Defining Ideas

Defining Ideas

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The Fatal Conceit of Jonathan Gruber

by Paul R. Gregoryvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The economist’s reliance on “science” and “expertise”—and his disdain for the common man—recall the state planners of the Soviet Union.

The Way Forward On Police Reform

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 8, 2014

Bitter opposition between the police and protestors reduces the prospects of meaningful changes. 

The End of Feminism

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The new college sex codes do more to infantilize women than to empower them. 

Ferguson and the Rule of Law

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 1, 2014

Activists and critics are making an explosive situation even worse.

Podcast: The Libertarian Podcast – “Understanding Ferguson”

Medicare and the Free Market

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

“Balance billing” is one solution to the persistent shortages experienced by beneficiaries of the government healthcare program. 

Obama's Amnesty Problem

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 24, 2014

Unilateral presidential action is not the proper response to the thorny issue of immigration.

Gibraltar Is British—and European

by Tunku Varadarajanvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Rock faces a new peril from Britain to add to the age-old Spanish threat. 

Adam Smith: Moral Hypocrite?

by Russell Robertsvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Contrary to his reputation, the moral philosopher did not think that greed was good or that selfishness underlies our economic system.

Hands Off the Web

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 17, 2014

The President’s desire to extensively regulate the Internet will backfire. 

Podcast: The Libertarian Podcast – “Net Neutrality and the FCC”

The End of NATO

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The organization faces three existential threats: an Islamist Turkey, an expansionist Russia, and an increasingly agnostic United States. 


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.