Announcements • Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

PaperShip: Access Your Zotero-Stored Sources on your Phone

I have spent a lot of time this semester learning and using the Zotero citation management software, which provides researchers with a way to store and organize resources for scholarly writing projects.  Our LLM students often ask us about Zotero, so I decided to learn it myself and offer a class in it.  I gave this class several times, and discussed the following:

  • Installing and Configuring Zotero on Your Computer
  • Using Zotero with Harvard’s HOLLIS Library Catalog
  • Using Zotero to Generate Citations for Your Paper

The last topic was, of course, of the most interest to our LLM students, since many of them are foreign-trained lawyers who are unfamiliar with (and do not really want to learn the fine details of) the Bluebook.  While I get that, I also want them to realistically know what Zotero can and cannot do in terms of Bluebook-proper citation.  Spoiler alert: it handles some types of sources well and some others not so well, and unless you know the Bluebook you won’t be able to fix the automatically-generated citations that are incorrect according to the Bluebook rules.

I have posted the slides for the Zotero class I gave this semester in my Zotero Training for LLM and SJD Students research guide.  You are welcome to check them out if you are interested in learning more about how Zotero works, and the benefits it can provide when writing a work of legal scholarship.  If you are affiliated with Harvard, and use your Harvard email address when you create your Zotero account, you will have free unlimited storage.

On a related note, I just wanted to put in a quick word about a new app that I discovered recently, PaperShip.  You can install this app on your phone to get immediate access to the sources you have stored in your Zotero account.

This is so great!  I was doing some research yesterday for an article that I am working on, found some articles that would be helpful, and saved them to Zotero.  Through PaperShip, I was able to call up the PDF of one of those articles in about 2 seconds, and read it on the train during my commute to work this morning.  When compared to scrolling through political fights on Twitter, what a superior (and less aggravating) use of that time!

The free version of PaperShip provides access to your sources only.  There also appears to be an add-on, available for purchase, that you can use to highlight PDFs and make notes in them.  These annotations, it is claimed, are then synced right back up to your Zotero account.  I am going to test out this add-on and report back on it.  But even add-on free PaperShip is a productivity-enhancing winner as far as I’m concerned, and I recommend it.

In Ruhleben Camp: Armistice Day at Ruhleben

In Ruhleben Camp follows the production schedule of the magazine created by prisoners at Ruhleben, an internment camp for British civilians in Germany during WWI. This special post by Marissa Grunes marks the centenary of Armistice Day (November 11, 1918).

The Ruhleben Camp Magazine was largely quiet in the second half of the First World War—as this blog series has been! In honor of Armistice Day yesterday and Veteran’s Day today, though, I wanted to offer a special post about the unusual end to the Great War for those passive participants, the British civilian internees at Ruhleben Camp outside Berlin.

In some ways the drama of Armistice Day was muted within Ruhleben Camp. Many internees had already been released, and those who remained were still busily engaged in camp cultural activities, with the last of the camp’s 128 theater productions opening after Armistice Day, as Davidson Ketchum notes (Ketchum, p. 240). The robust civic organization within the camp had also rendered the last year of the war comparatively gentle to Ruhlebenites. Thanks to the work of the Quaker peace activist Elisabeth Rotten and the Friends Emergency Committee, Ruhleben had access to a steady stream of books and scientific instruments as well as support funds, as the historian Matthew Stibbe relates (Stibbe, p. 144-6), and although the Ruhleben Camp Magazine seems to have closed its editorial offices in the summer of 1917, the Ruhleben Camp School (jocularly called Ruhleben University) remained in full swing (Ketchum, p. 198; In Ruhleben, p. 226). Meanwhile, “standardised” parcel delivery service, various clubs, and the civic administration were also still active (Ketchum, pp. 8).

Ruhleben Theatre, Diplomacy, June 1918. Maurice Ettinghausen collection of Ruhleben civilian internment camp visual materials. Harvard Law School Library. Image ID W422714_1

Ruhleben School of Fencing, March 1918. Maurice Ettinghausen collection of Ruhleben civilian internment camp visual materials. Harvard Law School Library. Image ID W423485_1

This bureaucratic organization was in some cases life-saving. When the Spanish flu struck Germany, leaving 187,000 German civilians and thousands of POWs dead, Ruhleben’s civilian camp authorities leaped into action, imposing quarantines and closing off parts of the camp, including the theatre and cinema. As a result, Ruhleben lost only two men (Stibbe, p. 151).

 

 

 

Ruhleben was also one of the few places in the region with sufficient food: after living behind the Allied blockade for nearly four years, Germans were dying of starvation, yet food parcels continued to arrive at Ruhleben (Stibbe, p. 70). The difference was so stark that in October 1918, the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung carried a feature-length article claiming that a German businessman, one Herr Wittkowski, had asked the Ruhleben commandant to take his sons into the camp to be fed and receive an education (Stibbe, p. 149). One internee later recalled how he and his messmates, fearing that hungry Berliners might raid the camp, went so far as to bury a cache of food in what “was ostensibly a window-box…with emergency rations of canned beef, tripe, etc., and a few flowers planted on top.” He concludes gratefully, “We never needed it” (quoted in Stibbe, p. 153).

The upshot was that Armistice Day mattered less for the internees at Ruhleben Camp than did the chaos sweeping Germany. In early November 1918, German sailors in Kiel resisted orders to take to the seas for a final hopeless battle against the British. As the German imperial government crumbled, revolutionary sentiment spread, reaching Ruhleben on November 8, 1918, when the German guards followed the lead of their countrymen across Europe and deposed their officers. The guards then joined the prisoners in signing a “declaration of brotherhood” between the German and English people, and “hoisted the red flag before setting the prisoners free” (Stibbe, p. 16). The next day, the German republic was proclaimed by the socialist parliamentarian Philipp Scheidemann from the balcony of the Reichstag in Berlin: “That which is old and rotten, the monarchy has collapsed. Long live that which is new, long live the German republic!” Only a few hours later, a revolutionary admirer of Soviet Russia, Karl Liebknecht, walked up the stairs of the nearby imperial palace to instead proclaim a “free socialist German republic.”

This tension between the moderate and radical socialist revolutionaries cost Liebknecht his life weeks later and would persist throughout the years of Germany’s new Weimar Republic. Nevertheless, revolutionaries in 1918 hoped that socialism would inaugurate a new era in German history. Monarchism, it seemed, had torn the world apart, and socialism promised to heal it. Although this hope was short-lived, it glows from the declaration of peace and fraternity, signed by the inmates and guards at Ruhleben. I would like to conclude by reprinting the opening, as quoted by Matthew Stibbe:

“ENGLISHMEN! Brothers from over the Channel. It is tragic, deeply tragical, that a million dead on both sides were necessary in order to bring home to us that after all we are brothers, and members of the same race. Have Germans and British ever, until now, torn each other to pieces? From impressions gained in competent circles yesterday, it is our personal opinion that your release is only a matter of days. When you are at home again, let it be your task to make known that the German people, in spite of all its victories, still retained sufficient strength to take its destiny into its own hands and this time to keep it there. Let your aim be to make known that the German people, in this, its time of greatest need, which is also the proudest period of its history, instinctively casts its eyes across the water, looking for help.” (p. 155)*

* Jamie McSpadden kindly contributed his substantial expertise on modern German history to this post. Jamie is a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC.

 

Bibliography & Further Reading

Ketchum, J. Davidson. Ruhleben: A Prison Camp Society. With a Foreword and Postscript by Robert B. MacLeod. Canada: University of Toronto Press, 1965. Foreword (Ithaca, NY, April 1964)

In Ruhleben: Letters from a Prisoner to His Mother. Edited and with an introduction by Douglas Sladen. Including “Civilian Prisoners: the Case for a Wholesale Exchange” by Sir Timothy Eden. London: Hurst and Blackett, Ltd. Paternoster House, E.C., 1917.

Stibbe, Matthew. British civilian internees in Germany. The Ruhleben camp, 1914-18. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2008.

 Marissa Grunes is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Harvard University, focusing on transatlantic literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her dissertation project explores frontier architecture in 19th century poetry, fiction, and non-fiction of the United States.

Book Talk: Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies, Wednesday, November 14 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of the Twentieth Anniversary Edition of Sanford Levinson’s Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies (Duke Univ. Press, Oct. 5, 2018).  Sanford Levinson is the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr., Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  Professor Levinson will be joined in discussion by Boston Globe Columnist Jeff Jacoby; Randall L. Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; and Bruce Mann, Carl F. Schipper, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at noon
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Written in Stone poster

About Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies

“From the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans in the spring of 2017 to the violent aftermath of the white nationalist march on the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville later that summer, debates and conflicts over the memorialization of Confederate “heroes” have stormed to the forefront of popular American political and cultural discourse. In Written in Stone Sanford Levinson considers the tangled responses to controversial monuments and commemorations while examining how those with political power configure public spaces in ways that shape public memory and politics. Paying particular attention to the American South, though drawing examples as well from elsewhere in the United States and throughout the world, Levinson shows how the social and legal arguments regarding the display, construction, modification, and destruction of public monuments mark the seemingly endless confrontation over the symbolism attached to public space.

This twentieth anniversary edition of Written in Stone includes a new preface and an extensive afterword that takes account of recent events in cities, schools and universities, and public spaces throughout the United States and elsewhere. Twenty years on, Levinson’s work is more timely and relevant than ever.” — Duke University Press

More About Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies

“Sanford Levinson has written a wonderfully wise and informed essay on the issue of how we commemorate the past when the past keeps on changing.” — Nathan Glazer, author of, We Are All Multiculturalists Now

“Much has been written about the controversy over public presentations of history, but rarely has the question of how to memorialize our past received the thoughtful, incisive, and fair-minded analysis provided by Sanford Levinson.” — Eric Foner, author of, The Story of American Freedom

Sanford Levinson

 

 

 

Sanford Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr., Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

 

Jeff Jacoby

 

 

 

Boston Globe Columnist Jeff Jacoby

 

 

Randall Kennedy

 

 

 

 

Randall L. Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

 

Bruce Mann

 

 

 

 

Bruce Mann, Carl F. Schipper, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

New Library Research Guide: Women’s Housing and Shelter Rights

The HLS Library recently published a new online research guide, Researching Women’s Housing and Shelter Rights.

According to the United Nations, housing and human rights are related due to “the significance of a secure place to live for human dignity, physical and mental health, and overall quality of life(.)”  Accordingly, “the right to adequate housing joined the body of international, universally applicable, and universally accepted human rights law” when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted in 1948.  See, in particular, Article 25 of the UDHR:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services(.)

Housing is also a protected right under Article 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), as well as several other international human rights treaties and conventions.

It is understood that the right to housing is comprised of multiple separate rights, including but not limited to (1) the right to shelter, (2) the right to affordable housing, (3) the right to habitable housing, and (4) the right to security of tenure.

The HLS Library’s new research guide on this topic includes a directory of organizations engaged in housing research and advocacy in the U.S. and Europe, such as the National Coalition for the Homeless and FEANTSA.

The guide also provides as a number of pre-populated searches of Harvard’s HOLLIS library catalog, using relevant Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) keywords.

Finally, the guide includes a list of recently-published cross-disciplinary books and scholarly articles that discuss demographic and situational factors that are relevant to women’s housing and shelter rights, including:

  • Housing instability of:
    • Poor women
    • Single mothers
    • Women of Color
    • Gay women
    • Transgender women
    • Nonbinary/gender nonconforming people
    • Older women
    • Disabled women
    • Women who have significant health challenges (including drug abuse, cancer, and mental illness)
    • Pregnant women
    • Female victims of intimate partner violence
    • Women with prior evictions
    • Female veterans
    • Female sex workers
    • Women who have been in prison
  • Difficulties experienced by poor women in acquiring government housing benefits
  • The impact of the subprime mortgage crisis on women’s housing stability and wealth accumulation

The guide is freely available online.  Check it out at https://guides.library.harvard.edu/womens_housing_rights.

Spotlight on Recent Titles: ADR Around the World

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has really become a global phenomenon.  The HLS Library has acquired several new titles recently that focus on the practice of ADR (including arbitration, mediation, negotiation, and more) in various jurisdictions around the world.

Below is a list of selected recent English-language titles that may be of interest to comparative ADR researchers, organized alphabetically by geographic area or jurisdiction.

Conflict Resolution in Asia: Mediation and Other Cultural Models
Stephanie P. Stobbe (ed.)
Lexington Books, 2018
ISBN: 9781498566438
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990152797880203941/catalog

International Arbitration Discourse and Practices in Asia
Vijay K. Bhatia et al. (eds.)
Routledge, 2018
ISBN: 9781138282216
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990152056910203941/catalog

Australian Dispute Resolution: Law and Practice
Laurence Boulle and Rachael Field
LexisNexis Butterworths, 2017
ISBN: 9780409341850
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990148269920203941/catalog 

Domesticating Democracy: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia
Susan Helen Ellison
Duke University Press, 2018
ISBN: 9780822370932
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990152739690203941/catalog

The Law of ADR in Canada: An Introductory Guide (2nd ed.)
Duncan Glaholt
LexisNexis Canada, 2018
ISBN: 9780433496724
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/99153687273303941/catalog

Mediation in Contemporary China: Continuity and Change
FU Hualing and Michael Palmer (eds.)
Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing, 2017
ISBN: 9780854902248
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990150330400203941/catalog

The Challenge of Legal Pluralism: Local Dispute Settlement and the Indian-State Relationship in Ecuador
Marc Simon Thomas
Routledge, 2017
ISBN: 9781472480576
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990148170510203941/catalog

The Three Paths of Justice: Court Proceedings, Arbitration, and Mediation in England (2nd ed.)
Neil Andrews
Springer, 2018
ISBN: 9783319748313
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/99153683619903941/catalog

EU Mediation Law Handbook
Nadja Alexander et al. (eds.)
Wolters Kluwer, 2017
ISBN: 9789041158598
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990151195950203941/catalog

The European Union and International Dispute Settlement
Marise Cremona et al. (eds.)
Hart Publishing, 2017
ISBN: 9781509903238
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990151423810203941/catalog

Alternative Dispute Resolution of Shareholder Disputes in Hong Kong: Institutionalizing its Effective Use
Ida Kwan Lun Mak
Cambridge University Press (2017)
ISBN: 9781107194199
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990152438490203941/catalog

Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Indian Perspective
Shashank Garg (ed.)
Oxford University Press, 2018
ISBN:  9780199483617
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/99153700419403941/catalog

Alternative Dispute Resolution & Arbitration in Nigeria: Law, Theory, and Practice
Abdulsalam O. Ajetunmobi
Princeton & Associates Publishing Co. Ltd., 2017
ISBN: 9789789602216
HOLLIS:  http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/990152599260203941/catalog

Resolving Environmental Disputes in Pakistan: The Role of Judicial Commissions
Parvez Hassan
Pakistan Law House, 2018
ISBN: 9789698372361
HOLLIS: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/alma/99153696515303941/catalog

Nordic Mediation Research (Scandinavia)
Anna Nylund et al. (eds.)
Springer, 2018
ISBN: 9783319730189
Available as an open-access eBook at https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319730189.

 

Library Research Guides for LLMs (and Everyone Else!)

A graduation requirement for each Harvard Law School LLM student is to research and write a paper on a legal topic, of at least 25 pages (short paper) or at least 50 pages (long paper) in length, under the supervision of an HLS faculty member.

Our LLM students are currently deep in the process of finding faculty supervisors and preparing their LLM paper proposals, which are due October 22.

The HLS Graduate Program has created LLM paper writing groups, organized by topic and led by experienced and knowledgeable SJD students, to provide the LLMs with a supportive and encouraging workshop-like environment for the process of completing this rigorous academic requirement.

Each LLM paper writing group has an assigned research librarian.  I have been assigned to help out three groups this year:

(1) Constitutional & Administrative Law (generally known as “public law” and also includes people writing about legal theory and philosophy)

(2) Private Law (includes contractual obligations, legal remedies, law and technology, and health law/bioethics)

(3) Trade and Private International Law (includes international investment law, international trade law, antitrust, and arbitration)

This year, I decided to create extensive research guides for each of my groups.  These guides include pre-populated searches of Harvard’s HOLLIS library catalog, using specialized subject terms.  They also include information about using the HLS Library’s subscription databases for law journal research.

The good news is that these research guides are freely available online and can be used by anyone!  Feel free to check them out and let me know what you think:

I also completely overhauled our International Arbitration Research Guide this fall.  Several members of the Trade and Private International Law Group have found to be especially helpful.  It includes information about the many arbitration-related databases to which the HLS Library subscribes.

TIP:
Did you know that the HLS Library has published more than 150 research guides?  You can access them online at https://guides.library.harvard.edu/law.

BOO: Haunted HLS Library tours coming soon!

Tour the Library’s haunted history of wraiths, witches, and wicked works in this exciting Halloween-themed experience. The tour will include local legal history, Harvard history, HLS alumni cases, and a selection of some of the creepier items in our Historical and Special Collections presented by the Manager of HLSL Historical and Special Collections. All tour guests will receive a spooky souvenir.

Tours last about an hour. Spaces are limited–please register at the links below.

Tuesday, October 30 at 12:00pm
Wednesday, October 31 at 12:00pm
Wednesday, October 31 at 4:00pm
Wednesday, October 31 at 5:00pm

 

HLS faculty and students: join us for Notes & Comment!

Student in the Reading RoomOn Tuesday, October 30, from 2:30-5pm, the normally quiet* tables of the HLS Library Reading Room will become collaboration zones for student-faculty interaction on scholarly topics during Notes & Comment: Connecting Students and Faculty on Scholarship. Faculty will be available to meet with students seeking guidance on their research and writing for publication — including student Notes in HLS journals, writing competitions, and other extra-curricular publishing opportunities.

Faculty members will be available to advise you on the scholarship process and discuss your ideas and outlines during one-on-one and small group meetings in the Library Reading Room with a food and drinks networking reception. The reception begins at 2:30 and the advising at 3pm.

New for this edition of N&C: you can also opt in in for a mini-research consult with a librarian during the event.

Please let us know you’re coming at http://bit.ly/hlslnc4 so that the event coordinators can plan appropriate student-faculty partnerships in advance. We will schedule partnerships based on signup time, so it is to your advantage to sign up early. Advance registration will be available through October 22.

Book Talk: Tough Cases: Judges Tell the Stories About Some of the Hardest Decisions They’ve Ever Made, Wednesday, October 17 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Tough Cases: Judges Tell the Stories About Some of the Hardest Decisions They’ve Ever Made, edited by Russell Canan, Gregory Mize and Frederick Weisberg (The New Press, August 2018).

Russell Canan is currently a judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law. Frederick Weisberg is currently a judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and teaches annually in the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School.  Gregory E. Mize is a currently a judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and is a judicial fellow at the National Center for State Courts and an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

The book talk discussion will include: Judge David J. Barron, The Honorable S. William Green Visiting Professor of Public Law at Harvard Law School and Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; Nikolas Bowie, Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Andrew Manuel Crespo, Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Charles Fried, Beneficial Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.), Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School; Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University; and Judge Frederick H. Weisberg, Associate Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Copies of Tough Cases will be available for sale courtesy of the Harvard Law School COOP.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at noon
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West A/B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Tough Cases poster

About Tough Cases

“Prosecutors and defense attorneys have it easy—all they have to do is to present the evidence and make arguments. It’s the judges who have the heavy lift: they are the ones who have to make the ultimate decisions, many of which have profound consequences on the lives of the people standing in front of them.

In Tough Cases, judges from different kinds of courts in different parts of the country write about the cases that proved most difficult for them to decide. Some of these cases received international attention: the Elián González case in which Judge Jennifer Bailey had to decide whether to return a seven-year-old boy to his father in Cuba after his mother drowned trying to bring the child to the United States, or the Terri Schiavo case in which Judge George Greer had to decide whether to withdraw life support from a woman in a vegetative state over the objections of her parents, or the Scooter Libby case about appropriate consequences for revealing the name of a CIA agent. Others are less well-known but equally fascinating: a judge on a Native American court trying to balance U.S. law with tribal law, a young Korean American former defense attorney struggling to adapt to her new responsibilities on the other side of the bench, and the difficult decisions faced by a judge tasked with assessing the mental health of a woman accused of killing her own children.

Relatively few judges have publicly shared the thought processes behind their decision making. Tough Cases makes for fascinating reading for everyone from armchair attorneys and fans of Law and Order to those actively involved in the legal profession who want insight into the people judging their work.” — The New Press

Panelists

David Barron

 

 

Judge David J. Barron, The Honorable S. William Green Visiting Professor of Public Law at Harvard Law School and Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

 

Nikolas Bowie

 

 

 

Nikolas Bowie, Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

 

Andrew Crespo

 

 

 

Andrew Manuel Crespo, Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

 

Charles Fried

 

 

 

Charles Fried, Beneficial Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

 

Judge Nancy Gertner

 

 

 

Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.), Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School

 

Martha Minow

 

 

 

Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University

 

Frederick Weisberg

 

 

 

Judge Frederick H. Weisberg, Associate Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Book Talk: Cass Sunstein’s The Cost-Benefit Revolution, Thursday, October 4 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of The Cost-Benefit Revolution by Cass R. Sunstein (MIT Press, August 28, 2018).  Professor Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University.

Thursday, October 4, 2018, at noon
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

The Cost-Benefit Revolution Poster

About The Cost-Benefit Revolution

“Opinions on government policies vary widely. Some people feel passionately about the child obesity epidemic and support government regulation of sugary drinks. Others argue that people should be able to eat and drink whatever they like. Some people are alarmed about climate change and favor aggressive government intervention. Others don’t feel the need for any sort of climate regulation. In The Cost-Benefit Revolution, Cass Sunstein argues our major disagreements really involve facts, not values. It follows that government policy should not be based on public opinion, intuitions, or pressure from interest groups, but on numbers—meaning careful consideration of costs and benefits. Will a policy save one life, or one thousand lives? Will it impose costs on consumers, and if so, will the costs be high or negligible? Will it hurt workers and small businesses, and, if so, precisely how much?

As the Obama administration’s “regulatory czar,” Sunstein knows his subject in both theory and practice. Drawing on behavioral economics and his well-known emphasis on “nudging,” he celebrates the cost-benefit revolution in policy making, tracing its defining moments in the Reagan, Clinton, and Obama administrations (and pondering its uncertain future in the Trump administration). He acknowledges that public officials often lack information about costs and benefits, and outlines state-of-the-art techniques for acquiring that information. Policies should make people’s lives better. Quantitative cost-benefit analysis, Sunstein argues, is the best available method for making this happen—even if, in the future, new measures of human well-being, also explored in this book, may be better still.” — MIT Press

More About The Cost-Benefit Revolution

“Only Cass Sunstein could present cost-benefit analysis as a prism for understanding democracy, an exciting research frontier, and a route to a better world. The world will be a better place if the next president of the United States thinks hard about this important book.” — Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University

“Cost-benefit analysis may not have all the answers, but Cass Sunstein’s eminently readable The Cost-Benefit Revolution addresses all the right questions. No one in America has thought more deeply about the strengths, weaknesses, and underpinnings of cost-benefit analysis from both a theoretical and practical level than Cass Sunstein. This book will surely pass your personal cost-benefit test.” — Alan Krueger, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

“Cass Sunstein’s enlightening volume makes a compelling case that systematic assessments of benefits and costs should become even more ingrained in government policymaking. In addition to drawing on his substantial regulatory expertise, Sunstein deftly explores novel policy terrain ranging from national security to free speech.” — W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor, Vanderbilt University; author of Pricing Lives: Guideposts for a Safer Society and Economics of Regulation and Antitrust

“Sunstein has been leading the cost-benefit revolution, and here he explains how it is making the world a better place. If that weren’t enough, this must-read lets readers into one of the world’s most important minds.” — Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Professor of Economics, University of Chicago

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