Steve Davies

Steve Davies

Education Director
Institute of Economic Affairs

Dr. Stephen Davies is education director at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London and program officer at the Institute for Humane Studies. Previously, Dr. Davies was a senior lecturer in the Department of History and Economic History at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England. He has also been a visiting scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. A historian, he graduated from St. Andrews University in Scotland in 1976 and gained his PhD from the same institution in 1984. He has authored several books, including Empiricism and History, and was co-editor with Nigel Ashford of The Dictionary of Conservative and Libertarian Thought.

Programs

The War on Drugs: Part Two

Mythbusters

Videos

The Most Important Invention You Never Thought About

One entrepreneur’s invention cut world poverty and revolutionized manufacturing. Learn more with Steve Davies

The Story of Brexit: A Popular Insurgency?

Almost every authority figure in Britain told them to vote for remaining in the EU. So why did 17 million people vote to leave? Dr. Steve Davies explains.

When Should Libertarians Support Foreign Intervention?

Dr. Stephen Davies asked a key question: for any proposed foreign intervention, which course of action maximizes liberty?  He argues that it is rare for the benefits to be  greater…

Democrat vs. Republican is Outdated

“There’s this big shuffling of the deck going on in most western democracies,” says Professor Steve Davies, on the global political realignment of globalists vs. nationalists.

The War On Drugs Is A Failure

According to professor Steve Davies, “In terms of its own goals, the war on drugs is a catastrophic policy failure.” When you create a system that leads to mass incarceration, a…

Making Sense Of “Trumpism”

Donald Trump is part of a much bigger phenomenon, explains Professor Steve Davies.

Immigration’s Impact On Economics & Culture In 2 min

There’s a widespread misconception of about the economics of immigration, according to Professor Steve Davies. Immigration creates a sense of fear, whether that’s immigrants taking local jobs, destroying economies, or…

3 Absurd Reasons for Banning Drugs

Did you know the war on drugs is founded on racist principles? Prof. Stephen Davies shows the historical thought process behind banning drugs. One of the main reasons drugs were…

How to Fight Global Poverty

Have you heard the news? The number of people living in abject poverty—defined as living on less than $1.25 per day—has been halved since 1990. How did that happen? Prof.…

I Bet You Thought You Were Supposed to Hate These Guys

Like most Americans, are you frustrated by ticket scalpers? These middle men buy tickets for events and then resell them at more than face value to make a profit. If…

Capitalism Is NOT Imperialism

Many people believe capitalism and imperialism are the same thing, or at least closely related. Professor Stephen Davies explains that this is not the case. While capitalism is based on…

Education Is NOT the Same as Schooling

Have you ever wondered why high school is the way it is? The modern school was invented by the Prussians in 1806. It was created to serve a particular purpose:…

Can Artists Make Money Without Copyrights?

You may be familiar with the tune of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Donna è Mobile” from his opera Rigoletto. If not, perhaps you recognize it from popular soccer chants. Verdi’s famous…

SOPA and Three Ways to Think about Intellectual Property

The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the United States and the attempts to shut down the peer-to-peer music-sharing website Pirate Bay in Europe have brought the debate over…

Liberty Movements in American History

Historian Stephen Davies describes how various nonprofit institutions have made the advocates of liberty more productive and effective. These institutions have also made the ideas of liberty more available and…

We Demand Freedom: Popular Movements for Liberty in U.S. History

According to Dr. Stephen Davies, the tea party movement in the United States is not an isolated occurrence in American history. Rather, it’s part of a recurring movement in American…

Stephen Davies’s Intellectual Development

Dr. Stephen Davies discusses his intellectual development, which really began with John Stuart Mill’s essay On Liberty. Mill’s essay encouraged Dr. Stephen Davies to think in ways he had never…

An Introduction to the Industrial Revolution

What was the industrial revolution? According to Dr. Stephen Davies, it was an extraordinarily innovative period in history that generated the highest living standards the world had ever seen. For…

When Governments Cut Spending

Do governments ever cut spending? According to Dr. Stephen Davies, there are historical examples of government spending cuts in Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and America. In these cases, despite popular…

Top Five Libertarian Books

Dr. Stephen Davies describes the difficulty in selecting the top five libertarian books, and therefore, decides to select two books for his first book recommendation. Below are his recommendations: On Liberty by John Stuart…

3 Absurd Reasons for Banning Drugs

Dr. Stephen Davies discusses what he feels are the three most strange and bizarre reasons for banning drugs. The first of these reasons for prohibiting drugs was to stop respectable…

How Should Governments Deal With Debt?

Nations that spend themselves into debt face very difficult choices. As Dr. Stephen Davies sees it, a country in debt has three potential options to fix their debt problem. The…

Why Should Conservatives Like Libertarian Ideas?

Are you a conservative? If so, Dr. Stephen Davies suggests that it may be worth considering the ideas of libertarianism. For instance, conservatives tend to prefer institutions that have been tried…

Why Should Liberals Like Libertarian Ideas?

Are you a liberal? If so, Dr. Stephen Davies provides a few compelling reasons to consider libertarianism. For instance, both liberals and libertarians want to eliminate poverty and offer more…

A History of Economic Booms and Busts

When an economy falls into a recession, we typically observe a cluster of people making similar investment mistakes.  According to historian Stephen Davies, these investment errors occur because governments or…

2008 Financial Crisis: The Government Response

Have we fixed the problems that created the most recent boom and bust? How have government interventions in the economy altered the expectations of individuals moving forward? How does government…

How Government Crowds out Private Investment

Investment capital is scarce, which necessarily implies that there is a trade-off between government bonds and other types of economic activity. Put another way, investing $1.00 in government debt ensures…

What Does It Mean To Be Libertarian?

According to Dr. Stephen Davies, libertarianism is first and foremost a political doctrine. Libertarians seek a society most conducive to human flourishing amongst autonomous self-defined individuals. Libertarians argue that this…

Top Three Myths About the Great Depression and the New Deal

Historian Stephen Davies names three persistent myths about the Great Depression. Myth #1: Herbert Hoover was a laissez-faire president, and it was his lack of action that lead to an…

The History of Classical Liberalism

Historian Stephen Davies describes classical liberalism as a comprehensive philosophy, which has had implications in all the major academic disciplines. At an abstract level, classical liberalism offers three key insights: The…

The Decline & Triumph of Classical Liberalism, Part 2

From the IHS Vault: Dr. Davies explains how classical liberal ideas grew as an intellectual movement in the eighteenth century and gradually gained popular support. This rise of political ideas…

The Decline & Triumph of Classical Liberalism Part 1

From the IHS Vault: Dr. Davies traces the decline of classical liberal/libertarian ideas from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century. He describes how the case for classical liberal ideas…