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What human beings are capable of when free to direct their own lives and pursue their unique ends is awe-inspiring.

Freedom allows people to build lives of meaning and purpose, and is an essential component of human flourishing. In turn, the freedom to explore, create, and innovate are what drives human progress, creating prosperous communities and healthy societies.

The Individual Freedom & Free Markets Funding Area supports education, research, and outreach projects to promote individual freedom, free markets, free competition, and entrepreneurship. Grounded in the ideas of classical liberal political economy and with a commitment to the moral equality of all human beings, we seek and develop projects that aim to advance freedom, widespread prosperity, and human flourishing for all. Whether by academic research, instruction, public outreach, or supporting debate on public policy, our grants contribute toward making the world more just, more prosperous, and more conducive to human flourishing.

We welcome projects on any of the above topics, but we are especially interested in projects that could contribute to one of the following themes.

1.) Projects advancing current research in and scholarly engagement with the classical liberal tradition (and fields related to political economy and Politics, Philosophy & Economics), building on the work of figures such as Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek. We are especially interested in projects that bring together scholars from diverse disciplinary and ideological backgrounds and that engage with the strongest challenges to liberalism, such as those related to inequality and economic dynamism.

2.) Projects that bring greater attention to the important role of basic political freedoms and explore how those rights are effectively maintained in pluralist societies. We seek a better understanding of the institutional environments most conducive to free and flourishing societies, and we welcome projects with a particular emphasis on free expression, free press, religious liberty, and equality before the law.

3.) Projects that explore market and enterprise-based solutions to poverty (domestically in the U.S. and internationally). We seek projects that help improve our understanding of how markets can help the most vulnerable and marginalized communities, including projects that study entrepreneurship, identify and remove barriers to enterprise, strengthen property rights, improve the ease of doing business, address the role of business in a good society, and promote principled entrepreneurship.

Individual Freedom & Free Markets

Featured Grants

Project Leader(s): Chris Surprenant
Grantee(s): University of New Orleans
Project Leader(s): Jennifer Thompson
Grantee(s): State Policy Network
Project Leader(s): Roberto González, Michelle Gulino
Grantee(s): Human Rights Foundation
Project Leader(s): Jacob Mchangama
Grantee(s): Justitia
Project Leader(s): Jennifer Murtazashvili, Paul Aligica
Grantee(s): University of Pittsburgh
Project Leader(s): Bas van der Vossen
Grantee(s): Chapman University