Monday, September 19, 2016

Legal History @ LAPA, Fall 2016

Three of the five meetings of the seminar of Princeton University's Law and Public Affairs(LAPA) Program this semester are legal historical.  The seminar meets Mondays at 4:30 PM, in 301 Marx Hall.  The format is paper in advance with a commentator who summarizes the main themes of the paper and presents topics for discussion.

September 26, 2016
The Systems Fallacy: The Perils of Systems Analysis, Past and Present (From Operations Research to Contemporary Cost-Benefit Analysis)
Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia University
At the height of the Cold War in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a decision-making technique called Systems Analysis was perfected and began to be applied broadly from matters of national defense strategy to government policy to criminal justice. The turn to systems analysis has been deeply consequential in the field of law and public policy, and is essentially responsible for the dominant role that cost-benefit analysis plays today throughout the administrative state. A close examination of the attempt to extend the use of systems models from the narrow military domain to the broader public policy context, however, reveals a recurring problem centered on the choice of scope of the analysis. I call this “The Systems Fallacy” and I demonstrate it in this essay.
November 7, 2016
Outcasts from the Vote: Women Suffrage and Disability over the Long 19th Century
Rabia Belt, Stanford Law School

November 28, 2016

Distraction Framed: Law and Mental Disabilities in Early New England
Cornelia Dayton, LAPA Fellow; University of Connecticut