“Hudson erects a Mount of Parnassus in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. Here, the best minds meet, mingle, and metamorphose. Helped by experienced statesmen, enlightened scholars, and those who are both, we grow to be better individuals and citizens.”
- Hansong Li

“The Hudson Political Studies Fellowship includes a deep reading of political theory and applies the lessons learned from these great texts to real, present-day political issues. At a time when it is easy to have an opinion on just about anything, the program challenged me to appreciate just how difficult the questions are that face policymakers. Many programs claim to be non-partisan, Hudson Political Studies genuinely is, encouraging debate from individuals across the political spectrum.”
- Tom Samuels

“This program is not simply about learning from great works. It’s about the people you meet, the connections you make, and the friendships that will last a lifetime.”
- Anna Memoli

“From gaining invaluable knowledge to simulating political crises in workshops, or even forging life-long friendships, the Hudson Institute Political Studies program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and an adventure, both intellectually and personally."
- Edouard Fox

“Participating in the Hudson Institute’s Political Studies Program stands among the most engaging and enriching opportunities I have received. The program was rigorous and immersive, holding participants accountable to high standards in our writing, contributions to class discussion and performance during policy workshops. Hudson surpassed my expectations of what a summer academic program could achieve."
- Eamonn Bellin

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 2021 Summer Fellowship features seminars that examine Plato’s Republic, Machiavelli’s The Prince, and Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America along with selections from the Bible, Federalist Papers, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, and current scholarship on the opioid epidemic, technology regulation, American foreign policy in the Middle East and in the Asia Pacific.

Hudson Institute Political Studies is hosted 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 Robert C. Bartlett, Mark Blitz and Timothy W. Burns

Jun 14 - Jun 18

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 Keegan F. Callanan, Michael C. Hawley and J. Michael Hoffpauir

Jun 21 - Jun 25

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 with Timothy W. Burns, Charles T. Rubin and Heather Wilford

Jun 28 - Jul 02

In the third week, we return to Plato’s Republic, with an assessment of the American regime in hand, to develop our understanding of justice and political life.  There Socrates constructs a “best city in speech” in order to understand justice in the human soul.  Why does he approach political founding through the question of the soul and its justice? Tracing the evolution of the model of the city through its progressive stages, we will examine how it leads to a political class structure and corresponding structure of the soul.  We will inquire, finally, into the status of this city in speech as a way to understand justice: is it meant to be a blueprint for political life, or on the contrary, a display of the psychology of political idealism and its dangers? What can we learn from Socrates’ founding of a regime in speech about actual political founding?

The American Refounding with Fred Baumann, Murray Dry and Diana J. Schaub

Jul 05 - Jul 09

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?


American Public Policy with Aaron MacLean, Peter Rough, Charles T. Rubin, John Sawicki and John P. Walters

Jul 12 - Jul 16

We examine both American domestic and foreign policy with a view to discussing America’s most pressing problems. 

In our domestic policy section half of the students consider man in the age of technology, with a view to understanding the relationship between human beings, technological progress and government. These studies conclude with an examination of technology legislation as a case study. The other half of our students delve into the opioid crisis and the policies of law and order. These studies conclude with a policy simulation that asks students to come up with federal drug control legislation.

Our foreign policy section is similarly divided. Half of our students look at Transatlantic Relations, while the other half consider the Asia Pacific. Both sections engage in a policy simulation as a capstone to their studies. 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 Janet A. Dougherty, Frank N. Pagano and Nicholas C. Starr

Jul 19 - Jul 23

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.