Northwestern Events Calendar


The Rise of Free Market Ideology: An American History

When: Monday, April 17, 2023
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM CT

Where: Scott Hall, Ripton Room 201, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Graduate Students

Contact: Ariel Sowers   (847) 491-7454

Group: Department of Political Science

Category: Academic


Please join the Global Theory Workshop as they host Prof. Alex Zakaras, associate professor at the University of Vermont.

Abstract: The ideal of the free market has shaped American politics for almost two centuries. It has informed not just elite opinion but also popular ideology and national myth. This lecture explores the origins and popularization of free market ideas in the United States. It focuses on the Jacksonian Era (1820-1850), during which the free market became a populist rallying cry directed against big government, big banks, and economic inequality. 

Alex Zakaras is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont. He specializes in political philosophy and the history of political thought. His research interests include American individualism, liberalism and its history, democracy and democratic citizenship, and the political ideas of the nineteenth century. He is the author of The Roots of American Individualism: Political Myth In the Age of Jackson (Princeton University Press, 2022) and Individuality and Mass Democracy: Mill, Emerson, and the Burdens of Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2009). He is also co-editor of J.S. Mill's Political Thought: A Bicentennial Reassessment, published by Cambridge University Press in 2007.

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