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Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process

The Initiative for Public Choice & Market Process is funded by BB&T and the Koch Foundation and is designed to examine and stimulate discussion of the following topics:

  • The role of government institutions in a capitalistic society
  • The relationship between government and the individual
  • The relationship between political and economic freedom
  • The moral structure of a free market economy

The success of the Initiative for Public Choice & Market Process depends on the support of foundations and private individuals who share its commitment to advancing the understanding and appreciation of the system of free minds and free markets. We are deeply grateful to all who support our venture.

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Upcoming Events in Spring 2015

Adam Smith Week, March 16-20 (full schedule)

Adam Smith Week flyer

Tyranny of Experts

Economics Book Colloquium

Interested in contemporary writing in economics? Join the Economics Book Colloquium. Each semester the Initiative sponsors the Economics Book Colloquium, bringing together students and faculty to discuss interesting contemporary writing in economics. In Spring 2015, the colloquium book is The Tyranny of Experts: Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly. 

Economics and Policy Roundtable

discussion of drug legalization

Student-led topics and student-led informal discussion and debate. If you are interested in an open and informal discussion of current events, join Economics and Policy Roundtable. Diverse perspectives and opinions are welcomed and encouraged. Sponsored by the Economics Department and Omicron Delta Epsilon. You can attend one discussion or all of them. RSVP to Prof. Doug Walker ( prior to each discussion session. Space is limited to 15 students. Check out the list of topics, dates, and readings on Prof. Walker's website.

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

The Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process would like to offer a complementary copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged to interested students of College of Charleston. This classic novel, written in 1957, discusses “the virtue of selfishness” exploring the right of individuals to live for their self-interest. The book’s provocative argument has been criticized by both left and right intellectuals but it had a tremendous influence on generations of business executives. 

Contact Dr. Peter Calcagno ( to get a free copy of Atlas Shrugged. Free copies of Atlas Shrugged are available to the College of Charleston students as a result of the Initiative’s funding from BB&T.

Recent Events

Weekend Exploring Liberty

On February 16, Terry Anker, an entrepreneur and the Chairman of The Anker Consulting Group, visited the College of Charleston to meet with students and give a public lecture, as part of BB&T speaker series. Terry Anker discussed the use of the acute thinking skills developed during a classical liberal education, the tenets that are central to success evolving from this tradition, and the limitations inure to it.  The presentation focused on connecting effective leadership and success in entrepreneurship to deployment of the liberal arts. Mr. Anker advises small businesses in Indiana on the acquisition of capital from public and private sources. 

On February 6-7, IPCMP and the Institute for Humane Studies co-sponsored the Weekend Exploring Liberty. The program, titled "Government, Markets, and Liberty," explored the historic, economic, and philosophical foundations of a free society and how such principles apply to contemporary issues. 

The Night the Wall fell and Germany rocked! A 25th anniversary commemoration of the Fall of Berlin Wall

On November 15, 2014, the Initiative co-hosted the roundtable discussion commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This exciting event was co-sponsored by the Department of German and Slavic Studies, the Global Business Resource Center, the Global Awareness Forum, and the Initiative for Public Choice and Marketing Process. The panel featured the following speakers: Wolfgang Elfe, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of German, University of South Carolina, Richard Bodek, Professor of History and Coordinator of the Faculty Liberal Arts & Sciences Colloquium, Rene Dentiste Mueller, Professor and Director of the International Business Program, Malte Pehl, Assistant Professor, International Studies Department. Peter Calcagno modertated the roundtable discussion and Max Kovalov discussed the Soviet reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall.  

You're So Money: Literary and Economic Seductions

On November 5, the Initiaitive hosted Sarah Skire who discussed Shakespear's poetry through the prism of modern economics, exchange, and commerce. Sarah Skwire is a Fellow at Liberty Fund and the author of the college writing textbook Writing with a Thesis. She has published academic articles on topics as diverse as Shakespeare and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and her writing has appeared in such diverse journals as Literature and Medicine, The George Herbert Journal, and The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. 

The Role of Business Leaders in Preserving a Free Society 

On October 7, John Cerasuolo gave a presentation about the role of business leaders in preserving a free society, as part of the BB&T Free Market Process Speaker Series. John Cerasuolo is the chairman of the Beacon Center of Tennessee. He serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of ADS Security, which is the 25th largest security firm in the United States and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee serving the southeastern United States.

Political Consequences of Islam's Economic Legacy 

On September 30th, the Initiative hosted Timur Kuran who gave a public presentation discussing political consequences of Islam's economic legacy. Timur Kuran is a Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His research focuses on (1) social change, including the evolution of preferences and institutions, and (2) the economic history and thought of the Middle East.

2013-2014 Annual Report

Take a look at the Annual Report 2013-14 showcasing events organized by the Initiative. In 2013-14, we hosted over twenty events with over 1,000 total participants. We refined and refocused our activities concentrating on our three main programing areas: the BB&T Free Market Process Speaker Series, student development, and faculty development. This year we welcomed an additional sponsor to the program the Apgar Foundation. The Apgar Foundation awarded IPCMP $25,000 for this academic year.

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