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

Book Talk: Cass Sunstein’s On Freedom, Wednesday, February 27 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of On Freedom by Cass R. Sunstein (Princeton Univ. Press, February 2019). Professor Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West A/B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Sunstein On Freedom poster

About On Freedom

“In this pathbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author Cass Sunstein asks us to rethink freedom. He shows that freedom of choice isn’t nearly enough. To be free, we must also be able to navigate life. People often need something like a GPS device to help them get where they want to go—whether the issue involves health, money, jobs, children, or relationships.

In both rich and poor countries, citizens often have no idea how to get to their desired destination. That is why they are unfree. People also face serious problems of self-control, as many of them make decisions today that can make their lives worse tomorrow. And in some cases, we would be just as happy with other choices, whether a different partner, career, or place to live—which raises the difficult question of which outcome best promotes our well-being.

Accessible and lively, and drawing on perspectives from the humanities, religion, and the arts, as well as social science and the law, On Freedom explores a crucial dimension of the human condition that philosophers and economists have long missed—and shows what it would take to make freedom real.” — Princeton University Press

More About On Freedom

“Real freedom is the freedom to reach your goal, not to get lost at every turn. In this powerful book, Cass Sunstein shows when policy can help us navigate to where we want to go, where policy might overstep by choosing the end point for us, and how to tell the two apart. A delightful masterpiece.” — Esther Duflo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

On Freedom is an elegant, clear, deceptively simple book about a fiendishly complex problem. How can free societies help citizens to navigate among a perplexing multitude of forking paths, only some of which lead toward desirable ends? How is a nudge in the right direction distinct from coercion? What is the best way to enable people to choose paths that enhance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Drawing on a wealth of probing examples from social policy, literature, and his own experience, Sunstein brilliantly illuminates the challenges that face governments and individuals and sketches plausible ways forward.” — Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

“In this eloquent and timely book, Cass Sunstein asks urgent questions relevant to the crisis of democracy in which we find ourselves. As the author has demonstrated in the past, he is a thoughtful navigator of territory we may have prematurely believed we understood.” — Joyce Carol Oates

“An important and engaging book on freedom and choice by a top scholar. Sunstein gives us a comprehensive and cutting-edge treatment of his enormously influential work on nudging and well-being.” — L. A. Paul, author of Transformative Experience

“By redefining freedom, this becomes a book about the meaning of life.” — Robert J. Shiller, Nobel Prize–winning economist

Book Talk: Will China Save the Planet?, Wednesday, February 20th at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Barbara Finamore’s Will China Save the Planet? (Polity, Nov., 2018).  Barbara Finamore is a Senior Attorney and Asia Senior Strategic Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She has over three decades of experience in environmental law and energy policy, with a focus on China for twenty-five years. In 1996, she founded NRDC’s China Program, the first clean energy program to be launched by an international NGO.

This book talk is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, East Asian Legal Studies, the HLS Environmental Law Society, and the Harvard-China Project.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West B
1557 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA (Directions)
No RSVP required

Will China Save the Planet Book Talk

 

About Will China Save the Planet?

“Now that Trump has turned the United States into a global climate outcast, will China take the lead in saving our planet from environmental catastrophe? Many signs point to yes. China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, is leading a global clean energy revolution, phasing out coal consumption and leading the development of a global system of green finance.

But as leading China environmental expert Barbara Finamore explains, it is anything but easy. The fundamental economic and political challenges that China faces in addressing its domestic environmental crisis threaten to derail its low-carbon energy transition. Yet there is reason for hope. China’s leaders understand that transforming the world’s second largest economy from one dependent on highly polluting heavy industry to one focused on clean energy, services and innovation is essential, not only to the future of the planet, but to China’s own prosperity.” — Polity

More About Will China Save the Planet?

“A hugely informative and readable book about how much China is doing – and needs to do – to spur the clean energy revolution that is a crucial element in the fight against climate change. I highly recommend it.” — Todd Stern, Former Special Envoy for Climate Change under President Obama

“Finamore has written an impressively well-researched and truly fascinating account of China’s fitful odyssey to climate consciousness. In an otherwise pretty bleak global tableau, this progress offers some welcome grounds for hope.” — Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society

“A must-read.” — Make Wealth History

‘Barbara Finamore has written a highly readable and informative overview of China’s role in the global climate change battle. Will China Save the Planet? is a good primer for environmental policy analysts and anyone else interested in studying feasible solutions to climate change, humanity’s greatest threat.’ — Eurasia Review

Book Talk: FIBER: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It, Wednesday, February 13 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of FIBER: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It by Susan Crawford (Yale Univ. Press, Jan. 8, 2019). Professor Crawford is the John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at noon
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Susan Crawford Poster FIBER

About FIBER: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It

“The world of fiber optic connections reaching neighborhoods, homes, and businesses will represent as great a change from what came before as the advent of electricity. The virtually unlimited amounts of data we’ll be able to send and receive through fiber optic connections will enable a degree of virtual presence that will radically transform health care, education, urban administration and services, agriculture, retail sales, and offices. Yet all of those transformations will pale compared with the innovations and new industries that we can’t even imagine today. In a fascinating account combining policy expertise and compelling on-the-ground reporting, Susan Crawford reveals how the giant corporations that control cable and internet access in the United States use their tremendous lobbying power to tilt the playing field against competition, holding back the infrastructure improvements necessary for the country to move forward. And she shows how a few cities and towns are fighting monopoly power to bring the next technological revolution to their communities.” — Yale University Press

More About FIBER: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It

“If we can just finish the last mile for fiber to reach into households, Susan Crawford shows, we can unleash a revolution of economic growth, education, and health, and address inequality in a whole new way. Crawford shifts effortlessly from the heights of policy to the literal ground level and shows us the way.”— Anthony Marx, President, New York Public Library

“By vividly describing a world filled with fiber-enabled technology as well as the perils and possibilities for achieving it, Susan Crawford has written a playbook for a fairer and more prosperous United States.”— Andy Berke, Mayor, Chattanooga, Tennessee

“Engaging and accessible … An indictment of national regulatory politics and crony capitalism and a love story about the plucky local governments overcoming the odds to bring their own communities into the twenty-first century. A microcosm of what ails America—and what nonetheless can give us hope.”— Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law School

“Crawford convinces with impeccable journalism and empathetic portraits of rural communities and low-income cities in distress, the ails of which could be much alleviated by a large-scale federal investment in fiber optic connections . . . Crawford’s work is both refreshing and potent in how it clinically identifies the problem, and proposes a straightforward, feasible solution.” —Publishers Weekly

“Essential reading.” — Kirkus Reviews, (starred review)

About Susan Crawford

Susan Crawford is the John A. Reilly Clinical Professor at Harvard Law School. She is the author of FIBER: The Coming Tech Revolution And Why America Might Miss It and Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age; co-author of The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance; and a contributor to WIRED.

She served as Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (2009) and co-led the FCC transition team between the Bush and Obama administrations. Crawford also served in the past as a member on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation and on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Broadband Task Force.

Crawford was formerly a (Visiting) Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and a Professor at the University of Michigan Law School. As an academic, she teaches Internet law and communications law. She was a member of the board of directors of ICANN from 2005-2008 and is the founder of OneWebDay, a global Earth Day for the Internet that takes place each Sept. 22.

She has been named one of Politico’s 50 Thinkers, Doers and Visionaries Transforming Politics; one of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology; an IP3 Awardee; one of Prospect Magazine’s Top Ten Brains of the Digital Future; and one of Time Magazine’s Tech 40: The Most Influential Minds in Tech.

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.

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

Book Talk: Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?, Wednesday, October 3 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? edited by Mark A. Graber, Sanford Levinson and Mark Tushnet (Oxford Univ. Press, Sept. 20, 2018). Mark Tushnet is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. 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.  Professors Tushnet and Levinson will be joined in discussion by Vicki C. Jackson, Thurgood Marshall Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School; Steven R. Levitsky, Harvard University Professor of Government; and Katharine Young, Associate Professor at Boston College Law School.

Copies of Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? will be available for sale courtesy of the Harvard Law School COOP and Professors Levinson and Tushnet will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018, at noon
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Poster Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?

About Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?

“Is the world facing a serious threat to the protection of constitutional democracy?

There is a genuine debate about the meaning of the various political events that have, for many scholars and observers, generated a feeling of deep foreboding about our collective futures all over the world. Do these events represent simply the normal ebb and flow of political possibilities, or do they instead portend a more permanent move away from constitutional democracy that had been thought triumphant after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1989?

Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? addresses these questions head-on: Are the forces weakening constitutional democracy around the world general or nation-specific? Why have some major democracies seemingly not experienced these problems? How can we as scholars and citizens think clearly about the ideas of “constitutional crisis” or “constitutional degeneration”? What are the impacts of forces such as globalization, immigration, income inequality, populism, nationalism, religious sectarianism?

Bringing together leading scholars to engage critically with the crises facing constitutional democracies in the 21st century, these essays diagnose the causes of the present afflictions in regimes, regions, and across the globe, believing at this stage that diagnosis is of central importance – as Abraham Lincoln said in his “House Divided” speech, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”” — Oxford University Press

Mark Tushnet

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Vicki Jackson

 

 

Vicki C. Jackson, Thurgood Marshall Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School

 

Steve Levitsky

 

 

 

Steven R. Levitsky, Harvard University Professor of Government

Katharine Young

 

 

 

Katharine Young, Associate Professor at Boston College Law School

 

More About Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?

“Many are convinced that liberal constitutional democracy is in the midst of a severe crisis, and is being replaced by illiberal constitutional democracy. This important book analyses the reasons for this development, both at the global level and at the national level. It presents original and illuminating answers to the question, ‘Why is this shift occurring?’ This scholarly foundation is necessary for finding answers to the question of how this trend can be reversed. The time is right for this book to be published by its first-class authors, and it provides the intellectual foundations necessary for each of us to cope with the changes that are occurring in our own constitutional democracies, and to try to turn the tide. For me, as a retired judge, the book provides food for thought about where we went wrong, and what we can do to take us in a new direction.” — Aharon Barak, former President of the Supreme Court of Israel; Professor of Law at IDC Herzliya

“Constitutional democracies around the world are suffering assaults from within. Globally, political freedoms are becoming weaker. Democracy does not necessarily guarantee prosperity. This book provides a superb appraisal of democracy’s current crisis. Those who wish to learn about what is happening to constitutional democracies around the world should read this groundbreaking, multiperspective, and transdisciplinary book.” — Sabino Cassese, Emeritus Justice, Italian Constitutional Court; Emeritus Professor, University of Rome

“To question the current health of constitutional democracy is implicitly to affirm that there are more chapters to be written before we arrive at the end of history. Fortunately, we now have the exquisitely crafted chapters in this unique collection of essays to help us make sense of our current predicament. Written against the backdrop of a multitude of ominous developments that have shaken confidence in the stability and endurance of liberal democratic institutions, the contributors to this timely volume explore this portentous moment from all angles, leaving the reader richly informed, if not sanguine, about future prospects. A careful reading will, however, not end in despair, for as the most disturbing threats to political freedom and economic justice emanate from within, the challenge that they represent can also be met from within.” — Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn, H. Malcolm Macdonald Professor of Constitutional and Comparative Law, University of Texas at Austin

“This book is an indispensable resource for understanding the rise of illiberal populisms and the possibilities for sustaining constitutionalism and democracy. Contributors include leading global scholars of comparative constitutional law, whose chapters provide a diverse empirical base from countries around the world with which to evaluate constitutional democracy and its contemporary challenges and competitors. Theories are tested, data provided, and new concepts advanced – addressing, among other topics, the role of political parties, political leaders, religion, economic inequality, race, ethnicity, and immigration – in a set of readable and relatively short chapters that, as much as any edited scholarly collection could be, is a true “page-turner”, hard to stop reading once one starts.” — Vicki C. Jackson, Thurgood Marshall Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School

“This rigorous, wide-ranging, and engaging volume is an indispensable guide to the current crisis of constitutional democracy. The volume’s theoretical essays raise profound new questions about the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy. Its high quality empirical chapters help us understand the global reach and historical roots of the current crisis. This is a landmark book for our troubled times.” — Pratap B. Mehta, Vice-Chancellor, Ashoka University; past President, Centre for Policy Research

“At the end of the 20th century, constitutional democracy had gained almost universal acceptance. At least, so it seemed. A decade later, we see constitutional democracy declining or mutating into more authoritarian forms of government in a number of countries. In this timely book, more than forty outstanding authors from many parts of the world offer a comprehensive analysis of this development and its causes, which should be of paramount interest not only to scholars and students of law and politics, but to everyone concerned about public affairs.” — Dieter Grimm, Former Justice, Federal Constitutional Court of Germany; Professor of Law, Humboldt University Berlin

Book Talk: Catharine MacKinnon, Butterfly Politics, Tuesday September 18 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Butterfly Politics by Catharine A. MacKinnon (Belknap Press 2017). Professor MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and is the James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Copies of Butterfly Politics will be available for sale courtesy of the Harvard Law School COOP and Professor MacKinnon will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at noon   YouTube Video
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein East B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Butterfly Politics Poster

About Butterfly Politics

“The minuscule motion of a butterfly’s wings can trigger a tornado half a world away, according to chaos theory. Under the right conditions, small simple actions can produce large complex effects. In this timely and provocative book, Catharine A. MacKinnon argues that the right seemingly minor interventions in the legal realm can have a butterfly effect that generates major social and cultural transformations.

Butterfly Politics brings this incisive understanding of social causality to a wide-ranging exploration of gender relations. The pieces collected here—many published for the first time—provide a new perspective on MacKinnon’s career as a pioneer of legal theory and practice and an activist for women’s rights. Its central concerns of gender inequality, sexual harassment, rape, pornography, and prostitution have defined MacKinnon’s intellectual, legal, and political pursuits for over forty years. Though differing in style and approach, the selections all share the same motivation: to end inequality, including abuse, in women’s lives. Several mark the first time ideas that are now staples of legal and political discourse appeared in public—for example, the analysis of substantive equality. Others urge changes that have yet to be realized.

The butterfly effect can animate political activism and advance equality socially and legally. Seemingly insignificant actions, through collective recursion, can intervene in unstable systems to produce systemic change. A powerful critique of the legal and institutional denial of reality that perpetuates practices of gender inequality, Butterfly Politics provides a model of what principled, effective, socially conscious engagement with law looks like.” — Harvard University Press

More About Butterfly Politics

“MacKinnon [is] radical, passionate, incorruptible and a beautiful literary stylist… Butterfly Politics…is a devastating salvo fired in the gender wars. A fierce and lucid anthology of essays on subjects ranging from torture to pornography, this book has a single overriding aim: to effect global change in the pursuit of equality… Butterfly Politics is her call for humanity to rise to its feet.” — Antonella Gambotto-Burke, The Australian

“What comes together here—and what is fascinating about all of MacKinnon’s work—is a deep respect for aspects of the conventional world (the law, the value of scholarship) and an equally profound fury at the way in which these aspects also uphold many of the assumptions about the world that she takes to task. In this, it could be said, she is not unlike many of us. All respect to her for trying to find a way through this maze.” — Mary Evans, Times Higher Education

“Small actions can have highly complex and large impacts, and Catharine MacKinnon uses this concept, the ‘butterfly effect,’ to explain how critical interventions can produce radical transformation in the gender system. She exposes through 40 years of her legal battles an emerging global normative system confronting sexual inequality… MacKinnon is a 21st-century thinker, one of the few proposing global software that could run on the old national hardware. She is encouraging multidimensional political thinking, precise engagement, principled creativity, imagination, instinct and adaptability: small actions in a collective context producing systemic changes.” — Luis Moreno Ocampo, Lawfare

“[MacKinnon’s] theoretical understanding of concepts of power, privilege and intellectual freedom isn’t just universal, but also prophetic in the ways it holds weight in 2018… The book offers a comprehensive understanding of MacKinnon’s legal scholarship through over four decades. Her work asks tough questions, and clearly set some theoretical precedents in our modern-day, Tumblr and ‘social justice warrior’ era understanding of sexism, power dynamics and inequality.” — Sabah Azaad, The Print

“This excellent collection of MacKinnon’s speeches and other writings covers a roughly 40-year period and shows the process of attempting to hammer law into a tool that could be used for social change to address the inequality of women. This was something of a tall order, given, as MacKinnon says, ‘The legal system that we have was not designed by women or so that women could make it work for women.’ Yet here she is, doing it, and the book provides a rare and quite intimate window on how it is done, in both theory and practice.” — Michele Dauber, Stanford Law School

“MacKinnon adapts a concept from chaos theory in which the tiny motion of a butterfly’s wings can trigger a tornado half a world away. Under the right conditions, she posits, small actions can produce major social transformations.” — The New York Times

Book Talk: Governance Feminism: An Introduction, Monday, September 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 Governance Feminism: An Introduction, edited by Janet Halley, Prabha Kotiswaran, Rachel Rebouché and Hila Shamir (Univ. Minn. Press, Mar. 13, 2018).  Janet Halley is Royall Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  She will be joined in discussion with her co-editors: Prabha Kotiswaran, Reader in Law and Social Justice at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London; Rachel Rebouché, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research at Temple University Beasley School of Law; and Hila Shamir, Associate Professor of Law at Tel Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law.

Copies of Governance Feminism: An Introduction will be available for sale courtesy of the Harvard Law School COOP and the authors will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Monday, September 17, 2018, at noon    YouTube Video
Harvard Law School WCC Milstein West A (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
No RSVP required

Poster Governance Feminism

About Governance Feminism: An Introduction

“Feminists walk the halls of power.  Governance Feminism: An Introduction shows how some feminists and feminist ideas—but by no means all—have entered into state and state-like power in recent years. Being a feminist can qualify you for a job in the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Criminal Court, the local prosecutor’s office, or the child welfare bureaucracy. Feminists have built institutions and participate in governance.

The authors argue that governance feminism is institutionally diverse and globally distributed. It emerges from grassroots activism as well as statutes and treaties, as crime control and as immanent bureaucracy. Conflicts among feminists—global North and South; left, center, and right—emerge as struggles over governance. This volume collects examples from the United States, Israel, India, and from transnational human rights law.

Governance feminism poses new challenges for feminists: How shall we assess our successes and failures? What responsibility do we shoulder for the outcomes of our work? For the compromises and strange bedfellows we took on along the way?

Can feminism foster a critique of its own successes? This volume offers a pathway to critical engagement with these pressing and significant questions.” — University of Minnesota Press

Editors

Janet Halley

 

 

 

 

Janet Halley, Royall Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

 

Prabha Kotiswaran

 

 

 

Prabha Kotiswaran, Reader in Law and Social Justice at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London

 

Rachel Rebouché

 

 

 

Rachel Rebouché, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research at Temple University Beasley School of Law

 

Hila Shamir

 

 

 

Hila Shamir, Associate Professor of Law at Tel Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law

 

More About Governance Feminism: An Introduction

What happens when feminist critique inverts into governing norms? What kind of feminism becomes law and what becomes of arguments among feminists when it does? How are feminist challenges to male super-ordination transformed and distributed by bureaucratization and NGO-ification? How might we honestly assess feminism that governs? In this deeply intelligent, reflective, and pedagogical work, four feminist legal scholars probe these theoretical and empirical questions. No reader will favor every move, but all will be usefully provoked and instructed. — Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley

The book delivers a good summary of which feminist theories have prevailed and can be seen as the governing ones. Excellent for collections on feminism and women’s rights. — Choice

Book Talk: Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics, Wednesday, September 12 at 4 PM

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics, edited by I. Glenn Cohen, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Effy Vayena and Urs Gasser (Cambridge Univ. Press, Mar. 31, 2018).

I. Glenn Cohen is the James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.  Urs Gasser is the Executive Director at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School. This talk is co-sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics and by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Big Data Book Talk Poster
Copies of Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics will be available for sale courtesy of the Harvard Law School COOP and Professors Cohen and Gasser will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018, at 4 PM
Harvard Law School WCC 2036 Milstein East B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

YouTube Video

The Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics book talk is followed by the 2018 Petrie-Flom Center Open House, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM, in the WCC Pub.

About Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics

“When data from all aspects of our lives can be relevant to our health – from our habits at the grocery store and our Google searches to our FitBit data and our medical records – can we really differentiate between big data and health big data? Will health big data be used for good, such as to improve drug safety, or ill, as in insurance discrimination? Will it disrupt health care (and the health care system) as we know it? Will it be possible to protect our health privacy? What barriers will there be to collecting and utilizing health big data? What role should law play, and what ethical concerns may arise? This timely, groundbreaking volume explores these questions and more from a variety of perspectives, examining how law promotes or discourages the use of big data in the health care sphere, and also what we can learn from other sectors.” — Cambridge University Press

Moderator:

I. Glenn Cohen

 

 

 

I. Glenn Cohen, James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School

Panelists:

Urs Gasser

 

 

 

Urs Gasser, Executive Director at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School

 

Ameet Sarpatwari

 

 

Ameet Sarpatwari, Assistant Director for the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL) at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Associate Epidemiologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital

 

Carmel Shachar

 

 

 

Carmel Shachar, Executive Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School

 

 

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