Menu Close

Navigating the Pathways of Liberty and Political Economy

Larisa Jacono and Statue of Liberty
Picture of Larisa Jacono

Larisa Jacono

2022 Mannkal Scholar

My Scholarship with Mannkal has been a transformative intellectual experience, opening doors and connecting me with a community of liberty-oriented people who champion the principles of free markets. Now an Alumnus, I’ve come to realise that the benefits of being a Mannkal Scholar extend far beyond the program itself. Mannkal has continued to provide me with valuable opportunities that I would not have come across on my own merit.

One such opportunity arose during my research internship with the American Institute for Economic Research, where I was sponsored by Mannkal to attend the 60th Annual Meeting of the Public Choice Society in Seattle. It was at this conference that I had the privilege of meeting Professor Pete Boettke, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University (GMU), and Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, at the Mercatus Center at GMU. Professor Boettke encouraged me to get involved with the Mercatus Center and recommended me to apply for their Don Lavoie Fellowship, an online semester-long fellowship exploring the Austrian, Virginian, and Bloomington schools of political economy. Determined to seize this opportunity, I applied for the fellowship during my long flight back home to Perth.

To my delight, I succeeded in securing the fellowship as an advanced undergraduate student in their Markets and Political Orders Fall Cohort of 2023. As a Don Lavoie Fellow, I participated in a series of engaging online activities, including reading sessions and discussion groups led by the Hayek Program Scholars. These sessions not only deepened my understanding of public choice economics but also exposed me to new ways of applying the public choice framework. One of the readings I found incredibly interesting was Manufacturing Militarism (2021) by Christopher J. Coyne and Abigail R. Hall. Coyne and Hall explore the political economy of U.S. government propaganda in the war on terror, covering issues including collective fear, paid patriotism, and the ideal protective state.

My fellowship not only expanded my intellectual horizons but also allowed me to join a network of fellow Mercatus students, faculty, and Scholars who share a passion in advancing research in contemporary political economy. My classmates hail from diverse corners of the world, including India, Ukraine, Italy, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and England. Learning about how their worldviews have been shaped by their life experiences was truly inspiring,

As a Mannkal Alumnus, I am grateful for the incredible opportunities that were presented to me both during and after my Scholarship. Looking into the future, I am excited and hopeful to continue my work in the liberty space. Upon graduating with my Bachelor of Commerce from UWA at the end of this year, I plan to pursue postgraduate studies in either law or public policy.

Read More