Through books and scholarly submissions, CPL faculty and affiliates offer cutting-edge research in the areas of public policy, innovation, decision-making, and leadership.


Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence
Sherman, Amb. Wendy R. Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence. PublicAffairs, 2018.Abstract

Few people have sat across from the Iranians and the North Koreans at the negotiating table. Wendy Sherman has done both. During her time as the lead US negotiator of the historic Iran nuclear deal and throughout her distinguished career, Wendy Sherman has amassed tremendous expertise in the most pressing foreign policy issues of our time. Throughout her life-from growing up in civil-rights-era Baltimore, to stints as a social worker, campaign manager, and business owner, to advising multiple presidents-she has relied on values that have shaped her approach to work and leadership: authenticity, effective use of power and persistence, acceptance of change, and commitment to the team. Not for the Faint of Heart takes readers inside the world of international diplomacy and into the mind of one of our most effective negotiators-often the only woman in the room. She shows why good work in her field is so hard to do, and how we can learn to apply core skills of diplomacy to the challenges in our own lives.

Rwandan Women Rising
Hunt, Swanee. Rwandan Women Rising. Duke University Press, 2017. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In the spring of 1994, the tiny African nation of Rwanda was ripped apart by a genocide that left nearly a million dead. Neighbors attacked neighbors. Family members turned against their own. After the violence subsided, Rwanda's women—drawn by the necessity of protecting their families—carved out unlikely new roles for themselves as visionary pioneers creating stability and reconciliation in genocide's wake. Today, 64 percent of the seats in Rwanda's elected house of Parliament are held by women, a number unrivaled by any other nation. 

While news of the Rwandan genocide reached all corners of the globe, the nation's recovery and the key role of women are less well known. In Rwandan Women Rising, Swanee Hunt shares the stories of some seventy women—heralded activists and unsung heroes alike—who overcame unfathomable brutality, unrecoverable loss, and unending challenges to rebuild Rwandan society. Hunt, who has worked with women leaders in sixty countries for over two decades, points out that Rwandan women did not seek the limelight or set out to build a movement; rather, they organized around common problems such as health care, housing, and poverty to serve the greater good. Their victories were usually in groups and wide ranging, addressing issues such as rape, equality in marriage, female entrepreneurship, reproductive rights, education for girls, and mental health. 

These women's accomplishments provide important lessons for policy makers and activists who are working toward equality elsewhere in Africa and other postconflict societies. Their stories, told in their own words via interviews woven throughout the book, demonstrate that the best way to reduce suffering and to prevent and end conflicts is to elevate the status of women throughout the world.


About The Author(s)

Swanee Hunt chairs the Washington-based Institute for Inclusive Security. During her tenure as U.S. ambassador to Austria (1993–97), she hosted negotiations and symposia focused on securing peace in the neighboring Balkan states. She is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, CEO of Hunt Alternatives, and a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR and written for Foreign AffairsForeign Policy, the International Herald TribuneChicago TribuneLos Angeles Times, and Boston Globe, among other publications. She is the author of Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global SecurityHalf-Life of a Zealot, and This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, all also published by Duke University Press.


Jimmy Carter was the thirty-ninth president of the United States. A Nobel Prize laureate and author of numerous books, President Carter is the founder of The Carter Center, which has worked for decades to resolve conflict, promote democracy, protect human rights, and prevent disease around the globe.

Is the American Century Over?
Nye, Joseph. Is the American Century Over?, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

For more than a century, the United States has been the world's most powerful state. Now some analysts predict that China will soon take its place. Does this mean that we are living in a post-American world? Will China's rapid rise spark a new Cold War between the two titans?

In this compelling essay, world renowned foreign policy analyst, Joseph Nye, explains why the American century is far from over and what the US must do to retain its lead in an era of increasingly diffuse power politics. America's superpower status may well be tempered by its own domestic problems and China's economic boom, he argues, but its military, economic and soft power capabilities will continue to outstrip those of its closest rivals for decades to come.

Leadership for a Fractured World: How to Cross Boundaries, Build Bridges, and Lead Change
Williams, Dean. Leadership for a Fractured World: How to Cross Boundaries, Build Bridges, and Lead Change, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Leaders today—whether in corporations or associations, nonprofits or nations—face massive, messy, multidimensional problems. No one person or group can possibly solve them—they require the broadest possible cooperation. But, says Harvard scholar Dean Williams, our leadership models are still essentially tribal: individuals with formal authority leading in the interest of their own group. In this deeply needed new book, he outlines an approach that enables leaders to transcend internal and external boundaries and help people to collaborate, even people over whom they technically have no power.

Drawing on what he's learned from years of working in countries and organizations around the world, Williams shows leaders how to approach the delicate and creative work of boundary spanning, whether those boundaries are cultural, organizational, political, geographic, religious, or structural. Sometimes leaders themselves have to be the ones who cross the boundaries between groups. Other times, a leader's job is to build relational bridges between divided groups or even to completely break down the boundaries that block collaborative problem solving. By thinking about power and authority in a different way, leaders will become genuine change agents, able to heal wounds, resolve conflicts, and bring a fractured world together.

The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See
Bazerman, Max. The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See, 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

From Harvard Business School Professor and Co-Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership: A guide to making better decisions, noticing important information in the world around you, and improving leadership skills.

Imagine your advantage in negotiations, decision-making, and leadership if you could teach yourself to see, and evaluate, information that others overlook. The Power of Noticingprovides the blueprint for accomplishing precisely that. Max Bazerman, an expert in the field of applied behavioral psychology, draws on three decades of research and his experience instructing Harvard Business School MBAs and corporate executives to teach you how to notice and act on information that may not be immediately obvious.

Drawing on a wealth of real-world examples, from the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, Bazerman diagnoses what information went ignored in these situations, and why. Using many of the same case studies and thought experiments designed in his executive MBA classes, he challenges readers to explore their cognitive blind spots, identify any salient details they are programmed to miss, and then take steps to ensure it won’t happen again. While many bestselling business books have explained how susceptible to manipulation our irrational cognitive blindspots make us, Bazerman helps you avoid the habits that lead to poor decisions and ineffective leadership in the first place. His bookprovides a step-by-step guide to breaking bad habits and spotting the hidden details that will change your decision-making and leadership skills for the better, teaching you to: pay attention to what didn’t happen; acknowledge self-interest; invent the third choice; and realize that what you see is not all there is.

With The Power of Noticing at your side, you can learn how to notice what others miss, make better decisions, and lead more successfully.

Hard Times: Leadership in America
Kellerman, Barbara. Hard Times: Leadership in America, 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Leadership has never played a more prominent role in America's national discourse, and yet our opinions of leaders are at all-time lows. Private sector leaders are widely seen as greedy to the point of being corrupt. Public sector leaders are viewed as incompetent to the point of being inept. And, levels of trust in government have plummeted. As the title of this book conveys, leaders in America are experiencing hard times.

Barbara Kellerman argues that we focus on leaders, and even on followers, while ignoring an essential element of leadership: context. This book is a corrective. It enables leaders to track the terrain that they must navigate in order to create change. Rather than a handy-dandy manual on what to do and how to do it, Hard Times is structured as a checklist. Twenty-four brief sections cover key aspects of the American landscape. They trace evolutions and revolutions that have revised our norms, transformed our populations and institutions, and shifted our culture.

Kellerman's crash course on context reveals how significant it is to leadership. Clearer still is the fact that leadership is more difficult than it has ever been. It is context that explains why leadership is so fraught with frustration. And, it is context that makes evident why leadership will be better exercised if it is better understood. Calling out patterns that emerge from the checklist, Kellerman challenges leaders to do better. This fascinating read will change the way that all of us think about leadership, while compelling us to consider what it means for our future.

Blind Spots: Why We Fail To Do What's Right And What To Do About It
Bazerman, Max, and Ann Tenbrunsel. Blind Spots: Why We Fail To Do What's Right And What To Do About It, 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

When confronted with an ethical dilemma, most of us like to think we would stand up for our principles. But we are not as ethical as we think we are. In Blind Spots, leading business ethicists Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel examine the ways we overestimate our ability to do what is right and how we act unethically without meaning to. From the collapse of Enron and corruption in the tobacco industry, to sales of the defective Ford Pinto, the downfall of Bernard Madoff, and the Challenger space shuttle disaster, the authors investigate the nature of ethical failures in the business world and beyond, and illustrate how we can become more ethical, bridging the gap between who we are and who we want to be.

Explaining why traditional approaches to ethics don't work, the book considers how blind spots like ethical fading--the removal of ethics from the decision--making process--have led to tragedies and scandals such as the Challenger space shuttle disaster, steroid use in Major League Baseball, the crash in the financial markets, and the energy crisis. The authors demonstrate how ethical standards shift, how we neglect to notice and act on the unethical behavior of others, and how compliance initiatives can actually promote unethical behavior. They argue that scandals will continue to emerge unless such approaches take into account the psychology of individuals faced with ethical dilemmas. Distinguishing our "should self" (the person who knows what is correct) from our "want self" (the person who ends up making decisions), the authors point out ethical sinkholes that create questionable actions.

Suggesting innovative individual and group tactics for improving human judgment, Blind Spots shows us how to secure a place for ethics in our workplaces, institutions, and daily lives.

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Journal Articles

Huang, Karen, M. Yeomans, A.W. Brooks, J. Minson, and F. Gino. “It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: Question-Asking Increases Liking.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2017). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Conversation is a fundamental human experience that is necessary to pursue intrapersonal and interpersonal goals across myriad contexts, relationships, and modes of communication. In the current research, we isolate the role of an understudied conversational behavior: question-asking. Across 3 studies of live dyadic conversations, we identify a robust and consistent relationship between question-asking and liking: people who ask more questions, particularly follow-up questions, are better liked by their conversation partners. When people are instructed to ask more questions, they are perceived as higher in responsiveness, an interpersonal construct that captures listening, understanding, validation, and care. We measure responsiveness with an attitudinal measure from previous research as well as a novel behavioral measure: the number of follow-up questions one asks. In both cases, responsiveness explains the effect of question-asking on liking. In addition to analyzing live get-to-know-you conversations online, we also studied face-to-face speed-dating conversations. We trained a natural language processing algorithm as a “follow-up question detector” that we applied to our speed-dating data (and can be applied to any text data to more deeply understand question-asking dynamics). The follow-up question rate established by the algorithm showed that speed daters who ask more follow-up questions during their dates are more likely to elicit agreement for second dates from their partners, a behavioral indicator of liking. We also find that, despite the persistent and beneficial effects of asking questions, people do not anticipate that question-asking increases interpersonal liking.
Minson, Julia, J.S. Mueller, and R. P. Larrick. “The Contingent Wisdom of Dyads: When Discussion Undermines Versus Enhances the Accuracy of Collaborative Judgments.” Management Science (2017).Abstract
We evaluate the effect of discussion on the accuracy of collaborative judgments. In contrast to prior research, we show that discussion can either aid or impede accuracy relative to simple averaging of collaborators’ independent judgments, as a systematic function of task type and interaction process. On estimation tasks with a wide range of potential estimates, discussion aided accuracy by helping participants prevent and eliminate egregious errors. On estimation tasks with a naturally bounded range, discussion following independent estimates performed on par with averaging. Importantly, if participants did not first make independent estimates, discussion significantly harmed accuracy by limiting the range of considered estimates, independent of task type. Our research shows that discussion can be a powerful tool for error reduction, but only when structured appropriately: Decision-makers should form independent judgments in order to consider a wide range of possible answers, and then use discussion to eliminate extremely large errors.
Fung, Archon. “Infotopia : Unleashing the Democratic Power of Transparency.” Politics & Society 42, no. 2 (2013): 183-212. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In Infotopia, citizens enjoy a wide range of information about the organizations upon which they rely for the satisfaction of their vital interests. The provision of that information is governed by principles of democratic transparency. Democratic transparency both extends and critiques current enthusiasms about transparency. It urges us to conceptualize information politically, as a resource to turn the behavior of large organizations in socially beneficial ways. Transparency efforts have targets, and we should think of those targets as large organizations: public and civic, but especially private and corporate. Democratic transparency consists of four principles. First, information about the operations and actions of large organizations that affect citizens’ interests should be rich, deep, and readily available to the public. Second, the amount of available information should be proportionate to the extent to which those organizations jeopardize citizens’ interests. Third, information should be organized and provided in ways that are accessible to individuals and groups that use that information. Finally, the social, political, and economic structures of society should be organized in ways that allow individuals and groups to take action based on Infotopia’s public disclosures.

Fung, Archon, Hollie Russon Gilman, and Jennifer Shkabatur. “Six Models for the Internet + Politics.” International Studies Review 15 (2013): 30-47. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Many agree that digital technologies are transforming politics. They disagree, however, about the significance and character of that transformation. Many of the pioneers of understanding the distinctive dynamics of new digital media platforms—social media and collaborative production—are quite optimistic about the potential for the Internet to dramatically increase the quality of democratic governance. On the other hand, some political scientists who have examined actual patterns of political activity and expression on digital platforms come away skeptical that digital platforms will bring equality or inclusion to democratic politics. We bring these two opposed perspectives in this article by developing six models of how digital technologies might affect democratic politics: the empowered public sphere, displacement of traditional organizations by new digitally self-organized groups, digitally direct democracy, truth-based advocacy, constituent mobilization, and crowd-sourced social monitoring. Reasoning from the character of political incentives and institutional constraints, we argue that the first three revolutionary and transformative models are less likely to occur than the second three models that describe incremental contributions of technology to politics.

Fung, Archon, David Weil, and Mary Graham. “Targeting Transparency.” Science 340 (2013): 1410-1411. Publisher's VersionAbstract

When rules, taxes, or subsidies prove impractical as policy tools, governments increasingly employ “targeted transparency,” compelling disclosure of information as an alternative means of achieving specific objectives. For example, the U.S. Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires calories be posted on menus to enlist both restaurants and patrons in the effort to reduce obesity. It is crucial to understand when and how such targeted transparency works, as well as when it is inappropriate. Research about its use and effectiveness has begun to take shape, drawing on social and behavioral scientists, economists, and legal scholars. We explore questions central to the performance of targeted transparency policies.

Kylander, Nathalie, and Christopher Stone. “The Role of Brand in the Nonprofit Sector.” Stanford Social Innovation Review (2012): 36-41. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Many nonprofits continue to use their brands primarily as a fund- raising tool, but a growing number of nonprofits are developing a broader and more strategic approach, managing their brands to create greater social impact and tighter organizational cohesion. 

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Working Papers

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Other Publications