”New Challenges for Freedom” Summer Seminar in Urlați, Romania


June 20th – 26th, 2021


Hotel „Casa Colinelor” in Urlați, Romania

Organized together with the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom at the University of Arizona and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom – Romania, the seminar in Urlați, Romania is a great opportunity for young participants to acquire knowledge on the new challenges for freedom. Topics covered will include, among others: the foundations of liberty, corruption, trade, rent seeking, the economics of law and blockchain economics.

The seminar is open to students, scholars, activists, journalists, teachers, and anyone else interested in enhancing their knowledge of liberty from a wide variety of perspectives. The format of our seminar favors interactions and has the following structure: a 45 minutes lecture, followed by a 30 minutes group discussion and preparation of questions by participants, and a 45 minutes discussion with the lecturer on the questions. In the evenings open discussions will be organized.

Note that for the selected participants, accommodation, meals, a gala dinner, a vineyard tour, and attendance to the conferences are all free of charge. Participants will only need to fund their transportation. A bus leaving on June 20th from Bucharest to the venue will be available for participants.

Faculty will include: David Schmidtz (philosophy), Cathleen Johnson (economics), Pierre Garello (economics of law), Saura Masconale (law and political economy), Christian Nasulea (economics).

The seminar’s programme is available here.

The application process starts on May 21st, 2021 and will be open May 30th, 2021. However, applications will be reviewed on a first-come first-served basis in order to allow international participants to make travel arrangements as quickly as possible. If you are interested in attending, make sure to fill in the following form as soon as possible.

About the speakers

David Schmidtz – The University of Arizona

In the College of Social and Behavioral Science, David Schmidtz is Kendrick Professor of Philosophy.  In the College of Management, he is Eller Chair of Service-Dominant Logic and joint Professor of Economics. He is editor-in-chief of Social Philosophy & Policy. He designed, ushered through to approval, then served as founding Head of the Department of Political Economy & Moral Science.  Dave directed the Arizona Center for Philosophy of Freedom, housed in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, from its founding in 2010 until 2019. Following the Center’s 5-year review in 2019, the Center was promoted to the status of University Center at the recommendation of the external review committee. It is now housed in the Central Administration’s Office of Research, Innovation, and Impact and reports to the Vice-President for Research.

Dave aspires to pick up where the Scottish Enlightenment left off, treating Ethics as a subject that begins and ends with observation: specifically, observation of the human condition and of what tends to improve it. Today’s moral theories often focus on questions of what to do, whereas David Hume and Adam Smith were more focused on what works—that is, which social circumstances have a history of leading people to live in ways that make their communities better off with them than without them.  

Cathleen Johnson – West Virginia University

Cathleen Johnson is the Assistant Chair in the Economics Department at West Virginia University. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech in 2000. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith in 2001. Her specialty after network theory is running large complex field experiments. She has developed a keen interest in the teaching of economics and numeracy in general. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Council for Economic Education. She has published in numerous economics journals including Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Canadian Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, National Tax Journal, Economics Letters, Public Finance Review, Review of Economic Design. She is co-author of Commercial Society: A Primer on Ethics and Economics published by Rowman and Littlefield (2019).

Saura Masconale – The University of Arizona

Saura Masconale’s field of research encompasses the broad domain of “law and political economy,” which studies how the intersection of legal entitlements, political power and economic forces affect society and the political order, both as a descriptive and normative matter. Within this domain, her research interests range widely, from corporate governance and the role of fairness in the corporation to, more broadly, the relationship between legal institutions, inequality and efficiency.

Saura Masconale holds a doctoral degree in law and economics from LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome) and a J.D. from University of Bologna.  Prior to joining the Freedom Center at the University of Arizona, she taught at the University of Chicago Law School, the University of Notre Dame Law School and, more recently, at the University of Arizona Program in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the Law. Before entering into academia, she practiced law at Clifford Chance LLC, an international law firm headquartered in London.

Simone M. Sepe – University of Arizona

Simone M. Sepe is Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Arizona. Professor Sepe’s areas of expertise include business organizations, corporate finance, contract theory, and law and economics. His scholarship focuses on corporate governance, corporate finance, and the theory of institutions. He holds doctoral degrees in both law and economics. Professor Sepe practiced banking and finance law at Clifford Chance, an international law firm based in London, and worked as an investment banker at Fortress Investment Group in London and New York.

Pierre Garello – IES-Europe – Aix-Marseille Université

President of IES-Europe, Pierre Garello is Professor of Economics at the Law School and the Economic Department at Aix Marseille University in France. He has published various articles on Austrian economics, law and economics (especially competition law and contract law). He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines, a scholarly review dealing with economic, legal, philosophical and political issues, in the tradition of the French Classical Liberal School. He is also at the center of a liberal network in Europe and has been coordinator of the European liberal think tanks Resource Bank for many years. He is senior associate at IREF, a think tank that promotes tax competition and sound public finances and Chief editor of Journal des Libertés.

Christian Nasulea – IES-Europe – University of Bucharest

Christian Nasulea teaches economics at the Faculty of History of the University of Bucharest and is an associate lecturer at the Faculty of Business Administration in Foreign Languages of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies. His courses cover topics such as Global Economics, Globalisation, History of Economic Thought, Business Administration, Innovation Management and Cross-Cultural Management. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Studies – Europe and a fellow of the Institut de Recherches Economiques et Fiscales. He has a PhD in management with a thesis on complex adaptive systems. His research interests revolve around economics and technology. In addition to his academic work he is also a tech entrepreneur currently holding positions as CEO or CTO in several tech businesses. His business work deals with software development, blockchain, information security, online education, media production.