Defining Ideas

Defining Ideas

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Why Can’t America Win Its Wars?

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 10, 2016

America’s military is like Germany’s in the twentieth century—a tactically and operationally brilliant force that cannot think strategically.

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

Fed Failures

by Allan H. Meltzervia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Monetary policy can contribute to economic growth, but it hasn’t under the bank’s current leadership.

Justice Antonin Scalia discusses the premise of his book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges.

Scalia Maligned

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Monday, March 7, 2016

A broadside attack of originalism is sloppy, flawed, and vulgar. 

The Strange Case Of The Campus Cry-Bully

by Victor Davis Hansonmentioning Condoleezza Ricevia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Are students today brave reformers or fragile hothouse campus plants?

The Court After Scalia

by James Huffmanvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The late Justice was committed to the rule of law, but his replacement will likely be committed to a party or ideology. 

The Real Cause Of American Growth

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Monday, February 29, 2016

A popular new book inexplicably ignores how laissez-faire capitalism drives innovation.

Europe And The Death Penalty

by Brian J. Gainesvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, February 25, 2016

While the EU disdains capital punishment, many Europeans support it. 

Apple’s iPhone Blunder

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Monday, February 22, 2016

Helping the government unlock the San Bernardino killer’s phone will not threaten anyone’s privacy rights. 

A Topsy-Turvy Presidential Race

by Bill Whalenvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 22, 2016

Nothing makes sense and everything is possible in this election.  

Fed Up With The Fed

by Allan H. Meltzervia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

If Congress forces the bank to follow a rule rather than its own discretion, the economy will flourish. 


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.



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