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For a complete list of acquisitions for a particular week, please select a link from the list below. Full monthly listings can be found in the Acquisitions List Archive.


Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

Citizenship

Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century

by Dorothy Roberts, The New Press, 2012

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This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and “provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics by one of the nation’s leading legal scholars and social critics.

Closing the Courthouse

Defaming the Dead

by Don Herzog, Yale University Press, 2017

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Do the dead have rights? In a persuasive argument, Don Herzog makes the case that the deceased’s interests should be protected

This is a delightfully deceptive works that start out with a simple, seemingly arcane question—can you libel or slander the dead?—and develops it outward, tackling larger and larger implications, until it ends up straddling the borders between law, culture, philosophy, and the meaning of life. A full answer to this question requires legal scholar Don Herzog to consider what tort law is actually designed to protect, what differences death makes—and what differences it doesn’t—and why we value what we value. Herzog is one of those rare scholarly writers who can make the most abstract argument compelling and entertaining.

Humanity at Sea

Four Crises of American Democracy: Representation, Mastery, Discipline, Anticipation

by Alasdair Roberts, Oxford University Press, 2017

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In the last decade, observers of Western governments have become increasingly concerned about an apparent crisis of democracy. They argue that endemic corruption, inadequate services, and increasing voter disaffection have produced a dire result: a global resurgence of authoritarianism. The political climate surrounding the 2016 presidential election in the United States has only reinforced the perception of democratic crisis.

In Four Crises of American Democracy, Alasdair Roberts locates the U.S.'s recent bout of democratic malaise in a larger context, arguing that it is the latest in a series of very different crises that have plagued America throughout the entire post-Civil War era. He focuses on four crises, describing the features of each and outlining solutions the government adopted in response. The first crisis-the "crisis of representation"-occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and was dominated by fears of plutocracy and debates about the rights of African Americans, women, and immigrants. The "crisis of mastery" spanned the years 1917-1948, and focused on building administrative capabilities so that government could better manage both an increasingly complex economy and volatile international system. The "crisis of discipline," beginning in the 1970s, was triggered by the perception that voters and special interests were overloading governments with unreasonable demands, and the response was to limit government's reach. The current crisis, what Roberts calls the "crisis of anticipation," is ongoing. Roberts pronounces it a future-oriented crisis, preoccupied with the capacity of democratic systems to deal with long-term problems such the rise of China and climate change.

Roberts suggests that democratic solutions to this present crisis will win out over more authoritarian ones, as occurred in previous crises. Features like societal openness and pragmatism give the democratic model a distinct advantage. A powerful account of how successive crises have shaped American democracy, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the forces driving the current democratic malaise both in the U.S. and around the world.

Exclusion from Public Space

Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age

by Nelson Tebbe, Harvard University Press, 2017

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Tensions between religious freedom and equality law are newly strained in America. As lawmakers work to protect LGBT citizens and women seeking reproductive freedom, religious traditionalists assert their right to dissent from what they see as a new liberal orthodoxy. Some religious advocates are going further and expressing skepticism that egalitarianism can be defended with reasons at all. Legal experts have not offered a satisfying response—until now.

Nelson Tebbe argues that these disputes, which are admittedly complex, nevertheless can be resolved without irrationality or arbitrariness. In Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age, he advances a method called social coherence, based on the way that people reason through moral problems in everyday life. Social coherence provides a way to reach justified conclusions in constitutional law, even in situations that pit multiple values against each other. Tebbe contends that reasons must play a role in the resolution of these conflicts, alongside interests and ideologies. Otherwise, the health of democratic constitutionalism could suffer.

Applying this method to a range of real-world cases, Tebbe offers a set of powerful principles for mediating between religion and equality law, and he shows how they can lead to workable solutions in areas ranging from employment discrimination and public accommodations to government officials and public funding. While social coherence does not guarantee outcomes that will please the liberal Left, it does point the way toward reasoned, nonarbitrary solutions to the current impasse.

The Age of Deference

Adolescence, Privacy, and the Law: A Developmental Science Perspective

by Rober J. P. Levesque, Oxford University Press, 2016

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Adolescence, Privacy, and the Law provides a foundation for understanding privacy rights and how they relate to adolescents. Roger Levesque argues that because privacy is actually an inherently social phenomenon, the ways in which adolescents' privacy needs and rights are shaped are essential to society's broader privacy interests. A close look at empirical understandings of privacy, how it shapes development, and how privacy itself can be shaped provides important lessons for addressing the critical juncture facing privacy rights and privacy itself.

Adolescence, Privacy, and the Law provides an overview of the three major strands of privacy rights: decisional, spatial, and informational, and extends current understandings of these strands and how the legal system addresses adolescents and their legal status. Levesque presents comprehensive and specific analyses of the place of privacy in adolescent development and its outcomes, the influences that shape adolescents' expectations and experiences of privacy, and ways to effectively shape adolescents' use of privacy. He explains why privacy law must move in new directions to address privacy needs and pinpoints the legal foundation for moving in new directions. The book charts broad proposals to guide the development of sociolegal responses to changing social environments related to the privacy of adolescents and challenges jurisprudential analyses claiming that developmental sciences do not offer important and useful tools to guide responses to adolescents' privacy. Lastly, Levesque responds to likely criticisms that may hamper the development of sociolegal stances more consistent with adolescents' needs for privacy as well as with societal concerns about privacy.

The Framers' Coup

Vaccine Court: The Law and Politics of Injury

by Anna Kirkland, New York University Press, 2016

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The so-called vaccine court is a small special court in the United States Court of Federal Claims that handles controversial claims that a vaccine has harmed someone. While vaccines in general are extremely safe and effective, some people still suffer severe vaccine reactions and bring their claims to vaccine court. In this court, lawyers, activists, judges, doctors, and scientists come together, sometimes arguing bitterly, trying to figure out whether a vaccine really caused a person’s medical problem.

In Vaccine Court, Anna Kirkland draws on the trials of the vaccine court to explore how legal institutions resolve complex scientific questions. What are vaccine injuries, and how do we come to recognize them? What does it mean to transform these questions into a legal problem and funnel them through a special national vaccine court, as we do in the U.S.? What does justice require for vaccine injury claims, and how can we deliver it? These are highly contested questions, and the terms in which they have been debated over the last forty years are highly revealing of deeper fissures in our society over motherhood, community, health, harm, and trust in authority. While many scholars argue that it’s foolish to let judges and lawyers decide medical claims about vaccines, Kirkland argues that our political and legal response to vaccine injury claims shows how well legal institutions can handle specialized scientific matters.

Electronic health records

Public Purpose in International Law: Rethinking Regulatory Sovereignty in the Global Era

by Pedro J. Martinez-Fraga, Cambridge University Press, 2015

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This text explores how the public purpose doctrine reconciles the often conflicting, but equally binding, obligations that states have to engage in regulatory sovereignty while honoring host-state obligations to protect foreign investment. The work examines the multiple permutations and iterations of the public purpose doctrine and concludes that this principle needs to be reconceptualized to meet the imperatives of economic globalization and of a new paradigm of sovereignty that is based on the interdependence, and not independence, of states. It contends that the historical expression of the public purpose doctrine in customary and conventional international law is fraught with fundamental flaws that, if not corrected, will give rise to disparities in the relationship between investors and states, asymmetries with respect to industrialized nations and developing states, and, ultimately, process legitimacy concerns.

Constitutional Torts

Mastering Crucial Moments in Separation and Divorce: A Multidisciplinary Guide to Excellence in Practice and Outcome

by Kate Scharff and Lisa R. Herrick, ABA Publishing, 2016

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Written by two experienced and respected leaders in the field of separation and divorce, this book is a roadmap for efficiently and effectively helping even the most "difficult" clients to achieve their best possible outcomes. Litigators, mediators, Collaborative professionals, mental health professionals, financial experts and allied professionals—from beginners to veterans—will find new, inspiring, practical tools they can put to use at tomorrow’s client meeting.