Political Theory at Brown University: Globalization, Sexuality and Individual Rights, and Lots of Discussion and Hard Thinking

I’m off on Friday to Providence, Rhode Island to give the opening lecture and to lead a workshop at a conference at Brown University on political theory. It’s been organized for students by my old friend Professor John Tomasi (with the Political Theory Project of Brown University) and the Institute for Humane Studies. (Details about the conference are available online.)

My talk on Friday evening will be on “Globalization and Its Discontents” (the theme itself, not the silly book of that name by Joseph Stiglitz) and the workshop I’ll lead on Saturday will be on sexuality and the law, with some focus on the recent decision in the case of Lawrence v. Texas and its implications for such matters as marriage law and the military, as well as the general set of legal and political issues raised by homosexuality.

There should be lots of difficult questions and challenging issues. I’m also looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. One of the great parts of being involved in the world of libertarian (or classical liberal, take your pick) ideas is the ongoing friendships that it has made possible. I had no idea when I went to my first libertarian conferences so long ago that so much personal satisfaction would come from the intellectual connections that would develop, nor how many of those would blossom into deep friendships. (Making new friends through the exchange of ideas is also of inestimable value.)

P.S. I’ll also be speaking in Wichita, Kansas on October 12 as a part of the Founding Fathers Lecture Series of the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy. My topic will be “Human Rights Versus the Welfare State.” Details are available online.