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"While we breathe, we will hope." When President Barack Obama took office earlier this year, many were suggesting that the new president would put words like this behind him as he turned to the hard-nosed issues of policy making. "You campaign in poetry and you govern in prose," they say. But research suggests that such comments fundamentally underestimate the nature and the power of hope as an instrument of day-to-day regulation and policy making.

In the aftermath of financial crisis, a global search is on for new regulatory paradigms, both public and private. What kinds of social and political institutions give markets legitimacy and encourage market participants, professionals, and regulators to be hopeful--proactive, risk-taking, and embracing of change?

Part of the answer is that lawyers and financial experts already have at their disposal the tools and methods they need to create a healthy global market, if only they could recognize them and more systematically replicate them in public and private regulatory practice.

Hirokazu Miyazaki, Associate Professor Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Cornell UniversityAnnelise Riles, Jack G. Clarke '52 Professor of Far East Legal Studies, Cornell Law School; Director, Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture; and Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University

This event was part of the Trustee Council Weekend 2009 activities.