Fund For The Study Of Spontaneous Orders (FSSO)

Through the generous support of an anonymous donor, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation has established the Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Orders.

The Fund will seek ways to recognize and support the work of scholars who apply the perspective of Austrian methodological individualism, which has greatly increased our understanding of free markets, to areas outside the realm of traditional economic study. The Fund plans a series of cash Prizes for Younger Scholars doing significant work in areas of interest to the Fund. In addition, the Fund plans to give occasional Lifetime Achievement Awards to distinguished senior scholars whose work exemplifies the ideals of the Fund. The Fund may also support academic conferences, studies, and publications.

Atlas Senior Fellow William C. Dennis is administering the Fund. Professor Peter J. Boettke of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and Dr. John W. Sommer join Dr. Dennis, and Professor Leonard P. Liggio (Atlas Executive Vice President) as advisors on the award of the prizes.

Awards and Activities

Mark Pennington - In Fall 2006,  the Fund awarded its eleventh $10,000 prize to Dr. Mark Pennington, Senior Lecturer in Political Economy, Department of Politics, Queen Mary College, University of London. In a series of thoughtful and carefully argued articles and books, Dr. Pennington has applied the insights of F. A. Hayek to the closely related contemporary problems of land use planning, sustainable development, and deliberative democracy.
Adam Tebble - In Spring 2006, the Fund awarded its tenth $10,000 prize to Adam Tebble from the London School of Economics.  Tebble, a recent Visiting Fellow at the Political Theory Project at Brown University, received the prize especially for his work defending Hayekian civil society against theories of communitarianism and group representation, and for his critical study of Robert Nozick„¢s argument about the necessity of rectification for long past injustices. 
Conference -  From January 18-20, 2006, the Fund hosted an academic conference at the George Mason University Law School on â€Å“A Reconsideration of the Firm. The conference began with a discussion of the history of the emergence of the corporate firm as a dominant form of economic organization.  It then explored the paradox that the firm, created through individual initiative and market enterprise, is itself organized according to centralized and hierarchical plans.

James Otteson €œ In Summer 2005, the Fund presented James R. Otteson, a student of the philosophy of the 18th Century Scottish Enlightenment, particularly the work of David Hume and Adam Smith, with a $10,000 prize. In Adam Smith„¢s Market Place of Life, he shows Smith to be an important moral philosopher, and demonstrates how Smith„ ;Å“market place of morality ties together in a coherent whole Smith„¢s T heory of Moral Sentiments with his more famous The Wealth of Nations.
Virgil Henry Storr - Virgil Storr recieved a $10,000 FSSO prize in Summer 2005 for his work combining cultural anthropology and economics, especially in his study of Caribbean cultures, most notably in his work Enterprising Slaves & Master Pirates: Understanding Economic Life in the Bahamas, Peter Lang, 2004.
David Ciepley €œ Dr. David Ciepley, currently Lecturer in Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law, at the University of Virginia,is the sixth winner of the $10,000 prize.   Ciepley has wide-ranging, cross disciplinary academic interests including work on the Scottish Enlightenment, the commercial society, the nature of the firm, democratic theory, urban planning, and “The New World Order and American foreign policy.
David Prychitko €œ In Spring 2005, David Prychitko recieved the $10,000 FSSO prize for his application of Austrian epistemology to extend our understanding of human action beyond economics. Much of Prychitko„¢s scholarship is rooted in the work of the 18th century moral philosophers of the Scottish enlightenment.  He visualizes a radical reform of social thought, away from neoclassical marginality theory and mathematical modeling in economics, towards a broader, philosophically based understanding of all human action. 
Conference - From January 12-14, 2005, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation brought together twenty experts from a wide range of academic disciplines to explore different social and economic topics in relation to the economic phenomenon of â€Å“spontaneous orders. Atlas„¢s Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Orders organized this conference and encouraged each participant to submit an extant work or a work in progress, which then defined the structure of the discussion.  Thus there was a creative mix of social theory and empirical studies, of history and contemporary issues, and of philosophy, political theory, and economics.

Paul Dragos Aligica €œ FSSO named Paul Dragos Aligica the fourth winner of its $10,000 prize in Fall 2004. Aligica, a senior fellow at the Mercatus Center (Virginia) and Associate Professor at the National School of Political Sciences and Public Administration (Romania), recieved the award for his application of F. A. Hayek„¢s insights on the limits of centralized systems to such diverse fields as the fall of communism in central Europe, the problem of prediction and of the epistemological foundations of â€Å“Future Studies courses at universities, and the usefulness of â€Å“scenarios in spontaneous order studies.
Daniel B. Klein - In June 2004, the Fund awarded another of occasional prizes to Professor Daniel B. Klein, for his work bringing a Hayekian approach to such interesting aspects of human action as reputation; the personality of the regulator; liberty and the psychology of our â€Å“deepselves; the intersection of liberty, dignity, and responsibility; and trust and quality assurance.
Gus DiZerega  - After previously giving support to his work at Whitman College for a project entitled â€Å“Liberalism, Emergence, and Complexity, the FSSO in August 2004 awarded DiZerega with one of its occasional prizes for his research into the spontaneous creation of democratic political orders.

Pierre Desrochers, University of Toronto and Institut Économique de Montréal - In April 2003, the Fund awarded its first Prize for Younger Scholars to Pierre Desrochers of the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto and Director of Research at the Institut ;°conomique de Montréal.
Vincent and Elinor Ostrom, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University - In June 2003, the Fund announced its first Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the Ostroms' pioneering applications of methodological individualism to the study of social organization outside the realm of market exchange. In connection with the presentation of the award, which occured n November 7, 2003, at the George Mason University Law School in Arlington, Virginia, the Fund held an academic seminar for invited participants on the work of the Ostroms.
Richard Epstein, University of Chicago Law School €œ The Fund gave an award grant to provide partial support of an academic conference on ;Å“The Law Merchant.

2006 Atlas Economic Research Foundation
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