As part of the inaugural Hoover Institution Library and Archives’ Workshop on Political Economy, Professor Angus Burgin of Johns Hopkins University gave the keynote lecture titled "Hayek, Friedman, and the Return of Laissez-Faire." The lecture was based on Burgin’s book The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Great Depression, which features many collections from the Hoover Institution Archives, including the papers of Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, and the Mont Pèlerin Society records. A chartcast of the lecture is available below


Held from June 23 to 27, the workshop was organized by Professor Jennifer Burns of the Stanford History Department and incoming National Fellow at the Hoover Institution. An interdisciplinary slate of scholars called on the collections at Hoover to examine various topics, including the history of economic thought and the development of libertarian and conservative political movements in the United States and internationally.  Participants from Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, Freie Universität, George Mason, Sciences Po, Vanderbilt, and Yale met daily to present their research informally.

Access to Hoover’s collections documenting the history of capitalism contributed to the participants’ research. According to one participant, “The fact that Hoover had collections of such a variety of economists and economic policy-related institutions enabled me to capture the global nature of these debates and sketch a much richer and detailed picture of a history I had only been able to outline before.”

A complete list of the workshop participants and their research interests are available below.

Jennifer Burns, the workshop’s faculty organizer, is an assistant professor of history at Stanford University and author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford, 2009). She is currently working on an intellectual biography of Milton Friedman.

Irwin Collier, a university professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute and Faculty of Business and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin, is studying the evolution of the graduate economics canon in the United States.

Peter Hudson is an assistant professor of history at Vanderbilt University.  His current research project is titled “George Padmore: Political Economy, Africa, and the Negro.”

Edwige Kacenelenbogen is a political scientist, consultant, and lecturer at Sciences Po, Aix-en-Provence, and author of Le Nouvel Idéal Politique: Enquête sur les Théories Actuelles de la Démocratie (The new political ideal: An inquiry into contemporary democratic theories) (Editions de l'EHESS, April 2013).  She is doing research on the role of peaceful political (or democratic) competition in the libertarian paradigm.

Christopher Jones, an assistant professor of history at Arizona State University, is studying the economics of oil, energy, and natural resources using the papers of Milton Friedman and others.

Stephen Macekura is the author of Of Limits and Growth: Global Environmentalism and the Rise of “Sustainable Development” in the 20th Century (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) and a postdoctoral fellow at the Dartmouth College Dickey Center for International Understanding and the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.  He is working on the historical development of the gross national product metric.

Tim Shenk is author of Maurice Dobb: Political Economist (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and a PhD candidate in history at Columbia University. His current research examines the history of the economy as an analytic construct

John Singleton is a PhD candidate in economics at Duke University who specializes in Public Economics, I/O, Economics of Education, and the History of Economics.  He is researching Milton Friedman’s involvement in school vouchers and the ending of the military draft.

Solomon Stein is a PhD candidate in economics at George Mason University, specializing in Austrian economics and the history of economic thought.  He is researching Austrian economics and its oral tradition using the papers of Friedrich von Hayek and the Mont Pelerin Society.

Andrina Tran is a PhD candidate in History at Yale University whose dissertation is on the history of libertarianism, examining it as an intellectual sensibility, a cultural movement, and a political party.  

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