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Essays on “The Thriving Society”

Thriving Society Front Cover

The Institute is so excited to announce the publication of our new collection of essays, The Thriving Society: On the Social Conditions of Human Flourishing. Available for purchase  in hardcover and eBook at, the volume is edited by Harold James (Princeton University) and James R. Stoner, Jr., (Louisiana State University).

Between the scylla of utopia and the charybdis of despair, the authors of these essays consider how modern society and its various institutions might be guided so that those who inhabit them might flourish. From a variety of perspectives and with diverse expertise, the essayists in The Thriving Society discuss foundational issues, institutional challenges, and controversial policies, from market freedom to family stability, from university culture to foreign affairs and public health. They neither supply a handbook for reform nor pen an apology for the past or the present. Instead, they launch citizens on a path to understanding how contemporary social practices sometimes facilitate and sometimes threaten human happiness–and so encourage citizens to think and act in responsible and innovative ways. Continue reading


From Henry Holt: THE BAREFOOT LAWYER by Chen Guangcheng

BarefootLawyerOn March 10th, Henry Holt and Co. released the first person account of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng’s struggle for freedom and his fight for human rights in China: The Barefoot Lawyer.

The son of a poor farmer in rural China, Chen was blinded by illness in infancy and was fortunate to survive a difficult childhood. Despite his disability, he was determined to educate himself. He dedicated himself to fighting for the rights of his country’s poor, especially a legion of women who had endured forced sterilizations and abortions under the hated “one child” policy. Repeatedly harassed, beaten, and imprisoned by Chinese authorities, Chen was ultimately placed under house arrest. One morning in April 2012, he climbed over the wall of his heavily guarded home and made a daring escape. Days later, he turned up at the American embassy in Beijing, and only a furious round of high-level negotiations made it possible for him to leave China and begin a new life in the United States. Continue reading


Summer Seminars 2015

The Institute is pleased to announce our 2015 Summer Seminars for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. These intensive programs examine vital moral questions in social, philosophical, legal, and political thought and have attracted young men and women from across the world for over a decade. With discussions guided by leading scholars from the United States and Great Britain, the Summer Seminars comprise the core of the Institute’s efforts to assist the next generation of scholars in reflecting on distinctly human questions. 

For more information about seminar topics, faculty, readings, and application processes, visit the links to the seminar pages below. We look forward to seeing you in Princeton this summer!

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Dr. Graham Walker Appointed Senior Research Scholar

GrahamThe Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Graham Walker as Senior Research Scholar. Walker served as President of Patrick Henry College from 2006 to 2014, where he was also Professor of Government. He is a member of the Faculty Advisory Council for the “Values & Capitalism” initiative at the American Enterprise Institute, and serves on the board of directors of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. Earlier, he was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania; served as an NEH Fellow and John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; was a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; and was a faculty member at The Catholic University of America. Continue reading