Book Talks • Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

Book Talk: Cass Sunstein, Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict, Second Edition, Monday, April 9, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict, Second Edition by Cass R. Sunstein (Oxford Univ. Press, Mar. 16, 2018).  Professor Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University.  This talk is co-sponsored with the Harvard Law Students for the Rule of Law.

Copies of Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict, Second Edition will be available for sale courtesy of the Harvard Law School COOP and Professor Sunstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Sunstein_Legal Reasoning

Monday, April 9, 2018, with lunch
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict, Second Edition

“In Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict, Cass R. Sunstein, one of America’s best known commentators on our legal system, offers a bold, new thesis about how the law should work in America, arguing that the courts best enable people to live together, despite their diversity, by resolving particular cases without taking sides in broader, more abstract conflicts. Professor Sunstein closely analyzes the way the law can mediate disputes in a diverse society, examining how the law works in practical terms, and showing that, to arrive at workable, practical solutions, judges must avoid broad, abstract reasoning. He states that judges purposely limit the scope of their decisions to avoid reopening large-scale controversies, calling such actions incompletely theorized agreements. In identifying them as the core feature of legal reasoning, he takes issue with advocates of comprehensive theories and systemization, from Robert Bork to Jeremy Bentham, and Ronald Dworkin. Equally important, Sunstein goes on to argue that it is the living practice of the nation’s citizens that truly makes law.

Legal reasoning can seem impenetrable, mysterious, baroque. Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict helps dissolve the mystery. Whether discussing abortion, homosexuality, or free speech, the meaning of the Constitution, or the spell cast by the Warren Court, Cass Sunstein writes with grace and power, offering a striking and original vision of the role of the law in a diverse society. In his flexible, practical approach to legal reasoning, he moves the debate over fundamental values and principles out of the courts and back to its rightful place in a democratic state: to the legislatures elected by the people.

In this Second Edition, the author updates the previous edition bringing the book into the current mainstream of twenty-first century legal reasoning and judicial decision-making focusing on the many relevant contemporary issues and developments that occurred since its initial 1996 publication.” — Oxford University Press

About Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School.  Professor Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations.

Mr. Sunstein is author of many articles and books, including Republic.com (2001), Risk and Reason (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), The Second Bill of Rights (2004), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), Worst-Case Scenarios (2001), Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013), Why Nudge? (2014), Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas (2014), Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State (2014), Constitutional Personae: Heroes, Soldiers, Minimalists, and Mutes (2015), Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice (2015), Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter (2015), The World According to Star Wars (2016), #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media (2017), and Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide (2017). He is now working on group decisionmaking and various projects on the idea of liberty.

More About Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict, Second Edition

“The best of American legal theory has attempted to explain and justify an approach focusing on the features of individual cases and avoiding reliance on rigid rules. Sunstein’s book not only offers the most comprehensive attempt to defend particularistic decision-making in all of its manifestations, but also gives the most powerful defense. Defenders of rules, categories, and abstraction will have a formidable task in trying to penetrate the armor of Sunstein’s normative defense of particularistic decision-making.” — Frederick Schauer, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

“Cass Sunstein’s book makes a significant addition to our understanding of how the law works and of the nature of law itself. He explains in lucid prose, with many concrete examples, the components of good (and bad) legal reasoning and how they contribute to the outcome of legal controversies. Sunstein’s ideas, which combine keen insight, common sense, and a vast knowledge of legal materials, are sure to prompt discussion….The book will be of great value to scholars as well as to those who are beginning the study of law.” — Lloyd L. Weinreb, Dane Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard University Law School

“[Sunstein’s] carefully nuanced description of the kind of reasoning employed in law, a process often mysterious to outsiders, is the best I’ve seen, and captures the way judges actually make decisions in most cases….Professor Sunstein has provided an articulate and comprehensible entry into the intellectual world of lawyers and judges…. Anyone who wishes to learn what ‘thinking like a lawyer’ is all about should read this book.” — The New York Times Book Review

Book Talk: Is International Law International?, Tuesday, April 3, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion for Is International Law International?  by Anthea Roberts, (Oxford Univ. Press, Oct. 16, 2017) and Winner of the ASIL 2018 Certificate of Merit for a preeminent contribution to creative scholarship.  Anthea Roberts is Associate Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University. The panel discussion will include: Anthea Roberts, Naz K. Modirzadeh, founding Director of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC) and Harvard Law School Professor of Practice; and Mark Wu, Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School. This talk is co-sponsored with the Harvard International Law Journal.

Is International Law International?

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Is International Law International?

“This book takes the reader on a sweeping tour of the international legal field to reveal some of the patterns of difference, dominance, and disruption that belie international law’s claim to universality.

Pulling back the curtain on the “divisible college of international lawyers,” Anthea Roberts shows how international lawyers in different states, regions, and geopolitical groupings are often subject to distinct incoming influences and outgoing spheres of influence in ways that reflect and reinforce differences in how they understand and approach international law. These divisions manifest themselves in contemporary controversies, such as debates about Crimea and the South China Sea.

Not all approaches to international law are created equal, however. Using case studies and visual representations, the author demonstrates how actors and materials from some states and groups have come to dominate certain transnational flows and forums in ways that make them disproportionately influential in constructing the “international.” This point holds true for Western actors, materials, and approaches in general, and for Anglo-American (and sometimes French) ones in particular.

However, these patterns are set for disruption. As the world moves past an era of Western dominance and toward greater multipolarity, it is imperative for international lawyers to understand the perspectives and approaches of those coming from diverse backgrounds. By taking readers on a comparative tour of different international law academies and textbooks, the author encourages them to see the world through the eyes of others — an essential skill in this fast changing world of shifting power dynamics and rising nationalism.” — Oxford University Press

About Anthea Roberts

Anthea Roberts is Associate Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University. She specializes in public international law, investment treaty law and arbitration, and comparative international law. Anthea previously taught at the London School of Economics as well as Columbia and Harvard Law Schools. She is on the Editorial Boards of the American Journal of International Law, ICSID Review, and the Journal of World Investment and Trade, and blogs for EJIL: Talk! She has twice won the Francis Deák Prize for the best AJIL article by a younger scholar. Anthea serves as a Reporter for the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, and has experience serving as an arbitrator, counsel, and expert in international disputes.

Panelists

Naz Modirzadeh

 

 

 

Naz K. Modirzadeh, founding Director of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC) and Harvard Law School Professor of Practice

Mark Wu

 

 

 

Mark Wu, Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

 

More About Is International Law International?

“Roberts turns a beguilingly simple question into a globe-trotting, multi-method quest for a map of international law’s players and meanings. Simultaneously irreverent and serious-minded, Roberts develops an original research agenda that takes her and the reader through the migratory flows of international lawyers around the world, the divergent methods through which they are educated, and the different professional tracks through which they are socialized. The book does not just dissolve international law’s myths of universality; it is a nascent sociology of the field of international law and the beginning of a new field of comparative international law. In an era in which Western dominance over international law no longer looks certain, this book provides the tools for a more nuanced understanding of international law’s politics, revealing the deeper meanings and stakes of current debates.” – ASIL 2018 Book Awards Committee

“According to a common stereotype, international lawyers are cosmopolitans. In this truly remarkable inquiry, Anthea Roberts shows that their cosmopolitanism remains hostage to a world of nation-states. For Americans in particular, it is disturbing to learn how international law in their country remains parochial. International lawyers across the spectrum in the United States emerge from a particular intellectual sociology, from their professionalization in their practice, even when they speak in a universalist voice – in the languages they (do not) learn, to the textbooks they use, and from the foreign affairs and national security law from which they approach the field, to the concrete positions on matters such as humanitarian intervention they take. Roberts has written a masterpiece.” – Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law, Yale Law School

“This book is a must-read for every international lawyer and negotiator. It thoroughly deconstructs the notion that there is a uniform college of international lawyers who all think alike. It helps us to reflect on our own background and the frame within which we think, and to also recognize and understand the ‘others.’ This is of utmost importance at a time when international legal cooperation is threatened.” – Anne van Aaken, Professor for Law and Economics, Legal Theory, Public International Law, and European Law, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

“Asking the disarming question of whether ‘international law is international,’ Anthea Roberts takes readers on an ingenious tour of the global flow of people and ideas in international law, the role of nationalism and transnational hierarchies in creating unequal and ‘divisible colleges,’ and the implications for foreign policy and for the future of international law. The book is built on painstaking research into the educational background of international law scholars, where they publish and in what languages, how international law casebooks and treatises differ both within the ‘west’ and from the materials in China and Russia. It is a stellar contribution to international law, the study of globalization and legal education, comparative law, international relations, and the sociology of legal knowledge.” – Bryant Garth, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Co-Director, Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession, University of California, Irvine School of Law, United States

“Roberts has raised a fundamental issue that both international lawyers and decision-makers cannot afford to ignore in this era of shifting power. This issue is whether international law is ‘international,’ as people might have taken for granted for decades or centuries, and how the ‘international’ is likely to evolve with the rise of new great powers, like China. Her perspective is absolutely unique… What Roberts exhibits, through this book, is not only the strength of her academic insight but her ability to recognize and understand the perspectives of others.” – Cai Congyan, Professor of international law of Xiamen University School of Law

“The results of Anthea Roberts’s investigation sound an alarm for all stakeholders in the field of International Law: the author calls on all of us to recognize the necessity of tearing down the mask of ‘internationality’ from the discipline in its current state and paves the way for changes towards a truly international International Law. Thoughtful and inspiring.” – Vera Rusinova, Professor of the Chair for Public and Private International Law, National Research University, The Higher School of Economics, Russia

“Roberts’s groundbreaking study brings important and new insights into the sociology of the production of international law. It charts the regional and cultural islands that dot this supposedly cosmopolitan sea and provides a deep critique of the field’s universalist aspirations/pretensions. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the international law project, whether working from the inside or as an external observer.”- Paul Stephan, John C. Jeffries, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law, United States

“For a French international lawyer who by necessity has to work in (at least) two languages and navigate different cultural universes, there is no doubt that international law is indeed international, as a crucible of diverse legal cultures. Yet, as Anthea Roberts’s (both intrepid and convincing) book demonstrates, in fact international law needs to be more international and less imperialist in the ways it is formed, practiced and conceptualized. From that perspective, Roberts’s invigorating analysis of national approaches to international law provides a salutary reappraisal of the law of nations that will no doubt frame the field in the future.” – Mathias Forteau, Professor of Public Law, University of Paris Ouest, Nanterre La Défense, France

“International law is full of myths. One of these is the global, universal character of the discipline that distances it from narrow national interests and mindsets. Anthea Roberts’s book investigates this myth in depth and shows how, contrary to the self-depiction of much of the discipline, international legal scholarship differs heavily across countries, is shaped by national traditions and institutional structures, and often follows patterns of dominance in the international system. This is a major achievement that should lead us to ask major questions about international law in a different light. Perhaps the most pressing of these – is international law distinct from international politics, and how? – will now have to be tackled in a far more nuanced way. Thinking about international law will never be quite the same again.” – Nico Krisch, Professor of International Law, the Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland

“Anthea Roberts’s book has the potential of re-defining how we think about international law and its realities, both beyond and within the West. It shows us the field of international law in a new light and will open new directions for international legal research in the coming decades.” – Lauri Mälksoo, Professor of International Law at the University of Tartu, Estonia and the author of Russian Approaches to International Law (OUP 2015)

“Anthea Roberts’s book can be compared to a high-quality aerial picture of national and regional international law academias that live on the same planet as neighbours, but barely acknowledge each other’s existence and language. A product of excellent research and very thoughtful observation, the book speaks of differences, yet one of its aftertastes is a sudden sense of how similar all the nationalized approaches are in their parochiality. Roberts destroys the myth of universality only to open a way to genuine understanding of similarities in each other.” – Maria Issaeva, Managing Partner, Threefold Legal Advisors, Russia

“I enjoyed reading this book tremendously and have kept coming back to the staggering view of the international law world it offers over again. I am very serious when I say that nothing in the field will be quite the same after this book has been published. It is such an eye-opener.” – Martti Koskenniemi, Professor of International Law (University of Helsinki), and Director, Erik Castrén Institute of International law and Human Rights

“Instantly, it is a classic that anyone who wants to reflect on the field must read… The central virtue of Professor Roberts’s study is that it is brilliantly and rigorously empirical, based on an extraordinary survey of how training, scholarship, and service in international law actually take place across the world… Both hard-bitten realists about the endurance of international struggle and idealists who hope for a more unified humanity must now start with Professor Roberts’s book.” – Sam Moyn, Lawfare

“Roberts’s new book, marshals an extensive body of original research to suggest that there are significant cross-national variations in the ideological and doctrinal content of international legal education… The [book’s] implications are far-reaching, and I truly view the book as required reading for anyone interested in international law.” – Ryan Scoville, Lawfare

“This provocative and yet very simple question unleashes a distruptive conceptual earthquake: what if that right that we consider universal par excellance was not international at all?… Although the answers to these provocations might seem obvious, their implications are far from being predictable – if only we take them seriously into account as Anthea Roberts does.” – Francesca Iurlaro, Guerra e Diritto Internazionale

Book Talk: Nazi-Looted Art and the Law: The American Cases, Wednesday, March 28, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk for Nazi-Looted Art and the Law: The American Cases by Bruce L. Hay (Springer, Jan. 25, 2018). Bruce L. Hay is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Nazi-Looted Art and the Law

About Nazi-Looted Art and the Law: The American Cases

“This book offers a clear, accessible account of the American litigation over the restitution of works of art taken from Jewish families during the Holocaust. For the past two decades, the courts of the United States have been an arena of conflict over this issue that has recently captured widespread public attention. In a series of cases, survivors and heirs have come forward to claim artworks in public and private collections around the world, asserting that they were seized by the Nazis or were sold under duress by owners desperate to escape occupied countries. Spanning two continents and three-quarters of a century, the cases confront the courts with complex problems of domestic and international law, clashes among the laws of different jurisdictions, factual uncertainties about the movements of art during and after the war, and the persistent question whether restitution claims have been extinguished by the passage of time.Through individual case studies, the book examines the legal questions these conflicts have raised and the answers the courts have given. From the internationally celebrated “Woman in Gold” lawsuit against Austria to lesser-known claims against Germany, Hungary, Spain, and museums and private collections in the United States, the book synthesizes the legal and evidentiary materials and judicial rulings in each case, creating a coherent narrative of proceedings that are often labyrinthine in complexity. Written by a leading authority on litigation and procedure, the book will be of interest to readers in various fields of the humanities and social sciences as well as law, and to anyone interested in the fate of artworks that have been called the “last prisoners” of the Second World War.” — Springer

About Bruce Hay

Professor Hay’s primary field is legal procedure, including civil litigation, conflicts of law, and dispute resolution. His latest book, Nazi-Looted Art and the Law (2017), examines the intricacies of the American courts’ adjudication of Holocaust-era restitution claims, which raise myriad problems of domestic, international and foreign law as well as difficult evidentiary questions. He is also interested in the economic analysis of law, including the economics of litigation, liability, and insurance. Before joining the Harvard faculty he clerked at the United States Supreme Court, and practiced law with Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, DC, specializing in appellate cases. He studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, l’Université d’Aix-en-Provence, and Harvard Law School.

Book Talk: Supreme Court of India: The Beginnings, Monday, March 26, 2018, at noon, with lunch.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion for Supreme Court of India: The Beginnings (George H. Gadbois, Jr., edited and introduced by Vikram Raghavan & Vasujith Ram, Oxford Univ. Press, Feb. 22, 2018). The book talk discussion will include: Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law; Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University; Mitra Sharafi, Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin School of Law; and Vasujith Ram, LLM student, Harvard Law School. This talk is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, the Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute at Harvard University, and the Harvard South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA).

Monday, March 26, 2018
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Supreme Court of India: The Beginnings

About Supreme Court of India: The Beginnings

“This work seeks to determine the roles played by the paramount judiciary in the Indian polity between 1937 and 1964. The discussion starts with an examination of the Federal Court, the establishment of which in 1937 brought into existence Indias first central judicial institution. After a consideration of events leading to the creation of the Federal Court, the nature of its jurisdiction and representative decisions are analysed. Other matters considered include the relationship of the Federal Court with the Privy Council, and the unsuccessful efforts made to empower the Federal Court with a jurisdiction to hear civil appeals. In addition, the major part of this work is devoted to the present Supreme Court of India, which replaced the Federal Court in 1950. After discussing the general features of the new judicial establishment, attention is focused upon the nature of its review powers and the manner in which the Court can exercise these powers. Against the background of debates in the Constituent Assembly that reflect the attitudes of the Constitution-makers towards judicial review, the important decisions which provoked clashes between the judges and politicians have been analysed.” — Oxford University Press

Panelists

Mark Tushnet

 

 

 

Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

 

Sugata Bose

 

 

 

Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University

 

Mitra Sharafi

 

 

 

Mitra Sharafi, Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School

 

Vasujith Ram

 

 

 

Vasujith Ram, LLM student, Harvard Law School

Book Talk: Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America, Monday, March 19, 2018, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion for Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America (Harper Collins, Mar. 6, 2018), edited by Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University.  The book talk discussion will also include Jack L. Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and contributor to Can It Happen Here?.

Copies of Can It Happen Here? will be available for sale courtesy of the Harvard Law School COOP and Professor Sunstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Poster Can It Happen Here?

Monday, March 19, 2018 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America

“With the election of Donald J. Trump, many people on both the left and right feared that America’s 240-year-old grand experiment in democracy was coming to an end, and that Sinclair Lewis’ satirical novel, It Can’t Happen Here, written during the dark days of the 1930s, could finally be coming true. Is the democratic freedom that the United States symbolizes really secure? Can authoritarianism happen in America?

Acclaimed legal scholar, Harvard Professor, and New York Times bestselling author Cass R. Sunstein queried a number of the nation’s leading thinkers. In this thought-provoking collection of essays, these distinguished thinkers and theorists explore the lessons of history, how democracies crumble, how propaganda works, and the role of the media, courts, elections, and “fake news” in the modern political landscape—and what the future of the United States may hold.” — Harper Collins

About Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations.

Mr. Sunstein is author of many articles and books, including Republic.com (2001), Risk and Reason (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), The Second Bill of Rights (2004), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), Worst-Case Scenarios (2001), Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013), Why Nudge? (2014), Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas (2014), Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State (2014), Constitutional Personae: Heroes, Soldiers, Minimalists, and Mutes (2015), Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice (2015), Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter (2015), The World According to Star Wars (2016), #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media (2017), and Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide (2017). He is now working on group decisionmaking and various projects on the idea of liberty.

Contributor and Commentator

Jack Goldsmith

 

 

 

 

Jack L. Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

 

More About Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America

“A renowned legal scholar assembles a dream team of other legal authorities and cultural and political analysists to ponder the title, substance, and current relevance of It Can’t Happen Here…Cautionary pieces well-informed by history, legal theory, and patriotism, all bubbling in a cauldron of anxiety.” — Kirkus

Book Talk: The Reformer: How One Liberal Fought to Preempt the Russian Revolution, Fri., March 9, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion for The Reformer: How One Liberal Fought to Preempt the Russian Revolution by Judge Stephen F. Williams (Encounter Books, Nov. 7, 2017).  Stephen F. Williams is a Harvard Law School graduate and is Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He will be joined in conversation with Joshua Rubenstein, Associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University and Associate Director for Major Gifts at Harvard Law School, and author of The Last Days of Stalin (Yale Univ. Press, 2016) and also, with Alexis Peri, Assistant Professor of History at Boston University and author of The War Within: Diaries from the Siege of Leningrad (Harvard Univ. Press 2017).  This talk is co-sponsored by the Harvard Russian Law Students Association.

The Reformer Poster

Friday, March 9, 2018 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About The Reformer: How One Liberal Fought to Preempt the Russian Revolution

“Besides absolutists of the right (the tsar and his adherents) and left (Lenin and his fellow Bolsheviks), the Russian political landscape in 1917 featured moderates seeking liberal reform and a rapid evolution toward towards a constitutional monarchy. Vasily Maklakov, a lawyer, legislator and public intellectual, was among the most prominent of these, and the most articulate and sophisticated advocate of the rule of law, the linchpin of liberalism.

This book tells the story of his efforts and his analysis of the reasons for their ultimate failure. It is thus, in part, an example for movements seeking to liberalize authoritarian countries today—both as a warning and a guide.

Although never a cabinet member or the head of his political party—the Constitutional Democrats or “Kadets”—Maklakov was deeply involved in most of the political events of the period. He was defense counsel for individuals resisting the regime (or charged simply for being of the wrong ethnicity, such as Menahem Beilis, sometimes considered the Russian Dreyfus). He was continuously a member of the Kadets’ central committee and their most compelling orator. As a somewhat maverick (and moderate) Kadet, he stood not only between the country’s absolute extremes (the reactionary monarchists and the revolutionaries), but also between the two more or less liberal centrist parties, the Kadets on the center left, and the Octobrists on the center right. As a member of the Second, Third and Fourth Dumas (1907-1917), he advocated a wide range of reforms, especially in the realms of religious freedom, national minorities, judicial independence, citizens’ judicial remedies, and peasant rights.” — Encounter Books

About Judge Stephen F. Williams

Stephen F, Williams graduated from Harvard Law School in 1961 and practiced in the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York; he then served as a professor of law at the University of Colorado and as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, UCLA and Southern Methodist University. He was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by President Reagan in 1986. His first book on Russian history, Liberal Reform in an Illiberal Regime: The Creation of Private Property Rights in Russia, 1906-15, addressed an effort to enhance peasant property rights, launched in a brief surge of reformist activity.

Panelists

Joshua Rubenstein

 

 

Joshua Rubenstein, Associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University and Associate Director for Major Gifts at Harvard Law School

 

Alexis Peri

 

 

 

Alexis Peri, Assistant Professor of History at Boston University

 

More About The Reformer: How One Liberal Fought to Preempt the Russian Revolution

“The Reformer illuminates the life and times of Vasily Maklakov, one of the most remarkable lives during the most turbulent times in Russia’s history. Maklakov’s attempts to avoid revolution by bringing about revolutionary reform failed, but his course and his arguments should not be forgotten. . . . The Reformer is an essential book for anyone interested in Russian history, but its story is still all too relevant today, when freedom and the rule of law are under assault around the globe.”  — Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and author of Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped

“Through extensive research, crystal-clear writing, and a keen and comprehensive understanding of his subject matter, Stephen F. Williams makes a truly important contribution to the study of the last years of tsarism and the efforts of one individual to try to make a difference. . . . Williams demonstrates a real mastery of the literature and original source material . . . and brings it altogether in a most readable and informative way.” — David J. Kramer, Senior Fellow, Florida International University and former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

“Williams’s study is impressive, informative, gripping. In the considerable overlap between the skills of a good lawyer and a good historian, Williams shines.” — Lars Lih, author of Lenin (2011) and Lenin Rediscovered (2008)

“A liberal rule of law is under attack worldwide, from Manila to Moscow. Judge Williams has written a lucid, brilliant account of a modern turning point―the failure of Russia to take the liberal direction it could have taken in 1917. . . . Williams has entire command of the historical sources for his tale, told in graceful prose. . . . We are not that far gone in losing the liberal vision of law. But to not remember the history is to risk repeating it.” — Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor of Economics, History and English at the University of Illinois at Chicago


“This is an unusual and in so many ways a brilliant book. It aims to explain the failure of the rule of law in the decades before the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917, through the biography of a key liberal figure of that era, Vasily Maklakov. There is no other work like this one, for there is no other written by a leading jurist who also happens to publish seriously as a historian of Russia.” — Daniel T. Orlovsky, Professor and George Bouhe Research Fellow in Russian Studies, Southern Methodist University

Book Talk: American Capitalism: New Histories, Wednesday, March 7th, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion for American Capitalism: New Histories (Columbia Univ. Press, Feb. 13, 2018), edited by Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History, Harvard University Department of History, and by Christine A. Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law.  Professor Beckert and Professor Desan will be joined by commentators: Bethany Moreton, Professor of History, Dartmouth College; Michael Ralph, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University; and Seth E. Rockman, Associate Professor of History, Brown University.  This talk is co-sponsored by the Tax & Financial Regulation Students Association and the Harvard Russian Law Students Association.

American Capitalism Poster

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About American Capitalism: New Histories

“The United States has long epitomized capitalism. From its enterprising shopkeepers, wildcat banks, violent slave plantations, huge industrial working class, and raucous commodities trade to its world-spanning multinationals, its massive factories, and the centripetal power of New York in the world of finance, America has come to symbolize capitalism for two centuries and more. But an understanding of the history of American capitalism is as elusive as it is urgent. What does it mean to make capitalism a subject of historical inquiry? What is its potential across multiple disciplines, alongside different methodologies, and in a range of geographic and chronological settings? And how does a focus on capitalism change our understanding of American history?

American Capitalism presents a sampling of cutting-edge research from prominent scholars. These broad-minded and rigorous essays venture new angles on finance, debt, and credit; women’s rights; slavery and political economy; the racialization of capitalism; labor beyond industrial wage workers; and the production of knowledge, including the idea of the economy, among other topics. Together, the essays suggest emerging themes in the field: a fascination with capitalism as it is made by political authority, how it is claimed and contested by participants, how it spreads across the globe, and how it can be reconceptualized without being universalized. A major statement for a wide-open field, this book demonstrates the breadth and scope of the work that the history of capitalism can provoke.” — Columbia University Press

Sven Beckert is Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard University and cofounder of the Program on the Study of Capitalism. He is the author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History (2014).

Christine Desan is Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University and cofounder of the Program on the Study of Capitalism. She is the author of Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism (2014).

Panelists

Bethany Moreton

 

 

 

Bethany Moreton, Professor of History, Dartmouth College

 

 

Michael Ralph

 

 

 

Michael Ralph, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University

 

 

 

 

 

Seth E. Rockman, Associate Professor of History, Brown University

 

More About American Capitalism: New Histories

“Sven Beckert and Christine Desan are leaders in the burgeoning history of capitalism field, and they have put together a volume of outstanding scholars whose essays, in their chronological reach and subject matter, show this new literature at its best. A very fine and promising collection.” — Steven Hahn, New York University

“This stunning volume not only captures the most vibrant, challenging work in the history of capitalism, but also distills the central themes and defining contributions of the field. The essays speak to all historians, not just those working in the history of capitalism. A must read.” — Laura F. Edwards, Duke University

“American Capitalism represents the coming of age of a field of historical research. Rarely, in any field, has one volume featured the work of so many talented and accomplished historians. Each chapter breaks fresh ground and proposes new lines of inquiry. The editors have assembled a landmark and agenda-setting book that no student of economic life in the United States can afford to ignore.” — Jonathan Levy, University of Chicago

“From the creditor constitution to the market for slave clothing to early American mercantilist thinking, this deftly curated book samples some of the best work that the history of capitalism literature has to offer. Readers interested in new and provocative explorations of the politics, law, and culture enmeshed in American economic institutions need look no further.” — Suresh Naidu, Columbia University

“Few historical subfields are more important and timely than the critical history of capitalism. In this volume, Sven Beckert and Christine Desan have assembled cutting-edge work on topics as diverse as slavery, credit, insurance and risk, financial crises, race, gender, agriculture, and law and regulation. These essays combine chronological breadth, analytical depth, and geographic scope, linking the micro and macro, the local and the global. Essential reading.” — Thomas J. Sugrue, New York University

Book Talk: Law and the Wealth of Nations: Finance, Prosperity, and Democracy, Friday, January 26th, at noon.

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion for Law and the Wealth of Nations: Finance, Prosperity, and Democracy (Columbia Univ. Press, Oct. 2017), in memory of author Tamara Lothian. Commentary will be provided by Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Emeritus, Harvard Law School; Mark Barenberg, Isador and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law; Christine A. Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Robert C. Hockett, Edward Cornell Professor of Law, Cornell Law School; and Sanjay G. Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research.

Lothian poster

 

Friday, January 26, 2018 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West B (directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Law and the Wealth of Nations: Finance, Prosperity, and Democracy

“Economic stagnation, financial crisis, and increasing inequality have provoked worldwide debate about the reshaping of the market economy. But few are willing to risk a reorientation of dominant ideas and a reform of entrenched structures. Right-wing populism has stepped into the void created by a failure to imagine structural alternatives. Tamara Lothian offers a deeper view showing the path to the reconstruction of the economy in the service of both growth and inclusion. She probes the institutional innovations that would reignite economic growth by democratizing the market. Progressives have traditionally focused only on the demand side of the economy, abandoning the supply side to conservatives. Law and the Wealth of Nations offers a progressive approach to the supply side of the economy and proposes innovation in our fundamental economic arrangements.

Lothian begins by exploring how finance can serve broad-based economic growth rather than serving only itself. She goes on to show how the reform of finance can lead into the democratization of the economy. How, she asks, can we ensure that the most advanced, knowledge-intensive practices of production spread throughout the economy rather than remaining in the hands of the entrepreneurial and technological elite? How can we anchor greater economic equality and empowerment in the way we organize the economy rather than just trying to diminish inequalities after the fact by progressive taxation and entitlements? How can we revise legal thought and economic theory to develop the intellectual equipment that these tasks require? Law and the Wealth of Nations will appeal to all who are searching for ways to think practically about change in our economic and political institutions.” — Columbia University Press

About Tamara Lothian

Tamara Lothian (1958-2016) wrote and taught widely in law and political economy after an early career in international finance. She was a Principal with International Strategies Group, a Boston-based consultancy, Lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, and Research Fellow and Visiting Professor of Law at Fundacao Getulio Vargas, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. She spent the first part of her career in international finance, and the second part in academic work and advisory work for governments and financial firms. The central theme of her recent academic work has been the development of ideas about finance and financial reform, in the US and in the global economy. A companion volume to Law and the Wealth of Nations titled Finance and Democracy in America, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.

Panelists

Duncan Kennedy

 

 

Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Emeritus, Harvard Law School

 

 

Mark Barenberg

 

 

Mark Barenberg, Isador and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law

 

Christine Desan

 

 

Christine A. Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

 

 

Robert Hockett

 

 

Robert C. Hockett, Edward Cornell Professor of Law, Cornell Law School

 

 

Sanjay Reddy

 

 

 

Sanjay G. Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research

 

More About Law and the Wealth of Nations: Finance, Prosperity, and Democracy

“Tamara Lothian’s fascinating, bold, and provocative analysis of finance and economic democracy will inspire a new generation of reformers and scholars. Lothian brilliantly combines the perspectives of a legal scholar, financial expert, experienced financier, social theorist, and progressive visionary to chart a new direction for the twenty-first century economy.” — Jeffrey D. Sachs, Columbia University

Law and the Wealth of Nations presents a way of thinking, a method, for putting finance in the service of economic innovation, and economic innovation in the service of a renewed democracy. For progressives who sense that redistribution is a necessary but insufficient component of sustainable reform and who wonder how to connect small, feasible changes to the thoroughgoing transformation of politics and the economy that is the order of the day, there is no more timely and welcome book.” — Charles Sabel, Columbia University

“The question that motivates the book—how can finance serve production, innovation, and democracy, instead of acting as a constraint on them?—opens into a much larger discussion of the contemporary challenges faced by our economies and societies. This is a significant contribution to the central debates of our time, laying out a bold vision of finance and, more broadly, of an inclusive, democratic market economy.” — Dani Rodrik, Harvard University

“Reviving our productive and political arrangements begins with reimagining our legal and financial arrangements. No one has thought with more care, imagination, or ground-level knowledge about how to make finance more useful and less harmful than Tamara Lothian. And no one has done more to show how reforming finance can initiate a democratizing reconstruction of the market economy. This book brings Tamara Lothian’s visionary yet disciplined writing, long admired by specialists, to the broader audience to which it ultimately speaks.” — Robert C. Hockett, Cornell University

“In this striking and innovative work, Tamara Lothian shows how a revised practice of legal and economic thought can provide us with the ideas we need to think beyond the narrow limits of contemporary politics and policy in dealing with financial crisis and economic stagnation. Her writing exemplifies what so much of contemporary discourse lacks: structural vision, informed by historical understanding, disciplined by technical knowledge, and open to the imagination of new ways to democratize the market and deepen democracy. She offers insight and inspires hope.” — Sanjay G. Reddy, The New School for Social Research

Book Talk: Intisar A. Rabb, Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts, Tue., Nov. 28, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (November 2017) edited by Intisar A. Rabb & Abigail Krasner Balbale.  This talk is co-sponsored with the International Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Harvard University Department of History, the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University, and the Harvard Muslim Law Students Association.

Intisar A. Rabb

Intisar A. Rabb is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, the Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Professor of History in the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

 

Abigail Krasner Balbale

 

 

Abigail Krasner Balbale is Assistant Professor of the Cultural History of the Islamic World at Bard Graduate Center.

 

Copies of Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts will be available for sale and Professor Rabb and Professor Balbale will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Lewis 214A (Map & Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

About Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts

Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts“This book presents an in-depth exploration of the administration of justice during Islam’s founding period, 632–1250 CE. Inspired by the scholarship of Roy Parviz Mottahedeh and composed in his honor, this volume brings together ten leading scholars of Islamic law to examine the history of early Islamic courts. This approach draws attention to both how and why the courts and the people associated with them functioned in early Islamic societies: When a dispute occurred, what happened in the courts? How did judges conceive of justice and their role in it? When and how did they give attention to politics and procedure?

Each author draws on diverse sources that illuminate a broader and deeper vision of law and society than traditional legal literature alone can provide, including historical chronicles, biographical dictionaries, legal canons, exegetical works, and mirrors for princes. Altogether, the volume offers both a substantive intervention on early Islamic courts and on methods for studying legal history as social history. It illuminates the varied and dynamic legal landscapes stretching across early Islam, and maps new approaches to interdisciplinary legal history.” — Harvard Series in Islamic Law

Panelists

William A. Graham

 

William A. Graham
Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, and Director, Prince Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University

 

Cemal Kafadar

 

 

Cemal Kafadar
Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, Harvard University Department of History

 

 

Ahmed El Shamsy

 

 

Ahmed El Shamsy, Senior Visiting fellow, Harvard Law School Islamic Legal Studies Program – SHARIASource, and Associate Professor of Islamic Thought, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago

Book Talk: I. Glenn Cohen’s Specimen Science: Ethics and Policy Implications, Thur., Nov. 9, at noon at Countway Library of Medicine

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Specimen Science: Ethics and Policy Implications (MIT Press, Sept. 2017) edited by Holly Fernandez Lynch, Barbara E. Bierer, I. Glenn Cohen and Suzanne M. Rivera.  This talk is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, the Countway Library of Medicine, and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics.

Copies of Specimen Science will be available for sale and Professor Bierer, Professor Cohen, and Professor Rivera will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Lahey Room, Countway Library at Harvard Medical School (Map & Directions)
10 Shattuck St. Boston, MA 02115

Specimen Science poster

About Specimen Science: Ethics and Policy Implications

“Advances in medicine often depend on the effective collection, storage, research use, and sharing of human biological specimens and associated data. But what about the sources of such specimens? When a blood specimen is drawn from a vein in your arm, is that specimen still you? Is it your property, intellectual or otherwise? Should you be allowed not only to consent to its use in research but also to specify under what circumstances it may be used? These and other questions are at the center of a vigorous debate over the use of human biospecimens in research. In this book, experts offer legal, regulatory, and ethical perspectives on balancing social benefit and human autonomy in biospecimen research.

After discussing the background to current debates as well as several influential cases, including that of Henrietta Lacks, the contributors consider the rights, obligations, risks, and privacy of the specimen source; different types of informed consent under consideration (broad, blanket, and specific); implications for special patient and researcher communities; and the governance of biospecimen repositories and the responsibilities of investigators.” — MIT Press

Moderator

Glenn Cohen

 

I. Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School Professor of Law, and Faculty Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics

 

 

Panelists

Barbara Bierer

 

Barbara E. Bierer, Program Director, Regulatory Foundations, Ethics, and Law Program, Harvard Catalyst and Faculty Director, Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard (MRCT Center)

 

Jane Perlmutter

 

 

Jane Perlmutter, Cancer Survivor and Patient Advocate

 

Suzanne Rivera

 

 

Suzanne M. Rivera, Vice President for Research and Assistant Professor of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

 

 

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