Offering exceptional students a unique learning experience focused on the serious study of politics.

Hudson Institute Political Studies offers top undergraduates a Summer Fellowship in political theory and practice that broadens and deepens understanding of public policy and American political principles. The Fellowship combines rigorous study of politics and political thought through week-long seminars led by master teachers, policy workshops featuring think tank experts and experienced government officials, and a distinguished speaker series of exemplary figures from public life.  The 2016 Summer Fellowship featured seminars that examined Plato’s Republic, Machiavelli’s The Prince, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, along with selections from the Bible, Federalist Papers, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, and current scholarship on American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Hudson Institute Political Studies is hosted at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and lasts for six weeks.  Students participate free of charge, are given complimentary accommodations, and receive a $3,000 stipend.

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Summer Fellowship

Political Foundings with Timothy W. Burns

Jun 19 - Jun 23 at Georgetown University

Political philosophy is, fundamentally, a discussion about the best regime. Therefore we begin with an investigation into political foundings. We read two dramatically different texts —one that takes as its bearing man’s inclination to act malevolently, and another that attempts to found a city in a quest to understand justice. Reading The Prince, we inquire into Machiavelli’s innovations, and ask if his political science looks similar to our own. We also begin Plato’s Republic, which we will read throughout the program, to see  what is needed to form a just city.

The American Founding with James W. Ceaser

Jun 26 - Jul 02 at Georgetown University

Having discussed political foundings broadly in the first week’s seminar, we turn to a particular founding. We read America’s key founding documents, and consider—in comparison with Machiavelli’s teachings and Socratic philosophy—the political justifications made by the Founders of the regime that promises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We examine whether the American regime at its founding was informed by an understanding of justice, both for individuals and the political community, or whether the Founders were more concerned with uniting a multiplicity of “particular interests” into a stable and strong country.

The Ideal Republic

Jul 03 - Jul 07 at Georgetown University

We return to Plato’s Republic, an assessment of the American regime in hand, for a fuller evaluation of theoretical justice, as Socrates brings it to life. We look at this city’s founding, taking note of how the city is constituted, who populates it, and for what purpose it exists. Discussion focuses on whether the just city is in fact just, and whether such a city requires just citizens, or even allows them to be just. We further assess whether these citizens are actually happy, a topic not at all unimportant for the regime that gives the people a say in its governance.

The American Refounding with Robert K. Faulkner

Jul 10 - Jul 14 at Georgetown University

Machiavelli proposed the necessity of re-founding political regimes—as a means of putting off the inevitable death which comes to all things. We examine America’s near death—the nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” but crippled by the original sin of slavery, which precipitated a great Civil War. We look closely at the leadership of Abraham Lincoln and inquire into the re-founding of America achieved through Emancipation—was it even a re-founding or instead a second American Revolution? Did Lincoln achieve the full promise of America’s founding ideals?


America, Iran and ISIS with Michael Doran

Jul 17 - Jul 21 at Georgetown University

We examine American foreign policy in the Middle East, with a focus on the policy implications of different worldviews, and the different options the next American president will have in addressing the Iranian nuclear program. We also engage in a policy simulation at the end of the week. Students are assigned a point of view or office such as Secretary of State or member of the Armed Services Committee, as well as a scenario to which they must respond. On Friday, they present their recommendations, debate, and decide on a course of action.

Politics and Wisdom with Frank N. Pagano and Janet A. Dougherty

Jul 24 - Jul 28 at Georgetown University

No consideration of politics, republican or otherwise, can be complete without an examination of the limits of politics and a serious consideration of those aspects of human life which conflict with or offer alternatives to the political life. In this, the last week of the program, we examine foundings in relation to religion and literature, and consider the possibility that the best regime is one not realizable on earth, but rather imagined, or created, by a divine being. We further consider how religion and literature, which one might say are not overtly political, inform human life in this world and the next.

Distinguished Faculty & Speakers

Offering exceptional students a unique learning experience focused on the serious study of politics.