The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) held the Eighth Annual Carl B. Menges Colloquium April 16-18, 2015, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.  The colloquium was devoted to the theme “Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and the Rule of Law:  How to Return America to Prosperity.”  Dr. Michael C. Munger, Professor of Political Science, Duke University, and Director of the Duke Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program was the keynote speaker on Thursday, April 16.

The well-attended event was even featured in an article in the National Review. In the article “The Alexander Hamilton Institute’s Superb Colloquium” by George Leef, the colloquium’s format was praised as “an excellent way of getting good, engaged college students thinking about crucial issues.”

Photos from the Eighth Annual Carl B. Menges Colloquium.   Photos Copyright 2015 Tom Loughlin Jr, Utica, N.Y.

List of Participants

 Keynote: Michael Munger, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program, Duke University


In addition to keynote speaker Michael Munger, the colloquium featured a number of distinguished panelists and participants including:

Discussion Leader:

Carey Roberts, Chairman, Department of History, and Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Liberty University


Sarah Burns, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rochester Institute of Technology

Jennifer Delton, Douglas Family Chair in American Culture, History, and Literary and Interdisciplinary Studies, Skidmore College

Peter Coclanis, Albert Ray Newsome Distinguished Professor; Director, Global Research Institute , University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

James Ely, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law Emeritus and Professor of History Emeritus at Vanderbilt University

John Steele Gordon, Independent Scholar, North Salem, New York

James Harrigan, Fellow, Institute of Political Economy, Utah State University

David Harper, Clinical Professor of Economics and Director of Graduate Studies, New York University

Christopher Hill, Resident Fellow, Alexander Hamilton Institute

Adam Kissel, Program Officer, Higher Education, Charles Koch Foundation

George Leef, Director of Research, John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, Raleigh, North Carolina

Hester Peirce, Senior Research fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University

Janet Riordan, Director of Community Programs, Bradley Foundation

Jeffrey Wagner, Professor and Chairman, Department of Economics, Rochester Institute of Technology

Session Readings

Session I:  “Dangers Portended”

1.  Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, ed. Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 2002), pp. 646-73.

2. James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution:  What Is Happening in the World (New York: John Day Company, 1941), pp. 71-95.

3. Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, 3rd. ed (New York:  Harper & Brothers, 1950), pp. 61-62, 81-86, 121-132.

4. Bertrand de Jouvenel, Sovereignty:  An Inquiry into the Political Good (1955), pp. 167-198.

5. Michael Polanyi, Knowing and Being:  Essays by Michael Polanyi, ed. Marjorie Grene (London:  Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969), pp. 49-72.

Session II:  “Rule of Law and Regulation”

1. F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1960), 220-249.

2. Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital:  Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else (New York:  Basic Books, 2000), pp. 153-159, 162-190, 194-206.

3. Alan S. Blinder, “What’s the Matter with Economics?” New York Review of Books, 12/18/2014

4. Philip K. Howard, “Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans,” Daily Beast, 12/27/2014

5. Richard Epstein, The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press, 2014), pp. 569-83.

Session III:  “Entrepreneurship and Innovation”

1. Joseph A. Schumpeter, “The Creative Response in Economic History,” Journal of Economic History, 7 (November 1947): 149-159.

2. Israel Kirzner, “Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach,” Journal of Economic Literature 35 (March 1997): 60-85

3. Joseph Stiglitz, “Economic Foundations of Intellectual Property Rights,” Duke Law Journal, 57, (Apr., 2008): 1693-1724.

4. Carl Schramm and Robert E. Litan, “An Entrepreneurial Recovery,” Wilson Quarterly, 34 (Spring 2010):44-47.

5. “A Conversation with Jeff Bezos,” Foreign Affairs, 94 (January/February, 2015):2-6.

6. James Bessen, “The Anti-Innovators:  How Special Interests Undermine Entrepreneurship,”Foreign Affairs, 94 (January/February, 2015):55-60.

7. Mariana Mazzucato, “The Innovative State:  Governments Should Make Markets, Not Just Fix Them,” Foreign Affairs, 94 (January/February, 2015): 61-68.

Session IV:  “Freedom, Property Rights, and Uncertainty”

1. Harold Demsetz, “Some Aspects of Property Rights,” Journal of Law and Economics, 9 (October 1966): 61-70.

2. Armen A. Alchian and  Harold Demsetz, “The Property Rights Paradigm,” Journal of Economic History, 33 (March, 1973):16-27.

3. Alan Ryan, “Please Fence Me In,” New York Review of Books,”  9/23/1999.

4. Richard Epstein, Takings:  Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press, 1985),

5. Kevin L. Kliesen, “Uncertainty and the Economy,” Regional Economist,” (April 2013)

Session V:  “Taxation and Entitlements”

1. George P. Schultz, “How to Get America Moving Again,” Wall Street Journal, 8/8/2014

2. Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1962): 161-189.

3. Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality:  How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future(New York:  Norton, 2012), pp. 264-290.

4. Joseph Stiglitz, “Reforming Taxation to Promote Growth and Equity,” May 28, 2014

5. N. Gregory Mankiw, “Defending the One Percent,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 27, (Summer 2013): 21-34.

6. Michael J. Boskin, “A Broader Perspective on the Tax Reform Debate,” in The Economists’ Voice:  Top Economists Take on Today’s Problems, ed. Joseph Stiglitz, Aaron S. Edlin, J. Bradford DeLong (New York:  Columbia University Press, 2008), pp. 141-152.

Session VI:  “Whither America and the World?

1. Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening & the Future of Egalitarianism (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 2007): 176-242

2. Jim Manzi, “The New American System, National Affairs, no.  19 (Spring 2014).