George Washington Forum News and Events

GWF Events

The Enlightenment and Economic Growth

Tuesday, October 8th, 2024

6:00 PM | Baker Center Theater (2nd Floor Baker Center)

Image of Dr. Joel Mokyr

Dr. Joel Mokyr

Dr. Joel Mokyr conducts research on the economic history of Europe, and specializes in the period 1750-1914. His current research is concerned with the understanding of the economic and intellectual roots of technological progress and the growth of useful knowledge in European societies, as well as the impact that industrialization and economic progress have had on economic welfare. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, and the Cliometric Society as well as the British Academy, the Italian Accademia dei Lincei and the Dutch Royal Academy. He has been the President of the Economic History Association, editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, and a co-editor of the Journal of Economic History. He is currently co-editor of a book series, the Princeton University Press Economic History of the World. He was the 2006 winner of the biennial Heineken Award for History offered by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and the winner of the 2015 Balzan International Prize for economic history. His most recent book is A Culture of Growth: Origins of the Modern Economy, published by Princeton University Press in 2016. He has supervised over forty doctoral dissertations in the departments of Economics and History.

Beyond Rights and Price: Liberalism with Taste

Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

6:00 PM | Baker Center 242

Image of Brianne Wolf

Brianne Wolf

Brianne Wolf is Assistant Professor of Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy and Director of the Political Economy minor at Michigan State University’s James Madison College. Trained in the history of political thought, her research and teaching reflect on questions about the interaction between economics and politics, liberalism, and moral judgment. Each theme relates to a central concern as a scholar: understanding the proper relationship between the individual and society. Dr. Wolf is broadly interested in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, especially the work of the Scottish and French Enlightenment thinkers.

Business Education, Relationships, and Making the World a Better Place

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024

6:00 PM | Baker Center Theater (2nd Floor Baker Center)

Image of Derek K. Yonai

Derek K. Yonai

Derek K. Yonai is the Peter and Sue Freytag Associate Professor of Economics in the School of Business at Flagler College and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

With a focus on the Philosophy of Business and the social aspects of entrepreneurship, Dr. Yonai has led several academic centers including at Campbell University, Florida Southern College, Southern Methodist University, and Emporia State University. His published research discusses the economic role of property rights and the law and his popular writings deal with the importance of economic freedom.

Dr. Yonai earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of California at Irvine and graduated with honors from Whittier College School of Law. Additionally, he earned a Master of Arts in economics and a Ph.D. from George Mason University.

How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth

Monday, 19 February, 2024

6:00 PM | Walter Hall Rotunda

Image of Jared Rubin (Chapman University)

Jared Rubin (Chapman University)

JARED RUBIN is an economic historian interested in the political and religious economies of the Middle East and Western Europe. His research focuses on historical relationships between political and religious institutions and their role in economic development. His book, Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not (Cambridge University Press, 2017) explores the role that Islam and Christianity played in the long-run “reversal of fortunes” between the economies of the Middle East and Western Europe. It was awarded the Douglass North Best Book Award for the best research in institutional and organizational economics published during the previous two years, awarded by the Society of Institutional and Organizational Economics. Rubin’s work has appeared in journals such as Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economics & Statistics, Economic Journal, Management Science and many others. He is the Co-Director of Chapman University’s Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics and Society (IRES) and the President of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture (ASREC). He serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Economic HistoryJournal of Comparative EconomicsExplorations in Economic History and Essays in Economic and Business History. He has been awarded over $1 million in grants from the John Templeton Foundation for his work in the economics of religion. He graduated with a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 2007 and a B.A. from the University of Virginia in 2002.

‘The Science of Man’ and the Problems of the Wealth of Nations: History and Philosophy in the Scottish Enlightenment

Tuesday, 7 November 2023

6:00 PM | Baker Center 240

Image of Andrew Wilkins (GWF Postdoctoral Scholar in History)

Andrew Wilkins (GWF Postdoctoral Scholar in History)

Andrew Wilkins is the George Washington Forum’s Postdoctoral Scholar in History. He specializes in British and Irish Economic History, the emergence of social, economic, and political modernity, empire, industrialization, and the Anthropocene. He holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA from the University of Chicago.

Wilkins will analyze why Smith undertook an Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in Eighteenth Century Scotland. Why did he make, in his words, a “very violent attack…upon the whole commercial system of Great Britain?” Ultimately these concerns were part of a broader attempt to construct a “Science of Man,” a prototypical social science, based upon David Hume’s radical assault upon the whole philosophical system of Europe. To understand those prior questions, Wilkins argues that we must understand that science. This talk seeks to answer the question of what the “Science of Man” was, what was Smith’s goal in constructing it, and how did it relate to the pressing political questions of his day? Only in doing so can not only the Wealth of Nations, but Smith’s wider project, be understood. Moreover, only in doing so can we see how Smith’s context lay at the very core of his work, and what that context means for our readings of Smith today.