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Papers from a symposium at the University of Chicago celebrating the bicentennial of the Bill of Rights.
The nation's most-cited legal scholar who for decades has been at the forefront of applied behavioral economics, and the bestselling author of Nudge and Simpler, Cass Sunstein is one of the world's most innovative thinkers in the academy and the world of practical politics. In the years leading up to his confirmation as the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Sunstein published hundreds of articles on everything from same-sex marriage to cost-benefit analysis. Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas is a collection of his most famous, insightful, relevant, and inflammatory pieces. Within these pages you will learn: * Why perfectly rational people sometimes believe crazy conspiracy theories * What wealthy countries should and should not do about climate change * Why governments should allow same-sex marriage, and what the "right to marry" is all about * Why animals have rights (and what that means) * Why we "misfear," meaning get scared when we should be unconcerned and are unconcerned when we should get scared * What kinds of losses make us miserable, and what kinds of losses are absolutely fine * How to find the balance between religious freedom and gender equality * And much more . . . Cass Sunstein is a unique, controversial, and exciting voice in the political world. A man who cuts through the fog of left vs. right arguments and offers logical, evidence-based, and often surprising solutions to today's most challenging questions.
The future of the U.S. Supreme Court hangs in the balance like never before. Will conservatives or liberals succeed in remaking the court in their own image? In A Constitution of Many Minds, acclaimed law scholar Cass Sunstein proposes a bold new way of interpreting the Constitution, one that respects the Constitution's text and history but also refuses to view the document as frozen in time. Exploring hot-button issues ranging from presidential power to same-sex relations to gun rights, Sunstein shows how the meaning of the Constitution is reestablished in every generation as new social commitments and ideas compel us to reassess our fundamental beliefs. He focuses on three approaches to the Constitution--traditionalism, which grounds the document's meaning in long-standing social practices, not necessarily in the views of the founding generation; populism, which insists that judges should respect contemporary public opinion; and cosmopolitanism, which looks at how foreign courts address constitutional questions, and which suggests that the meaning of the Constitution turns on what other nations do. Sunstein demonstrates that in all three contexts a "many minds" argument is at work--put simply, better decisions result when many points of view are considered. He makes sense of the intense debates surrounding these approaches, revealing their strengths and weaknesses, and sketches the contexts in which each provides a legitimate basis for interpreting the Constitution today. This book illuminates the underpinnings of constitutionalism itself, and shows that ours is indeed a Constitution, not of any particular generation, but of many minds.
To "fight for your rights," or anyone else's, is not just to debate principles but to haggle over budgets. The simple insight that all legally enforceable rights cost money reminds us that freedom is not violated by a government that taxes and spends, but requires it--and requires a citizenry vigilant about how money is allocated. Drawing from these practical, commonsense notions, The Cost of Rights provides a useful corrective to the all-or-nothing feel of much political debate nowadays (The Economist).
Freedom of speech is one of our greatest legal rights and Cass Sunstein is one of our greatest legal theorists. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to think seriously about the free speech issues facing this generation. --Akhil Amar, Southmayd Professor, Yale Law School. This is an important book. Beautifully clear and carefully argued, Sunstein's contribution reaches well beyond the confines of academic debate. It will be of interest to any citizen concerned about freedom of speech and the current state of American democracy. --Joshua Cohen,Massachusetts Institute of Technology. How can our constitutional protection of free speech serve to strengthen democracy? Cass Sunstein challenges conventional answers with a remarkable array of lucid arguments and legal examples. There is no better book on the subject. --Amy Gutmann, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor, Princeton University.
Originally published in 1967, the modest and plainly descriptive title of Development Projects Observed is deceptive. Today, it is recognized as the ultimate volume of Hirschman's groundbreaking trilogy on development, and as the bridge to the broader social science themes of his subsequent writings. Though among his lesser-known works, this unassuming tome is one of his most influential.It is in this book that Hirschman first shared his now famous "Principle of the Hiding Hand." In an April 2013 New Yorker issue, Malcolm Gladwell wrote an appreciation of the principle, described by Cass Sunstein in the book's new foreword as "a bit of a trick up history's sleeve." It can be summed up as a phenomenon in which people's inability to foresee obstacles leads to actions that succeed because people have far more problem-solving ability that they anticipate or appreciate.And it is in Development Projects Observed that Hirschman laid the foundation for the core of his most important work, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, and later led to the concept of an "exit strategy."
Since the earliest days of philosophy, thinkers have debated the meaning of the term happiness and the nature of the good life. But it is only in recent years that the study of happiness- or "hedonics"- has developed into a formal field of inquiry, cutting across a broad range of disciplines and offering insights into a variety of crucial questions of law and public policy. Law and Happiness brings together the best and most influential thinkers in the field to explore the question of what makes up happiness--and what factors can be demonstrated to increase or decrease it. Martha Nussbaum offers an account of the way that hedonics can productively be applied to psychology, Cass R. Sunstein considers the unexpected relationship between happiness and health problems, Matthew Adler and Eric A. Posner view hedonics through the lens of cost-benefit analysis, David A. Weisbach considers the relationship between happiness and taxation, and Mark A. Cohen examines the role crime--and fear of crime--can play in people's assessment of their happiness, and much more. The result is a kaleidoscopic overview of this increasingly prominent field, offering surprising new perspectives and incisive analyses that will have profound implications on public policy.
"We cannot discount the risk, in light of the lessons of our own history, that at some point in the future, high-level government officials will decide that this massive database of extraordinarily sensitive private information is there for the plucking. Americans must never make the mistake of wholly 'trusting' our public officials."--The NSA Report This is the official report that is helping shape the international debate about the unprecedented surveillance activities of the National Security Agency. Commissioned by President Obama following disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden, and written by a preeminent group of intelligence and legal experts, the report examines the extent of NSA programs and calls for dozens of urgent and practical reforms. The result is a blueprint showing how the government can reaffirm its commitment to privacy and civil liberties--without compromising national security.
For fans of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow, a revelatory new look at how we make decisions More than 750,000 copies sold A New York Times bestseller An Economist Best Book of the Year A Financial Times Best Book of the Year Nudge is about choices--how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioral science and economics, authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make--ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources--and show us how sensible "choice architecture" can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions. In the tradition of The Tipping Point and Freakonomics, Nudge is straightforward, informative, and entertaining--a must-read for anyone interested in our individual and collective well-being.
Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself. Thaler and Sunstein invite the listener to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful "choice architecture" can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Nudgeoffers a unique new take-from neither the left nor the right-on many hot-button issues, for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging and provocative audio books to come along in many years.
Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself. Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful "choice architecture" can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice.
Many of us are being misled. Claiming to know dark secrets about public officials, hidden causes of the current economic situation, and nefarious plans and plots, those who spread rumors know precisely what they are doing. And in the era of social media and the Internet, they know a lot about how to manipulate the mechanics of false rumors--social cascades, group polarization, and biased assimilation. They also know that the presumed correctives--publishing balanced information, issuing corrections, and trusting the marketplace of ideas--do not always work. All of us are vulnerable.In On Rumors, Cass Sunstein uses examples from the real world and from behavioral studies to explain why certain rumors spread like wildfire, what their consequences are, and what we can do to avoid being misled. In a new afterword, he revisits his arguments in light of his time working in the Obama administration.
Explains and documents legal minimalism
Praised as a must-have primer during the Roberts and Alito hearings, Radicals in Robes offers a rigorous yet accessible analysis of what's at stake in the judiciary choices made during these warring days of the Warren/Rehnquist legacy. Radicals in Robes pulls away the veil of rhetoric from a dangerous and radical movement and issues a strong and passionate warning about what conservatives really intend.
Most people think that the Supreme Court has a rough balance between left and right. This is a myth; in fact the justices once considered right-wing have now taken the mantle of the Court's moderates, and the liberal element has all but disappeared. Most people also think that judicial activism is solely a liberal movement. This is also a myth; since William Rehnquist was confirmed as Chief Justice in 1986, the Supreme Court has engaged in an unprecedented record of judicial activism. These two factors are feeding a movement to restore what many conservatives call "The Constitution in Exile," by which they mean the Constitution as it existed before the Roosevelt administration. Radicals in Robes explains what the restoration of this constitutional vision would mean. It would mean the end of the FCC, the SEC, the EPA, and every other federal agency that enacts regulations that have the force of law. It would mean that the clause of the First Amendment that says that Congress may make no law "respecting an establishment of religion" would be turned on its head. Marriage laws and many other familiar areas of modern life are all in the sights of this conservative movement. Radicals in Robes takes judicial philosophy out of the law schools and shows what it means when it intersects partisan politics. It pulls away the veil of rhetoric from a dangerous and radical right-wing movement and issues a strong and passionate warning about what conservatives really intend. One of the most respected legal theorists in the country, Cass R. Sunstein here issues a warning of compelling concern to us all.
What happens to democracy and free speech if people use the Internet to listen and speak only to the like-minded? What is the benefit of the Internet's unlimited choices if citizens narrowly filter the information they receive? Cass Sunstein first asked these questions in 2001'sRepublic. com. Now, inRepublic. com 2. 0, Sunstein thoroughly rethinks the critical relationship between democracy and the Internet in a world where partisan Weblogs have emerged as a significant political force. Republic. com 2. 0highlights new research on how people are using the Internet, especially the blogosphere. Sunstein warns against "information cocoons" and "echo chambers," wherein people avoid the news and opinions that they don't want to hear. He also demonstrates the need to regulate the innumerable choices made possible by technology. His proposed remedies and reforms emphasize what consumers and producers can do to help avoid the perils, and realize the promise, of the Internet.
¿Por qué los seres humanos aceptan los rumores, incluso si son falsos, destructivos o estrambóticos? ¿Por qué la misma historia que viaja por Internet tiene credibilidad entre un grupo de personas, mientras que otros la consideran absurda? ¿Qué podemos hacer para protegernos de los efectos perniciosos de los rumores falsos?Los rumores son tan antiguos como la historia humana; siempre hemos vivido rodeados de ellos o incluso sufrido sus consecuencias. Del mismo modo que a través del conocimiento de otros sabemos que la tierra no es plana o que la materia se compone de átomos, los rumores se propagan entre todo tipo de personas --sensatas, razonables, de izquierdas o derechas---, y están ligados a sus deseos y temores.El derecho de los ciudadanos a decir lo que piensan constituye uno de los pilares de los sistemas democráticos en que vivimos, y sin embargo, en la era de Internet, donde uno de estos bulos puede crecer exponencialmente en tan solo unas horas, es fundamental proteger a las posibles víctimas de comportamientos maldicientes. Ayudado por ejemplos de la vida real y estudios de la conducta, Sunstein aborda la compleja tarea de analizar los mecanismos que alimentan los rumores para tratar de encontrar ese equilibrio indispensable entre la necesidad de protegernos de ellos y la salvaguarda de derechos como la libertad de prensa y opinión, y así evitar que la era de la información termine convirtiéndose en la era de la desinformación.
In 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a State of the Union Address that was arguably the greatest political speech of the twentieth century. In it, Roosevelt grappled with the definition of security in a democracy, concluding that "unless there is security here at home, there cannot be lasting peace in the world. " To help ensure that security, he proposed a "Second Bill of Rights" -- economic rights that he saw as necessary to political freedom. Many of the great legislative achievements of the past sixty years stem from Roosevelt's vision. Using this speech as a launching point, Cass R. Sunstein shows how these rights are vital to the continuing security of our nation. This is an ambitious, sweeping book that argues for a new vision of FDR, of constitutional history, and our current political scene.
Simpler government arrived four years ago. It helped put money in your pocket. It saved hours of your time. It improved your children's diet, lengthened your life span, and benefited businesses large and small. It did so by issuing fewer regulations, by insisting on smarter regulations, and by eliminating or improving old regulations. Cass R. Sunstein, as administrator of the most powerful White House office you've never heard of, oversaw it and explains how it works, why government will never be the same again (thank goodness), and what must happen in the future. Cutting-edge research in behavioral economics has influenced business and politics. Long at the forefront of that research, Sunstein, for three years President Obama's "regulatory czar" heading the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, oversaw a far-reaching restructuring of America's regulatory state. In this highly anticipated book, Sunstein pulls back the curtain to show what was done, why Americans are better off as a result, and what the future has in store. The evidence is all around you, and more is coming soon. Simplified mortgages and student loan applications. Scorecards for colleges and universities. Improved labeling of food and energy-efficient appliances and cars. Calories printed on chain restaurant menus. Healthier food in public schools. Backed by historic executive orders ensuring transparency and accountability, simpler government can be found in new initiatives that save money and time, improve health, and lengthen lives. Simpler: The Future of Government will transform what you think government can and should accomplish.
The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is the United States's regulatory overseer. In Valuing Life, Cass R. Sunstein draws on his firsthand experience as the Administrator of OIRA from 2009 to 2012 to argue that we can humanize regulation#151;and save lives in the process. As OIRA Administrator, Sunstein helped oversee regulation in a broad variety of areas, including highway safety, health care, homeland security, immigration, energy, environmental protection, and education. This background allows him to describe OIRA and how it works#151;and how it can work better#151;from an on-the-ground perspective. Using real-world examples, many of them drawn from today's headlines, Sunstein makes a compelling case for improving cost-benefit analysis, a longtime cornerstone of regulatory decision-making, and for taking account of variables that are hard to quantify, such as dignity and personal privacy. He also shows how regulatory decisions about health, safety, and life itself can benefit from taking into account behavioral and psychological research, including new findings about what scares us, and what does not. By better accounting for people's fallibility, Sunstein argues, we can create regulation that is simultaneously more human and more likely to achieve its goals. In this highly readable synthesis of insights from law, policy, economics, and psychology, Sunstein breaks down the intricacies of the regulatory system and offers a new way of thinking about regulation that incorporates human dignity#150; and an insistent focus on the consequences of our choices.
Based on a series of pathbreaking lectures given at Yale University in 2012, this powerful, thought-provoking work by national best-selling author Cass R. Sunstein combines legal theory with behavioral economics to make a fresh argument about the legitimate scope of government, bearing on obesity, smoking, distracted driving, health care, food safety, and other highly volatile, high-profile public issues. Behavioral economists have established that people often make decisions that run counter to their best interests#151;producing what Sunstein describes as #147;behavioral market failures. " Sometimes we disregard the long term; sometimes we are unrealistically optimistic; sometimes we do not see what is in front of us. With this evidence in mind, Sunstein argues for a new form of paternalism, one that protects people against serious errors but also recognizes the risk of government overreaching and usually preserves freedom of choice. Against those who reject paternalism of any kind, Sunstein shows that #147;choice architecture"#151;government-imposed structures that affect our choices#151;is inevitable, and hence that a form of paternalism cannot be avoided. He urges that there are profoundly moral reasons to ensure that choice architecture is helpful rather than harmful#151;and that it makes people's lives better and longer.
Why are group decisions so hard?Since the beginning of human history, people have made decisions in groups-first in families and villages, and now as part of companies, governments, school boards, religious organizations, or any one of countless other groups. And having more than one person to help decide is good because the group benefits from the collective knowledge of all of its members, and this results in better decisions. Right?Back to reality. We've all been involved in group decisions-and they're hard. And they often turn out badly. Why? Many blame bad decisions on "groupthink" without a clear idea of what that term really means.Now, Nudge coauthor Cass Sunstein and leading decision-making scholar Reid Hastie shed light on the specifics of why and how group decisions go wrong-and offer tactics and lessons to help leaders avoid the pitfalls and reach better outcomes. In the first part of the book, they explain in clear and fascinating detail the distinct problems groups run into: They often amplify, rather than correct, individual errors in judgment They fall victim to cascade effects, as members follow what others say or do They become polarized, adopting more extreme positions than the ones they began with They emphasize what everybody knows instead of focusing on critical information that only a few people knowIn the second part of the book, the authors turn to straightforward methods and advice for making groups smarter. These approaches include silencing the leader so that the views of other group members can surface, rethinking rewards and incentives to encourage people to reveal their own knowledge, thoughtfully assigning roles that are aligned with people's unique strengths, and more.With examples from a broad range of organizations-from Google to the CIA-and written in an engaging and witty style, Wiser will not only enlighten you; it will help your team and your organization make better decisions-decisions that lead to greater success.
Why are group decisions so hard? Since the beginning of human history, people have made decisions in groups-first in families and villages, and now as part of companies, governments, school boards, religious organizations, or any one of countless other groups. And having more than one person to help decide is good because the group benefits from the collective knowledge of all of its members, and this results in better decisions. Right? Back to reality. We've all been involved in group decisions-and they're hard. And they often turn out badly. Why? Many blame bad decisions on "groupthink" without a clear idea of what that term really means. Now, Nudge coauthor Cass Sunstein and leading decision-making scholar Reid Hastie shed light on the specifics of why and how group decisions go wrong-and offer tactics and lessons to help leaders avoid the pitfalls and reach better outcomes. In the first part of the book, they explain in clear and fascinating detail the distinct problems groups run into: They often amplify, rather than correct, individual errors in judgment They fall victim to cascade effects, as members follow what others say or do They become polarized, adopting more extreme positions than the ones they began with They emphasize what everybody knows instead of focusing on critical information that only a few people know In the second part of the book, the authors turn to straightforward methods and advice for making groups smarter. These approaches include silencing the leader so that the views of other group members can surface, rethinking rewards and incentives to encourage people to reveal their own knowledge, thoughtfully assigning roles that are aligned with people's unique strengths, and more. With examples from a broad range of organizations-from Google to the CIA-and written in an engaging and witty style, Wiser will not only enlighten you; it will help your team and your organization make better decisions-decisions that lead to greater success.
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