The Notre Dame Public Choice Theory Symposium

Conference speakers

Due to uncertainty regarding the ongoing COVID restrictions on interstate travel the Public Choice Theory Symposium will be postponed indefinitely.

  • Geoffrey Brennan

    Australian National University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina  

    Geoffrey Brennan is one of Australia’s leading public choice theorists. He is a professor of political science at Duke University, a professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina and a long standing member of faculty at the Australian National University, where he has held various senior positions in economics and is currently in the philosophy program. From 1978 to 1984 he was a professor at the Public Choice Center, Virginia Tech, where he began an extensive collaboration with the Nobel Laureate, James Buchanan. This collaboration led to The Power to Tax (1980) and The Reason of Rules (1985), and numerous articles of substance. In 2002, he became President of the Public Choice Society, the first non-American to be appointed in the forty year history of the Society. In 2003 he and Loren Lomasky were awarded the American Philosophical Association’s Gregory Kavka Prize in Political Philosophy for their paper “Is There a Duty to Vote?”  His recent books include Economics and Religion: Are They Distinct? (edited 1993) with Anthony Waterman and The Economy of Esteem (2004) with Philip Pettit. In 2013 he was made a distinguished Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia. Geoffrey Brennan was the inaugural Director of the Duke-UNC joint program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), and is currently leading a new Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program at Australian National University.

  • William Coleman

    Australian National University

    William Coleman (BEc Hons Syd: PhD LSE) is a Reader at the School of Economics of the Australian National University, and has written extensively upon inflation, the history of economic thought, and the contested position of economics in society. He is currently the editor of Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform. He co-authored Giblin’s Platoon: The Trials and Triumph of the Economist in Australian Public Life, which won the Bruce McComish Prize for Economic History. His other books include Economics and Its Enemies, The Causes, Costs and Compensations of Inflation and The Political Economy of Wages and Unemployment. He recently edited Only in Australia: The History, Politics and Economics of Australian Exceptionalism and is currently researching a debunking history of Australia’s Federation episode.

  • Keith Dowding

    Australian National University

    Keith Dowding has been Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Political Philosophy at the Australian National University since 2017.  Prior to this, he was Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics before taking up the same position at ANU in 2007.  Professor Dowding has published extensively on political power, freedom, rights, equality, responsibility, explanation in political science, rational choice methods, on the British civil service, prime ministers, ministerial selection and de-selection, attitudes to public service quality, and policy agendas in Australia.  Keith has written many books, his most recent being It’s the Government, Stupid (2020), Economic Perspectives on Government (2019; with Brad Taylor), and Rational Choice and Political Power (2019).  He edited The Journal of Theoretical Politics for 16 years and is the series editor of Routledge Research on Social and Political Elites.  Together with Geofrey Brennan, Keith designed and set up the PPE program at the ANU and was the first convener of that program.  Keith set-up a network of scholars researching the 'Selection and De-selection of Political Elites' (SEDEPE) and holds an ARC Discovery grant examining elite political careers in Australia.  Keith is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and a Fellow of the Human Development and Capabilities Association.

  • Jonathan Pincus

    Adelaide University

    Professor Jonathan Pincus, after gaining degrees from the University of Queensland and Stanford University, held positions at the Australian National University, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and, as Principal Advisor Research, at the Productivity Commission.  He received postgraduate and senior Fulbright scholarships, and held visiting positions with Stanford University, the Centre for the Study of Public Choice (Virginia) and the University of California at Santa Barbara.  His PhD, "A Positive Theory of Tariff Protection Applied to Nineteenth Century United States" (1972), won the Allan Nevins Prize in American Economic History for 1973.  In 2015, he was made a Distinguished Public Policy Fellow by the Economic Society of Australia.  In addition to publishing books such as Pressure Groups and Politics in Antebellum Tariffs (Columbia University Press, 1977) and Government and Capitalism: Public and Private Choice in Twentieth Century Australia (Allen and Unwin, 1982, with N. G. Butlin and A. Barnard), his research has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, Economic Record, Journal of Economic History, Oxford Economic Papers and Journal of Public Economics. He is currently a Visiting Professor of Economics and member of the Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources at Adelaide University.