They Never Walked Alone

Workshop, Seminars, Conferences and the Making of Virginia Political Economy

Originally published in Revue d'économie politique

The purpose of this paper is to study the organization of inquiry at two centers that played a crucial role in the creation, emergence and development of the Virginia School of Political Economy (VPE): the Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy and Social Philosophy (University of Virginia) and the Center for the Study of Public Choice (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and then George Mason University). We analyze the role played by workhops, seminars and conferences. We provide new historical evidence compared to the previous stories that have been told in regards to workshops and seminars, that have been less studied, and include conferences that were overlooked. We also insist on the role of James Buchanan, the ideas of whom cannot be dissociated from VPE. A story about VPE can hardly be a story without Buchanan.

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