• Why Societies Need Dissent

    Why Societies Need Dissent (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures) (Paperback) By (author) Cass R. Sunstein

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    DescriptionIn this timely book, Cass R. Sunstein shows that organizations and nations are far more likely to prosper if they welcome dissent and promote openness. Attacking "political correctness" in all forms, Sunstein demonstrates that corporations, legislatures, even presidents are likely to blunder if they do not cultivate a culture of candor and disclosure. He shows that unjustified extremism, including violence and terrorism, often results from failure to tolerate dissenting views. The tragedy is that blunders and cruelties could be avoided if people spoke out. Sunstein casts new light on freedom of speech, showing that a free society not only forbids censorship but also provides public spaces for dissenters to expose widely held myths and pervasive injustices. He provides evidence about the effects of conformity and dissent on the federal courts. The evidence shows not only that Republican appointees vote differently from Democratic appointees but also that both Republican and Democratic judges are likely to go to extremes if unchecked by opposing views. Understanding the need for dissent illuminates countless social debates, including those over affirmative action in higher education, because diversity is indispensable to learning. Dissenters are often portrayed as selfish and disloyal, but Sunstein shows that those who reject pressures imposed by others perform valuable social functions, often at their own expense. This is true for dissenters in boardrooms, churches, unions, and academia. It is true for dissenters in the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. And it is true during times of war and peace.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Why Societies Need Dissent

    Title
    Why Societies Need Dissent
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Cass R. Sunstein
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 256
    Width: 140 mm
    Height: 210 mm
    Thickness: 18 mm
    Weight: 422 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780674017689
    ISBN 10: 0674017684
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 27430
    BIC E4L: POL
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T7.0
    BIC subject category V2: JPW
    Ingram Subject Code: SO
    Libri: I-SO
    B&T General Subject: 650
    DC22: 303.484
    BISAC V2.8: SOC026000, POL003000
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    DC22: 340.115
    BIC subject category V2: LAQ
    LC classification: JC328.3 .S93 2003
    DC22: 303.484221
    Thema V1.0: LAQ, JPW
    Edition statement
    Revised.
    Illustrations note
    3 line illustrations, 5 charts
    Publisher
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Imprint name
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Publication date
    06 May 2005
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass
    Author Information
    Cass R. Sunstein is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University.
    Review quote
    Why Societies Need Dissent...shows that demands for lock-step conformity are wrong and uninformed thinking. Sunstein's important new study is filled with empirical evidence of the significance of opposition, found in his compelling explanations of the need for, and benefits of, disagreement. Sunstein reveals that, in fact, the influence of dissenters is for the better, be it with courts, juries, corporate boardrooms, churches, sports teams, student organizations or faculties, not to mention 'the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court...during times of both war and peace.' -- John W. Dean Los Angeles Times Book Review 20030921 Sunstein provides a learned, intelligent and lively discussion of an issue of the first importance in societies which assume that real discussion and debate ought to inform public decisions. -- William Neville Toronto Globe and Mail 20031122 In this well-written and wise little reprise of the great themes of Rousseau, Mill, and Tocqueville, Sunstein plays sociologist, psychologist, and legal scholar to good effect. He writes of conformity, cascades, and group polarization as conceptual notions that illumine the fear, apathy, and indifference that beggar public discourse, leaving it for the advertisers, spinners, and multiple would-be Pericles of the modern age. -- E. Lewis Choice 20040401 As Cass Sunstein argues in Why Societies Need Dissent, we all pay a steep price when dissent is muzzled...Sunstein is implicitly raising a red flag about the deepening partisanship of American culture. A people cordoning themselves off from one another--listening to radio programs and reading books that parrot rather than test their assumptions--spells trouble. So does the growing polarization of our two major parties, which are increasingly dominated by their fringes. Sunstein combines these insights with the results of research in clinical psychology to show the costs and perils of stifled dissent. -- Mitchell Goodman Raleigh News Observer 20040502
    Table of contents
    Introduction: Conformity and Dissent 1 Doing What Others Do 2 Obeying (and Disobeying) the Law 3 Traveling in Herds 4 What Will the Neighbors Think? 5 Free Speech 6 The Law of Group Polarization 7 The Framers' Greatest Contribution 8 Are Judges Conformists Too? 9 Affirmative Action in Higher Education Conclusion: Why Dissent? Notes Index