2018 Hudson Institute Political Studies Fellowship

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Hudson Institute Political Studies Summer Fellowship


The Hudson Institute is now accepting applications and nominations for its 2018 Summer Fellowships. College students and recent college graduates are welcome to apply. All accepted students will receive complimentary housing and a stipend of $3000.

Application Deadline: February 12, 2018.

Located in Washington, DC, Hudson Institute Political Studies offers a fellowship in political theory and practice to outstanding undergraduates that will broaden and deepen their understanding of public policy and American political principles. It combines the rigorous study of politics and political thought in a seminar setting, with policy workshops led by think tank scholars and experienced government officials, and also a distinguished speaker series of exemplary figures from public life.

>>Click here to learn more.


Seminars from 2017

These rigorous seminars led by master teachers on week-long topics in political theory and public policy form the core of the program. Following careful reading of classic texts in political thought and policy analyses on selected topics, students engage in serious discussions every weekday morning for three hours.

Political Foundings with Timothy W. Burns

Political philosophy is, fundamentally, a discussion about the best regime. Therefore we begin with an investigation into political foundings. We read two dramatically different texts —one that takes as its bearing man’s inclination to act malevolently, and another that attempts to found a city in a quest to understand justice. Reading The Prince, we inquire into Machiavelli’s innovations, and ask if his political science looks similar to our own. We also begin Plato’s Republic, which we will read throughout the program, to see  what is needed to form a just city.

The American Founding with James W. Ceaser, A JMC board member

Having discussed political foundings broadly in the first week’s seminar, we turn to a particular founding. We read America’s key founding documents, and consider—in comparison with Machiavelli’s teachings and Socratic philosophy—the political justifications made by the Founders of the regime that promises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We examine whether the American regime at its founding was informed by an understanding of justice, both for individuals and the political community, or whether the Founders were more concerned with uniting a multiplicity of “particular interests” into a stable and strong country.

The Ideal Republic with Bryan Garsten

We return to Plato’s Republic, an assessment of the American regime in hand, for a fuller evaluation of theoretical justice, as Socrates brings it to life. We look at this city’s founding, taking note of how the city is constituted, who populates it, and for what purpose it exists. Discussion focuses on whether the just city is in fact just, and whether such a city requires just citizens, or even allows them to be just. We further assess whether these citizens are actually happy, a topic not at all unimportant for the regime that gives the people a say in its governance.

The American Refounding with Robert K. Faulkner

Machiavelli proposed the necessity of re-founding political regimes—as a means of putting off the inevitable death which comes to all things. We examine America’s near death—the nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” but crippled by the original sin of slavery, which precipitated a great Civil War. We look closely at the leadership of Abraham Lincoln and inquire into the re-founding of America achieved through Emancipation—was it even a re-founding or instead a second American Revolution? Did Lincoln achieve the full promise of America’s founding ideals?

American Public Policy with Yuval Levin and Michael Doran

We examine both  American domestic and foreign policy with a view to discussing America’s most pressing problems.

Our domestic policy section looks at democratic capitalism, with a view to understanding its theoretical underpinnings and its current effects of the economy and culture of the United States.

Our foreign policy section looks at American policy in Middle East, with a focus on the policy implications of different worldviews, and the different options the American president has in addressing the Iranian nuclear program. We also engage in a policy simulation at the end of the week. Students are assigned a point of view or office such as Secretary of State or member of the Armed Services Committee, as well as a scenario to which they must respond. On Friday, they present their recommendations, debate, and decide on a course of action.

Politics and Wisdom with Frank N. Pagano and Janet A. Dougherty

No consideration of politics, republican or otherwise, can be complete without an examination of the limits of politics and a serious consideration of those aspects of human life which conflict with or offer alternatives to the political life. In this, the last week of the program, we examine foundings in relation to religion and literature, and consider the possibility that the best regime is one not realizable on earth, but rather imagined, or created, by a divine being. We further consider how religion and literature, which one might say are not overtly political, inform human life in this world and the next.



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