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Engage in Scholarly Discourse

Events & Programs / Discussion-Based Events

Engage in Scholarly Discourse

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Experience academic environments where current and aspiring scholars share ideas and engage in meaningful discourse. Join us at academic events — from seminars and symposia to conferences and colloquia — to participate in discussions about the ideas and challenges shaping the good society.

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Participate in conversations around cutting-edge scholarship and fresh perspectives on liberalism from some of the brightest minds in the academy and beyond.

Survival of the City: A Conversation with Ed Glaeser

May 20, 2022
Zoom
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Survival of the City: A Conversation with Ed Glaeser

Zoom · Event date: May 20, 2022 · Event time:12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET

The Institute for Humane Studies invites you to join us for a conversation with Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University, about his new book (with David Cutler) “Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation” (Penguin, 2021) on Friday, May 20, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET.

Cities are indispensable engines of intimacy, inspiration, innovative dynamism, and wealth creation, but they face significant threats in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Glaeser and Cutler assess the future of cities. What, they ask, will distinguish those that flourish from those that don’t? They argue addressing inequities in health care and education will make the difference between our collective good health and a downward spiral.

Steven Levitt, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and co-author of “Freakonomics,” calls “Survival of the City” “a work of stunning brilliance.” “Inside Higher Ed” calls it “a book that should be read and discussed by anyone concerned with the future of cities.”

IHS Senior Program Officer Brad Jackson will host the conversation on May 20, which will take place on Zoom and will be followed by Q&A.

Liberalism and Its Discontents: A Conversation with Francis Fukuyama

May 27, 2022
Zoom
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Liberalism and Its Discontents: A Conversation with Francis Fukuyama

Zoom · Event date: May 27, 2022 · Event time:12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET

The Institute for Humane Studies invites you to join us for a conversation with Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, about his new book, “Liberalism and Its Discontents,” (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2022) on Friday, May 27, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET.

In recent decades, both the right and the left have pushed the principles of liberalism to new extremes. The result, Fukuyama argues, has been a fracturing of our civil society and an increasing peril to our democracy. In “Liberalism and Its Discontents,” Fukuyama offers an essential defense of a revitalized liberalism for the 21st century. Publisher’s Weekly calls the book “an authoritative diagnosis… of how liberalism went wrong and how it can reclaim its best impulses.”

IHS Senior Program Officer Brad Jackson will host the conversation on May 27, which will take place on Zoom and will be followed by Q&A.

Discussion Colloquia invite faculty and graduate students to discuss and debate foundational texts and contemporary scholarship on the nature of free societies.

Sexuality and the State Series

February 18 - May 20, 2022
Zoom
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Sexuality and the State Series

Zoom · Event date: February 18 - May 20, 2022 · Event time:3:00 - 5:00 p.m. ET

Sexuality is a fundamental part of the human experience, individual identity, and, unfortunately, political life. Just as strongly as individuals desire to express themselves and live true to their own wishes, states and rulers have tried to control that expression and truth for their own purposes. In this monthly online seminar series, discussion leader and professor of philosophy at The College of New Jersey Dr. James Stacey Taylor will lead participants through discussions of sexual identity, individualism, and the many state and social attempts to impose restrictions or controls on sexual expression. From Gore Vidal’s classic and powerful example of “the gay novel,” “The City and the Pillar” (1948), to Prof. Abigail Saguy’s contemporary sociological account of many different “coming out” experiences, discussants will gain a richer understanding of sexuality as individualist expression and the struggles against constituted power which have characterized modern sexual politics.

Sessions will take place one Friday each month for four months, via Zoom, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Participants will receive an honorarium of $125, plus a $30 stipend for book purchases, per session (international participants will receive all payments at once upon completion of the program). Please note this means you are expected to purchase your own readings from your preferred vendor. Applicants will be notified of an acceptance as quickly as possible.

Readings:

February 18: Gore Vidal and “the Gay Novel”
March 18: Class and Sexuality
April 22: Sexuality and Spirituality
May 20: Coming Out

Economics Meets Its Historiography

April 29 - May 1, 2022
Philadelphia, PA
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Economics Meets Its Historiography

Philadelphia, PA · Event date: April 29 - May 1, 2022

Applications for this program have closed.

Developed in partnership with Dr. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, and co-hosted with the Penn Initiative for the Study of Markets (PISM), this program is designed to showcase what economists can offer other disciplines as well as what it can gain from them.

“Economics Meets Its Historiography” will be held in person in Philadelphia, PA, from April 29 to May 1. The program will focus on the advantages and costs of studying our intellectual past by emphasizing how the market of ideas operates. Critical debates around topics whose importance still exerts influence on how we think about what is valid and invalid in our profession will be discussed. The emphasis will be placed on exploring the development of 20th-century economics, but will touch on how classical economists like Adam Smith have shaped said development. Dr. Michael C. Munger of Duke University will join us as discussion leader.

Readings:

Session 1: Is History of Economic Thought Worthwhile?

Trade-offs and opportunity costs of studying it.

  • Stigler, G. J. “Does Economics Have a Useful Past?” History of Political Economy, 1(2):217–230, 1969.
  • Blaug, M. “On the Historiography of Economics.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 12(1):27–37, 1990.
  • Boettke, P. J., Coyne, C. J., and Leeson, P. T. “Earw(h)ig: I can’t hear you because your ideas are old.” Cambridge Journal of Economics, pages 531–544, 2013.
Session 2: What Is Economics?

Economics is what Economists do. Isn’t it?

  • Robbins, L. The Subject Matter of Economics. In An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science, 1–22. MacMillan and Co., London, 1932
  • Buchanan, J. M. “What Should Economists Do?” Southern Economic Journal, 30(3):213–222, 1964
Session 3: Economic Theory and Its Postulates

What is valid in Economic Theory?

  • Machlup, F. “Marginal Analysis and Empirical Research.” The American Economic Review, 36(4):519–554, 1946.
  • Lester, R. A. “Marginalism, Minimum Wages, and Labor Markets.” The American Economic Review, 37(1):135–148. 1947.
  • Stigler, G. J. “Professor Lester and the Marginalists.” The American Economic Review, 37(1):154–157. 1947
Session 4: Economic Theory and Economic Statistics

What comes first? My theoretical insight or the empirical “facts”?

  • Koopmans, T. C. “Measurement Without Theory.” The Review of Economics and Statistics, 29(3):161–172. 1947
  • Vining, R. “Koopmans on the Choice of Variables to be Studies and the Methods of Measurement.” The Review of Economics and Statistics, 31(2):77–86. 1949.
  • Koopmans, T. C. “Koopmans on the Choice of Variables to be Studies and the Methods of Measurement: A Reply.” The Review of Economics and Statistics, 31(2):86–91. 1949.
  • Vining, R. “Koopmans on the Choice of Variables to be Studies and the Methods of Measurement: A Rejoinder.” The Review of Economics and Statistics, 31(2):91–94. 1949.
Session 5: Beyond High Theory

Bottom-up insights on cooperation and the functioning of Markets.

  • Smith, V. L. “Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics.” The American Economic Review, 93(3):465–508. 2003.
Session 6: Back to Basics — The Scope of Economics

Rethinking what economics is, again and again.

  • Hayek, F. (1937). “Economics and Knowledge.” Economica, 4(13):33–54
  • Smith, V. L. and Wilson, B. Adam Smith’s Program for the Study of Human Socioeconomic Betterment. In Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century, 197–207. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2019.

OPTIONAL: Smith, V. L. and Wilson, B. Humanomics Spans the Two Worlds of Adam Smith. In Humanomics: MoraSentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century, 1–17. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2019.

Liberalism and the Global Society Series

May 25 - August 24, 2022
Zoom
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Liberalism and the Global Society Series

Zoom · Event date: May 25 - August 24, 2022 · Event time:2:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

Globalization has, arguably, been happening for a very long time — perhaps continually since the early exploration of the seas and integrations of ancient regional economies. Undoubtedly, though, it has become one of the defining characteristics of the past century and more. In economics, culture, religion, and even politics, the world has become more globalized than ever before and while many liberals claim triumph as a result, modern problems are rampant and critics of a globalized, liberalized society seem to be proliferating. This series will follow the twin histories of modern liberalism and globalization, the modern nationalist challenge to the liberal worldview, and the possibilities for a more peaceful, prosperous, and globalized world in the future.

Sessions will take place one Wednesday each month for four months, via Zoom, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Participants will receive an honorarium of $125, plus a $30 stipend for book purchases, per session (international participants will receive all payments at once upon completion of the program). Please note this means you are expected to purchase your own readings from your preferred vendor. Applicants will be notified of an acceptance as quickly as possible.

Readings:

May 25: Liberalism and Non-Intervention in Interwar Europe
  • Masala A., Mingardi A. (2021) “Classical Liberalism, Non-interventionism and the Origins of European Integration: Luigi Einaudi, Friedrich A. von Hayek, Wilhelm Röpke.” In: M. Cunha A., Suprinyak C.E. (eds) Political Economy and International Order in Interwar Europe. Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
June 22: Imperialism and Neoliberalism
  • Slobodian, Quinn. “Introduction” in Globalists : The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2019 p. 1-27.
  • Von Mises, Ludwig, and Bettina Bien. Greaves. Liberalism : the Classical Tradition, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005 p.124 – 151 .
July 27: The Nationalist Challenge
  • Hayek, Friedrich A. von. “The Economic Conditions of Inter-State Federalismin Individualism and Economic Order. Pbk. ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “The Roman Church and Its Vision of Empire” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “John Locke and the Liberal Construction” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “Nationalism Discredited” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “Liberalism as Imperialism” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “Nationalist Alternatives to Liberalism” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
August 24: Toward Peace and Prosperity in a Global Society
  • Hamlin, Alan P. and Geoffrey Brennan (2004). “The European Constitution and Peace: Taking the Heat Out of Politics.” In C. B. Blankart and D. C. Mueller (eds.) A Constitution for the European Union, 25–35. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  • Buchanan, J. M. (2004) “Competitive Federalism by Default.” In C. B. Blankart and D. C. Mueller (eds.) A Constitution for the European Union, 25–35. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Liberalism and Historical Methods Series

May 25 - August 24, 2022
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Liberalism and Historical Methods Series

Zoom · Event date: May 25 - August 24, 2022 · Event time:2:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

This series will explore liberalism and historical methods, including how historians actually practice their craft, what implications liberal theory has for historical methods, how different forms of social power impact the writing of history, and how ideas develop over time, especially when interpreted and reinterpreted by successive generations.

Sessions will take place one Wednesday each month for four months, via Zoom, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Participants will receive an honorarium of $125, plus a $30 stipend for book purchases, per session (international participants will receive all payments at once upon completion of the program). Please note this means you are expected to purchase your own readings from your preferred vendor. Applicants will be notified of an acceptance as quickly as possible.

Readings:

May 25: The Essential Method
June 22: Microhistory and Individuals
July 27: Power and Perspective
August 24: Ideas and Time

Intersectionality and Individualism

August 12 - 13, 2022
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Intersectionality and Individualism

Zoom · Event date: August 12 - 13, 2022

Applications for this program have closed.

Is it possible to theoretically and practically merge the intersectional and individualistic methods in the social sciences? Does one imply the other? Can scholars understand human behavior either without reference to individuals or without reference to the intersections of an individual’s many different identities? This seminar will explore the contemporary concept of intersectionality and its place within a framework of methodological individualism, with particular emphasis on gender, race, religion, sexual identity, and individual agency. “Intersectionality and Individualism” will take place online, via Zoom, from August 12 to 13.

Readings:

Session 1: Individualism as Method
  • Mises, Ludwig von. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, in 4 volumes. Edited by Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007). Chapter II. The Epistemological Problems of the Sciences of Human Action,” pp. 30-64, Chapter III. Economics and the Revolt Against Reason,” pp. 72-91.
  • Rothbard, Murray. “Viewpoint: The Conspiracy Theory of History Revisited.” Reason (April 1977).
Session 2: Intersectionality as Method
  • Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” University of Chicago Legal Forum vol. 1989 no. 1, 139-167.
  • Khader, Serene J. “Intersectionality and the Ethics of Transnational Commercial Surrogacy.” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 6 no. 1 (Spring 2013): 68-90.
Session 3: Gender and Religion – Women in Islamic History
  • Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (Yale University Press, 1992). Chapter 8, “The Discourse of the Veil,” pages 144-168, Chapter 9, “The First Feminists,” pages 169-188, “Conclusion,” pages 235-248.
Session 4: Culture and Environment – The World of Tsenacomoco
  • Kelly, Joseph. Marooned: Jamestown, Shipwreck, and a New History of America’s Origin. (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018). “Chapter Two: Tsenacomoco,” 69-101 and “Chapter Three: Nantaquod on the James,” 103-133.
Session 5: Work, Ideas, and Bodies – The Explosive Benjamin Lay
  • Rediker, Marcus. The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Boston: Beacon Press, 2017). Introduction, “Prophet Against Slavery,” pages 1-10, Chapter 1, “Early Life,” pages 11-28, Chapter Five, “Books and a New Life,” pages 95-118, Conclusion, “The Giant Oak,” pages 141-150.
Session 6: Class, Race, and Age – The Reverse Underground Railroad
  • Bell, Richard. Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped Into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019). Introduction, “The Reverse Underground Railroad,” pages 1-11; Chapter One, “Sanctuary City,” pages 11-31; Chapter Two, “Black Hearts,” pages 33-46; and Chapter Three, “Midnight Land,” pages 47-62.

Collaborate with experts through moderated panel discussions and breakout sessions, and engage research on topics where the liberal perspective deserves a voice.

Contemporary Challenges in Corporate Governance

August 5, 2022
Seattle, WA
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Contemporary Challenges in Corporate Governance

Seattle, WA · Event date: August 5, 2022 · Event time:4:00 p.m.

Co-hosted with Florida Atlantic University’s Madden Center for Value Creation, this symposium will cover important new work on today’s challenges in corporate governance.

This program was conceptualized and created with Dr. Siri Terjesen of Florida Atlantic University.

Following the panel, there will be a breakout session where audience members will have the chance to discuss with speakers and fellow participants their own ideas and questions about the topic. One aim of the event is for participants to come away with fresh ideas for academic research or publicly facing work such as op-eds and popular journal articles, so please come ready to discuss your own thoughts at the breakouts.

If you have research interests in questions surrounding this topic, we encourage you to apply for this opportunity.

Corporate Governance: Composition and Strategy

August 5, 2022, Seattle, Washington

Business leaders, academics, policy makers, and the media have taken significant interest in the rules, practices, and processes of how organizations are directed and managed. Firms traditionally shape their corporate governance activities, including balancing the needs of many stakeholders, such as shareholders, but also extending to employees and senior management leaders through customers, suppliers, and the community. Additionally non-governmental, self-regulatory institutions and government regulatory authority seek oversight of firms’ corporate governance. There are vastly different corporate governance practices around the world.

Panelists

  • Dr. Sofia Johan, Florida Atlantic University
  • Dr. George Mocsary, University of Wyoming
  • Dr. Mike Ryall, University of Toronto

Moderator

  • Dr. Lori Verstegen Ryan, San Diego State University

Strengthening Entrepreneurial Communities: Exploring Entrepreneurship at the Regional and Local Level

May 20, June 17, & August 4, 2022
Zoom & Seattle, WA
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Strengthening Entrepreneurial Communities: Exploring Entrepreneurship at the Regional and Local Level

Zoom & Seattle, WA · Event date: May 20, June 17, & August 4, 2022

Entrepreneurship is increasingly viewed as the solution to many societal problems and the pathway to improving the human condition. Yet, even in advanced market economies, some regions are beacons for entrepreneurship while others are laggards, resulting in significant disparities in living conditions across regions. This event series will focus on cutting-edge research on entrepreneurship at the regional level.

You may elect to attend one, two, or all three sessions. Please come prepared to share your ideas for future academic research or public-facing work such as op-eds.

Following the panels, there will be a breakout session where audience members will have the chance to discuss with speakers and fellow participants their own ideas and questions about the topic. One aim of the event is for participants to come away with fresh ideas for academic research or publicly facing work such as op-eds and popular journal articles, so please come ready to discuss your own thoughts at the breakouts.

If you have research interests in questions surrounding this topic, we encourage you to apply for this opportunity

Entrepreneurship & Regional Economic Development

May 20, 2022, 3:00–6:00p.m. ET

In an increasingly competitive and dynamic world, the creation and growth of new innovative business ventures is the key to sustained regional economic development and vitality. This panel features three world-renowned experts on the relationship between entrepreneurship and regional economic development.

Panelist

  • Dr. Maksim Belitski, University of Reading
  • Dr. Michael Fritsch, Friedrich Schiller University
  • Dr. Magnus Henrekson, Research Institute of Industrial Economics

Schedule

2:45–3:00p.m. | Room Opens
3:00–3:15p.m. | Welcome and Program Introduction
3:15–4:30p.m. | Panel with Q&A
4:30–4:45p.m. | BREAK
4:45–5:45p.m. | Breakout Discussion Group


Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Online Panel

June 17, 2022, 3:00–6:00p.m. ET

A growing number of scholars and practitioners recognize the important interdependence of social, political, economic, and cultural conditions for fostering the development and growth of startups in a region. The so-called entrepreneurial ecosystem approach is increasingly viewed as the means to sparking entrepreneurship, yet many unresolved questions remain. This panel features three internationally recognized entrepreneurial ecosystem scholars who will discuss their latest research.

Panelist

  • Dr. Erik Stam, Utrecht University
  • Dr. Christina Theodoraki, Toulouse Business School
  • Dr. Sid Vedula, Technical University of Munich

Schedule

2:45–3:00p.m. | Room Opens
3:00–3:15p.m. | Welcome and Program Introduction
3:15–4:30p.m. | Panel with Q&A
4:30–4:45p.m. | BREAK
4:45–5:45p.m. | Breakout Discussion Group


Regional Entrepreneurship Policy

In-person, Seattle, WA

August 4, 2022

While federal public policy certainly has an influence on all entrepreneurs within a country, many nations have federalist systems that allow for policy experimentation at the subnational level. Thus, regional public policy is also an important antecedent to entrepreneurial activity. This panel will feature a keynote address and three presentations by leading scholars on regional entrepreneurship policy.

Keynote Speaker

  • Dr. David Audretsch, Indiana University

Panelist

  • Dr. Christopher Boudreaux, Florida Atlantic University
  • Dr. Charles Eesley, Stanford University
  • Dr. Maria Minniti, Syracuse University

Schedule

1:30-2:00p.m. | Registration with Coffee
2:00-2:15p.m. | Welcome and Opening Remarks
2:15-3:00p.m. | Keynote Address
3:00-3:15p.m. | Coffee Break
3:15-4:30p.m. | Panel with Q&A
4:30-4:50p.m. | Coffee Break
4:50-5:50p.m. | Breakout Discussion Session
5:50-6:00p.m. | Closing Remarks
6:00-7:00p.m.| Cocktail Hour

Exploring Free Speech in an Age of Polarization

June 17 - 18, 2022
Washington, D.C.
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Exploring Free Speech in an Age of Polarization

Washington, D.C. · Event date: June 17 - 18, 2022

Speakers:

Overview

This symposium will cover important new work relevant to academics and practitioners on the leading edge of free speech issues, including social sanction, digital content moderation, and polarization in the context of free speech. The program will put scholars in conversation with stakeholders such as community leaders, activists, journalists, and lawyers.

Following the panels, there will be a breakout session where audience members will have the chance to discuss with speakers and fellow participants their own ideas and questions about the topic. One aim of the event is for participants to come away with fresh ideas for academic research or publicly facing work such as op-eds and popular journal articles, so please come ready to discuss your own thoughts at the breakouts.

If you have research interests in questions surrounding this topic, we encourage you to apply for this opportunity.

Schedule:

Friday, June 17

4:30 p.m. Registration
5:00 p.m. Welcome
5:15 p.m. Panel: Free Speech, Social Sanction, and Self-Censorship
6:45 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Keynote Address
8:30 p.m. Evening Social

Saturday, June 18

10:30 a.m. Coffee Service
11:00 a.m. Panel: Free Speech and Social Cohesion
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:45 p.m. Panel: Free Speech and Content Moderation
3:15 p.m. Coffee Break
3:45 p.m. Breakout Discussions
5:00 p.m. Cocktail Hour

IHS attends multiple conferences a year across a variety of academic disciplines. Catch up with IHS staff, learn about our support, and participate in an IHS-sponsored conference event. Check back often for conference event updates on this tab.