Mission and Purpose

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The J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy affirms the following values, institutions, and policy interests:

  • The integration of Christian faith with thought and action
  • The beneficial role of well-functioning markets, free enterprise, and competition
  • The foundation and relevance of economic analysis in the design and administration of public policies
  • The value of incentives
  • The benefits of localized decision making

The activities of the Center are designed to focus classroom teaching, scholarly research, and public discussion on the core institutions and nexus of market economies, representative democracies, limited government, and human action with individual responsibility. They provide guidance in the purpose of integrating the claims of Christian faith with the demands of the profession. The teaching, research, and public activities of the Center will address important policy issues to which Speaker Hastert has made significant contributions in his public life. These include, but are not limited to, antitrust and government regulation of business, education, drug policy, fiscal policies, health policy, international trade issues, and other relevant policy dimensions that affect the functioning of market economies and representative democracies.

The Center seeks to expand curricular offerings, enhance student learning outcomes, organize conferences and seminars for managers, public officials, and ministry executives, and initiate colloquia, workshops, and leaders-in-residence programs. To accomplish these objectives, the Center provides financial and administrative support for guest lecturers, curriculum development, scholarly and policy relevant research, conferences, public lectures, student seminars, travel-learning experiences and internships, and all other activities that will help fulfill its purpose and goals.

Areas of Concentration

The Center engages in scholarly research and promotes discussion on core institutions of market economies, representative democracies, limited government, and human action with individual responsibility. To effectively use its available resources, the Center will concentrate its initial analysis to a specific set of related issues and in the process, accumulate a significant body of research relevant to Wheaton College students, faculty and society as a whole.

The proposed areas of concentration provide emphasis on the broad topic of “Pro-market institutions” and will include some emphasis over time on the following topics as related to political economy:

  • Alternative and traditional sources of energy
  • Poverty and development
  • Current financial crises, a new global financial architecture, and the global economy
  • Fiscal imbalances, taxation and reform
  • International trade and multi-polarity vs. uni-polarity in international relations under globalization

Among the issues listed above, concentrated attention will be focused on one or two of these issues simultaneously for annual or multi-year treatment, as topics allow.

See the full length white paper on areas of concentration for the Center (PDF format).