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Featured Acquisitions - March 2011

 

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Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle
New York: Basic Books, 2011
HM851 .T86 2011 Basement

In this final volume in a trilogy of works on computers and people that includes The Second Self and Life on the Screen, Turkle (social studies of science, M.I.T.), presents an important exploration of the psychological effects of computers on decision making and relationship building in a culture increasingly filled with technology dependence and social networking. Based on fifteen years of research and numerous interviews with adults and children, the work explores the development of new types of relationships among families and peer groups that are moderated by technology, the quality and psychological health of these relationships and a growing reaction to, and rejection of, this new cultural norm.


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Climate Change Law and Policy : EU and US Approaches by Cinnamon Piñon Carlarne
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010
K3585.5 .C37 2010 Balcony

Existing climate change governance regimes in the US and the EU contain complex mixtures of regulatory, market, voluntary, and research-based strategies. The EU has adopted an approach to climate change that is based on mandatory greenhouse gas emission reductions; it is grounded in 'hard' law measures and accompanied by 'soft' law measures at the regional and Member State level. In contrast, until recently, the US federal government has carefully avoided mandatory emission reduction obligations and focused instead on employing a variety of 'soft' measures to encourage - rather than mandate - greenhouse gas emission reductions in an economically sound, market-driven manner. These macro level differences are critical yet they mask equally important transatlantic policy convergences. The US and the EU are pivotal players in the development of the international climate change regime. How these two entities structure climate change laws and policies profoundly influences the shape and success of climate change laws and policies at multiple levels of governance. This book suggests that the overall structures and processes of climate change law and policy-making in the US and the EU are intricately linked to international policy-making and, thus, the long-term success of global efforts to address climate change. Accordingly, the book analyses the content and process of climate change law and policy-making in the US and the EU to reveal policy convergences and divergences, and to examine how these convergences and divergences impact the ability of the global community to structure a sustainable, effective and equitable long-term climate strategy.


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Human Rights and Human Well-Being by William J. Talbott
New York: Oxford University Press, 2010
JC571 .T14445 2010 Sohn Library

In the last half of the twentieth century, legalized segregation ended in the southern United States, apartheid ended in South Africa, women in many parts of the world came to be recognized as having equal rights with men, persons with disabilities came to be recognized as having rights to develop and exercise their human capabilities, colonial peoples' rights of self-determination were recognized, and rights of gays and lesbians have begun to be recognized. It is hard not to see these developments as examples of real moral progress. But what is moral progress? In this book, William Talbott offers a surprising answer to that question. He proposes a consequentialist meta-theoretical principle of moral and legal progress, the "main principle", to explain why these changes are examples of moral and legal progress. On Talbott's account, improvements to our moral or legal practices are changes that, when evaluated as a practice, contribute to equitably promoting well-being. Talbott uses the main principle to explain why almost all the substantive moral norms and principles used in moral or legal reasoning have exceptions and why it is almost inevitable that, no matter how much we improve them, there will always be more exceptions. This explanation enables Talbott to propose a new, non-skeptical understanding of what has been called the "naturalistic fallacy".


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Access-Right: The Future of Digital Copyright Law by by Zohar Efroni
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
K1420.5 .E38 2011 Balcony

Copyright law has become the subject of general concerns that reach beyond the limited circles of specialists and prototypical rights-holders. The role, scope and effect of copyright mechanisms involve genuinely complex questions. Digitization trends and the legal changes that followed drew those complex matters to the center of an ongoing public debate. In Access-Right: The Future of Digital Copyright Law , Zohar Efroni explores theoretical, normative and practical aspects of premising copyright on the principle of access to works. The impetus to this approach has been the emergence of technology that many consider a threat to the intended operation, and perhaps even to the very integrity, of copyright protection in the digital setting: It is the ability to control digital works already at the stage of accessing them by means of technological protection measures. The pervasive shift toward the use of digital technology for the creation, dissemination, exploitation and consumption of copyrighted material warrants a shift also in the way we perceive the structure of copyright rules. Premising the copyright order on the concept of digital access first calls for explaining the basic components of proprietary access control over information in the abstract. The book then surveys recent developments in the positive law, while showing how the theoretical access-right construct could explain the logic behind them. Finally, the book critically analyzes existing approaches to curbing the resulting problems of imbalance and overprotection, which are said to disadvantage users. In conclusion, the book advocates for a structural overhaul of our current regulative apparatus. The proposed reform involves a series of changes in the way we define copyright entitlements, and in the way in which those entitlements may interrelate within a single, coherent scheme.


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Detention and Denial: The Case for Candor After Guantánamo by Benjamin Wittes
Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2011
KF9430 .W578 2011 Balcony

Benjamin Wittes pulls back the curtain of silence to discuss what the U.S. and its allies currently are doing in the way of detention, and what they ought to be doing. Current policy is incoherent and muddled, sending mixed and confused signals. While that is perhaps understandable, given public ambivalence about detention, this is ineffective and counterproductive. Out of sight means out of mind to many people, but pretending a problem no longer exists does not make it so. Just because someone is not detained at Guantanamo doesn't mean that person won't be detained elsewhere, by either U.S. forces or its proxies. Wittes issues a persuasive call for greater coherence, clarity, and candor in detention policy and practices. He lays out some of the problems that could result from the current state of obfuscation.


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The Institutional Structure of Antitrust Enforcement by Daniel A. Crane
New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
KF1652 .C73 2011 Balcony

The Institutional Structure of Antitrust Enforcement, by Daniel A. Crane provides a comprehensive and succinct treatment of the history, structure, and behavior of the various U.S. institutions that enforce antitrust laws, such as the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. It addresses the relationship between corporate regulation and antitrust, the uniquely American approach of having two federal antitrust agencies, antitrust federalism, and the predominance of private enforcement over public enforcement. It also draws comparisons with the structure of institutional enforcement outside the United States in the European Union and in other parts of the world, and it considers the possibility of creating international antitrust institutions through the World Trade Organization or other treaty mechanisms. The book derives its topics from historical, economic, political, and theoretical perspectives.


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Shakespeare's Imaginary Constitution: Late Elizabethan Politics and the Theatre of Law by Paul Raffield
Oxford; Portland, OR: Hart, 2010
PR3028 .R34 2010 Basement

Through an examination of six plays by Shakespeare, the author presents an innovative analysis of political developments in the last decade of Elizabethan rule and their representation in poetic drama of the period. The playhouses of London in the 1590s provided a distinctive forum for discourse and dissemination of nascent political ideas. Shakespeare exploited the unique capacity of theatre to humanise contemporary debate concerning the powers of the crown and the extent to which these were limited by law. The autonomous subject of law is represented in the plays considered here as a sentient political being whose natural rights and liberties found an analogue in the narratives of common law, as recorded in juristic texts and law reports of the early modern era. Each chapter reflects a particular aspect of constitutional development in the late-Elizabethan state. These include abuse of the royal prerogative by the crown and its agents; the emergence of a politicised middle class citizenry, empowered by the ascendancy of contract law; the limitations imposed by the courts on the lawful extent of divinely ordained kingship; the natural and rational authority of unwritten lex terrae; the poetic imagination of the judiciary and its role in shaping the constitution; and the fusion of temporal and spiritual jurisdiction in the person of the monarch. The book advances original insights into the complex and agonistic relationship between theatre, politics, and law. The plays discussed offer persuasive images both of the crown's absolutist tendencies and of alternative polities predicated upon classical and humanist principles of justice, equity, and community.


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The Agnostic Age: Law, Religion, and the Constitution by Paul Horwitz
New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
KF4783 .H67 2011 Balcony

Paul Horwitz argues that the fundamental reason for the church-state conflict is our aversion to questions of religious truth. By trying to avoid the question of religious truth, law and religion has ultimately only reached a state of incoherence. He asserts that the answer to this dilemma is to take "the agnostic turn": to take an empathetic and imaginative approach to questions of religious truth, one that actually confronts rather than avoids these questions, but without reaching a final judgment about what that truth is. This book offers a sensitive and sensible approach to questions of church-state conflict, justifying what the courts have done in some cases and demanding new results in others. It explains how the church-state conflict extends beyond law and religion itself, and goes to some of the central questions at the heart of the troubled relationship between religion and liberal democracy in a post-9/11 era.


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Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right by David N. Mayer
Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 2011
KF801 .M29 2011 Balcony

From 1897 until 1937, Mayer (law and history, Capital U.) argues approvingly, the US Supreme Court consistently protected liberty of contract as a fundamental right stemming from constitutional provisions that barred the federal government, under the Fifth Amendment, and states, under the Fourteenth, from depriving persons of "life, liberty, or property without due process of law," meaning that laws dictating such things as maximum hours, minimum wages, business licensing, housing segregation, and compulsory education were struck down as unconstitutional interferences with the liberty of contract. These "Lochner era" decisions (named after the 1905 Lochner v. New York decision), he further argues, have since been widely mischaracterized as judicial activism, "laissez-faire constitutionalism" in favor of rich capitalists, and a product of legal formalism. He provides a revisionist view, contending that the decline of Lochner-style decisions in the New Deal era represented an abandonment by the Court of a general protection of liberty against the government's police power in favor of a double standard wherein the Court favored progressive "social legislation" expanding the police power in opposition to freedom of contract while conversely maintaining protection of liberty rights, such as those listed in the Bill of Rights as well as other rights such as voting and the right to privacy.


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The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse edited by Marjorie Cohn
New York: New York University Press, 2011
KF9430 .U55 2011 Balcony

Waterboarding. Sleep deprivation. Sensory manipulation. Stress positions. Over the last several years, these and other methods of torture have become garden variety words for practically anyone who reads about current events in a newspaper or blog. We know exactly what they are, how to administer them, and, disturbingly, that they were secretly authorized by the Bush Administration in its efforts to extract information from people detained in its war on terror. What we lack, however, is a larger lens through which to view America's policy of torture — one that dissects America's long relationship with interrogation and torture, which roots back to the 1950s and has been applied, mostly in secret, to “enemies,” ever since. How did America come to embrace this practice so fully, and how was it justified from a moral, legal, and psychological perspective?