Featured Events

February 3

Will President Trump Threaten Free Speech?

Will President Trump Threaten Free Speech?

During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump promised to “open up” libel laws to make it easier to sue news organizations. He also criticized political donors for fostering corruption and misrule. Later, as president-elect, Trump criticized First Amendment protections accorded to flag burning. His critics say these statements indicate President Trump may seriously undermine free speech. His defenders doubt that, and note that Trump has actually fought censorship by confronting political correctness. He has also pioneered using social media to campaign and, in all likelihood, to govern. Finally, apart from his own actions, President Trump will nominate new members of the U.S. Supreme Court, the final arbiter in First Amendment cases. Will President Trump be good or bad for free speech? Please join us as three First Amendment experts assess what’s to come.

February 15

Islamic Liberalism: Real or False Hope?

Islamic Liberalism: Real or False Hope?

Predominantly Muslim societies suffer from low levels of political, economic, and civil liberties. Authoritarian political regimes, rigid social structures, and radical religious movements that suppress human liberty in the name of God loom large in the Muslim world. Is this liberty deficit due to a “dark age” of Islam, which can be overcome with reform and a different religious interpretation? Can Islam make its peace with liberal democracy, as Christianity and other religions did after their own illiberal ages? Or is there something different about Islam, making it inherently incompatible with a secular government and a free society? Mustafa Akyol, a longtime defender of “Islamic liberalism,” is optimistic. Shadi Hamid is more pessimistic, arguing that Islam is “exceptional,” in the sense of being essentially resistant to liberalism. Please join us for this timely and provocative debate.

January 25

Populism and Nationalism in the Trump Era

Populism and Nationalism in the Trump Era

The 2016 election saw new arguments over the old ideas of populism and nationalism. Both had seemed doomed in this new era of technocracy and globalization. New research from Democracy Fund Voice examines how populism, nationalism, and immigration affected the 2016 election. Many voters who strongly favored Donald Trump feel alienated from government, community, and a changed and changing America. What are the implications of these frustrations and fears for the Trump administration and its critics? Do the new populism and nationalism bode well or ill for the preservation of a free society?

Please join us for an intriguing look at the 2016 electorate and the implications of populism and nationalism for public policy and future debates.

Panel 1 : Populism and Nationalism in America: Understanding the Electorate

  • Mindy Finn, Advisor, Democracy Fund Voice
  • Alex Lundry, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist, Deep Root Analytics
  • Lisa Dropkin, Principal, Edge Research
  • Patrick Ruffini, Co-Founder Echelon Insights
  • Emily Ekins, Research Fellow, Cato Institute

Panel 2 : Policy Implications of the New Populism

  • Ruy Teixeira, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
  • Robert P. Jones, CEO, Public Religion Research Institute
  • Henry Olsen, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Meira Neggaz, Executive Director, ISPU
  • Alex Nowrasteh, Research Fellow, Cato Institute

Past Events

February 16

Cato Handbook for Policymakers: Capitol Hill Launch

Cato Handbook for Policymakers: Capitol Hill Launch

Opening remarks by Jim Jordan (R-OH-4), United States Congressman; and Justin Amash (R-MI-3), United States Congressman. Featuring David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute; Chris Edwards, Director, Tax Policy Studies, Editor, www.DownsizingGovernment.org, Cato Institute; Dan Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and David Bier, Immigration Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; moderated by Peter Russo, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute.

February 15

Islamic Liberalism: Real or False Hope?

Islamic Liberalism: Real or False Hope?

Featuring Mustafa Akyol, Author, Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty (W. W. Norton and Company, 2011), Visiting Senior Fellow, The Freedom Project, Wellesley College; and Shadi Hamid, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Author, Islamic Exceptionalism; moderated by Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

February 15

Stingrays: A New Frontier in Police Surveillance

Stingrays: A New Frontier in Police Surveillance - Panel 1

Featuring Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; Jonathan Rudenberg, co-founder, Flynn; Laura Moy, Deputy Director, Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown University Law School; Neema Singh Guliani, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union; Adam Bates, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; moderated by Julian Sanchez, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.

February 3

Will President Trump Threaten Free Speech?

Will President Trump Threaten Free Speech?

Featuring Flemming Rose, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Robert Corn-Revere, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; and Francis H. Buckley, Foundation Professor, George Mason University’s Scalia School of Law; author of The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America and columnist, New York Post; moderated by John Samples, Vice President and Publisher, Cato Institute.