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.
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.
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
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