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The Wilson Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 35, No. 1, Winter

A Glimmer in the Balkans: After 20 Years of Nation-Building in the Balkan Countries, a Big Payoff May Be in Sight. but It Will Still Be a Long Time before the United States Can Declare Victory and Pull Out
THERE IS A FOLK SAYING IN THE BALKANS THAT encapsulates the region's centuries of struggle. It goes something like this: "We have reached rock bottom, but we continue to dig." Twenty years after Slovenia and Croatia seceded from the crumbling state...
A Jewish Revival
THE SOURCE: "The American Jewish Revival of Musar" by Geoffrey Claussen, in The Hedgehog Review, Summer 2010. OVER THE LAST DECADE, A small, obscure movement has made inroads into non-Orthodox American Jewish culture. Musar began in Lithuania in...
A New War on Crime
In 1975, when political scientist James Q. Wilson published Thinking About Cr/me, a powerful book that pushed the nation toward a harder line against lawbreakers, I was working with a group of criminals. It was actually a landscape crew, but virtually...
Beyond the Prison Bubble
THE ANNOUNCEMENT LAST SUMMER THAT IN 2009 the number of Americans behind bars had increased for the 37th year in a row provoked a fresh round of national soul-searching. With its prisons and jails now holding some 2.4 million inmates--roughly one in...
Beyond the Resource Curse in Chad
WHEN LORI LEONARD ARRIVED IN CHAD MORE than 20 years ago, she had little idea that the impoverished Central African country would become the focus of her career. At the time, she was just a newly minted BA with a Peace Corps assignment to teach at...
Brave New Worlds
THE SOURCE: "The Four Hundred Years of Planetary. Science Since Galileo and Kepler" by Joseph A. Burns, in Nature, July 29, 2010. SCIENTISTS WERE STUNNED IN 1979 when Voyager 1 revealed Io, a moon of Jupiter long thought to be a dead chunk of rock,...
Catholicism's Lessons for Islam
TEH SOURCE: "Making Muslim Democracies" by Jan-Werner Muller, in The Boston Review, Nov.-Dec. 2010. IN 2008, TURKEY'S RULING Justice and Development Party (AKP) narrowly missed being outlawed. State prosecutors argued that the conservative AKP--whose...
China's Confucian Democracy
THE SOURCE: "The Shadow of Confucianism" by Tianjian Shi and Jie Lu, in Journal of Democracy, Oct. 2010. HOW IS IT THAT SURVEYS consistently find that the majority of the Chinese population strongly supports both democracy and the country's authoritarian...
Dirty Deal: Dishonest Abe?
It's fine for members of Congress, but Supreme Court justices aren't supposed to trade votes--especially when somebody's freedom is at stake. Yet that's what happened in two 1966 eases over dirty books and magazines. L. A. Powe Jr. tells the story...
Disaster Management 101
THE SOURCE: "Our Responder in Chief" by Patrick S. Roberts, in National Affairs, Fall 2010. WHEN HURRICANE KATRINA pummeled New Orleans in 2005, Americans looked to the White House to handle the crisis. Not long ago this would have seemed odd. Only...
Don't Blame Polarization
THE SOURCE: "The Gridlock Myth" by Michael Barone, in The American Interest, Nov.-Dec. 2010. DOES AMERICA'S POLARIZED political landscape render bipartisan legislation impossible? Are supermajorities the only way to move beyond gridlock? No, contends...
Ending the Endless War
THE SOURCE: "The End of Al Qaeda? Rethinking the Legal End of the War on Terror" by Adam Klein, in Columbia Law Review, Nov. 2010. WILL THE WAR ON TERRORISM ever end? The nature of the conflict--irregular, against a nonstate enemy--has raised fears...
Gauguin's Stillness
THE SOURCE: "Old Vagabond" by Barry Schwabsky, in The Nation, Nov. 1, 2010. PAUL GAUGUIN WAS THE MOST paradoxical of painters: a restless, footloose man who produced paintings of "uncanny stasis," writes The Nation's art critic, Barry Schwabsky....
Getting High in Portugal
THE SOURCE: "What Can We Learn From the Portuguese Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs?" by Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes and Alex Stevens, in The British Journal of Criminology, Nov. 2010. DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION IS a topic almost too hot to handle in...
Indonesia's Moment: It Is the World's Most Populouss Muslim-Majority Nation and a Highly Successful Democracy. How Did Indonesia Do It?
IT IS HARD FOR A NATION OF 240 MILLION, AND ONE that is overwhelmingly Muslim and a democracy at that, to slip beneath the radar, but until recently that has been Indonesia's fate. Like dozens of other less developed countries, it has rarely come to...
Journals Galore
THE SOURCE: "Seriality and the Search for Order: Scientific Print and Its Problems During the Late 19th Century" by Alex Csiszar, in History of Science, Sept.-Dec. 2010. IF a SCIENTIST PUBLISHES NEW findings in a journal and no one reads the article,...
Minority Rules
Two weeks after the Republicans wrested control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats in the biggest partisan swing in the lower chamber since 1948, the Wilson Center's Congress Project gathered a group of noted politicos to discuss the...
Model Students
THE SOURCE: "Macroeconomics After the Crisis: Time to Deal With the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome" by Ricardo J. Caballero, NBER Working Papers, Oct. 2010. SINCE THE FINANCIAL PANIC IN the fall of 2008, many economists have embarked on some soul-searching:...
Op-Ed Takes Wing
THE SOURCE: "A Profitable Public Sphere: The Creation of the New York Times Op-Ed Page" by Michael J. Socolow, in Journalism and Ma~ Communication Quarterly, Summer 2010. IN THE BODY POLITIC'S CIRCUlation system, in which opinion and analysis are...
Pakistani Pop
THE SOURCE: "Pop Idols" by Kamila Shamsie, in Granta, Autumn 2010. WHEN NOVELIST KAMILA SHAMsie left Pakistan for America in the early 1990s, she expected that some of the pop stars of her youth would "fade away." But instead they've transformed...
Papa's Painful Passion
THE SOURCE: "Hemingway in Love: Four Found Letters" by Jeffrey Meyers, in Raritan, Summer 2010. IT SOUNDS A BIT LIKE A Hemingway novel: An aging novelist, bound for Europe on the Ile de France with his fourth wife, meets a vivacious, attractive...
Renaissance on the Airwaves
THE SOURCE: "All Programs Considered" by Bill McKibben, in The New York Review of Books, Nov. 11, 2010. THERE'S SOMETHING OF A mini-renaissance taking place on America's radio waves--particularly on public radio--but you'd be hard-pressed to find...
Rethinking the Great Recession: In Embracing a Victims-and-Villains Explanation of the Recession. Americans Missing Important Lessons about the Future of the U.S. Economy
WE AMERICANS TURN EVERY MAJOR CRISIS INTO a morality tale in which the good guys and the bad guys are identified and praised or vilified accordingly. There's a political, journalistic, and intellectual imperative to find out who caused the crisis,...
Russia's Farm Comeback
THE SOURCE: "Russia's Food Policies and Foreign Policy" by Stephen K. Wegren, in Demokratizatsiya, Summer 2010. ONLY 20 YEARS AGO, IMAGES of disgruntled Soviet citizens standing in long queues near rundown groceries were a common sight on Western...
School for Slugs
THE SOURCE: "Learning Degree Zero" by D. Graham Burnett, in Cabinet, Fall 2010. WHEN NEUROSCIENTIST ERIC Kandel gave his acceptance speech after winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000, he puckishly flashed a Photoshopped picture...
The Blind Aren't Race-Blind
THE SOURCE: "Do Blind People See Race? Social, Legal, and Theoretical Considerations" by Osagie K. Obasogie, in Law and Society Review, Sept.-Dec., 2010. "RACE-BLIND" AND "COLORblind" are terms that describe a societal ideal. But how do people who...
The Bounty Hunter's Pursuit of Justice: When Felony Defendants Jump Bail, Bounty Hunters Spring into Action. It's a Uniquely American System, and It Works
ANDREW LUSTER HAD IT ALL: A MULTIMILLION-dollar trust fund, good looks, and a bachelor pad just off the beach in Mussel Shoals, California. Luster, the great-grandson of cosmetics legend Max Factor, spent his days surfing and his nights cruising the...
The Death of Dance?
THE SOURCE: "Last Rites" by Sara Hamdan, in First Things, Aug.-Sept. 2010. ONLY A FEW DECADES AGO, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev graced the covers of national magazines. Today, dancers and choreographers find that even a steady income,...
The Economist's Guide to Crime Busting: The Old Divide between Hard and Soft Strategies Is Breaking Down under a Wave of New Thinking about How to Control Crime
WHAT IS THE MORE COST-EFFECTIVE WAY TO control crime? Is it to focus on making crime unattractive by threatening offenders with long prison terms? Or to make the law-abiding life more attractive by providing better education and job opportunities?...
The Golden Millstone
THE SOURCE: "The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why?" by Barry Eichengreen and Douglas A. Irwin, in The Journal of Economic History, Dec. 2010. ROBERT ZOELLICK, THE PRESIdent of the World Bank, recently suggested...
The Paradox of Words
THE SOURCE: "The Muse of Impossibility" by Alberto Manguel, in The Threepenny Review, Fall 2010. ARGENTINE ESSAYIST ALBERTO Manguel believes that at the heart of writing lies a paradox: Writers think that they "can construct (or reconstruct) the...
The Refugee Crisis That Wasn't
THE SOURCE: "The Polities of Aid to Iraqi Refugees in Jordan" by Nicholas Seeley, in Middle East Report, Fall 2010. AFTER THE U.S.-LED INVASION of Iraq in 2003, Iraqi refugees began trickling into neighboring countries, particularly Jordan. By 2007,...
Untying the Knot
THE SOURCE: "A Right to Marry?" by Martha C. Nussbaum, in California Law Review, June 2010. WHAT ROLE SHOULD THE state play in marriage? The answer depends on what you think marriage is. According to University of Chicago law professor Martha C....
What Is a Tree Worth? Trees Brighten City Streets and Delight Nature-Starved Urbanites. Now, Scientists Are Discovering That They Also Play a Crucial Role in the Green Infrastructure of America's Cities
ON APRIL 8, 1905, PRESIDENT THEODORE Roosevelt, attired in a dark suit and top hat, could be found in Fort Worth, Texas, where youngsters looked on from a nearby window as he shoveled soil over the roots of a sapling. It was Arbor Day, which schools...
What's the Big Idea?
THE SOURCE: "Conflict or Cooperation?" by Richard K. Betts, in Foreign Affairs, Nov.-Dec. 2010. As THE 20TH CENTURY DREW to a close, foreign policy strategists struggled to imagine what would drive world politics after the end of an era that saw...
Woodrow's Folly: Bermuda Triangle
In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson confessed to his fiancee, Edith Bolling Gait, what he later called "a folly long ago loathed and repented of." [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] According to Kristie Miller, in her book Ellen and Edith: Woodrow Wilson's...
Writing Rights
THE SOURCE : "Rights, Words, and Laws" by Amartya Sen, in The New Republic, Oct. 28, 2010. WHAT ARE RIGHTS AND WHERE do they come from? Behind the word "rights" are two distinct concepts: a moral and political call to action in the absence of a...