Established one hundred years ago by future president Herbert Hoover at his alma mater, Stanford University, the Hoover Institution marks its centennial in 2019. In recognition of this momentous occasion, a speaker series entitled A Century of Ideas for a Free Society will be launched in March 2019 to showcase the rigorous scholarship and research central to the institution’s mission and values: individual, economic, and political freedom; private enterprise; and limited, effective representative government. These timeless and fundamental values are derived from one hundred years of scholarship, the lessons of history, and a fundamental understanding of the nature of war, revolution, and peace.

A Century of Ideas for a Free Society will both address a historic perspective and provide a prospective look into important public policies that impact our society.




One Hundred Years of Democracy and Foreign Policy
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, March 26, 2019
Speakers: Condoleezza Rice, Niall Ferguson, Stephen Krasner

The United States was founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and for decades, support for democracy around the world has been a central tenet of American foreign policy. The past century provides many examples of prosperity in thriving democracies balanced with the instability of authoritarian and repressive regimes. This panel discussion will address the changing role of democracy building in America’s foreign policy over the past century.





A Century of Prosperity: A Review of the Standard of Living, 1919 vs. 2019
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, April 18, 2019
Speakers: Terry Anderson, John Cogan, Lee Ohanian, George Shultz
Moderator: Peter Robinson

The past century has witnessed dramatic improvements in the standard of living in the United States. Panelists will discuss the role that free markets, property rights, innovation, regulation, and national security have played in this remarkable advancement in human well-being.





Technology, Innovation, and the Future of the US Economy
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, May 20, 2019
Speakers: Edward Lazear, Amit Seru, Stephen Haber
Moderator: Jonathan Levin

This session will discuss the sources of prosperity in the United States over the past century and will look at the drivers of prosperity over the next century. Panelists will also address the ongoing debate about the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on standards of living and the sets of relevant facts and data to consider.





Battleground of Perception: Countering Threats to Free and Open Societies
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, June 4, 2019
Speakers: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Larry Diamond, H. R. McMaster
Moderator: Niall Ferguson

Repression and authoritarianism are not merely phenomena of the historical past. Today, we are engaged in a fundamental battle of free and open societies against repressive, closed systems. This panel will address the nature of such threats and discuss the identities of freedom’s adversaries, their goals and strategies, and what can be done to defeat these threats across government, the private sector, academia, and civil society.





The Big Three: Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill During the Second World War
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, July 18, 2019
Speakers: David Kennedy, Stephen Kotkin, Andrew Roberts
Moderator: Peter Robinson

During the Second World War, President Franklin Roosevelt, Premier Joseph Stalin, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill exchanged hundreds of cables and held two summit meetings, coordinating the vast allied effort to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Panelists will discuss why the peaceful new international order that the three agreed to establish after the conflict turned instead into the Cold War.





Changing the Education Debate
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, August 20, 2019
Speakers: Margaret Raymond, Eric Hanushek, Terry Moe
Moderator: Robert Pondiscio

Hoover scholars have been heavily involved in far-reaching educational research, and their work provides surprisingly positive answers to thorny questions, such as whether scholarship has ever influenced the debate on educational policy; whether new policies are just about politics without regard to fact; and how to mitigate bad ideas by introducing good ideas through research and analysis.





New Regional Orders and New Ways of War: Europe, the Middle East, and Asia
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, September 24, 2019
Speakers: Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani, Gary Roughead
Moderator: Cecil D. Haney

The global order of the past seven decades is being disrupted by regional dynamics. Powers of the past are reasserting themselves—Russia in Europe and the Middle East, Turkey and Iran in the Middle East, and China in Asia and beyond. Technology is changing how nations can prosper, influence, and compel. The panel will discuss what these changes portend for each of these regions and the US role in shaping events in its national interest.





Tax and Monetary Reform: From Ideas to Actions over One Hundred Years
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, October 2, 2019
Speakers: Jennifer Burns, Robert Hall, John Taylor

Hoover Institution economists have generated many ideas on tax reform and monetary reform over the years, from the Friedman Rule and government spending limits to the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax and the Taylor Rule. Panelists will discuss the origination of such ideas, how they have been applied in practice in the United States and other countries, and the future of such reform-oriented policy. 





Hoover’s One Hundred Years of War, Revolution, and Peace
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, November 4, 2019
Speakers: Victor Davis Hanson, Niall Ferguson

Historians Niall Ferguson and Victor Davis Hanson will discuss the seminal events of the last century—the two World Wars, the Great Depression, the rise and fall of Soviet communism, and the advent of modernism and globalization—and how Hoover Institution scholars, informed by the lessons of history, have interpreted these tragedies and challenges.





A Century of Ideas: Labor and Capital Market Policy: From Ideas to Actions over One Hundred Years
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, November 19, 2019
Speakers: Caroline Hoxby, John Cochrane, George P. Shultz

Nowhere are good economic ideas more important for growth and stability than in labor and capital markets. Enormous technological, political, and demographic shifts in the past one hundred years have changed what is feasible and what works in practice. Panelists will discuss how ideas about the roles of government and private enterprise have changed, how good ideas stressing economic freedom can be advanced into action, and the influence of globalization on the ability of governments to apply good ideas to capital flows and immigration.





The Crucible of Citizenship
Hauck Auditorium, Stanford University, January 14, 2020
Speakers: Jim Mattis, Kiron Skinner, Josiah Ober, Michael McConnell

America was a multiracial, multilanguage, multireligion mixing bowl even before it was the United States. Debates over immigration and citizenship have been part of the American landscape from the start. Citizenship and its most important component— voting rights—have been the most frequent topic of constitutional amendments over the years. Panelists will discuss what it means to be a citizen and what it means to be an American.


All speakers, topics and dates are subject to change.

overlay image