On Thursday 24th March 2022, AAU hosted the 25th annual lecture of the Liberal Institute. This year’s annual prize for “for Contributing to the Development of Liberal Thought and Fulfilling Ideas of Freedom, Private Property, Competition and the Rule of Law in Practice” went to none other than American Economist, Bryan Caplan. Prof. Bryan Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University and a New York Times best-selling novelist. He has published several books including Open Borders: The Science of Ethics and Immigration, The Ideological Turing Point, and Selfish Reasons to have more Kids, as well as running his own blog, EconLog.

The Liberal Institute has been giving out this gracious award since 1995 with the first winner being Gary Becker. In the following years, the Annual Lecture has also been given by key Nobelists such as; Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, and Vernon Smith.

Following the opening speech from the Liberal Institute’s representative, AAU President Jiří Schwarz expressed AAU’s happiness in playing host to this prestigious event.  Amongst attendees was none other than the former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolanek, who expressed his appreciation of the “hero in economics”, Bryan Caplan, and his work regarding racial sensitivities, free-market, and immigration.

Before accepting the award, Bryan Caplan’s presentation of Open Borders: The Science of Ethics and Immigration touched on key points revolving around immigration restrictions, the narrative of immigration, its rules, and what effect these rules have on both an individual and a collective. With his audience, he led in an exploration of how emotive storytelling controls the narrative around immigration rather than facts and statistics, the theory of pre-assimilation, and a discursive look at the criticisms around these topics. Following a live Q & A session, members of the audience gathered socially to eat, drink and enjoy the company of Bryan in an informal networking opportunity.

If you missed this event and would like to know more about Bryan Caplan’s work, you can find on Youtube here.