ACRE Colloquia

The ACRE annual colloquium brings together students and faculty from universities across Arkansas to talk about a variety of readings and topics related to ACRE’s mission. Some past topics have included “The Political Economy of Special Interest Groups” and “The Morality of Profit.”

Fall 2019 Colloquium

“Free Enterprise & Socialism: What Ends by What Means”

November 8-10, 2019

For ACRE’s Fall 2019 colloquium, the theme was “Free Enterprise & Socialism: What Ends by What Means”. The readings focused on the goals of those who promote socialism and free markets and their successes and failures at reaching those goals. We read and discussed several works:

  • G. A. Cohen’s Why Not Socialism?
  • Anne Applebaum’s Gulag: A History
  • Hans Rosling’s Factfulness

We also read and discussed an additional selection of short articles. And we watched and discussed Wolfgang Becker’s 2003 German tragicomedy film Goodbye, Lenin. The event was co-directed by ACRE Assistant Director Christy Horpedahl and Dr. Marcus Witcher, ACRE’s Scholar in Residence in the UCA History Department.

Spring 2017 Colloquium

“Political Ignorance in a Democracy: Consequences and Antidotes”
March 30 – April 2, 2017

For ACRE’s fourth annual colloquium, the event’s theme was “Political Ignorance in A Democracy: Consequences and Antidotes.” Twenty seven students and fourteen faculty from eight universities came to read and discuss Ilya Somin’s Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Small Government is Smarter as well as additional articles. Participants learned about the status of political knowledge in Arkansas among college students and the general public as well as focusing on policy issues that economists generally agree on like the benefits of free trade and problems with subsidies.

Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, was able to attended the entire event and made himself available for students and faculty to question and challenge his ideas. He also gave the keynote address on recognizing political ignorance, the concept of “rational ignorance,” and on “foot voting.”

Participants at the fourth annual ACRE Colloquium.

Professor Ilya Somin gave a keynote address on rational ignorance and foot voting.

Students and faculty from across the state of Arkansas came together to discuss the status of political and economic knowledge in Arkansas.