JK Rowling as an Amnesty International alumna

So she says in her Harvard Commencement Address, which could have been delivered by Albus Dumbledore.

One of the many things I like about the Harry Potter books is that they present a sophisticated view of politics. Hermione’s decoding of Dolores Umbridge’s speech in Order of the Phoenix could be an assigned reading in a course on bureaucracy. And the sheer unflinching hatred of tyranny and official cruelty that shines through the books makes it especially wonderful that so many children are growing up with them.

But I wouldn’t have guessed that Rowling spent her twenties working in the London offices of Amnesty International. But so she says, in a Harvard Commencement address that might have been delivered by Albus Dumbledore. What she says about risk and imagination strikes me as exactly right.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com