The Program for the Study of Liberty was founded in 2007 to promote scholarly and public discussion on liberty in modern society and its preconditions. It strives for an interdisciplinary perspective—including contributions from law, political science, history, philosophy, and public policy—and entertains a variety of political and ideological positions.
The Program’s main public activity is a Lecture Series that brings leading scholars and public intellectuals to the UCLA campus. All Program lectures are free and open to the public.
Speaker series can be found here (Winter-Spring 2010)  or below.
All talks are followed by light refreshments.
Lecture Series Schedule
November 30, 5:30 p.m., PAB 5391
Greg Lukianoff, President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
Unlearning Liberty 
May 18, 5:30 p.m., PAB 3333
Eric Nelson, Harvard University
Patriot Royalism: The Stuart Monarchy in American Political Thought, 1769-1775 
February 24, 6 p.m., Bunche Hall 6275:
Adam Michnik, former Solidarity activist and editor-in-Chief, Gazeta Wyborcza
"The Future of Opposition to Tyranny"
February 25, 6 p.m., PAB 4357b:
Nancy Rosenblum, Harvard University
"Partisanship and Independence: The Moral Distinctiveness of 'Party ID'"
April 15, 5:30 p.m., PAB 5391:
Russell Hardin, New York University
May 20, 5:30 p.m., PAB 5391:
Fonna Forman Barzilai (UC San Diego)
"The Virtue of Exile: Cosmopolitan Freedom in the Eighteenth Century"
June 3, 5:30 p.m., PAB 5391:
Virginia Postrel, Atlantic columnist and author of The Future and Its Enemies and The Substance of Style
"Benevolence and Incentives: Ending the Waiting List for Kidney Transplants"
The 2009-2010 Lecture Series included:
Thursday, October 1, 2009
James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy
University of Arizona
"The Myth of Economic Experts"
Audio Recording 
Synopsis: It has been argued that democratic publics are ignorant of economic policy, and have systematically false beliefs about it. Friends of democracy defend the public, arguing that it is more competent than is often thought. This talk will suggest that the competence problem runs deeper than either side admits. Experts are little more competent at formulating economic policy than voters are. This has wide-ranging implications for what policy making can accomplish and what the public can expect.
Jerry Gaus is a James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. He received his B.A. from SUNY/Buffalo and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. His work includes seven books, including Value and Justification (1990), Justificatory Liberalism (1996) and Contemporary Theories of Liberalism (2003); five co-edited volumes, and numerous schol¬arly articles. He is co-editor and founding co-editor of the journal Politics, Philosophy & Economics. He is currently working on a book The Order of Public Reason to be published by Cambridge.
The 2008-2009 Lecture Series included:
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory
"Federalism and Freedom"
Jacob T. Levy is Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Political Science at McGill University and a member of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. His areas of research include multiculturalism and nationalism; federalism; the rights of indigenous peoples; constitutional theory and jurisprudence; and 17th- 19th century political thought.
He received his AB from Brown University with honors in Political Science, his MA and PhD in Politics from Princeton University, and an LL.M. from the University of Chicago Law School. He has been a National Science Foundation graduate fellow and a Fulbright Scholar, and has received fellowships from the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, the Earhart Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation New Directions program.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Harvey C. Mansfield
William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Government
Synopsis: Political Science needs to learn the Greek word "thumos," which means spiritedness. "Thumos" identifies the main motive behind politics as anger or a sense of being offended or threatened, rather than gain or self-interest. Today Political Science tries to borrow from Economics, which overlooks or does not understand this vital fact of human psychology. We should go back to Plato and Aristotle and learn about "thumos."
Harvey C. Mansfield is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University. He is the past recipient of NEH and Guggenheim fellowships and of the National Humanities medal. His many books include Statesmanship and Party Government: A Study of Burke and Bolingbroke (1965), The Spirit of Liberalism (1978), Machiavelli's New Modes and Orders (1979), Taming the Prince: The Ambivalence of Modern Executive Power (1989), America's Constitutional Soul (1991), Machiavelli's Virtue (1996), and Manliness (2006). He has edited volumes of Jefferson's writings and Burke's letters, and translated Tocqueville's Democracy in America (with Delba Winthrop) and Machiavelli's Prince, Discourses (with Nathan Tarcov), and Florentine Histories (with Laura F. Banfield).
Program for the Study of Liberty
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