Defining Ideas

Defining Ideas

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The Vogue of "Social Responsibility"

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 22, 2014

The government’s efforts to regulate good corporate behavior will backfire.

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The Recess Appointment Power Play

by William Sutervia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Supreme Court recently handed down one of the most important decisions of the last fifty years. 

How to Be Smart and Green

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 15, 2014

To tackle global warming, rely on a simple pollution tax rather than ham-handed government regulations.

When Activism Kills

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Friday, September 12, 2014

The longer we keep genetically modified crops off the market, the more impoverished people in the developing world will starve to death. 

World at War

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Obama administration’s disastrous foreign policy has led to the rise of a new, more brutal generation of radical Islamists.  

Presidential Indecision

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

We need to take strong military action against ISIS before the Middle East disintegrates into chaos. 

Podcast: The Libertarian: “Confronting ISIS”

Against the Common Core

by Williamson M. Eversvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, September 4, 2014

The new educational standards undermine our system of federalism. 

Rand Paul’s Fatal Pacifism

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The libertarian case for intervention against ISIS. 

Podcast: The Libertarian: “Libertarianism and Terrorism”

Academic Freedom and Academic Standards

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Anti-Semitism and the case of Steven Salaita.

Lessons From Ferguson

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Libertarians are jumping to rash conclusions about the use of police power. 

Podcast: The Libertarian: “The Tragedies of Ferguson”


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.