There are many problems facing society, and it’s up to us to fix them.

While politics, policy, and activism play an important role in the world, this week-long seminar focuses on the power of ideas to change the world. You’ll explore current issues across academic disciplines from a classical liberal perspective and discover people just like you who want to create a more peaceful, thriving world. We’ll begin the seminar with a broad introduction to classical liberal concepts, then shift to a “principles applied” focus in the latter portion of the week.

This seminar is ideal for undergraduate students interested in learning more about classical liberalism and its take on current economic, moral, political, and cultural trends. We encourage those who are interested in exploring and discussing ideas like individual rights and free markets to submit an application.

Whether you’re new to IHS or have attended one of our events on campus, this seminar will provide you with a wonderful opportunity to hear exciting lectures from engaging speakers, meet other bright students with a thirst for knowledge, and challenge you to think about the world with a fresh perspective.

Applications are now closed.


We’ll discuss questions such as:

  • Economics: What can we learn from prices and incentives? What are the costs and benefits of trade? Does a free market or a centrally regulated one produce more prosperity? How and to what extent should the government interfere with markets?
  • Law: Where does law come from and how does it evolve? How do we understand and define civil rights and liberties? What are the major current questions in constitutional law and what does classical liberalism propose for resolving them?
  • Political Science: What is the proper scope and scale of government? How do we define liberty, authority, and legitimacy? What can concepts like the social contract and the knowledge problem tell us about the relationships between individuals, communities, and governments? How does classical liberalism address issues like immigration, gun rights, and drug policy?
  • Philosophy: What are the philosophical origins of liberalism? What are rights? How do we define justice? What does classical liberalism offer when we consider controversial moral issues?
  • History: In what ways did the Scottish Enlightenment and the American Founding shape the classical liberal tradition? How do we reconcile the ideas of liberty during the Founding with the reality of slavery? How has the Industrial Revolution and the rise of progressivism shaped how we think about markets and government? Who are the champions of the tradition of liberty?

The schedule below is subject to change.

Agenda

Saturday, June 17th
1:00 pm
Registration
3:30 pm
Opening Remarks
4:15 pm
Lecture
6:00 pm
Dinner
7:15 pm
Lecture
9:00 pm
Social
Sunday, June 18th
8:00 am
Optional Breakfast
9:00 am
Morning Lectures
12:45 pm
Lunch and Break
3:15 pm
Afternoon Lecture
5:00 pm
Dinner
6:30 pm
Evening Lecture
8:30 pm
Discussion Groups
9:30 pm
Social
Monday, June 19th
8:00 am
Same as June 18th
Tuesday, June 20th
8:00 am
Optional Breakfast
9:00 am
Morning Lectures
12:45 pm
Lunch and Break
3:15 pm
Free Time
Wednesday, June 21st
8:00 am
Same as June 18th
Thursday, June 22nd
8:00 am
Optional Breakfast
9:00 am
Morning Lectures
12:45 pm
Lunch and Break
3:00 pm
Book Distribution
4:00 pm
Afternoon Lecture
5:45 pm
Dinner
7:15 pm
Discussion Groups
8:15 pm
Faculty Panel and Closing Remarks
9:45 pm
Social
Friday, June 23rd
8:00 am
Optional Breakfast
9:00 am
Travel Home

Speakers

Dr. Antony Davies

Associate Professor of Economics, Duquesne University

Dr. Davies earned his B.S. in Economics from Saint Vincent College, and Ph.D. in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany. He is a Senior Affiliated Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a Strata Research Fellow.

He has authored over 150 op-eds for, among others, the Wall Street JournalLos Angeles TimesWashington PostForbesInvestors Business Daily, and New York Daily News. His YouTube videos on economics and statistics have garnered over 3 million views.

In addition to teaching at the undergraduate and Ph.D. levels, Dr. Davies founded several software companies, was Chief Financial Officer at Parabon Computation, and Associate Producer of FI$H: How an Economy Grows, at the Moving Pictures Institute.

Dr. James Stacey Taylor

Associate Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey

Dr. Taylor was branded a heretic by the London Times for his arguments in favor of legalizing markets in human organs in his book Stakes and Kidneys: Why Markets in Human Body Parts are Morally Imperative (Ashgate, 2005).

He is also the author of Practical Autonomy and Bioethics (Routledge, 2009), and Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics (Routledge, 2012). He is the editor of Personal Autonomy: New essays (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Death: Metaphysics and Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2013).

He is currently working on a book on the ethics of using compensated donation to procure blood and blood products. In addition to his academic writing he has authored numerous Op-Eds on bioethical issues which have appeared in publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, and USA Today.

Dr. Robert McDonald

Professor of History, the United States Military Academy

Dr. McDonald is a graduate of the University of Virginia, Oxford University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his Ph.D. He is also an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.

A specialist on Thomas Jefferson and the early American republic, he is author of Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson’s Image in His Own Time (University of Virginia Press, 2016). He is editor of Thomas Jefferson’s Military Academy: Founding West Point (University of Virginia Press, 2004), Light & Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge (University of Virginia Press, 2012), and Sons of the Father: George Washington and His Protégés (University of Virginia Press, 2013).

He is completing an edited volume to be titled Thomas Jefferson’s Lives: Biographers and the Battle for History. He lives in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife, Christine, and their children Jefferson and Grace.

Mr. Clark Neily

Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice

Clark has represented entrepreneurs and property owners in more than twenty states across the country. He served as counsel in a successful challenge to Nevada’s monopolistic limousine licensing practices and led IJ’s opposition to a nationwide effort to cartelize the interior design industry through anticompetitive licensing laws.

In his private capacity, he represented the plaintiffs in District of Columbia v. Heller, the historic case in which the Supreme Court announced for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a gun for self-defense.

Clark is also the Director of IJ’s Center for Judicial Engagement, which was created to challenge the unconstitutional expansion of government. He is a member of the DC and Texas bars.

Dr. Audrey Redford

Assistant Professor of Economics, Western Carolina University

Dr. Redford received her B.B.A. in Economics from James Madison University in 2012 and her Ph.D. in Agricultural & Applied Economics at Texas Tech University in May 2016. She teaches on Macroeconomic Principles & Social Issues and Applied Business Economics.

Her work has appeared in publications such as the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy, and The Independent Review.

She is currently working on a paper entitled Is Medical Marijuana a Gateway Drug?: The Effect of Medical Marijuana Legalization on Heroin Use Rates.