Defining Ideas

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The Myth Of Progress

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

President Obama thinks the world is destined to become a more just place, but history proves otherwise. 

The Perils Of “Perfecting”

by Charles Hillvia The Caravan
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

“A Spectre is Haunting Europe” – again. Now, as in Marx’s proclamation, an idea generated in Europe has had consequences elsewhere that threaten modern civilization. Modernity’s world-spanning influence has been accurately and derogatorily labeled “Eurocentric.”

Solidarity, Liberal Democracy, And Eastern Europe Today

by Piotr H. Kosicki via The Caravan
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

In September 2015, eminent Princeton historian Jan T. Gross penned an essay entitled “Eastern Europe’s Crisis of Shame.” He wrote, “As thousands of refugees pour into Europe to escape the horrors of war, with many dying along the way, a different sort of tragedy has played out in many of the European Union’s newest member states.

The Rise Of American Socialism

by Paul R. Gregoryvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Obama thinks countries should adopt statist or market-based policies according to “whatever works” for them. He’s wrong. 

Harvard’s Final Clubs Debacle

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, May 9, 2016

Diversity, Ivy League style, is disguised totalitarianism that impairs student choice and leaves them unprepared for the real world.

The Functions Of The Fed

by Paul Tuckervia Defining Ideas
Friday, May 6, 2016

How can central banks deliver credible commitment and be “emergency institutions”?

The Battle For Europe

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia The Caravan
Friday, May 6, 2016

In 2004 Gilles Kepel, the noted French scholar of the modern Middle East and Muslims in Europe, wrote: The bombings in Madrid on March 11, 2004, established Europe as the new frontline for terrorist attacks. Before 9/11 Europe had provided a sanctuary where Al-Qaeda’s planners could complete preparations for the world-shattering operation they had conceived in the mountains of Afghanistan. But with the events in Madrid in spring 2004, Europe emerged as the primary battlefield on which the future of global Islam will be decided.

France Refuses To See Islamism As A Cultural Problem

by Fabrice Balanche via The Caravan
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Despite the terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015 in Paris, the French government refuses to acknowledge the link between terrorism in France, the crisis in the Middle East, and the complacency towards the threat of political Islam on the domestic scene. The truth is that the jihadists who  hit Paris and then Brussels on March 22, 2016, had been indoctrinated in the Salafi ideology sponsored by Saudi funded mosques, indirectly financed by private donors in the Gulf, and tolerated by Turkey - the country through which they pass to Europe. 

How Should Europe Respond To Islamism?

by Ted R. Bromundvia The Caravan
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

In this era of mass and uncontrolled migrant flows, Adam Smith’s 1776 classic on The Wealth of Nations offers insight into the nature of the challenge posed by Islamism. Far from being a mere manual of economics, Smith’s work reveals how competition promotes progress across society and government, and how it created the modern state and the modern international state system.

Decision-Making At The Fed

by Kevin Warshvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Why do some institutions succeed while others fail? Culture plays a major role.


The Libertarian

Richard Epstein
Richard Epstein presents his classically libertarian perspective on national developments in public policy and the law. The Libertarian archives »

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Visit the Caravan, a periodic symposium on the contemporary dilemnas of the greater Middle East.

With its distinct intellectual assets and ongoing programs of policy-oriented research, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University is a uniquely distinguished contributor to the marketplace of ideas.

Defining Ideas builds on the strength of Hoover’s research: publishing on-line the original work of Hoover fellows and affiliated scholars, as well as that of task force and working group members, whose scholarship lies within the fields of economics, history, law, and political science.

This online journal is the result of our concerted efforts to be part of America’s most important conversations, conveying to the public and to lawmakers an in-depth understanding of key public policy issues. Crucial to this effort is a commitment to develop enduring solutions for the challenges that face our nation and our world—in effect, to advance ideas defining a free society.

Throughout history, ideas have had consequences for the human condition, both beneficial and detrimental. The Hoover Institution’s working groups have been convened to promote ideas that advance freedom, peace, and prosperity. Defining Ideas is intended to illuminate the work of these groups.



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The opinions expressed in Defining Ideas are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.