household Words: Bloomers, Sucker, Bombshell, Scab, Nigger, Cyber. A review of Oops: 20 Life Lessons From the Fiascoes That Shaped America. And weird things happen to weird creatures in the weird stories in Weird Tales magazine
Slavoj Zizek on why nobody has to be
of Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence: The Illusion of
Anatol Lieven reviews
America at the Crossroads.
From LRB, Patrick Cockburn
reports from Iraq. Chickenhawks:
John Derbyshire criticizes the military.
An essay on the trouble with socialist
review of James Lovelock's The Revenge of
of American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia.
Glenn Reynolds, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu
debate Who Controls the Internet? and
An Army of Davids (and an
interview with Instapundit).
An excerpt from
Crashing the Gate, and an
Everyone's a victim:
If boys and girls are oppressed classes, who’s left?
An article on
the dangers of monotheism in the Age of Globalization.
An interview with
Rick Nañez, author of Full Gospel, Fractured Minds: A Call to Use God's
Gift of the Intellect (and an
Amy Sullivan on
abortion: A way forward. An article on
improving how Americans die.
Here be dragons: With luck,
you may soon be able to buy a mythological pet.
From Time, are the immigration protests
creating a backlash?
exposes rifts for evangelicals, Dick Morris has some
advice on immigration for the GOP. Racists seem to think that
illegal workers, the
hardest-working, poorest people in the US, are getting away with
something. Like every generation of immigrants before them,
Latinos start out on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder, but they
don't stay there. From spiked!, are we addicted to love?
Theories of intimate relationships in the modern world view passionate
love as a problem to be managed. Tiger Beat: How
Scotty Schwartz went from " A Christmas Story" to " Scotty's X-Rated
Adventure". And is Don'tDateHimGirl.Com legal? The site where women
post photos and information about men they claim cheated on
From New Left Review, Tariq Ali
surveys the embattled landscape from Baghdad, Ramallah and Tehran
to Beirut and Damascus; a review
of The One-State Solution, and a
response from author Virginia Tilley.
Terry Eagleton reviews
Absent Minds: intellectuals in Britain.
review of The Lost World of Italian-American
A review of
Ideals and Constraints in Moral Theory.
A review of
A Philosophy of
Culture: The Scope of Holistic Pragmatism.
reviews Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights by Kenji
A review of
Broken Windows: New Evidence from New York City, and a Five-City Social
A review of
Conflict in the Cosmos: Fred Hoyle’s Life in Science and Fred Hoyle’s
review of Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting and the Discovery of the
New World. Does praying for a sick person's
any good? Research shows no benefit.
The brains of highly intelligent children
develop in a different pattern from those with more average
abilities. Grading edge for conservative students: Study suggests
that claims of
pro-liberal tilt may have it backwards.
create a firestorm at Duke.
A student of Frank Ellis, the Leeds lecturer suspended for his racist views, asks why the
university couldn't handle a heated argument. More on the oral sex-loving fictional
characters of the WB's "The
Bedford Diaries", a sexually charged series about
college students. A push to promote sexual abstinence in teens
is starting to affect the way sex ed is taught in the
US. Podcasts and Web streaming widen college radio's
reach, but some stations worry about becoming too mainstream.
And a sticker for the folk/punk band
This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb prompted a campus lockdown at Ohio
[Mar 30] Henrik Lando (Copenhagen): On Utilitarianism as an Objective Ethical Norm, and Preferences for Fairness pdf. Miguel Schor (Suffolk): The Rule of Law. Cristina Rodriguez (NYU): Language and Participation doc. Martha T. McCluskey (Buffalo): How Equality Became Elitist: The Cultural Politics of Economics from the Court to the “Nanny Wars”. The first chapter from Charles Tilly's Why? What Happens When People Give Reasons... and Why. A review of All or Nothing: Systematicity, Transcendental Arguments, and Skepticism in German Idealism. Here's a bibliography of Carl Schmitt’s works in English pdf. There is a connection between ethics and law, but also some important differences. Thus neither can be reduced simply to the other. New Humanist was launched under the title Watts’s Literary Guide 120 years ago. Jonathan Rée digs in the archives. Georgia is about to become the first state to approve the use of the Bible as a textbook in public schools. The Wile E. Coyote Conservatives: What will it take for the conservative-movement pundits in pursuit of liberal subversion on campuses to realize they’ve fallen off the cliff? Time to think: Why the College Board should end the time limits on the SAT. The Secret of George Mason: Peter Boettke and Alex Tabarrok on what its Final Four basketball team and its unusual economics department have in common. The trouble with the WB series "The Bedford Diaries" isn't the sex, it's the curriculum. From Political Affairs, an interview with "Red" Nobel Prize Winner Jose Saramago. What's in a pseudonym? Why do writers take noms de plume? From New Scientist, a new device warns you if you're boring or irritating. Wired's Kevin Kelly has some speculations on the future of science. The introduction to Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design. Geekonomics: Why abundance sucks, and other unexpected lessons of the game economy. And an article on the problem with brainstorming
[Mar 29] From the journal Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, William Scheuerman (Minnesota), Carl Schmitt and the Road to Abu Ghraib pdf. The introduction to Richard Wolin's The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism. From Christianity Today, an essay on The Incoherence of Hannah Arendt: Breaking the marriage between heaven and earth. A review of The Concept of International Legal Personality: An Inquiry Into the History and Theory of International Law. A review of Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College. A review of Eugene Genovese and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese's The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders' Worldview. A review of Italy and Its Invaders. A review of Sound Sentiments: Integrity in the Emotions. From The New York Times science section, a series of articles on Avian Influenza: Scary or unlikely? Scientists working in Africa have discovered a Stone Age skull that could be a link between the extinct Homo erectus species and modern humans. When Jonathan Wolff visited animal testing labs, he expected to see pain and suffering. But that argument is won: the moral issue now is the vast numbers that die. From Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is cracking down on universities in an effort to crush a student pro-democracy movement. A review of The Culture of Conservative Christian Litigation, and a review of of Yale Law School and the Sixties: Revolt and Reverberations. When it comes to Wikipedia v. Britannica, things aren't always as they seem. And the traditional schema of the western European Bildungsroman is subverted in postcolonial novels, a pattern repeated in post-Soviet narratives
[Mar 28] More from Logos: An article on The Neo-Con Strategy to Fight the Cosmopolitan University; an interview with David Harvey; Freud Wars: An interview with Sylvia Zwettler-Otte; an exchange: Alan Dershowitz and Matthew Abraham on Norman Finkelstein; a review of America's Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and an essay on Israel's identity crisis. Overstating Jewish Power: Christopher Hitchens on how Mearsheimer and Walt give too much credit to the Israeli lobby. Blame the Israel Lobby? Columbia's Joseph Massad says it's US policy that inflames the Arab world. Scholars' critical examination of U.S.-Israeli ties is called shoddy and bigoted; others say harsh reaction proves the study’s point. From Z Magazine, an article on the pessimism of the Do-Nothing Liberal-Left Intelligentsia. Why must art be the exclusive province of the Left? Here's a call to arms. A review of Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy: The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece. A review of Doubt Truth to Be a Liar. A review of The Cambridge Companion to Durkheim. A review of The Christian Platonism of Simone Weil, and a review of Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity. From The New Yorker, what the science of religion can’t prove: H. Allen Orr reviews Breaking the Spell. An interview with Marek Kohn, author of A Reason For Everything: Natural Selection and the English Imagination. Brain-swapping research is coming into its own, with the potential to answer questions other technologies can't. Why are some animals so smart? The unusual behavior of orangutans in a Sumatran swamp suggests a surprising answer. Researchers develop "neuro-chips" in which living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together. A review of Warped Passages, The Cosmic Landscape, and Hiding In the Mirror . And in their search for patterns, mathematicians have uncovered unlikely connections between prime numbers and quantum physics. Will the subatomic world help reveal the elusive nature of the primes?
[Mar 27] From Edge, a special issue on The Selfish Gene: Thirty Years On, with speakers Daniel Dennett, Matt Ridley, Sir John Krebs, Ian McEwan, and Richard Dawkins. A review of Paul Johnson's Creators: From Chaucer and Durer to Picasso and Disney. A review of Lives of the Laureates: Eighteen Nobel Economists. An interview with Thomas Sowell, a lifetime student of the market force. After more than 200 years, science admits it: Adam Smith was right. Peter Singer ponders the question, what do wealthy people owe poor people? Firestorm: An article on Israel, Harvard and David Duke. Sex in the Syllabus: Colleges are getting serious about porn studies, but should professors show or just tell? UC Irvine professor Michael Dennin uses superheroes to interest students not otherwise attracted to technical concepts. Could 'Hulkification' work? Trying to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind, thousands of schools are reducing class time spent on other subjects. Sandra Day O'Connor on how we need more students proficient in math, science and engineering. But we also need them to be prepared for their role as citizens. A review of Frightened George: How the Pediatric-Educational Complex Ruined the Curious George Series. Over the centuries, book-eating has flourished as a metaphor, and sometimes as a literal fact. A review of Conversation: A History of a Declining Art. Split infinitives and double negatives don't matter as long as we understand each other. From The Toronto Star, what do the polar bear, Sumatran tiger, caribou and wolverine all have in common? They are living within "latent extinction risk regions". And a review of Seed to Seed: The Secret Life of Plants
[Weekend] The first issue of Contemporary Pragmatism (from 2004) is available online, including Susan Haack (Miami): Pragmatism, Old and New; Nicholas Rescher (Pittsburgh): Pragmatism and Practical Rationality; Elizabeth F. Cooke (Creighton): Rorty on Conversation as an Achievement of Hope; a review of Philosophical Tools for Technological Culture; and a review of Democracy and Tradition. A new issue of M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture is out. A review of Michael Kazin's A Godly Hero: The Life of Williams Jennings Bryan. A review of Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post-Civil Rights America. More on That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present. A review of Weaving the World: Simone Weil on Science, Mathematics, and Love. Scientists and Christian clergy ally for science, but is it a bond made in heaven? An essay on handling evidence in history: the case of Einstein’s wife. Bridging the gap: Philosophers and engineers have much to learn from each other. Is it not plausible that artists too should, through time, grow more lucid about their work and should hence infuse it with their latest and most mature insights? From FrontPage, a symposium: The End of "Black" History? Dorothy Parker willed her copyright to the NAACP, an organization her executor, Lillian Hellman, detested. In a war of words, Encyclopedia Britannica derides comparisons to Wikipedia . And Yale is hosting a conference later this month on Statesmen & Demagogues: Democratic Leadership in Political Thought, with the participation of Ian Shapiro, Steven Smith, and that Manliness guy, among others
[Mar 24] More from Boston Review: an article on Learning from Athens: Democracy may be right, but is it good?; an essay on ending polarization: The good news about the culture wars; James Fishkin on turning public opinion into policy; a public opinion feature on the State of the Nation; and a review of Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education; Everyday Politics: Reconnecting Citizens and Public Life; Critical Mission: Essays on Democracy Promotion; and Materializing Democracy: Toward a Revitalized Cultural Politics. The introduction to The Politics of Precedent on the U.S. Supreme Court. A review of Global Surveillance and Policing: Border, Security, Identity, a review of The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make: Structure and Agency in Legal Practice, a review of The International Protection of Internally Displaced Persons, and a review of Rhetoric and the Rule of Law: A Theory of Legal Reasoning. Here's the supplemental text developed for an online course at Auburn, Tradeoffs and Unintended Consequences: At the Heart of American Government, by Robert Bernstein. Historian Sean Wilentz holds dual job of Dylan buff, and more on The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. A review of The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate. A review of Feeling Good: The Science of Well-Being. A review of How the Body Shapes the Mind. The first chapter from Do Animals Think? A review of a new edition of Carl Linnaeus' Philosophia Botanica. How do we tell good science from bad? By looking at how it is published. Computing the future: The practice of science may be undergoing yet another revolution. And a video of Pat Robertson and a new report out of Florida have set off the latest skirmishes over ABOR
[Mar 23] Philip Pettit (Princeton): Responsibility Incorporated pdf. From Bookforum, a review of Alain Badiou's Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, a review of Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak. A Report, a review of Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915-1945, and a review of The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977 and Against the Wall: Israel's Barrier to Peace. A review of Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War. Garry Wills reviews At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965–68. Edward Luttwak reviews John Lewis Gaddis' The Cold War and The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the world. A review of Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History. A review of The Great Wall: China against the world 1000BC - AD2000. A review of Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities. Here are two sample chapters from The Craft of International History: A Guide to Method. From The Chronicle, revising the Suburbs: A new wave of scholars challenges common assumptions about sprawl and urban growth. From Great Britain, a new drive to help refugee scholars will benefit not only them but also the cause of academic freedom. A look at why British higher education cannot continue as a nationalised industry. From Moment, an essay on the Battle of the Chairs at American universities. A review of Edward Said's On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain. If women expect to shed the cruel and calculating artifice of race in our lifetimes, we must contribute to the emerging generation of literature that deconstructs racial categories. And they sell millions but their names remain unknown: An article on the art of the ghostwriter
[Mar 22] From PopMatters, a review of Think: Why Crucial Decisions Can't Be Made in the Blink of an Eye. An interview with Craig Venter. The centuries-old Bedouin custom of intermarriage has had devastating genetic effects, now being addressed by an unusual scientific team. From Salon, an interview with Edward O. Wilson. Daniel Dennett on why a scientific study of religion is necessary. Religion and science: a reply to a right-wing attack on Dennett. John Barrow on how astronomy illuminates the glory of God. Freeman Dyson muses on the days when the Sahara was wet. Gay priests, faith schools, a church at war with itself. Rowan Williams's first three years as Archbishop of Canterbury have been fraught with difficulties. Unlike a certain other religion in the news, the First United Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't object to cartoon depictions of the supreme being. Cultural Indicators of the Paranormal: An article on tracking the media/belief nexus. The Case for Human Guinea Pigs: It's time to reevaluate the risks and benefits of research on human subjects. Woman with perfect memory baffles scientists: Patient remembers every day and almost every detail of her life. From Canada, an essay on the state of the university: Higher education has come a long way since the Greeks. Are campuses becoming battlegrounds? On the shrewdest policy to improve public education while saving billions in government spending: Keep computers out of the classroom. Government to the Nth Degree: In school without a campus, nuts and bolts of bureaucracy . Borrowing the idea from Oprah, one television book club has reshaped British fiction. It turns out that Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer provide as much fun for academics as for the rest of us. From spiked, a review of The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art by Roger Kimball. Yuri Andrukhovych's acceptance speech for this year's Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding causes a minor furore. And from Trotsky to Midcult: Geoffrey Wheatcroft is in search of Dwight Macdonald
[Mar 21] From Canadian Journal of Sociology, David Kettler (Bard): Utopia as Discovery Process; a review of Adam Ferguson: His Social and Political Thought, a review of Charles Tilly's Trust and Rule (and a reply), a review of Approaches to Class Analysis, a review of Feminism After Bourdieu, a review of It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office; and Charles Tilly remembers Barrington Moore Jr. A review of Thomas Nagel's Concealment and Exposure: And Other Essays. An article on Alasdair MacIntyre and the bugbear of liberalism. From Discover, why do people behave nicely? No one may ever know unless social psychologists shake off their fascination with jerks; and let's face it: You have no idea how to make sense of 70 sextillion stars scattered across 27 billion light-years of space: A Field Guide to the Entire Universe. From Crimson Bird, a review of God without Religion: Questioning Centuries of Accepted Truths, a review of The Origin of Culture and Civilization, a review of Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe, and a review of On Intelligence. From Monthly Review, an essay on privatizing education. And a review of My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student
[Mar 20] A new issue of the Journal of Evolution and Technology is out, including William Kitchin (Loyola): The Fundamental Right of Medical Necessity and Genetic Intervention for Substance Abuse; Melvin W. Barber (Florida A & M): Abandoned Communities: The Malignant Social Consequences of Modern Technology on Communities, and a response: Bowling Alone with Emile Durkheim; and Christopher Yorke (Glasgow) and Lois Rowe (GSA): Malchronia: Cryonics and Bionics as Primitive Weapons in the War on Time. A review of Aristotle and Other Platonists. A review of Hunger: an Unnatural History. A review of Sean Wilentz's The Rise of American Democracy. More on Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. A review of Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction and Among the Dead Cities. More and more and more on Six Impossible Things: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief and Breaking the Spell. Mad Science: No question is too crazy to snare a prize. Why is the debate team at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University the best in the country? Law schools now graduate as many women as men, but the number of women who are partners at major law firms nationwide has remained stagnant. A modest proposal on how Harvard could share the wealth. More from John Fund on Yale: The campus that ran off Paul de Man today welcomes one from the Taliban. It’s professors, not students, who need to fear being judged unfairly because of their views, new study suggests. Spring break, with its unruly hordes, now sprawls across international borders, but started out innocently enough. Some say computer analyses of books help provide insight into the influences on a text, whether the work of Shakespeare or your average high school student. An article on The Virginia Quarterly Review, the literary dark horse. From Budapest to Mumbai to Stockholm, writers are jumping on the "Bridget Jones" bandwagon, with revealing results. And conversation may be one of the most fundamental political and social acts
[Weekend 2e] Political Science: From American Political Science Review, Patchen Markell (Chicago): The Rule of the People: Arendt, Arche, and Democracy pdf. From Perspectives on Politics, James L. Gibson (Washington U-St. Louis): Enigmas of Intolerance: Fifty Years after Souffer's Communism, Conformity, and Civil Liberties; Erika Weinthal (Duke) and Pauline Jones Luong (Brown): Combating the Resource Curse: An Alternative Solution to Managing Mineral Wealth; S. Laurel Weldon (Purdue): Inclusion, Solidarity, and Social Movements: The Global Movement against Gender Violence pdf. From the new journal Encounters: Political Science in Translation, Kim Strandberg (Finland): 'Town Hall' Meetings for the Masses or 'Social Clubs' for the Motivated? A Study of Citizens' Discussions on the Internet; Guy Ben-Porat (Israel): Business and Peace: The Rise and Fall of the New Middle East; Rune Slothuus (Denmark): Political Taste as a Marker of Class: A Bourdieu Approach to the Study of Public Opinion Formation; and Emanuel von Erlach (Switzerland): Politicization in Associations. An Empirical Study of the Relationship Between Membership in Associations and Participation in Political Discussions pdf
[Weekend] From Sorites, Gerald K. Harrison (Durham): Hyper Libertarianism and Moral Luck; Georg Spielthenner (Zambia): What is a Value Judgment?; Pär Sundström (Umeå): Wittgenstein, Consciousness, and the Mind; J. Jeremy Wisnewski (East Carolina): Rules and Realism: Remarks on the Poverty of Brute Facts; and is theism more rational than agnosticism? From Politics and Culture, a review of Paul Gilroy's Postcolonial Melancholia, a review of Arundhati Roy's An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, and a review of Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes. A new issue of Peace, Conflict and Development is out. Obituary: UC-Berkeley's Herbert McClosky. A review of Harvey Mansfield's Manliness. Robie H. Harris's It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health was the most frequently challenged book last year, reports the American Library Association. A look at how Chelsea Green, a small, leftist publisher in Vermont is having a national impact. In the age of the overamplified, there's a resurgence of interest for the humble lecture. Students flock to seminaries, but fewer see pulpit in future. Beliefnet interviews Daniel Dennett. For biologist David Sloan Wilson, evolution is the core curriculum for all academic disciplines. The East-West Research Institute in Budapest, Hungary is doing its best to spread the Buddhist worldview. A review of The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th Century Science, Including the Original Papers. From France, some 250,000 demonstrators took to the streets, as the student violence is the worst since 1968, but they just don't get it. Of all the subjects being taught in the country's 84 state universities, basic economics appears not to be among them. An essay on The Lives of Infamous Protesters. From ZNet, here's the Amateur Activist Starter Kit. And in the interest of protecting ourselves from those who would mock the tenets of our freedom, Patricia Williams has devised a new SAT (Save America from Treachery) test. Take the quiz!
[Mar 17] From Democratiya, André Glucksmann on Separating Truth and Belief; part 2 of an interview with Kanan Makiya; Alan Johnson on Camus' Catch: How democracies can defeat Totalitarian Political Islam; Oliver Kamm reviews Paul Berman's Power and the Idealists: Or, The Passion of Joschka Fischer and its Aftermath; a review of The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq: A Study of Iraq's Old Landed and Commercial Classes and of its Communists, Ba‘thists and Free Officers; a review of The One-State Solution: A breakthrough plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock; and a look back at Judith Shklar's Putting Cruelty First. A review of Phenomenology, Logic, and the Philosophy of Mathematics. More and more on Breaking the Spell and Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast. A review of Martha Freud: A Biography. UCL's David Lowenthal on the problems behind today’s claims of cultural ownership over historical artifacts. From New Zealand, aren't all male teachers vulnerable to attack? And, if so, who would choose to teach? Is the federal government so concerned about Hugo Chavez that it's questioning college professors about their ties to Venezuela? Should policing illegal immigration fall to nurses and teachers? Sure, Eisenhower and Reagan may have been presidents. But they would have been really influential if they had helped to break a racial barrier in professional sports? Is the MBA overrated? Research suggests that few execs who hit the very top have the degree. Ms. Mentor often hears grad students asking, "Do I really hafta publish?" And a review of Conversation: A History of a Declining Art
[Mar 16] The arts, media, and more: From New York Observer, an interview with Spike Lee on films and on politics. Christopher Buckley on How to Break into Movies in Only 12 Years. A review of Colin McGinn's The Power of Movies: How Screen and Mind Interact. In a political environment that can brew controversy out of allegorical children's fables or a documentary about penguins, it is hard to imagine the intensity of feeling that will greet V for Vendetta. A new television program is accused of glorifying polygamy. As Scott McLemee discovers, the literary canon may be even more culpable. From TLS, how Marshall McLuhan can help us understand modern media: A review of Marshall McLuhan Unbound; and a review of books by and about Pierre Guyotat, one of the most extreme reading experiences in world literature. From Open Democracy, an article on one of African literature’s most distinguished figures, Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin. A look at how singer and guitarist Ali Farka Touré put Mali on the map. British playwright Israel Zangwill coined America's most enduring metaphor as his reputation dissolved in controversy. A review of The Literary Animal: The Evolution and the Nature of Narrative. A review of All Theater Is Revolutionary Theater. Why is a great critic ashamed of being fashionable? An interview with Julia Kristeva. And once upon a time stories were for children and novels for grown-ups. Not any more