Monday, February 8, 2021

Harvard Law professor writes article about Japanese "comfort women"...

...which is generating quite a bit of controversy in South Korea as well as back home (see also).  The article at issue is here and a more popular summary here (and here is an online resource about the general topic).   Fortunately, no one is calling for Professor Ramseyer, a leading expert on Japanese law, to be "cancelled."

(Thanks to Jonathan Adler for first calling this to my attention.)

UPDATE:  Law professor Jonathan Klick (Penn) writes:   "As one of the editors of the International Review of Law and Economics (though not the one who specifically handled Mark’s article), I can assure you, we’re getting lots of emails calling for Mark to be cancelled.  Luckily though, I don’t think any of them are coming from academics (and, quite frankly, most of them are incoherent)." 

ANOTHER:  I've now heard that some academics are calling for the paper to be retracted, which is wholly inappropriate absent plagiarism or fraud, neither of which are even alleged here.   Not considering evidence that others think relevant is never grounds for retraction; what is called for are responses that also go through the peer review process.

JULY 22, 2021:   It's been brought to my attention that Professor Richard Painter (Minnesota)--who served as the "ethics" lawyer in the Bush Administration in 2005-2007 (so after the illegal war of aggression against Iraq)--is seriously indignant about Professor Klick's comments and mine.  Alas, he neglects to demonstrate which claims in Ramseyer's article are "demonstrably false," as opposed to dubious, ill-supported, or contestable:   the motives of actors in historical events admit of interpretation, as historians know.  Perhaps Professor Painter's unsuccessful foray into electoral politics and the world of pandering soundbites has impaired his capacity for scholarly judgment and his understanding of academic freedom, which includes the freedom to be wrong in one's interpretation of historical events.

Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Richard W. Painter | Permalink