Libertarianism Wiki
512px-Institute for Humane Studies Logo.svg.png

Hazel Hall, home of the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies on the George Mason University Arlington campus. Photo by B. Piereck. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Institute for Humane Studies
Institute for Humane Studies logo
Founder(s) F.A. Harper[1][2][3]
Type 501(c)(3) public charity[4]
Tax ID No. 941623852[4][5]
Founded 1961 (1961)[1][2][3]
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia[5][4]
Key people President Marty Zupan[5]
Area served United States
Focus Civil society, civic engagement and social entrepreneurship[5][1]
Mission Peace, prosperity, and social harmony from a greater understanding of human affairs[5][1]
Method Research and education[5][1]
Revenue $9,162,372 (2011)[5]
Website Template:URL

The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) is a libertarian[1][2] non-profit organization[4] that offers educational[5][6][7][8][9] and career[5][2][10][11][12][13] programs. The educational programs include seminars[14][15] for university students, awarding scholarships[16][17][18][19] to undergraduate and graduate students, an interactive website[20] based on a multi-axis model of political thought, and an archive[21][22][23] of recorded lectures. The career assistance programs include paid internships[2][14][19][24] for students and recent graduates, recognition[10][12][13] of alumni accomplishments, and a networking website[11] for classical liberal academics.

Founded by F.A. "Baldy" Harper in 1961[1][2][3], the organization later began an association with George Mason University[25] and in 1985[2][26] moved to Fairfax, Virginia. The institute is currently located in Hazel Hall on the Arlington[2][25][27] campus of George Mason University.


The Institute for Humane Studies was founded in 1961 in Menlo Park, California by F.A. Harper in order to promote peace, prosperity, and social harmony by fostering a greater understanding of human affairs and freedom.[1][2][3] [5][6][7][8][28] Initially serving as the secretary and treasurer, Harper became the Institute's president in 1966, a position he held until his death in 1973.[3][29] Following Harper in the role of president were Louis M. Spadaro and Leonard Liggio, who served as president from 1980 to 1989. [30] From 1998 to 2000 Stanford graduate David C. Nott, now with the Reason Foundation, led the organization as president.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many The current president Marty Zupan, a former editor of Reason magazine, was appointed in 2001, after serving as vice-president since 1989.[31]

After beginning an association with George Mason University, Liggio, Walter Grinder, and John Blundell moved the institute to Fairfax, Virginia in 1985.[2][26] The organization is currently located in Hazel Hall on the George Mason University Arlington campus, along with sister organization the Mercatus Center.[2][25][27]

Organization and funding[]

The institute is governed by a board of directors, currently chaired by Charles G. Koch.[32] The other members of the board of directors are John Blundell, Richard H. Fink, Jerome Fullinwider, Timothy Otis Browne, Tyler Cowen, Art Pope, David Humphreys, Eric O'Keefe, Todd Zywicki, William Sumner, Kristina Kendall, and Craig Johnson.[33]

IHS has received funding from a number of foundations, including the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Koch Family Foundations, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.[34][2] In March 2012, in the midst of a legal dispute between Charles Koch and the Cato Institute that caused renewed scrutiny of Koch's political philanthropy, IHS's chief financial officer told the New York Times that Koch is "a longtime and generous supporter of ours, but we’re not involved as a political organization."[35]

In 2011, Rand Paul signed a 10-page fundraising letter seeking gifts for the institute's Learn Liberty project.[36]



File:Aristotle's Error.jpg

John Hasnas lecturing at Towson University.

Each summer, IHS runs a series of free, week-long summer seminars for university students from around the world. Seminars are interdisciplinary and include lectures on history, economics, philosophy, law, and political science.[37][38][2] Seminar themes include the value of property rights, limited government, peace, natural rights, free trade, individual autonomy, and free markets.[14][15] There are introductory and advanced seminars, as well as seminars geared toward students planning careers in public policy, academia, and journalism.[37][38][2] IHS also runs weekend on-campus seminars during the academic year.[2] IHS and Liberty Fund co-sponsor the Advanced Topics in Liberty program, which is an invitation-only, discussion-based weekend conference series.[39] For graduate students pursuing academic careers, IHS sponsors invitation-only Career Development Seminars designed to help students "land a job in academia, gain tenure, and contribute to the academic and intellectual conversation."[2]


Through its Humane Studies Fellowship program, IHS awards scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students embarking on "liberty-advancing careers in ideas."[28][16][17][18][19] Each summer, through the Summer Graduate Research Fellowship, IHS gives $5,000 stipends to young academics "to refine and complete a publishable scholarly article or thesis chapter that engages ideas within the classical liberal tradition."[16][17][18][19]

In the Daily Caller, Matthew Zwolinski wrote that IHS trains professors to expose students to libertarian ideas: "[IHS] mentors graduate students through the process of finishing their classes and writing their dissertations. And it helps them find jobs. In the 50 years of its existence, IHS has put over 1,200 professors into classrooms across the country where they teach over a quarter of a million students each year. And those students are exposed to libertarian ideas not just in a 30-second advertisement or debate answer, but for an entire semester, rigorously and in depth."[40]

Online projects[]

Template:Annotated image In 2010, IHS launched, a website providing educational videos on libertarian ideas.[21][22][23] The site's stated goals are “to provide a starting point for conversations on important questions: What is the nature of man and society? What are the best ways to organize human society? What is the proper role for government?” Notable guest lecturers featured on LearnLiberty include David Schmidtz of the University of Arizona and Jeffrey Miron of Harvard University.[41]

IHS also operates, an educational interactive website based on the Nolan Chart.[20] Through a series of questions, the website places participants on a four-sided political map. Its purpose is to help individuals conceptualize political views.[20]

IHS maintains, a networking website for classical liberal academics.[11] The site's goal is to "provide career advice and intellectual resources for liberty advancing academics." The term "kosmos" comes from Friedrich Hayek's use of the term in Law, Legislation and Liberty.[42]


File:Koch Summer Fellows Waiting for the Train.jpg

Koch Summer Fellows waiting for a subway train

Each summer, IHS runs the Charles Koch Summer Fellow Program. The program runs for 10 weeks, and includes a paid public policy internship with two career and policy seminars. Fellows are placed at one of 80 partner think tanks and policy organizations across the United States.[2][19][24] IHS also runs a year-round journalism internship program that places aspiring journalists who support individual liberty, free markets, and peace at media companies and non-profit newsrooms.[14]

Alum award[]

Each year, IHS awards an alumnus of its programs with the Charles G. Koch Outstanding IHS Alum Award. The award is given in recognition of "significant contributions to advancing liberty."[12] Past award winners include libertarian legal theorist and law professor Randy Barnett; Kris Mauren, co-founder of the Acton Institute; law professor Todd Zywicki; Kristina Kendall, executive producer for John Stossel; political science professor John Tomasi; Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice; economist Peter Boettke; John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; and David Schmidtz, a professor of philosophy and economics.[13][12][10]


  • Wilcox, Derk Arend (2000). The Right Guide: A Guide to Conservative, Free-Market, and Right-of-Center Organizations. Ann Arbor, MI: Economics America, Inc.. pp. 455. ISBN 978-0-914169-06-2.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Rothbard, Murray N (August 17, 2007). "Floyd Arthur 'Baldy' Harper, RIP". Mises Daily Index (Auburn, Alabama). Retrieved December 29, 2011. Quote: "and he moved to transfer the bulk of the Volker funds to a new Institute for Humane Studies, which would expand the Volker concept and would provide a permanent home for libertarian fellowships, scholarship, conferences, and publications."
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Huebert, Jacob H (2010). Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-313-37754-9. Quote: "The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), founded by F.A. Harper in 1961 to promote libertarian scholarship..."
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Poirot, Paul L (August 1979). "The Writings of F. A. Harper". The Freeman 29 (8).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Template:Cite report
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 "Institute for Humane Studies". Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hamowy, Ronald (Aug 15, 2008). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE. pp. 217,443. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Convissor, Kate (August 1999). "The Acton Institute: Of Morality & the Marketplace". Grand Rapids Magazine (Grand Rapids, Michigan): pp. 36–37.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Block, Walter (2010). I Chose Liberty: Autobiographies of Contemporary Libertarians. Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute. p. 429. ISBN 978-1-61016-002-5.
  9. Kaplan, Benjamin R (2003). The Scholarship Scouting Report: An Insider's Guide to America's Best Scholarships. New York: HarperResource. p. 357. ISBN 978-0-06-093654-9.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "IJ Attorney Scott Bullock Wins Koch Award". Liberty & Law 15 (4). August 2006.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Zywicki, Todd (November 8, 2010). "Podcast at Kosmos Online". Volokh Conspiracy (Los Angeles). Retrieved January 05, 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Martens, Pam (SEPTEMBER 12, 2011). "The Koch Whisperers". CounterPunch (Petrolia, California). Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Template:Cite conference
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "2012 IHS Graduate Summer Seminars". Ohio University. E. W. Scripps School of Journalism. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Student Opportunities". eResources. State Policy Network. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Institute for Humane Studies". Brigham Young University. Office of Prestigious Scholarships & Fellowships. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Institute for Humane Studies". Syracuse University. Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Institute for Humane Studies". Lehigh University. Office of Financial Aid. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 "Institute for Humane Studies". Duke University. Office of Funding Opportunities. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Mitchell, Brian Patrick (2007). Eight Ways to Run the Country: A New and Revealing Look at Left and Right. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-275-99358-0.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Carden, Art (Aug 25, 2011). "The Earthquake Wasn't Good for the Economy. Hurricane Irene Won't Be, Either". Forbes (New York). Retrieved January 05, 2012.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Foley, Devin (March 1, 2011). " Launches!". Intellectual Takeout (Minneapolis, Minnesota). Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Kerr,Orin (June 29, 2011). " Launches!". The Volokh Conspiracy (Los Angeles). Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Internships". News. Empire Center for New York State Policy. November 21, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Bogardus, Kevin (July 15, 2004). "Koch's low profile belies political power". Center for Public Integrity's iwatch news (Washington, DC).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Blundell, John (2003). Waging the War of Ideas. Institute of Economic Affairs. ISBN 978-0-255-36547-5.
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Jobs". Philanthropy News Digest (New York). June 7, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Gladstein, Mimi Reisel; John Meadowcroft (2009-11-19). Ayn Rand. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8264-4513-1.
  29. The Writings of F. A. Harper, Volume 1: The Major Works The Writings of F. A. Harper, Volume 1: The Major Works, 1978
  30. Rothbard, Murray Newton; Hans-Hermann Hoppe (2003-02). The Ethics of Liberty. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-7559-2.
  31. Miller, Fred (Aug 1, 1983). Out of the Mouths of Babes: The Infant Formula Controversy. Piscataway, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-912051-01-7.
  32. "Institute for Humane Studies". What We Do. Greenpeace. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  33. "Institute for Humane Studies". Retrieved 2011-11-21.
  34. "Recipient: Institute for Humane Studies". American Bridge 21st Century Foundation. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  35. "Cato Institute Is Caught in a Rift Over Its Direction". New York Times. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  36. "Rand Paul raising funds for arm of George Mason". WTOP. 9-23-2011. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Frohnen, Bruce; Jeremy Beer, Jeffrey O. Nelson (2006). American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. ISI Books. ISBN 978-1-932236-43-9.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Guard, David (February 27, 2007). "Call to SSDPers: Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) Summer Seminars". In the Trenches (Washington, DC). Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  39. "Institute for Humane Studies". Campbell University. College Central Network Services. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  40. "Libertarians: Stop worrying about Ron Paul". Daily Caller. January 12, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  41. Graves, Zachary (August 23, 2011). "Top 3 Common Myths of Capitalism". Cato @ Liberty (Washington, DC). Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  42. Hayek, F A (1982). Law, Legislation and Liberty: A New Statement of the Liberal Principles of Justice and Political Economy. London: Routledge. p. 191. ISBN 0-7100-9211-3.

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