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Libertarianism vs. Conservatism Debate

January 17, 2019

1706 New Hampshire Ave NW

Washington, DC, USA


Libertarians and conservatives have many shared values rooted in the American Founding, including free enterprise, individual liberty and limited government. However, their differing opinions on trade, social issues, drugs and border security have led to sharp disagreements on topics making today’s headline news. Join The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) for a debate on the fundamental questions that turn these sometimes-political allies into philosophical foes.


Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019
6 p.m. Debate • 7:15 p.m. Reception

The Fund for American Studies
1706 New Hampshire Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20009

Taking the libertarian perspective will be TFAS faculty member Nikolai Wenzel, professor of economics at Fayetteville State University and co-author of the new book, “Selfish Libertarians and Socialist Conservatives?” David Azerrad, director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics and AWC Family Foundation Fellow Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation, will represent the conservative viewpoint. Azerrad recently reviewed “Selfish Libertarians and Socialist Conservatives?” for the Claremont Review of Books.

Please RSVP by Monday, Jan. 14 to TFAS Special Events Director Jane Mack at jmack@TFAS.org or 202-986-0384.

Please note: seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Meet The Debaters:

Dr. David Azerrad studies the American political tradition from the Founding until today, with a particular emphasis on contemporary political movements. He also teaches classes on American conservative and progressive political thought at American University.

His writings have appeared in various publications, including The Claremont Review of Books, The Weekly Standard, National Affairs, The Times (of London), Real Clear Politics, The Federalist, The National Interest and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy. He has also appeared on national television in the US, Canada and the UK. Azerrad received a doctoral degree in politics from the University of Dallas, where he wrote a dissertation on the foundations of John Locke’s political thought.

A native of Montreal, Quebec, he received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Concordia University in Montreal and a master of arts degree in political science from Carleton University in Ottawa.


Dr. Nikolai G. Wenzel teaches political economy in the TFAS Asia Institute for Political Economy (AIPE) in Hong Kong, and is the L.V. Hackley Chair for the Study of Capitalism and Free Enterprise and distinguished professor of economics at Fayetteville State University. He is also a research fellow at the University of Paris Law School’s Center for Law & Economics. He has held appointments as associate professor of economics at Flagler College, visiting assistant professor of economics at Florida Gulf Coast University and Wallace and assistant professor of economics at Hillsdale College.

Wenzel holds a doctorate in economics from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science of Foreign Service in international affairs from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics and the Association of Private Enterprise Education. Wenzel has published more than 40 scholarly articles and book chapters and is the co-author of a book on the libertarian-conservative debate.

When not writing on political economy, Wenzel dabbles in wine economics. He has traveled to 58 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe and 49 US states.

Moderator: Brenda Hafera is the director of international and continuing education programs at The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) where she oversees the TFAS Public Policy Fellowship, Curriculum of Liberty Seminars and the TFAS academic program in Hong Kong. Prior to joining TFAS, Hafera worked as assistant director of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good at Villanova University, where she organized programs focused on citizenship, statesmanship and freedom. 

Hafera holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science, a Bachelor of Science in finance and a master’s in political science from Villanova UniversityShe has written for the Claremont Review of Books, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Constituting America and was a 2017 Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute.



If you have any questions about the event, please contact Brenda Hafera, TFAS director of international and continuing education programs, at bhafera@TFAS.org.

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