Are democracy and capitalism good for each other? What does each require of the other? What must be done to improve both?

The Project on Democracy and Capitalism supports a multidisciplinary community of scholars that examine the confluence capitalist and democratic ideas, institutions, and movements in both the past and present. In additional to creating a place where these concepts can be debated with rigor, the Project encourages research that illuminates the relationship between free markets and free peoples.

Democracy and Capitalism Workshop

We are hosting a series of invitation-only workshops to gather scholars from the University of Virginia's School of Law; the Darden School of Business; McIntire School of Commerce; the departments of politics, economics, and history; the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; the Carter Woodson Institute; the Institute for Business and Society; the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and the Miller Center of Public Affairs. Featuring presenters from the academy, politics, policy, and both the public and private sectors, these workshops study topics at the intersection of democracy and capitalism: Are they good for each other? What does each require of the other? What must be done to improve the functioning of democratic capitalism? Can its diseases be cured without killing the patient? How well is liberal democratic capitalism working for us? What should be done?

Hewlett Foundation Democracy and Capitalism Conference: Can Democracy and Capitalism Be Reconciled? 

March 7–9, 2023

We will hold a major conference that explores the philosophical dimensions of the relationship between a free-enterprise system and self-government, probe the historical roots of the relationship, and consider policy proposals to buttress and reimagine democratic capitalism itself. The conference is funded by the Hewlett Foundation and tentatively titled “Can Democracy and Capitalism Be Reconciled?”

  • The conference will emphasize three thematic pillars: an examination of ideas, history, and policy.
  • The conference will provide a rounded understanding of the relationship between democracy and capitalism, how the relationship has evolved, and how free people can reform their political economy to bring it more in line with their values.

The convening will be followed by an edited volume of essays derived from conference presentations, which will be edited by Sidney Milkis and Scott C. Miller and published by a major university press.

Read about past events