IHS Summer Seminars

College. The Way It Should Be.

Note: Summer Seminar applications have closed for 2016. Please contact seminars@TheIHS.org to learn more about Summer Seminars in 2017.

IHS Summer Seminars will engage your mind and inspire you like no other college experience. Sessions will cover history, economics, philosophy, and other disciplines from a libertarian perspective, offering new insights and inspiration for tackling the many issues facing our society. You’ll debate and discuss ideas with enthusiastic faculty and other students from around the world throughout the day and enjoy socials late into the night.

 

Over the course of the seminar, you’ll build critical thinking skills, gain access to a great interdisciplinary network, and discover potential career possibilities, all while learning about the ideas that helped bring about global prosperity, greater human equality before the law, religious tolerance and freedom, women’s suffrage, and more.

Find the seminar that best fits your interest and knowledge level:

Exploring Liberty: Tools for the Passionate World-Changer

Overview
IHS Summer Seminar - Exploring Liberty

Exploring Liberty: Tools for the Passionate World-Changer

June 18 – 24 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Do you have a right to privacy in the age of social media? What impact will innovations like Uber and Airbnb have on the future of business? Are things illegal because they’re bad, or bad because they’re illegal?

This week-long seminar offers students new to IHS, or to an interdisciplinary discussion of freedom, an open and challenging welcome to libertarian thought and what it has to say about the world around you.

A Typical Day

What’s a typical day like during the Exploring Liberty seminar?

While every day will bring new topics to discuss, here you can see how a typical day will challenge you to further expand your thinking.

Keep in mind that, as a part of almost every lecture, there is either a break out discussion or an activity. You will have plenty of chances to get out of your seat, ask questions, and engage with other students.

You Can’t Know Everything

How do farmers know how much to plant? How do shoppers know which produce to buy? And how do droughts, floods, and new technologies factor into their decisions?

Learn how prices can answer these questions by communicating what people want, how many want it, who can make it, and how much is available. Collecting pieces of information one person could never know on their own, prices offer us the information we need to make decisions and to connect with the world around us.

Coffee Break

Women and Government

Do laws that try to help women actually accomplish what they set out to do?

Hear from a female economist on glass ceilings, pay gaps, and mandatory maternity leave. Bring your questions and thoughts about how to empower women, in light of what we know about policy and the real impact of regulations.

Lunch & Free Time

Over every lunch and dinner, you will have the chance to sit and discuss further with your favorite faculty.

Where do rights come from?

Is the right to free speech different from a right to health care? What does it mean to have a right to something? And what do your rights mean for other people?

Dive into the topic of rights, hear what great thinkers like John Locke and John Stuart Mill have to say, and form your own opinion on rights.

Dinner

Doctors, Florists, and Interior Decorators: Who should need a license?

A lot of people need a license to work—not just doctors and lawyers, but also interior decorators, hair braiders, and florists. Does this licensing make sense?

Learn how these laws are made, and what effect they can have on you and aspiring entrepreneurs. Could there be another way?

Discussion Groups

Join a small, faculty-led group discussion to tackle the lingering questions you have about the topics covered that day, raise new concerns, and hear what your fellow students think.

Evening Social

Over drinks and refreshments, discuss the pressing questions on your mind and talk, one on one, with faculty and fellow students

Location

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is one of the nation’s top private colleges just ten miles from the cradle of liberty: Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The campus is located at Morris Ave & Yarrow St, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

101 N Merion Ave,
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Faculty

Faculty lineup:

Dr. Howard Baetjer, Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Towson University

Dr. James Stacey Taylor, Associate Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey

Dr. Robert McDonald, Associate Professor of American History at The United States Military Academy at Westpoint

Dr. Lauren Hall, Associate Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology

Mr. Clark Neily, Senior Attorney at Institute for Justice

Readings

Suggested readings:

Leonard E. Read, “I, Pencil”
http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

“The Constitution of the United States”
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

Friedrich A. Hayek, “The Use of Knowledge in Society”
http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/hykKnw1.html

Exploring Liberty: Tools for the Passionate World-Changer

Overview

Exploring Liberty: Tools for the Passionate World-Changer

July 7 - 11 – Wake Forest, North Carolina

Though shorter than the others, this four day seminar is no less exciting or challenging. You’ll still get a solid understanding of libertarian thought and what it has to say about the world around you.

Should there be a minimum wage? How will you be impacted by our evolving healthcare system? Why does it matter if the government has a lot of debt? You’ll dig into these questions and more!

A Typical Day

What’s a typical day like during the Exploring Liberty seminar?

While every day will bring new topics to discuss, here you can see how a typical day will challenge you to further expand your thinking.

Keep in mind that, as a part of almost every lecture, there is either a break out discussion or an activity. You will have plenty of chances to get out of your seat, ask questions, and engage with other students.

Breakfast

Should there be a minimum wage?

Why do people who work hard at labor-intensive jobs get paid less than people with cushy offices? Should society reward them better for what they do by requiring employers to pay their employees more? What would happen if the minimum wage went up to $15.00/hour?

Engage with your peers and an expert economist to discuss the ins and outs of this timely and important debate.

Coffee Break

Objections to libertarianism

There are lots of critiques of libertarianism:

Is it just for some to be rich and others to be poor? Is it really a big deal to take from the rich to help those who aren’t as well off? Could people really be charitable and kind to each other without directions from government?

Engage with some of the most frequently discussed objections to libertarian thought, discuss their possible merits, and consider how you might respond.

Lunch & Free Time

Over every lunch and dinner, you will have the chance to sit and discuss further with your favorite faculty.

Rights, Justice, and Liberties

Where do your rights end and another person’s begin? Can your rights interfere with one another?

Explore the complex relationship between rights, freedom, and justice, then apply what you’ve learned to policies like redistribution.

Dinner

Is the U.S. economy healthy?

You probably know the U.S. government is in a lot of debt.

But how will that debt actually impact you? What happens if government programs run out of money?

Hear from an expert economist, who will break down the ins and outs of the U.S.’s financial health and how it could impact you.

Discussion Groups

Join a small, faculty-led group discussion to tackle the lingering questions you have about the topics covered that day, raise new concerns, and hear what your fellow students think.

Evening Social

Over drinks and refreshments, discuss the pressing questions on your mind and talk, one on one, with faculty and fellow students.

Location

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, just a few hours by car from skiing in the Blue Ridge Mountains or relaxing on the beaches of South Carolina. The campus is located at 1834 Wake Forest Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

1834 Wake Forest Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Faculty

Faculty lineup:

Dr. Antony Davies, Associate Professor of Economics at Duquesne University

Dr. Christopher Freiman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The College of William and Mary

Dr. Michael Douma, Director, Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics, Georgetown University

Mr. Robert McNamara, Senior Attorney at Institute for Justice

Readings

Suggested readings:

Leonard E. Read, “I, Pencil”
http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

“The Constitution of the United States”
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

Friedrich A. Hayek, “The Use of Knowledge in Society”
http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/hykKnw1.html

Justice, Equality, & Liberty: A Moral Examination of Freedom

Overview
IHS Summer Seminar - Justice, Equality, and Liberty

Justice, Equality, & Liberty: A Moral Examination of Freedom

June 4 - 10, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This seminar is designed for students with some familiarity with a liberty-oriented perspectives who are passionate about justice, sustainable solutions to poverty, and accountability in policing. You’ll be challenged to face tough, fair criticisms and also encouraged to consider the benefits of freedom as compared to alternatives.

A Typical Day
What’s a typical day like during the Justice, Equality, & Liberty Seminar?

As a part of almost every lecture, there is either a break out discussion or an activity. You will have plenty of chances to get out of your seat, ask questions, and engage with other students.

Breakfast 

Conceptions of Justice
Does the liberty perspective have anything to say about social justice? How does a preference toward freedom impact yours view about a justice society? Does a free society have any place for distributive justice? Learn about the different types of justice, cases when they conflict, and ways a liberty-minded thinker can consider these cases and begin to propose solutions.

Coffee Break

Inequality and Mobility
Many commonly cited economic indexes say that inequality is on the rise. Though, that may not be the whole picture. How else can we understand the lives of the people at the “top” and “bottom” of the inequality picture? Considering standard of living, life expectancy, generational growth in wealth and flourishing, and unintended consequences of government policies, then what does the complete story say?

Lunch & Free Time

Police Militarization and Accountability

How did neighborhood police departments get access to military equipment? When did no-knock raids become common practice? Why are there increasingly frequent news stories about cases of police abusing these privileges? Trace with us the history of modern policing, the incentives of police departments, and how we can try to make the justice system more just for everyone involved.

Dinner

Liberty and The American Founding 
Were the Founding Fathers on the side of liberty? What can we learn from their legacy, centuries later, while keeping in mind their triumphs, their flaws, and the limitations of their ideas? Discuss with us America’s Founding era and the applications we can draw for the world we live in today.

Discussion Groups
Join a faculty-led small group discussion to consider the questions that have been lingering and developing in conversations throughout the day. Raise new concerns, and hear what your fellow students think.

Evening Social

Over a drink and refreshments, discuss the pressing questions on your mind and talk, one on one, with faculty and your fellow students.

Location

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is one of the nation’s top private colleges just ten miles from the cradle of liberty: Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The campus is located at Morris Ave & Yarrow St, Bryn Mawr, PA 1901

Morris Ave & Yarrow Street
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Faculty

Faculty lineup:

Dr. Bradley Birzer, Professor of History at Hillsdale College

Dr. Alexei Marcoux, Professor of Business Ethics and Society at Creighton University

Dr. Sean Mulholland, Professor of Economics at Stonehill College

Dr. Abigail Hall Blanco, Assistant Professor of Economics at The University of Tampa

Dr. Benjamin Berger, Associate Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College

Readings

Reading material coming soon…

 

Liberty & Society: Rights, Government, and Community

Overview
Card College students discussing the ideas of freedom

Liberty & Society: Rights, Government, and Community

June 11 - 17, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you’re passionate about making the world a better place and ready to take your studies beyond the basics, this seminar is for you.

Liberty & Society is equipped with a deeper, interdisciplinary knowledge of classical liberal or libertarian thought. You’ll discuss how liberty and a free society have impacted history and how they can shape the future.

A Typical Day
What’s a typical day like during the Liberty & Society seminar?

As a part of almost every lecture, there is either a break out discussion or an activity. You will have plenty of chances to get out of your seat, ask questions, and engage with other students.

Breakfast

Philosophies of Government: A Roadmap

Everyday talk of the ‘left’ versus the ‘right’ leaves out important distinctions.

What do we even have government for? What should government do? Should we have one at all?

Explore different philosophies of government and see what resonates with you.

Coffee Break

The Second Industrial Revolution and the Birth of Corporations

You have heard about the Industrial Revolution, with its rapid mechanization, growth, and impact on city life. But have you heard of the Second Industrial Revolution?

This lecture will explore the Second Industrial Revolution, the birth of large corporations, and how these changes shaped the economy?

Lunch & Free Time

What is Law?

Hear from an expert on law and philosophy as you dive deep into the nature of the law.

Are laws inherently political, or do they stand outside of politics? Could they arise spontaneously, like markets and prices? Learn what economic concepts can teach us about law.

Dinner

Politics Without Romance: Applying Economics to Politics

Learn about the public choice approach to political theory, which explores how incentives and institutions influence government.

Why do government policies not work as well as intended? Why do government institutions and spending continue to grow? The tools of public choice theory will help you think critically about why government actors do what they do.

Discussion Groups

Join a small, faculty-led group discussion to tackle the lingering questions you have about the topics covered that day, raise new concerns, and hear what your fellow students think.

Evening Social

Over drinks and refreshments, discuss the pressing questions on your mind and talk, one on one, with faculty and fellow students.

Location

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is one of the nation’s top private colleges just ten miles from the cradle of liberty: Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The campus is located at Morris Ave & Yarrow St, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

Morris Ave & Yarrow Street
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Faculty

Faculty lineup:

Dr. John Hasnas, Professor of Ethics and Law at Georgetown University

Dr. Brandon Turner, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Clemson University

Dr. Michael Thomas, Assistant Professor of Economics at Creighton University

Dr. Mark LeBar, Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University

Readings

Suggested readings:

Wolfgang Kasper, “Competition”
http://econlib.org/library/Enc/Competition.html

Frederic Bastiat, “A Petition from the Manufacturers of Candles…”
http://bastiat.org/en/petition.html

Stephen Davis, “Why we need a Liberal Theory of History”
http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/histn/histn033.pdf

Tom W. Bell, “Principles of Contracts for Governing Services”
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2268050

Leif Wenar, “Rights”
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights/

Origins, Tensions, & Impacts of Classical and Modern Liberalism

Overview
IHS Summer Seminar Classical Liberalism

Origins, Tensions, & Impacts of Classical and Modern Liberalism

July 16 - 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A rigorous format, including pre-readings, addressing the broader liberal tradition, challenging and exposing you to areas of ongoing discussion in the academy. Origins, Tensions, & Impacts is designed for advanced undergraduates and early to mid-stage graduate students who are not working on dissertation research.

If you’re working on dissertation research, please apply for the graduate research colloquium.

A Typical Day
What’s a typical day like during the Origins, Tensions, and Impacts seminar?

Breakfast 

History of Liberal Thinking

Hear from an expert in the field of history, who discusses the emergence of “liberalism,” as a modern set of ideas. As it has emerged, liberalism has sorted into several different sub-groups, each focused on different animating values and understandings of government and politics. Learn about each of those sub-groups and how the ongoing conversations between them remain relevant today.

Coffee Break

Classical Versus Modern Understandings of Public Finance
How does a public finance view of economics differ from a public choice approach? What are the implications of viewing government’s role in the economy as a night watchman versus that of an active participant? Learn from an expert in the field and then prepare to engage in later discussions on the tensions existing between different schools of economic thought.

Lunch & Free Time

Faculty-Led Discussion Groups

Spend your afternoon digging through and discussing pre-readings, previous lectures, and ongoing conversations. A faculty member from the seminar will provide guidance and a discussion format, under which you and your peers will explore topics of interest and challenge each other to think critically and ask hard questions.

Dinner

Conceptions of Justice

Does everyone who self-identifies as a liberal (whether libertarian or otherwise) have the same definition of “justice?” If not, then where do they depart? When tensions arise about matters of distribution, outcomes, and opportunity, which values do certain strains of liberalism hold as the most important to preserve? Hear from an expert in philosophy, who will guide you through these areas of tension and highlight key figures in the ongoing discussion of what a just society looks like.

Evening Social

Over a drink and refreshments, discuss the pressing questions on your mind and talk, one on one, with faculty and your fellow students.

Location

Location

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is one of the nation’s top private colleges just ten miles from the cradle of liberty: Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The campus is located at Morris Ave & Yarrow St, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Morris Ave & Yarrow St, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Faculty

Faculty lineup:

Dr. Andrew I. Cohen, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgia State University

Dr. Daniel D’Amico, Associate Director, The Political Theory Project at Brown University

Dr. Stephen Davies, Education Director at Institute of Economic Affairs

Special Guest: Dr. Michael Huemer, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Readings

Origins, Tensions, and Impacts will have required pre-readings that provide history and context, pointing out areas of ongoing tension within different forms of liberalism, and demonstrating the real world impacts of ideas.

List of required reading material coming soon….

Start your intellectual journey:

Dates & Locations

The 2016 IHS Summer Seminar series will be hosted at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, PA and at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. Students participating in IHS Summer Seminars do not have to be enrolled at these institutions to attend.

Justice, Equality, and Liberty: A Moral Examination of Freedom – June 4-10 at Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, PA

Liberty & Society: Rights, Government, and Civility – June 11-17 at Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, PA

Exploring Liberty: An Introduction to the Ideas of Freedom – June 18-24 at Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, PA

Exploring Liberty: An Introduction to the Ideas of Freedom – July 7-11 at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Origins, Tensions, and Impacts of Classical and Modern Liberalism – July 16-22  Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, PA

Cost & Accommodations

Participants stay in campus housing during the seminar, and rooms are same-gender double occupancy. Meals are served in the campus cafeteria and have standard options for special dietary needs.

IHS will cover seminar tuition, housing, meals, and books.

Participants are responsible for travel costs.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of student are you looking for to attend an IHS Summer Seminar?

Summer Seminars are open to students and recent graduates from academic institutions anywhere in the world. This includes undergraduate and graduate students as well as any recent grads or advanced students. All are welcome to apply. Applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens, nor are they required to have studied in the U.S.

Strong applicants are individuals seeking to increase their knowledge of classical liberal ideas and who possess critical thinking skills which are essential to a rigorous discussion of these ideas.

Please note that IHS cannot assist international students with visa applications. Those applicants will need to contact the appropriate U.S. embassy in order to complete that process. IHS can, however, provide an accepted student with a signed letter of acceptance to help in the visa application process. Therefore, if you would like to receive an acceptance letter, please notify us IMMEDIATELY after you have been accepted to our program. The earlier you begin the visa application process, the better.

How do I apply?

Applications opened February 1, 2016. You will not have to create or log into an account with IHS.org, but will instead simply start to fill out the application. You may save your application at any time and return to it later.

How much will it cost to attend the seminar?

Our seminars are provided at no charge to participants. IHS provides lodging, food, books, materials, and lectures. We ask only for your time and thoughtful participation. However, participants will be responsible for covering the costs for travel to and from the seminar location.

This opportunity, worth the equivalent of $1,000 in tuition and room & board, is made possible through the generous contributions of individual donors, corporations, and foundations. IHS is a non-profit educational organization.

Where are the seminars being held this year?

IHS seminars take place on university campuses. Participants stay in university housing and dine in the campus cafeteria. This year, we will be holding seminars on the following campuses:

Please note: you do not need to attend either of these colleges to take part in an IHS Summer Seminar.

If I can’t finish my application in one session, can I come back later to complete it? 

Yes. You can save your progress and return to it later.

If I had an application selected last year do I need to submit a new one?

All applicants need to submit a new application to be considered for a 2016 Summer Seminar, even if an application had been selected in a previous year.

How do I confirm that you received my application?

Applicants submitting a completed seminar application will receive a confirmation email. If you did not receive a notification after submitting your completed application, please contact us, by emailing seminars@TheIHS.org, because we may not have received it.

How are applications reviewed?

As you might suspect, the applicant pool is highly competitive. In reviewing applications, we carefully evaluate academic ability, career interests, demonstrated interest in the subjects of the seminars, and any specific requirements for particular seminars. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide information or evaluations about individual applications.

Will accepting a seminar invitation disqualify me from other IHS programs?

No. If you are selected to attend an IHS Summer Seminar, you are welcome to accept even if you have submitted other applications. If you are selected to attend another IHS program that conflicts with the IHS Summer Seminar, you are free to change your seminar RSVP.

 

If you could not find the answers to your questions in our FAQs, please let us know at seminars@TheIHS.org.