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Cass-sunstein
Cass Sunstein
Tim-harford
Tim Harford

How Change Happens

Cass Sunstein Interviewed by Tim Harford

Saturday, 6 April 2019

12:00pm

1 hour

Sheldonian Theatre

£7 - £12.50

One of the US’s leading legal scholars and former official in the Obama White House Professor Cass Sunstein uses behavioural economics, psychology and other disciplines to explain how social change happens and why social movements take off.

Why did women have to endure sexual harassment for so long before the recent rise of a movement against it? And why have white nationalist sentiments come to the fore after largely being kept out of mainstream discourse for so long? Sunstein says social norms can lead people to silence themselves and maintain an unpopular status quo until someone challenges them. He also discusses ‘nudges’ that can help promote change such as automatic enrolment in pension plans and ‘partyism’ where identification with one party can both fuel and block change.

Sunstein is Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School. He was administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under the Obama administration. Obama said of him: “It’s an honour to call you a friend, not only because you are a towering intellect, but more importantly because you are a good man.”
Sunstein says he ‘has long been concerned with how to promote enduring constitutional ideals – freedom, dignity, equality, self-government, the rule of law’. He is a winner of the prestigious Holberg Prize for outstanding contributions to research. Here he talks to journalist and writer Tim Harford, who writes the Undercover Economist column for the FT and is a former leader writer for the FT.

‘Sunstein is one of the great intellectuals of our time . . . . His work is rigorous, yet accessible, and marked by an extraordinary concern for human welfare as well as a commitment to an enlightened public discourse’ Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta, chair of the Holberg Committee

Presented by MIT Press
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FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme Irish Embassy, London Supporters of the Irish programme MIT Press MIT Press. Sponsors of the programme of American literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Princeton University Press British Academy Festival academic partner Ian and Carol Sellars Emily Rose and James Marrow Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture George Warren Mary and Cecil Quillen Jesus College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Hilda’s College 11th St Hilda's day at the festival St Cross College St Cross College The Feathers Hotel Macdonald Bear Hotel Critchleys The Royal Society of Literature Royal Literary Fund Felicity Bryan Associates Oxford University Press Conference Oxford University of Oxford Mathematical Institute Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Sloane Club British Humanist Association Schoolreaders Oxford City Council The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine History of War All About History Steer Oxford Botanic Garden
 

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival partners & sponsors

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme Irish Embassy, London Supporters of the Irish programme MIT Press MIT Press. Sponsors of the programme of American literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Princeton University Press British Academy Festival academic partner Ian and Carol Sellars Emily Rose and James Marrow Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture George Warren Mary and Cecil Quillen Jesus College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Hilda’s College 11th St Hilda's day at the festival St Cross College St Cross College The Feathers Hotel Macdonald Bear Hotel Critchleys The Royal Society of Literature Royal Literary Fund Felicity Bryan Associates Oxford University Press Conference Oxford University of Oxford Mathematical Institute Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Sloane Club British Humanist Association Schoolreaders Oxford City Council The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine History of War All About History Steer Oxford Botanic Garden