Defining Ideas

Defining Ideas

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A Grand Strategy for Failed States

by Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberryvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How should the United States handle threats posed by countries like Yemen, Syria, and Nigeria? 

America’s Foreign Policy Amateur

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 16, 2015

President Obama refuses to take strong and decisive action against the Islamic State. 

America's Law School Cartel

by James Huffmanvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, February 12, 2015

The legal education system is great for professors, but terrible for students and the public. 

McDonald's vs. NLRB

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 9, 2015

Tampering with a successful franchise model by ad hoc administrative intervention is a recipe for disaster.

Podcast: The Libertarian Podcast – “The NLRB and the Future of Franchises”

Ronald Reagan's Vision

by Annelise Anderson, Lowell Woodvia Defining Ideas
Friday, February 6, 2015

His hope for a world safe from long-range missile-delivered nuclear weapons may still become a reality. 

Are We Smart Enough for Democracy?

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Socrates, Aristotle, Woodrow Wilson, Rush Limbaugh, and Jonathan Gruber all agree: The answer is no. But here’s what they’re missing. 

Measles: Misinformation Gone Viral

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 2, 2015

State mandates in favor of vaccines help protect public health. 

Podcast: The Libertarian Podcast – “Vaccines and Individual Liberty”

Method in FDA Madness?

by Henry I. Millervia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A new pharmaceutical product could lead to cost savings in healthcare, but don’t get too optimistic about its development.

The Sad State of the Union

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, January 26, 2015

Obama’s weak foreign and meddlesome domestic policy are a dangerous combination. 

Podcast: The Libertarian Podcast – “The Libertarian’s State of the Union Response”
Climate Change

The Misguided Rush to Climate Change Action

by Gary D. Libecapvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Proponents of green energy are pushing reforms that may have negative long-term consequences.


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.



While Defining Ideas welcomes comments from readers, we exercise the right to monitor the comments we receive. We will not publish comments that include obscenities, swear-words and vulgarisms; ad hominem attacks; racist expression; rudeness or discourtesy; violations of copyright; or any other transgression of taste or civility that the editors deem unpublishable on a Hoover Institution Web site. We reserve the right, also, to close down comments on a particular essay if the editors believe we have reached "saturation" point.