Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. In 2018, he received the Holberg Prize from the government of Norway, sometimes described as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for law and the humanities. In 2020, the World Health Organization appointed him as Chair of its technical advisory group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and after that, he served on the President’s Review Board on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and on the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has advised officials at the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Bank, and many nations on issues of law and public policy. He serves as an adviser to the Behavioural Insights Team in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Sunstein is author of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013), The Ethics of Influence (2015), #Republic (2017), Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide (2017), The Cost-Benefit Revolution (2018), On Freedom (2019), Conformity (2019), How Change Happens (2019), and Too Much Information (2020). He is now working on a variety of projects involving the regulatory state, “sludge” (defined to include paperwork and similar burdens), fake news, and freedom of speech.
D'autres épisodes de "The Governance Podcast"
Podcast - Estonia and Socialist Reality with Matthew D. Mitchell
59:10About the Talk In this episode of the Governance podcast, our Director Mark Pennington interviews Dr. Matthew Mitchell on the socialist reality in Estonia’s history. This episode is part of Matthew’s co-authored publication as part of the Realities of Socialism series run by the Fraser Institute. The Guest Matthew D. Mitchell is a Senior Fellow in the Centre for Economic Freedom. Prior to joining the Fraser Institute, Mitchell was a long-serving senior fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he remains an affiliated senior scholar. He is also a senior research fellow at the Knee Regulatory Research Center at West Virginia University. Mitchell received his PhD and MA in economics from George Mason University and his BA in political science and BS in economics from Arizona State University. His writing and research focuses on economic freedom, public choice economics, and the economics of government favoritism. Mitchell has testified before the U.S. Congress and several state legislatures. He has advised federal, state, and local government policymakers in the United States on both fiscal and regulatory policy. His research has been featured in numerous national media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and C-SPAN.
From Panmure House to State Capitalism: Adam Dixon on the relevance of Adam Smith
59:49About the Talk In this episode of the podcast, Prof. Mark Pennington interviews Prof. Adam Dixon on the contemporary relevance of the Scottish philosopher and political economist Adam Smith. The Guest Adam D. Dixon holds the Adam Smith Chair in Sustainable Capitalism at Adam Smith’s Panmure House, the last and final home of moral philosopher and father of economics Adam Smith. Professor Dixon is recognized as a world-leading scholar on the political economy of sovereign wealth funds, theories of state capitalism, and the intersection of markets and the state in the sustainability transition. His books include The Specter of State Capitalism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2024), Sovereign Wealth Funds: Between the State and Markets (Agenda, 2022), The Political Economy of Geoeconomics: Europe in a Changing World (Palgrave 2022), The New Frontier Investors: How Pension Funds, Sovereign Funds, and Endowments are Changing the Business of Investment Management and Long-Term Investing (Palgrave Macmillan 2016), The New Geography of Capitalism: Firms, Finance, and Society (Oxford University Press 2014) Sovereign Wealth Funds: Legitimacy, Governance, and Global Power (Princeton University Press, 2013), and Managing Financial Risks: From Global to Local (Oxford University Press, 2009). Trained as an economic geographer and political economist in the United States, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom, Adam brings an interdisciplinary perspective to this work. Previously, Adam worked at the University of Bristol and Maastricht University in the Netherlands, where he led a large European Research Council project on sovereign wealth funds. He holds a D.Phil. in economic geography from the University of Oxford, a Diplôme (Master) de l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, and a BA in international affairs and Spanish literature from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.
The Life and Times of F.A. Hayek: A Conversation with Bruce Caldwell
49:11About the Talk In this episode of the podcast, Prof. Mark Pennington interviews Prof. Bruce Caldwell, one of the co-authors of this recently published book Hayek: A Life. Few twentieth-century figures have been lionized and vilified in such equal measure as Friedrich Hayek—economist, social theorist, leader of the Austrian school of economics, and champion of classical liberalism. Hayek’s erudite arguments in support of individualism and the market economy have attracted a devout following, including many at the levers of power in business and government. Critics, meanwhile, cast Hayek as the intellectual forefather of “neoliberalism” and of all the evils they associate with that pernicious doctrine. In Hayek: A Life, historians of economics Bruce Caldwell and Hansjörg Klausinger draw on never-before-seen archival and family material to produce an authoritative account of the influential economist’s first five decades. This includes portrayals of his early career in Vienna; his relationships in London and Cambridge; his family disputes; and definitive accounts of the creation of The Road to Serfdom and of the founding meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society. The Guest Bruce Caldwell is research professor of economics and the director of the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University. Professor Caldwell's research focuses on the history of economic thought, with a specific interest in the life and works of the Nobel Laureate economist and social theorist F. A. Hayek. He is the author of Hayek's Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F. A. Hayek (2004) and since 2002 has served as the general editor of the book series The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek. In 2022 he published Mont Pelerin 1947: Transcripts of the Founding Meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society as well as Hayek: A Life, 1899-1950, the first of a two-volume biography that he is writing with Hansjoerg Klausinger. In 2019-2020 he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has also held research fellowships at NYU, the LSE, and Cambridge University. At Duke he is the Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy, a center whose purpose is to promote research in, and the teaching of, the history of economic thought.
Podcast: Liberty and Complexity in Liberalism and Conservatism with Dr. Greg Collins
49:12About the Talk Can a moral or divine law independent of contingency accommodate the social and economic complexities of circumstance? Does a defense of custom necessarily repudiate the idea of immutable law applicable to all peoples and cultures? Is transcendent universality and spontaneous order reconcilable? This episode explores this age-old tension with reference to the intellectual origins of liberalism and conservatism. These ideologies are often said to derive from the French Revolution, but their roots trace back even further to the tension between reason and custom in the early modern period. Thinkers and jurists such as Richard Hooker, Edward Coke, and Matthew Hale defended custom for embodying the distilled wisdom of the generations, while the social contractarian tradition placed heavy stress on universal rationality and legislative sovereignty to instantiate the principles of individual autonomy and equality in civil society based on abstract reason. During the pamphlet wars in England over the Revolution, Edmund Burke, considered to be the godfather of conservatism, expanded on such early endorsements of custom to defend the cultural inheritance of European civilization. On the other hand, Richard Price and Thomas Paine, among various adversaries of Burke, intensified the early contractarians’ emphasis on abstract reason to support the Revolution and attack Burke’s defense of custom and just prejudice. This episode thus examines whether proto-conservatives, spanning from Hooker to Burke, and proto-liberals, spanning from Hobbes to Paine, persuasively harmonized their embrace of a universal moral law with their recognition of the complexity of social life. This inquiry will illustrate how the intellectual origins of conservatism and liberalism were premised on varying presuppositions about the sinful nature of man and the epistemological constraints of individual knowledge. The Guest Gregory M. Collins is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics at Yale University. His book on Edmund Burke’s economic thought, titled Commerce and Manners in Edmund Burke’s Political Economy, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. Greg’s scholarly and teaching interests include the history of political thought, the philosophical and ethical implications of political economy, American political development, constitutional theory and practice, and the political theory of abolition. He has published articles on Burke’s economic thought in Review of Politics; Adam Smith’s imperial political and economic thought in History of Political Thought; Burke’s and Smith’s views on Britain’s East India Company and monopoly in Journal of the History of Economic Thought; Frederick Douglass’ constitutional theory in American Political Thought; Burke’s plan for the abolition of the slave trade in Slavery & Abolition; and Burke’s intellectual relationship with Leo Strauss and the Straussian political tradition in Perspectives on Political Science. Greg won the 2020 Novak Award, awarded annually by the Acton Institute to one young scholar who conducts research on the intersection of liberty and virtue. His current book project is a study of the idea of civil society in African-American political, social, and economic thought.
Podcast: When Law sends the Wrong Message: Understanding What Laws Communicate About ‘Socially Acceptable Behavior’ with Shubhangi Roy
53:51About the Talk Lawmakers, activists, and academics, often, presume that enacting a law sends a (powerful) message about what is socially desirable and acceptable. At worst, it is presumed that it will stay as ink on paper and not create any change. Therefore, it is considered as a cost-less endeavor with potential for creating great change at low costs. This has led for increase in demand for legislation, even ones that may be hard to enforce and even in countries which have limited state capacity, for their ‘symbolic value’. In this workshop, we will consider this claim by understanding the social and institutional conditions under which laws can have such a symbolic power to send the right message and, more importantly, when it can send the wrong one. No individuals interact with any law in isolation. Individuals’ decision to comply with a law, their understanding of what it means and how others will respond to it are all shaped by past experiences (theirs and of those within their reference network) with the law. In fact, the strength of the claim that laws send a message, itself, relies on the fact that there is a social expectation that laws (in general) do, in fact, provide information about what is socially acceptable behavior. What happens when this social expectation is not in place? Utilizing examples of legislations prohibiting behaviors deeply rooted in social and cultural norms as well as in institutional contexts with generally low compliance and trust in state, this workshop discusses the limits and costs of legal expression. Using a dialogic approach, this workshop will explore what law can successfully communicate in different contexts. About the Speaker Shubhangi Roy is a legal academic at Universität Münster.
Complexity and the Politics of Regulation: A Discussion with Andrew Haldane
50:47On this week’s episode of the Governance Podcast, Mark Pennington, the Director at the Study of Governance and Society here at King College London, interviews Andy Haldane. This episode is titled 'Complexity and the Politics of Regulation’, and discusses the governance of financial risk in conditions where it's hard to predict how agents will respond to a given situation and the possibility of error, whether by private agents or by those who regulate their behavior. The Guest Andy was formerly Chief Economist at the Bank of England and a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. Among other positions, he is Honorary Professor at the Universities of Nottingham, Manchester and Exeter, Visiting Professor at King’s College, London, a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Social Sciences. Andrew is Founder and President of the charity Pro Bono Economics, Vice-Chair of the charity National Numeracy and Chair of the National Numeracy Leadership Council. Andrew was the Permanent Secretary for Levelling Up at the Cabinet Office from September 2021 to March 2022 and chairs the Government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council. He has authored around 200 articles and 4 books.
‘Too much’ and ‘too little’ content moderation: Internet governance as a case study in advanced liberal modes of government: In Conversation with Terry Flew
50:52On this week’s episode of the Governance Podcast, Mark Pennington, the Director at the Study of Governance and Society here at King College London, interviews Professor Terry Flew. This episode is titled "‘Too much’ and ‘too little’ content moderation", and discusses the question of content moderation on digital platforms as a case study in Foucauldian approaches to governmentality. The Guest Terry Flew is Professor of Digital Communication and Culture at the University of Sydney. He is the author of 16 books (seven edited), 71 book chapters, 118 refereed journal articles, and 20 reports and research monographs. His books include The Creative Industries, Culture and Policy (SAGE, 2012), Global Creative Industries (Polity, 2013), Media Economics (Palgrave, 2015), Understanding Global Media (Palgrave, 2018), Regulating Platforms (Polity, 2021), and Digital Platform Regulation: Global Perspectives on Internet Governance (Springer, 2022). He was President of the International Communications Association (ICA) from 2019 to 2020 and is currently an Executive Board member of the ICA. He was elected an ICA Fellow in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA), elected in 2019. He has advised companies including Facebook/Meta, Cisco Systems and the Special Broadcasting Service, and government agencies in Australia and internationally, including the Australian Communication and Media Authority and the Singapore Broadcasting Authority. He has held visiting professor roles at City University, London and George Washington University, and is currently a Distinguished Professor with Communications University of China. He currently holds two Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grants, on Trust and Distrust in News Media, and Valuing News: Aligning Interpersonal, Institutional and Societal Perspectives, and heads the International Digital Policy Observatory, funded by the ARC in partnership with the Australian Information Industries Association.
The data that is and that data the isn’t: the pitfalls of using big data: In conversation with Diane Coyle
50:39On this week’s episode of the Governance Podcast, Mark Pennington, the Director at the Study of Governance and Society here at King College London, interviews Professor Diane Coyle. This episode is titled "The data that is and that data the isn't: the pitfalls of using big data", and discusses the various uses and implications of big data in society, and the many pitfalls that may arise. The Conversation ‘Big Data’ fuels AI models like ChatGPT and the machine learning systems that are generating much debate about their promise – and peril – for decision-making. The impact of the technology will depend on the character of the data used. While the issue of data bias is well-understood (although not solved), less attention has been paid to other aspects such as data quality (is the data an accurate measure of the underlying object?), missing data (do we have only part of the picture?), and the meaning of data (how are the underlying concepts represented by the data constructed and interpreted)? As AI models are advancing fast enough to be deployed increasingly widely in society, there is a pressing need to reflect on the perspective on our social world created for them through the data on which they are trained and updated. The Guest Professor Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Diane co-directs the Bennett Institute where she heads research under the themes of progress and productivity. Her latest book is ‘Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be‘ on how economics needs to change to keep pace with the twenty-first century and the digital economy. Diane is also a Director of the Productivity Institute, a Fellow of the Office for National Statistics, an expert adviser to the National Infrastructure Commission, and Senior Independent Member of the ESRC Council. She has served in public service roles including as Vice Chair of the BBC Trust, member of the Competition Commission, of the Migration Advisory Committee and of the Natural Capital Committee. Diane was Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester until March 2018 and was awarded a CBE for her contribution to the public understanding of economics in the 2018 New Year Honours.
Politics and Expertise: In Conversation with Zeynep Pamuk
36:12Our ability to act on some of the most pressing issues of our time, from pandemics and climate change to artificial intelligence and nuclear weapons, depends on knowledge provided by scientists and other experts. Meanwhile, contemporary political life is increasingly characterized by problematic responses to expertise, with denials of science on the one hand and complaints about the ignorance of the citizenry on the other. Politics and Expertise offers a new model for the relationship between science and democracy, rooted in the ways in which scientific knowledge and the political context of its use are imperfect. Zeynep Pamuk starts from the fact that science is uncertain, incomplete, and contested, and shows how scientists’ judgments about what is significant and useful shape the agenda and framing of political decisions. The challenge, Pamuk argues, is to ensure that democracies can expose and contest the assumptions and omissions of scientists, instead of choosing between wholesale acceptance or rejection of expertise. To this end, she argues for institutions that support scientific dissent, proposes an adversarial “science court” to facilitate the public scrutiny of science, reimagines structures for funding scientific research, and provocatively suggests restricting research into dangerous new technologies. Through rigorous philosophical analysis and fascinating examples, Politics and Expertise moves the conversation beyond the dichotomy between technocracy and populism and develops a better answer for how to govern and use science democratically.
Use of Algorithms in Society: In Conversation with Cass Sunstein
48:19On this week’s episode of the Governance Podcast, Mark Pennington, the Director at the Study of Governance and Society here at King College London, interviews Professor Cass R. Sunstein. This episode is titled "The Use of Algorithms in Society", and discusses the various ethical and moral dilemmas and implications of increasing AI us in society, and its impact on both social and economic factors. The Guest Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. In 2018, he received the Holberg Prize from the government of Norway, sometimes described as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for law and the humanities. In 2020, the World Health Organization appointed him as Chair of its technical advisory group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and after that, he served on the President’s Review Board on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and on the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has advised officials at the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Bank, and many nations on issues of law and public policy. He serves as an adviser to the Behavioural Insights Team in the United Kingdom. Mr. Sunstein is author of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013), The Ethics of Influence (2015), #Republic (2017), Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide (2017), The Cost-Benefit Revolution (2018), On Freedom (2019), Conformity (2019), How Change Happens (2019), and Too Much Information (2020). He is now working on a variety of projects involving the regulatory state, “sludge” (defined to include paperwork and similar burdens), fake news, and freedom of speech.