About IHS / Core Principles & Key Initiatives

Our Principles and Key Initiatives

About IHS / Core Principles & Key Initiatives

Our Principles and Key Initiatives

Advancing the Ideas of a Free and Open Society

At IHS, we believe the principles within the classical liberal tradition serve as the foundation for the good society, where individuals and communities thrive in a context of peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. The classical liberal tradition has a rich history, drawing upon a variety of ancient, medieval, and modern thinkers. It continues to be developed by scholars today. Like all vibrant intellectual traditions, classical liberal thought includes diverse points of view about the nature of society, the individual, and the relationship between the two.

Explore Our Initiatives

The Discourse Initiative

Basic liberal principles — pluralism, equality before the law, and the inherent dignity of every individual — are once again threatened by rising tides of illiberalism.

The Discourse Initiative draws scholarly attention back to the liberal tradition by gathering and supporting scholars from across the ideological spectrum who want to contribute to a growing discussion about the meaning and significance of the good society. Come join us.

Key Challenges Project

We launched our Key Challenges Project in the belief that every intellectual tradition benefits from challenge and rigorous debate.

This project offers support for research workshops and edited volumes that aim to invigorate the interdisciplinary study of classical liberal ideas through examining tensions between liberty and equality, dynamism and stability, and open inquiry and social cohesion.

Fellowship for the Study of Liberalism and a Free Society

The IHS Fellowship for the Study of Liberalism and a Free Society renews our commitment to liberal principles through dialogue within and beyond the academy. The program recognizes and convenes scholars who have a record of intellectual achievement in advancing the principles of a good society. Distinguished and Senior Fellows serve as faces of our ongoing Discourse Initiative.

Principles of Classical Liberalism

Like all vibrant intellectual traditions, classical liberal thought includes diverse points of view about the nature of society, the individual, and the relationship between the who.

Core Classical Liberal Principles and Ideas

We believe that these ideas are particularly important for understanding and supporting the good society — a pluralistic society in which intellectual and economic progress are the norm and where individuals flourish in a context of openness, voluntary and peaceful cooperation, and mutual respect.
Each of the principles and ideas we describe below has a rich intellectual tradition of its own that continues to develop. These brief descriptions are intended to serve as a starting point — an invitation to inquiry — that we hope will lead to deeper conversations.

Human Dignity

Human Dignity

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Individual Freedom

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Voluntary Action

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Rule of Law

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Spontaneous Order

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Freedom of Expression

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Civil Society

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Economic Freedom

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Toleration & Pluralism

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Intellectual Humility

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Peaceful Solutions

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Justice

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