Advanced Topics in Liberty: Property Rights & Freedom

Nothing determines just where we stand with others like property. It is our territory. It is our domain. It is where we build our castles. But what exactly are our rights? How are property rights related to justice and legitimacy? These questions and many others are the kinds of thought-provoking considerations that will be tackled in this rigorous Advanced Topics in Liberty Seminar on property rights. This invitation-only seminar is perfect for aspiring academics.

Advanced Topics in Liberty: Property Rights & Freedom

Mark LeBar

Philosophy, Ohio University
Mark LeBar is Professor of Philosophy at Ohio University in Athens, OH. He works in moral, social, and political philosophy.

Mark has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Arizona, an MA in philosophy from the University of Washington, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He received his bachelor's degree in Philosophy and English from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA.

Mark has published in journals including EthicsAmerican Philosophical QuarterlyPhilosophical StudiesCanadian Journal of Philosophy, and Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. His book, The Value of Living Well (Oxford University Press, 2013) is a development of contemporary eudaemonist moral theory.

Michael Munger

Political Science, Duke University
Michael Munger is currently the Chairman of the Department of Political Science at Duke University. He holds concurrent appointments at the Department of Economics and Public Policy School at Duke, and the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

He received his PhD in economics at Washington University in St. Louis in 1984, and has worked as a staff economist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, as a visiting assistant professor in the Economics Department at Dartmouth College, as well as tenure track positions at the University of Texas at Austin, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He accepted his current position at Duke University in 1997. He has served as Director of the Master of Public Administration Program at UNC-CH, is a past President (1996-8) of the Public Choice Society, and is President-Elect of the North Carolina Political Science Association. He will complete his ten-year sentence as Chair in June 2010, after which he will take over as Director of the undergraduate and graduate Political Economy programs at Duke. 

Research interests include statistical methods and “formal,” or mathematical, theories of political institutions or behavior. In addition to more than 100 articles and papers published in the professional literature, Professor Munger has authored or co-authored three books: Ideology and the Theory of Political Choice, (University of Michigan Press); Analytical Politics, (Cambridge University Press); and Analyzing Policy, (W.W. Norton). He has also co-edited Empirical Studies in Comparative Politics (Kluwer Academic Publishers). 

James Otteson 

Philosophy, Wake Forest University
Dr. Otteson joined Wake Forest in the Fall of 2013 as Executive Director of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism and Teaching Professor of Political Economy. Before coming to Wake Forest, Dr. Otteson was joint professor of philosophy and economics, and philosophy department chair, at Yeshiva University. He has taught previously at New York University, Georgetown University, and the University of Alabama. He also serves currently as a Research Professor in the Freedom Center and in the Philosophy Department at the University of Arizona, and he is a Senior Scholar at the Fund for American Studies in Washington, DC.

Dr. Otteson’s scholarship focuses on political economy, political philosophy, history and philosophy of economics, and eighteenth-century moral and political thought. He is an expert on Adam Smith, on the moral foundations of capitalism, and on the comparative evaluation of competing systems of political economy.

Diana Thomas

Economics, Utah State University
Dr. Diana Thomas is an assistant professor of Economics at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.  A German native, she earned her Diploma in Business Administration from Fachhochschule Aachen and her BS in Finance from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. After gaining some experience as a junior portfolio manager at a mutual fund management company in Frankfurt, Germany, Dr. Thomas returned to George Mason University to complete her MA and PhD in Economics.  She moved to Utah State University in the Fall of 2009 and has since then primarily taught classes in International Economics.

Dr. Thomas’ research is in the areas of public choice and development economics. Her work explores the role political entrepreneurs play in changing the formal and informal institutions that govern economic exchange in society.  Dr. Thomas has published papers on the regulation of late medieval German beer markets, informal property rights institutions among taxi cab drivers in Peru, regulation of child care markets, and the role political entrepreneurs play in bringing about institutional change more generally.