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Princeton  ​|  30 June - 10 July 2024


Psychology & law 

This interdisciplinary program serves to introduce advanced students to the principles of public policy.  

You will draw lessons from economics, psychology and game theory to understand how humans make choices and how information and incentives influence those choices. You will study political philosophy and jurisprudence to articulate a defensible theory of the just relationship between citizen and state. You will learn about how political science and particularly public choice theory and mechanism design enable us to implement legislative and regulatory solutions to economic and social problems.

The theme for this year's symposium is

Wealth & Inequality.

Our students are ambitious to change the world, and we admire and encourage that. In order to equip you to change it for the better, to promote peace, justice and well-being, we will help you understand the systemic dangers and difficulties of democratic politics, and how to distinguish between noble intentions and actual consequences. 

The world faces many challenges in the next few years, including how to improve the standard of living of the poorest and most vulnerable people without damaging the engines of prosperity on which the whole economy depends. 

If you are thirsty not only for knowledge but for understanding, and if you are impatient to make the world a better place, this may be the perfect course for you. 

30 JUNE - 10 JULY, 2024



The aim of our annual public policy symposium is to identify and communicate the principles of good policy design and implementation, for which we can gather insights from economics, political science, behavioural psychology, legal scholarship, and ethics. The curriculum will cover public choice theory (sometimes called the economics of politics), the law of unintended consequences, game theory, mechanism design, and much else besides.



The broad theme for this year's symposium is Wealth & Inequality, a subject worth thinking about carefully. 


During the pandemic - according to Oxfam - for every single dollar earned outside the Top Ten Percent, a billionaire somewhere earned 1.7 million dollars. It is claimed that an annual wealth tax of five percent on the world’s multi-millionaires and billionaires would raise $1.7 trillion a year - enough to lift two billion people out of poverty, provide world-wide universal free healthcare and, within ten years, end world hunger. 


But is such a redistribution plan politically possible? Is it economically feasible? Wishful thinking and good intentions will not, by themselves, solve anything. What are the causes of wealth and poverty? What are the remedies to inequality? What are the obstacles to implementing public policy that better serves the needs of the poor? And what perverse incentives and unintended consequences should policymakers be on their guard against?



John Locke students tend to be intellectually sophisticated, so you have probably already formed your mind on some of these policy questions. After ten days in Princeton we are confident that you will not only be better informed, but also more nuanced in your grasp of the salient issues. We hope you will be able to articulate your own opinions persuasively, but also that you will be better able to appreciate views with which you are inclined to disagree.


The John Locke Institute is proud of our distinguished faculty, many of whom are leaders within their respective fields. More importantly, they have a gift of inspiring our students with a love of ideas and an enthusiasm for their subjects. Above all else our faculty are role models, demonstrating the highest standards of critical thought, passionate advocacy for the best arguments, and a radical openness to the opinions of others.   

At our Public Policy Symposium you will be taught by current or recent professors from leading universities in Britain and America, and by authors and other thought leaders. 


welcome to PRINCETON

Situated an hour south of New York City, the town of Princeton is home to two of the world's foremost academic institutions, Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study, and one of the world's leading academic publishers, Princeton University Press. 

One of the eight Ivy League colleges, Princeton University was founded in 1746, making it the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in North America. Every year for the past ten years Princeton University has ranked First Place among all the universities in the United States.


The Institute for Advanced Study has been a centre of scholarly excellence since its foundation in 1930, and was the academic home of many of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, John von Neumann, Kurt Gödel, and Albert Einstein.


The John Locke Institute is proudly independent and has no formal ties to any university, but our summer school is hosted within the lecture and seminar rooms of Stuart Hall at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Our students stay in graduate accommodation on campus in Alexander Hall, and take their meals in Mackay Dining Hall.

The town of Princeton is one of the most beautiful college towns in America. We think you will love it.



Accommodation is at the Princeton Theological Seminary (five minutes' walk from city center) in single or twin rooms with private or shared bathroom facilities.


  • Each bedroom will have blankets, sheets and towels. All the rooms have air conditioning.

  • Lunch and dinner are provided everyday. Most meals are served in the dining hall. 

  • Free WiFi.

  • Access to the library.

  • Coin operated laundry machines.

  • Five minutes' walk to the Princeton University convenience store.





You should plan to arrive at the summer school on Sunday 30 June between 3 pm and 5 pm, when you will receive your room keys and detailed symposium timetable. A welcome dinner is scheduled for 6pm. 

If you would like to be met by a driver at the airport on 30 June, we are offering a shuttle service from Newark Liberty International Airport and from John F. Kennedy International Airport for an extra charge. If you plan to take the shuttle please book a flight that arrives no later than 12:30 pm.

It is your responsibility to determine whether you need a visa and, if so, what kind of visa you need and how you should apply for it. Every overseas student must have a valid passport to enter the United States. You can find all the information about US visas here. For your purpose of travel, please select “Tourism or Visit”. Depending on your country of citizenship you may find that you are able to enter the USA on the Visa Waiver programme (ESTA). We can provide individual support, on request, for those who will need a visa.

We advise you to purchase travel insurance.


On the departure day, Wednesday, 10 July, check out is at 10am. 

We will be running a shuttle to Newark Liberty International Airport and to John F. Kennedy International Airport for an extra charge. If you plan to take the shuttle please book a flight that departs no earlier than 1:30 pm.

Our staff will be available to help you on the departure day so you don't miss your flight! 


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