Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective (5th ed.)

Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle (University of Oxford), The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective (Oxford University Press, 5th ed. 2015).


"The fifth edition of this highly praised study charts and explains the progress that continues to be made towards the goal of worldwide abolition of the death penalty. The majority of nations have now abolished the death penalty and the number of executions has dropped in almost all countries where abolition has not yet taken place. Emphasising the impact of international human rights principles and evidence of abuse, the authors examine how this has fuelled challenges to the death penalty and they analyse and appraise the likely obstacles, political and cultural, to further abolition. They discuss the cruel realities of the death penalty and the failure of international standards always to ensure fair trials and to avoid arbitrariness, discrimination and conviction of the innocent: all violations of the right to life. They provide further evidence of the lack of a general deterrent effect; shed new light on the influence and limits of public opinion; and argue that substituting for the death penalty life imprisonment without parole raises many similar human rights concerns."Publisher's website

Monday, June 22, 2015

What's Wrong with Copying?

Abraham Drassinower (University of Toronto), What's Wrong with Copying (Harvard University Press, 2015).

"Copyright law, as conventionally understood, serves the public interest by regulating the production and dissemination of works of authorship, though it recognizes that the requirements of the public interest are in tension. Incentives for creation must be provided, but protections granted authors must not prevent the fruits of creativity and knowledge from spreading. Copyright law, therefore, should balance the needs of creators and users—or so the theory goes. . . . Challenging this widely accepted view, What’s Wrong with Copying? disentangles copyright theory from its focus on the economic value of an authored work as a commodity or piece of property. In his analysis of copyright doctrine, Abraham Drassinower frames an author’s work as a communicative act and asserts that copyright infringement is best understood as an unauthorized appropriation of another person’s speech."
—From publisher's website

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Civility, Legality, and Justice in America

Austin Sarat (ed.) (Amherst College). Civility, Legality, and Justice in America (Cambridge University Press, 2014). 

"Throughout American history, the discourse of civility has proven quite resilient, and concern for a perceived lack of civility has ebbed and flowed in recognizable patterns. Today we are in another era in which political leaders and commentators bemoan a crisis of incivility and warn of civility's demise. Civility, Legality, and the Limits of Justice charts the uses of civility in American legal and political discourse. How important is civility as a legal and political virtue? How does it fare when it is juxtaposed with the claim that it masks injustice? Who advocates civility and to what effect? How are battles over civility played out in legal and political arenas? This book brings the work of several distinguished scholars together to critically assess the relative claims of civility and justice and the way law weighs those virtues."
Publisher's website

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It

Charles D. Ellis (Whitehead Institute), Alicia H. Munnell (Boston College), & Andrew D. Eschtruth (Boston College). Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It (Oxford University Press, 2014).

"The United States faces a serious retirement challenge. Many of today's workers will lack the resources to retire at traditional ages and maintain their standard of living in retirement. Solving the problem is a major challenge in today's environment in which risk and responsibility have shifted from government and employers to individuals. For this reason, Charles D. Ellis, Alicia H. Munnell, and Andrew D. Eschtruth have written this concise guide for anyone concerned about their own - and the nation's - retirement security. . . . Falling Short is grounded in sound research yet written in a highly accessible style. The authors provide a vivid picture of the retirement crisis in America. They offer the necessary context for understanding the nature and size of the retirement income shortfall, which is caused by both increasing income needs-due to longer lifespans and rising health costs-and decreasing support from Social Security and employer-sponsored pension plans."
Publisher's description

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Global Shell Games: Experiments in Transnational Relations, Crime, and Terrorism

Michael G. Findley (University of Texas), Daniel L. Nielson (Brigham Young University) & J.C. Sherman (Griffith University). Global Shell Games (University of Cambridge Press, 2014).

"Every year a staggering number of unidentified shell corporations succeed in hiding perpetrators of terrorist financing, corruption and illegal arms trades, but the degree to which firms flout global identification standards remains unknown. Adopting a unique, experimental methodology, Global Shell Games attempts to unveil the sordid world of anonymous shell corporations. Posing as twenty-one different international consultants, the authors approached nearly 4,000 services in over 180 countries to discover just how easy it is to form an untraceable company. Combining rigorous quantitative analysis, qualitative investigation of responses and lurid news reports, this book makes a significant research contribution to compliance with international law and international crime and terrorism whilst offering a novel, new approach to the field of political science research." 
From publisher's website