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The competitive market system thrives when firmly rooted in a free and virtuous society. Yet the news is filled with economic arguments against the free market. Terms like capitalism and crony capitalism are used with little clarification. During this conference, we will explore the distinctions between free market capitalism and crony capitalism. We’ll look at the defining facts of cronyism and its detrimental effects on diverse markets. The cost of cronyism is high—join us in Dallas as we seek to keep business conditions free and competitive for everyone.

The ideal conference attendee is a student (undergraduate or graduate) with some experience studying economics, philosophy/ethics, politics, and/or theology.

Attendance is by application only. Conference fees, meals, and lodging will be covered for accepted applicants. Travel scholarships are available.

Application closes August 16, 2019.

Current Speakers

Anne Bradley headshot
Anne Rathborne Bradley, Ph.D.
Economic Initiatives Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Vice President

Anne Rathbone Bradley, Ph.D. is the Vice President of Economic Initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, where she develops and commissions research toward a systematic biblical theology of economic freedom. She is a professor of economics at The Institute for World Politics and Grove City College. She is a visiting professor at Georgetown University and George Mason University and has taught at Charles University, Prague. She is currently an Acton Affiliate scholar and a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy. She is a lecturer for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education.


Rathbone Bradley is the co-editor and author of “Counting the Cost: Christian Perspectives on Capitalism,” “For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty” and “Be Fruitful and Multiply: Why Economics is Necessary for Making God-Pleasing Decisions”. She served as the Associate Director for the Program in Economics, Politics, and the Law at the James M. Buchanan Center at George Mason University.

Rathbone Bradley's academic work ranges on the question of income inequality and economic freedom as well as the political economy of terrorism with specific emphasis on the industrial organization of al-Qaeda. Her academic research has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes. She is currently working on a book that analyzes the political economy of al-Qaeda post 9/11. Based on her academic research she also worked as an Economic Analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency's Office of Terrorism Analysis.

Rathbone Bradley received her Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2006 during which time she was a James M. Buchanan Scholar.

Sam Gregg headshot
Samuel Gregg, D.Phil.
Acton Insitute

Director of Research

Samuel Gregg, D.Phil. is Research Director at the Acton Institute and a Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford and has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, and natural law theory. He is the author of several books, including Morality, Law, and Public Policy (2000), Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded (2001), On Ordered Liberty (2003), his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007), Wilhelm Röpke’s Political Economy (2010),  Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future (2013), and For God and Profit: How Finance and Banking Can Serve the Common Good (2016).

Hunter Baker headshot
Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D.
University Fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science

Union University

Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D. is the dean of arts and sciences at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He is the author of The End of Secularism, Political Thought: A Student’s Guide, and The System Has a Soul. He has also written widely for a variety of outlets which include Touchstone, Christianity Today, Modern Age, Public Discourse, the Journal of Law and Religion, Perspectives in Politics, and many others. Baker won the Acton Institute’s Michael Novak Award in 2011 and now serves as an affiliate scholar for Acton and as an associate editor of the Journal of Markets and Morality. He is also a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and a contributing editor for Touchstone.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Hotel Indigo Downtown Dallas
1933 Main Street Dallas, TX 75201
Dallas, TX 75201
United States


This conference begins at 5:00pm on September 26, 2019 and concludes at 12:00pm on September 28, 2019. A full schedule will be provided to accepted participants.

More Information

Conference fees, meals, and lodging will be covered for accepted applicants. Travel scholarships are available.

Download a draft schedule

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