The Hoover Institution hosted its sixth annual Summer Policy Boot Camp from August 14 to 18, 2022, convening 117 students and recent graduates representing over 75 universities for four days of intensive and interactive fellow-led sessions on public policy.
Throughout the highly selective program, codirected by senior fellows Scott W. Atlas and Joshua D. Rauh, participants were provided with readings intended to prepare them for each session. Following the sessions, they were given considerable opportunities to engage and ask questions of presenting fellows.
“Our goal was to show young people that public policy derives from critical thinking – and that means analysis of evidence, combined with a base of knowledge and historical data. We wanted to challenge the students to think critically, and to reexamine their own preconceived notions by listening and interacting with Hoover's experts and then to connect with other students from all over the world, many of whom may have different views,” Atlas said.
“The program was terrific - thanks to the outstanding attendees and their thoughtful, well-formulated questions that challenged each other as well as our superb group of Hoover fellows who taught. We were delighted with the content delivered by our colleagues, the Hoover fellows, who successfully focused on today's most relevant policy issues and showed with evidence and analysis how to approach these complex topics.”
The 2022 Boot Camp focused on several policy themes, including economics, national security, technology issues, the quest for racial and social equality, the state of American democracy, and educational reform. This year’s program featured John B. Taylor on the importance of applying monetary policy rules in the US Federal Reserve’s management of the money supply; John H. Cochrane on the relationship between fiscal policy and inflation; Stephen Haber on how societies can best foster technological innovation; Jacquelyn Schneider on the impact of cyber operations on military power and international crises; Terry M. Moe on the correlation between school vouchers and educational outcomes; Shelby Steele on how the public debate over racial inequality is shaping US politics and policy; newly appointed senior fellow Brandice Canes-Wrone on how well voters’ preferences are represented by the nation’s policy makers; and many other speakers and topics.
“The Summer Policy Boot Camp once again shined as a flagship educational program of the Hoover Institution. It brought together a talented and policy-focused group of students for a week of learning and discussion, centered around the original research of Hoover's fellows,” said Rauh. “In short, the program immersed students in the practice of Hoover's motto: ideas defining a free society. Our hope and belief are that the 2022 class learned, as Milton Friedman exhorted, to judge policies and programs by their results and not by their intentions.”
As a capstone to the Boot Camp, each participant was invited to write an essay of 1,500 to 2,000 words that advocates a specific public policy measure, supported by facts, statistics, and valid arguments. Participants who submitted top essays will be honored with the Summer Policy Boot Camp Director’s Award, which will be presented at a future Hoover board meeting.
All participants who attended the entirety of the Boot Camp sessions received a Certificate of Completion for the program.
The Hoover Institution Summer Policy Boot Camp is made possible by the generosity of the Kurt Hauser Family. The application process for the 2023 Summer Policy Boot Camp will open in October. Please check back at Hoover.org for updates.