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Center for Free



Center for Free Enterprise logoThe Center for Free Enterprise reconnects business education to human flourishing and provides student engagement and rigorous education about the principles and institutions needed for free individuals to flourish with dignity in a civil society.

The Center is a regional and national leader in free enterprise student engagement.

 Free enterprise exists where the rule of law, limited governance, and free markets intersect. It is based on the philosophy of individualism and freedom where individuals can utilize their inherent creativity to improve the lives of others.

The Center :

  1. Educates students about the necessary conditions for free enterprise;

  2. Fosters the ideals of the moral nature of free enterprise;

  3. Communicates vital relationships between free enterprise and human flourishing;
  4. Engages in impartial scholarship investigating the role institutions play in supporting a free civil society.

The Center also supports impartial scholarship investigating the role social norms, political institutions, legal institutions, and economic institutions play in supporting a free civil society through a free enterprise system.

The Center actively promotes the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, the rule of law, and economic freedom on campus and to the public at large

Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise examines the important role free enterprise plays within the global economy.


Monday – Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM


photo of doctor antony dnes

Dr. Antony W. Dnes
Director of the Center for Free Enterprise

photo of joseph connors

Dr. Joseph Connors
Assistant Professor of Economics

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The Politics, Law, and

Economics (PLE)

Lecture Series

The PLE Lecture Series is designed to highlight the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to sustain free enterprise. Nationally-renowned scholars, journalists and policy-analysts visit Florida Southern and share their insight and experience with students. Open to the public, this series is a great opportunity to meet experts in various fields.

2016-2017 PLE Lecture Series Upcoming Events

Nov. 29: Criminal Injustice: The System-wide Failure of Criminal Law and Its Enforcement presented by Dr. Bruce Benson, Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute & DeVoe Moore Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at Florida State University. Tuesday, November 29, 6:00 pm, Room 112, Becker Business Building. Additional event parking available at First Presbyterian Church on Lake Hollingsworth Dr. with shuttle service to Becker Business Building.

Jan. 17: The Myth of the Wage Gap presented by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Senior Fellow and Director, Economics21, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Tuesday, January 17, 6:00 pm, Room 112, Becker Business Building. 
 Additional event parking available at First Presbyterian Church on Lake Hollingsworth Dr. with shuttle service to Becker Business Building.


Adam Smith Club

The Adam Smith Club serves as a community for students to discuss and share ideas that support economic freedom. Students are invited to engage with one another and faculty through activities such as a monthly book club, movie nights and liberty luncheons.

Book Club

Students meet with the Center’s director at local restaurants and coffee shops to discuss readings related to free enterprise. Books include Matt Ridley’s The Origins of Virtue: Human Interaction and the Evolution of Cooperation, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstien’s Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, and William Easterly’s The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Misadventures in the Tropics.

Movie Nights

Once a month, the Adam Smith Club hosts a movie night, followed by an informal discussion about how the film’s underlying themes relate to human nature and free enterprise.



Integral to the Center’s educational outreach are two majors dedicated to the study of free enterprise: the Bachelor’s of Science in Political Economy and the Bachelor’s of Science in Business and Free Enterprise. Political Economy examines the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to support a full-functioning free enterprise system. Business and Free Enterprise major places a unique emphasis on economic theory and political science, helping majors understand business transactions from a broader, social perspective. Read more about each major and its curriculum (see Political Economy and Business and Free Enterprise).


Introduction To The Philosophy Of Business

Many people have preconceived notions of what free enterprise means and what role, if any, business plays in our social order. This class challenges many preconceived notions of free enterprise by asking what is the philosophical relationship between individuals and the state and the philosophical relationship between individuals and society. The course uses economic methodology as the mental model to discuss the role information and knowledge play in coordinating individuals in society to improve the lives of others. In the process, the course questions the dangers of hubris and anti-intellectualism in business and asks whether business is inherently social.

Advanced Philosophy Of Business & Market Based Management

This course conducts an in depth examination of the institutional structure necessary for a flourishing social order. The course discusses the need to use economics as a mental model to understand market behavior and apply it to understanding the economy as an informational feedback mechanism allowing social cooperation and entrepreneurial activity. The course also discusses how societies provide quality assurance in the absence of government regulation. This requires the student to invoke basic economic theory, particularly supply and demand and opportunity cost analysis, and to apply the understanding of social science to business management.

Summer Program in Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise

This four day summer camp is for incoming high school juniors and seniors. Admitted students are invited to Florida Southern for an in-depth introduction to the Exploring Entrepreneurship Summer Program. The program is free to participants.


About the Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise is an initiative to help students understand and appreciate the important role free enterprise plays within the American economy. A free enterprise system promotes economic prosperity by creating a favorable environment where businesses compete with minimum regulatory interference, allowing them to develop vigorously. Through extracurricular activities such as guest lectures, luncheons and off-campus seminar, students can explore the principles and institutions that sustain free enterprise.


A native of the United Kingdom, Dr. Antony Dnes holds a BA in economics for the University of Leicester, England; a Master of Letters in economics and natural resources from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland; a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Edinburgh; and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London. He has served as professor and head of Economics at the University of Hull Business School, UK, professor and associate dean at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, and professor and head of Economics Research at Nottingham Business School, UK. Dr. Dnes is a member of the editorial board of International Review of Law & Economics and was elected academic director of the Western Economics Association from 2008 to 2010. He has consulted for the UK Intellectual Property Office, the UK Lord Chancellor’s Department, the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and the World Bank.

Dr. Dnes most recently served as professor and chair of graduate school dissertations for Northcentral University based in California, which specializes in business education for global students. Current appointments include editor-in-chief of the scholarly journal Managerial & Decision Economics, senior affiliated scholar at George Mason University Law School’s Mercatus Center, and mentor for the Institute for Humane Studies in Arlington, Virginia. The author of several books and more than 40 journal articles, Dr. Dnes was a 2009 Leverhulme Fellow and has been a visiting professor at the University of Oxford’s Wolfson College, UC Berkeley School of Law, and George Mason University Law School, among others.

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Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Joseph Connors, assistant professor of economics and CFE Fellow, brings to his teaching and outreach work extensive experience as an economics researcher. His current research is focused on how economic and political institutions impact those living in extreme and moderate poverty. Additional research interests encompass cronyism, rent seeking, and political entrepreneurship. A native of California, Dr. Connors graduated with honors from Santa Clara University, and earned a Ph.D. in economics from Florida State University, where he worked with James Gwartney. His publications have appeared in the Independent Review, Social Education, and in several book collections.

photo of joseph connors