George Washington Forum News and Events

GWF Events

Can Speech Be Compelled? The First Amendment and Speech Rights (Constitution Day Lecture)

Monday, 16 September 2019

7:30 PM | Galbreath Chapel (College Green)

Image of William Messenger (National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation)

William Messenger (National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation)

William Messenger is a staff attorney at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. He graduated with a B.B.A. from OHIO in 1997 before earning his J.D. from George Washington University in 2001. He has litigated nearly 100 cases, including over a dozen at the Appellate-level, on behalf of NRWLD Foundation-aided employees and other individuals. His cases defend workers’ freedom from compulsory unionism and focus on the First Amendment and other constitutional rights. He has argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2014, he successfully argued Harris v. Quinn, securing a ruling that requiring homecare providers to pay union fees violated the First Amendment. Four years later, he also briefed and successfully argued Janus v. AFSCME, in which the Supreme Court ruled that non-union government workers cannot be required to pay union fees as a condition of employment. This event receives support from the Jack Miller Center through a grant from the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.

Popular Sovereignty and Populism

15-16 March 2019

8:30 AM–5:30 PM | Baker University Center 240/242

Image of Keith Baker (Stanford), Mark Blitz (Claremont McKenna), Michael Braddick (Sheffield), and Catherine Zuckert (Notre Dame) will deliver plenary lectures

Keith Baker (Stanford), Mark Blitz (Claremont McKenna), Michael Braddick (Sheffield), and Catherine Zuckert (Notre Dame) will deliver plenary lectures

In his Considerations on Representative Government, political theorist John Stuart Mill argues that “the ideally best form of government is that in which the sovereignty, or supreme controlling power in the last resort, is vested in the entire aggregate of the community.” Currently, we live in a moment where some exercises of the people’s power result in what is often called democratic illiberalism. This conference and volume intend to illuminate the concept of popular sovereignty and its related expression, populism. We are especially interested in the crucial continuities and discontinuities in popular sovereignty that emerge when we study critical moments in political history. These include (but are not limited to) the theory and practice of popular sovereignty in the Italian Renaissance; seventeenth-century England; revolutionary and federal America; and revolutionary France.

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What Was Political Economy?

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

7:30 PM | Galbreath Chapel (College Green)

Image of Jason Peacey (University College, London)

Jason Peacey (University College, London)

Jason Peacey is Professor of Early Modern British History at University College, London. He received his PhD from Cambridge University and before coming to UCL, he was a research fellow at the History of Parliament Trust. His publications include Politicians and Pamphleteers: Propaganda during the English Civil Wars and Interregnum (2004) and Print and Public Politics in the English Revolution (2013), in addition to three edited books and dozens of articles and book chapters. He is currently working on print culture in seventeenth-century Europe. This event receives support from the Jack Miller Center through a grant from the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.

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Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics and American Economics in the Progressive Era

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

7:30 PM | Galbreath Chapel (College Green)

Image of Thomas C. Leonard (Princeton)

Thomas C. Leonard (Princeton)

Thomas C. Leonard is Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University and Lecturer in the Department of Economics, which has twice awarded him the Richard D. Quandt Prize for outstanding teaching. His book, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics and American Economics in the Progressive Era (2016), won the 2017 Joseph J. Spengler Best Book Prize from the History of Economics Society. This event receives support from the Jack Miller Center through a grant from the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.

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A Worker’s Party or a White Party?: Conservative Populism Under and After Trump

Thursday, 6 December 2018

7:30 PM | Galbreath Chapel (College Green)

Image of Ross Douthat (The New York Times)

Ross Douthat (The New York Times)

Ross Douthat has written a twice-weekly opinion column for The New York Times since 2009. Before joining the Times, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic. A graduate of Harvard, he is the author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (2012); Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (2005); and, with Reihan Salam, Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (2008). His latest book is To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism (2018). This event receives support from the Jack Miller Center through a grant from the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.

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