1) Full Text Reports on Trade offs in Immigration Enforcement. Blurby: “Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic confront significant constraints in addressing the population of unauthorized migrants, not least with respect to insufficient resources to tackle illegal migration and legal frameworks that protect individuals regardless of their residence status. This report explores the trade-offs that policymakers face with respect to comprehensive enforcement efforts, which often have adverse consequences in related policy domains, such as public health and safety.”
2) New Book! Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia. Adeed Khalib. “How do Muslims relate to Islam in societies that experienced seventy years of Soviet rule? How did the utopian Bolshevik project of remaking the world by extirpating religion from it affect Central Asia? Adeeb Khalid combines insights from the study of both Islam and Soviet history to answer these questions. Arguing that the sustained Soviet assault on Islam destroyed patterns of Islamic learning and thoroughly de-Islamized public life, Khalid demonstrates that Islam became synonymous with tradition and was subordinated to powerful ethnonational identities that crystallized during the Soviet period. He shows how this legacy endures today and how, for the vast majority of the population, a return to Islam means the recovery of traditions destroyed under Communism.
Islam after Communism reasons that the fear of a rampant radical Islam that dominates both Western thought and many of Central Asia’s governments should be tempered with an understanding of the politics of antiterrorism, which allows governments to justify their own authoritarian policies by casting all opposition as extremist. Placing the Central Asian experience in the broad comparative perspective of the history of modern Islam, Khalid argues against essentialist views of Islam and Muslims and provides a nuanced and well-informed discussion of the forces at work in this crucial region.”
3) Sobering analysis from Barbara Walter on how States track and monitor you. There are ways to get around it, though, and she highlights in in the link. These notes are expecially criticial for political protestors: “The best thing protesters can do is leave their phone at home. This seems like the obvious choice as long as there is no guaranteed way to remain undetected while carrying a phone. Of course, the problem with this strategy is that it plays into the hands of governments who would like to impede demonstrators’ communications. Ukrainian protesters will have a much more difficult time mobilizing support and gaining international attention if real-time communication and videos stop.
The next best thing is to do what Edward Snowden did. Place an electromagnetic barrier around your phone to block radio signals. Snowden used a refrigerator but it appears that any metal container, such as a cocktail shaker, would also work. This strategy has the benefit of being more portable but the drawback of being potentially detectable if one’s phone comes too close to a cell tower.
Though I think, on the whole, the technological market has done things to liberate individuals, and has handed us the ability to know more about states than we have ever been able to know, it has also granted states access to know more about their citizens. And if states are anything at all, at a bare minimum, they are information seekers.
4) An outline of the interesting and complicated history of the Freemason and abolitionism. “eighteenth-century Freemasonry recognized an aristocracy of the mind rather than an accidental aristocracy, i.e. a mere accident of birth. However, aristocrats and American Presidents, beginning with George Washington, wasted no time applying for membership in an aristocracy above aristocracy. They joined composers such as Joseph Haydn, the “White Mozart,” the composer of the all-but-Masonic Zauberflöte (K. 620) (The Magic Flute).