What We’re Reading
Preeti Aroon "Scholars on the Sidelines," by Joseph S. Nye Jr. in the Washington Post. Referencing FP‘s "Inside the Ivory Tower," Nye argues that American academics are "paying less attention to questions about how their work relates to the policy world" and that more scholarship should have "real-world relevance." Elizabeth Dickinson David Gardner asks a ...
"Scholars on the Sidelines," by Joseph S. Nye Jr. in the Washington Post. Referencing FP‘s "Inside the Ivory Tower," Nye argues that American academics are "paying less attention to questions about how their work relates to the policy world" and that more scholarship should have "real-world relevance."
David Gardner asks a provocative question in this weekend’s Financial Times: Is the West’s fear of political Islam condemning the Middle East to a generation of poor leadership? Political Islam is the new communism, he argues; the United States fears it so much that it prefers despots to even the most moderate Islamists. The Middle East, by implication, might be going through the same bout of poor leadership that afflicted Latin America and Africa as the Cold War contest played out in their regions.
"War By Any Other Name." Joe Queenan takes a look at the ripples of the Obama administration’s "semi-official" move to revamp the vocabulary for "the war on terror" and the attempt to distance itself from the Bush administration’s "fierce" rhetoric. Money quote: "From now on, the bad guys will be referred to as ‘the ostensibly malefic.’ We’ll get back to you when we have a new term for ‘the good guys.’"
(Bonus pick: Presidential Pets. Couldn’t resist…)
Walter Benn Michaels’s essay "Going Boom," in the February/March issue of Bookforum. According to Michaels, boom time for markets is bust time for literature, which turns back to unhappy but irrelevant periods of the past when there’s not enough drama in the present day (the 1990s-2000s spike in popular fiction about the Holocaust), or focuses boringly inward (the memoir, anything Oprah’s Book Club recommends). But, during an economic collapse, Western novelists will have enough material to deal relevantly with the present, and financial crisis fiction will blossom. (Hat tip: Paper Cuts)
U.S. Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag blogs that crime has fallen in New York City during the recession. Indeed, Orszag says economic bad-times tend to spur property crimes, but not violent crimes. "One reason may be that alcohol use tends to decline during recessions (another potentially surprising finding), and that the reduction in alcohol use reduces violent crime," he notes. (Hat tip: Tapped)
Nouriel Roubini puts a brake on all the sanguine predictions for China’s 2009 recovery prospects in a report titled "Outlook for China’s Economy in 2009 and Beyond." In the analysis, Dr. Doom tells investors not to get ahead of themselves, as the Chinese economy has not seen a true rebalancing toward domestic consumption, but he also notes one major positive: The country’s trade surplus might finally be shrinking.
Today’s big story on the high seas are the Somalian buccaneers, but the future of naval warfare may be developing in another part of the Indian Ocean. While India is taking measures to protect its vulnerable coast from terrorist attacks, China is preparing to make a major announcement at the 60th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) on April 23rd. Writing in Time Magazine, Howard Chua-Eoan describes the brewing naval rivalry developing between Asia’s two aspiring superpowers.
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