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Public Speaker

Law's Allure: How Law Shapes, Constrains, Saves, and Kills Politics

Gordon Silverstein, University of California at Berkeley

October 20, 2009, 4:30 PM, Robertson Hall Bowl 2

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Gordon Silverstein's new book, Law's Allure: How Law Shapes, Constrains, Saves and Kills Politics was published by Cambridge University Press in February, 2009. Using more than ten primary case studies, ranging from abortion and poverty to campaign finance, war powers, environmental regulation, campaign finance reform and tobacco-control policy, Law's Allure draws a roadmap to help politicians, litigators, judges, policy advocates, and those who study them understand the motives and incentives that encourage efforts to legalize, formalize, and judicialize the political process and American public policy, as well as the risks and rewards these choices can generate. 

Gordon Silverstein is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Following his undergraduate education at Cornell University -- where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the financially and editorially independent Cornell Daily Sun -- Silverstein worked as a journalist for the Wall Street Journal in New York and Hong Kong and the San Francisco Chronicle before going to Harvard University where he earned his PhD. He has also held faculty positions at Rice University, Dartmouth College, the University of Minnesota and Lewis & Clark College. In addition, he served as a Program Director for the non-profit, non-partisan New America Foundation in Washington DC.

At Berkeley, Silverstein teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public and constitutional law, civil liberties, comparative constitutionalism and the separation of powers among others. In addition to his two books, he has published articles and book chapters on a range of topics including comparative constitutionalism, the rule of law, law and courts in Singapore, Hong Kong and Europe, American political thought and American foreign policy in edited volumes, academic journals and in magazines and online venues including The American Prospect, the Washington Monthly and The New Republic-Online.

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