What's Best for Us? Cass Sunstein & Peter Beinart Discuss Government & Paternalism

JUN 16, 2014 | 6:30 PM TO 8:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


1201: Elebash Recital Hall


June 16, 2014: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM


Free, Registration Required


Public Programs


212-817-8215 or


Behavioral economists have established that people often make decisions that run counter to their best interests. Sometimes we disregard the long term; sometimes we do not see what is in front of us. In his new book Why Nudge?: The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism, Cass Sunstein argues for a new form of paternalism in government, one that protects citizens against serious errors or damage, but also recognizes the risk of overreaching and restricting freedom of choice. Sunstein speaks with Peter Beinart, another public intellectual who is deeply suspicious of wisdom received from self-perpetuating government systems.

Cass Sunstein is a leading scholar in the area of the legitimate scope of government, combining legal theory with behavioral economics. In the Obama administration, Sunstein served as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. A longtime faculty member of the University of Chicago Law School, he is currently a professor at Harvard Law School.

Peter Beinart is a contributor to the Atlantic and the National Journal and the senior columnist at Haaretz. He is the author of four books, including The Icarus Syndrome and his most recent and much-discussed work, The Crisis of Zionism. Beinart is an associate professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, in its political science program, and at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.