Mainline Political Economy Fellowship

In 2021, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University launched a new program for Congressional staff, the Mainline Political Economy Fellowship.

In this competitive program, a select, bipartisan group of public policy leaders will be invited to join Mercatus Center scholars for several gatherings, spaced out over a few months. They will discuss classic and contemporary readings, current debates, and the ways in which economic ideas can shed light on the most pressing public policy problems. 

Over good food and company, fellows will debate the ideas of the mainline tradition of political economy that runs from Adam Smith and David Hume to F.A. Hayek and Elinor Ostrom. Our discussions will touch on a range of topics from regulation and industrial policy to trade and immigration, and will go deeper than the shallow political fights and social media debates that have come to dominate public discourse in recent years.  

We are looking for bright staffers eager to constructively engage with ideas and expand their ability to thoughtfully deliberate on policy issues. Participants will walk away with strong connections to a wide variety of thinkers, a better grounding in mainline political economy, and a stronger ability to apply academic research to real-world problems. 

Fellows will be assigned readings before each session and are expected to come prepared to discuss the material. 

If you are interested in graduate-level engagement with important ideas but don’t have the time to go to graduate school, we encourage you to apply. The program has been designed to comply with House and Senate ethics rules.

The application period for the Summer 2022 cohort has closed; however, if you would like to know more about the curriculum or have any additional questions, please contact Jessica Paska at [email protected].