Texas Tech University

McLane Teammates Reading Program

The Role of Government in a Free Society


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The theme for the fall 2018 program was The Role of Government in a Free Society. Participants discussed works that examine the rationales that economics textbooks often provide for the existence of government (public goods and externalities). Participants will also explored arguments and engage debates that have been advanced by political philosophers. Finally, participants considered the recommendations of public policy experts on specific functions of government.

The readings and discussions addressed a range of questions focused on the legitimate role(s) of government and how processes of collective decision-making impact the formation of both institutions and public policies aimed at resolving those questions and debates.

In October 2018, participants attended a summit hosted at Southern Methodist University (SMU) with participants from the programs at SMU, Baylor University, and the University of Central Arkansas. The summit featured formal remarks from Dr. Michael Munger on the question of whether democracy is overrated. In his remarks, Dr. Munger explored many of the seminal contributions by political philosophers and social scientists to our knowledge of how democratic institutions are formed, evolve and perform over time. Participants also engaged in interactive discussion groups on issues related to the program theme of the role of government in a free society.

The schedule of readings and topics of discussion for the fall 2018 McLane Teammates Reading Program can be found at the following link:

McLane Teammates Reading Program — Fall 2018 Reading List

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More general information about the program and application process can be found on the FMI Student Programs page.