Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to trust one another. In "A Liberal Democratic Peace", Prof. Kevin Vallier attempts to forestall this legitimacy crisis by arguing that liberal democratic institutions promote and sustain social and political trust between diverse persons. He argues that five traditional liberal institutions promote social and political trust in the real world: freedom of association, private property, social insurance, legislative democracy, and democratic elections. Despite increasing hostility toward many of these institutions, they are society’s best hope for recovering lost trust and containing partisan polarization.
About Our Research Workshops
Research Workshops are weekend-long, round-table discussions, bringing together 12-15 scholars in order to provide valuable feedback from a variety of perspectives on a work, or multiple works, in progress. Workshops offer academics the opportunity to advance inquiry on important topics within the classical liberal tradition, strengthen specific research contributions, and form interdisciplinary and inter-generational networks of scholars with whom they can collaborate in the future.
- Manuscript Workshops provide constructive feedback on a single book manuscript and offer commenters the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to a fellow scholar’s work.
- On-Campus Workshops, an alternate format of Manuscript Workshops, are day-long, round-table discussions hosted on the author’s campus, bringing together 4–6 faculty and late-stage graduate students in order to provide valuable feedback on a work in progress.
- Papers Workshops bring together authors contributing to a collected volume or special journal issue to workshop their individual contributions as well as identify themes and improve the work as a whole.
Interested In Having Your Work Reviewed?
Contact us at Workshops@TheIHS.org to express interest in hosting your own research workshop with us. Please include a current CV, an abstract or detailed description of your project, and expected completion date. IHS supports authors throughout their careers with these workshops, including assistance for those who wish to convert a recently defended dissertation into a monograph or articles.
As part of its Discourse Initiative, IHS is particularly interested in Research Workshops in the following general categories:
- Liberalism and Its Critics, including engagement with and response to critiques from both ends of the ideological spectrum.
- Key Challenges within a Free Society, such as tensions between liberty and equality, dynamism and disruption, and freedom of speech and social cohesion.
- Cultural Challenges within Liberal Society, such as protections for minority rights, the pace of change in an increasingly digital and globalized world, and the cultural requirements of a tolerant and pluralistic society.
- Contentious Topics within the Liberal Tradition, including negative vs. positive rights, moral obligations within the liberal order, and contested meanings of liberal principles such as justice, equality, and democracy.
IHS welcomes applications and proposals on these or other related topics from scholars in all disciplines, including economics, history, political science, philosophy, PPE, law, literature, business, sociology, psychology, and the visual and performing arts. Scholars can visit the pages listed above for more information and to apply directly to their program(s) of interest.
IHS also provides financial assistance in the form of research grants. Learn more here.
Dr. Jordan Cash’s "The Isolated Presidency" argues that the presidency as created by the Constitution possesses an institutional logic derived from its structure, duties, and powers which not only grants the president a unique institutional perspective, but also provides the president with considerable agency and discretion in pursuing his agenda as informed by that institutional perspective. The clearest view of the presidency’s institutional logic and constitutional strength is gained by examining those administrations where presidents were institutionally isolated from other branches of government and even from their own parties, being left with nothing but their constitutional authority to rely on.
In The Community of Public Reason, Professor Chad Van Schoelandt examines the tensions, ultimately arguing that liberal institutions provide a framework in which many diverse communities flourish, that many social ideals of community are rightly rejected for society as a whole since they are incompatible with liberalism’s characteristic diversity, and that a polymorphic or multiply realizable ideal of open community is more appropriate for liberal society.
In this manuscript, Prof. Donald Kochan examines the thesis that the labels we choose for constitutional products—rights, powers, principles, concepts, and other features within the U.S. Constitution—affect the construction, interpretation, and perception of the content or quality of those products.
Prof. Zachary German’s "Making a Constitution" addresses questions of statesmanship and constitutional design through a comparison of the political thought of Montesquieu, the Federalists, and the Anti-Federalists. While the influence of Montesquieu on the American Founding is widely acknowledged, this work focuses on the underexplored comparison of how these thinkers view the relationship between institutional design, the civic character of a people, and various social, cultural, and other non-political factors. The project begins with an explication of Montesquieu's central concept of "spirit" and how that concept informs his analyses of republics, monarchies, federal systems, and the separation of powers.