The Rise of the Administrative State

March 21, 2020
Pittsburgh, PA
2 p.m.

About the Conference

However many disagreements the Founders had about American government, most of them could agree on one thing: whatever form and scope of the young nation’s government, it should be limited. 

American government today is very different from what it was then. At this conference, you’ll get to observe the growth of government from multiple angles to discover why.

Join brilliant undergraduate students and faculty as we explore the rise of the administrative state from historical, philosophical, and legal perspectives. Speakers include philosophers, a lawyer who has been fighting the growth of government from the inside, a historian, and a legal scholar! 

Talks and conversation will cover:

  • The history of government takeover that no one talks about
  • The dichotomy between progressivism and government 
  • How we can promote freedom and advance the Founding Fathers’s vision for limited government

At this conference, you’ll:

  • grasp philosophical, historical, and legal perspectives on the increase of government in America
  • learn what we can do to promote ordered freedom in our time 
  • have intelligent conversation with great people
  • come away with a deeper perspective 

In an era when most conversations about the nature of government can be superficial, this free conference is a rare opportunity for you to gain perspective, grasp complex topics, and have intelligent conversations with great people. 

This conference is going online—and you’re invited to join! Register for your spot now. 

Talk Titles

“How Busybodies Became Busybullies and What that Means for Economics and Politics” 

Antony Davies & James Harrigan 

“How to Make Congress Great Again” 

William Yeatman

“The Administrative State and the American Regime”

Brad Watson

“How to Implement Reform: A Practical Primer”

Anthony P. Campau

What students are saying

“My time spent at ISI conferences has been the best part of my undergraduate experience.”
- Melissa H., Lee University
“I learned more about America and the issues that concern its traditions and existence during an ISI conference than from an entire semester at college.”
- Sam F., The University of Rhode Island


Antony Davies
Antony Davies (Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow, FEE)

Dr. Antony Davies is the Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at FEE, associate professor of economics at Duquesne University, and co-host of the podcast, Words & Numbers. Dr. Davies authors monthly columns on economics and public policy for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has written a book on understanding statistics, published by the Cato Institute, and has co-authored hundreds of op-eds for, among others, the Wall Street JournalLos Angeles Times, and Washington Post

His YouTube videos on economics, government, and policy have garnered millions of views. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Davies was Associate Producer at the Moving Pictures Institute, Chief Financial Officer at Parabon Computation, founded several technology companies, and is co-founder and Chief Academic Officer at FreedomTrust, where he lectures on economics for high school students across the country.

James R. Harrigan
James R. Harrigan (Managing Director, Center for Philosophy of Freedom)

James R. Harrigan is Managing Director of the Center for Philosophy of Freedom at the University of Arizona, and the F.A. Hayek Distinguished Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also co-host of the Words & Numbers podcast. Dr. Harrigan was previously Dean of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, and later served as Director of Academic Programs at the Institute for Humane Studies and Strata, where he was also Senior Research Fellow. He has written extensively for the popular press, with articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and a host of other outlets. His current work focuses on the intersections between political economy, public policy, and political philosophy.

William Yeatman
William Yeatman (Research Fellow, Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies)

William Yeatman is a research fellow in the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, where he works on administrative law, constitutional structure, and regulatory reform. His work has appeared in academic journals like the Georgetown Law Journal and Appalachian Natural Resources Law Journal.

Yeatman has testified many times before Congress and state legislatures, and he is a frequent contributor to major media outlets. He writes a monthly column on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at Notice & Comment, a blog maintained by the Yale Journal on Regulation, and his popular writing has appeared in the Wall Street JournalForeign PolicyBloomberg, and elsewhere.

Before joining Cato, he specialized in environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. From 2004 to 2006, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Yeatman holds a BA in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia, an MA in international studies from the Denver University Graduate School of International Studies, and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. 

Brad Watson
Brad Watson (Professor of Politics)

Bradley C. S. Watson is Professor of Politics, holding the Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought, at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He is also co-director of the college’s Center for Political and Economic Thought, a research and public affairs institute dedicated to the scholarly exposition of freedom, Western civilization, and the American experience. He is a Senior Scholar of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute and has served on the boards of directors of several organizations, including the National Association of Scholars and The Philadelphia Society. He has authored or edited many books, including Living Constitution, Dying Faith: Progressivism and the New Science of Jurisprudence, Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy, Courts and the Culture Wars, Ourselves and Our Posterity: Essays in Constitutional Originalism, Civic Education and Culture, The Idea of the American University, and The West at War. His most recent book is an anthology entitled Progressive Challenges to the American Constitution: A New Republic, from Cambridge University Press. He has also contributed to various journals, including Armed Forces and Society, Claremont Review of Books, The Intercollegiate Review, Modern Age, National Review, and Perspectives on Political Science. Watson was educated in Canada, Belgium, and the United States, and holds degrees in economics, law, philosophy, and political science.

Anthony P. Campau
Anthony P. Campau (Fellow, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies)

Anthony P. Campau was chief of staff and counselor at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), —long regarded as “the most powerful office you’ve never heard of.” Also serving on the Beachhead Team at OMB and OIRA and as a core member of the Regulatory Reform Team on the Presidential Transition Team, Campau helped to develop executive orders, policy memoranda, and guidance used to implement President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda.

In addition to his previous service at The Heritage Foundation, Campau has a J.D. and an LL.M in Securities and Financial Regulation from the Georgetown University Law Center. He also served as served as a law clerk to the Honorable Neomi J. Rao in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Ronald J. Pestritto at ISI conference
R. J. Pestritto (Professor, Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship)

Ronald J. Pestritto is an American academic. He is the Graduate Dean and Professor of Politics at the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College, the author of two books, and the editor of five more.