Talk:Hoover Institution

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Merge[edit]

It's generally our policy to use the most common name, not necessarily the full formal one, when titling articles. Also, this article is older than Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. RadicalSubversiv E 23:16, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Merged. GoCardinal 00:58, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm going to update the information on "Kazuhide Uekusa, Japanese sex offender." To mention the man in this light alone strikes me as a rather obvious bias against him, akin to saying, "Bill Clinton, American fornicator and purgurist." It's not really a fair characterization of the individual in question. Additionally, upon reading the article about Uekusa's "sex offense," the only charge he has actually been convicted of is fairly minor (voyeurism). It may technically make him a sex offender, but to ignore his academic credentials in favor of this information alone strikes me as intellectually disingenuous. --Bjsiders 21:19, 18 August 2005 (UTC) (forgot to log on)

How come everything in this article is lifted word for word from the Institute's own PR pages. Is this another case of insider editing for anything they dislike such as what is happening with the pages on congressmen and senators?

Copyvio[edit]

We've received a complaint that most of this article is copied from the Institute's PR department; a quick search shows that most of it is copied from here (PDF file). As such, I've reverted the article to the June 21 version, which is the latest version without copied text. Apologies for this reversion, but we can't have copied content on here (with a few exceptions, such as public domain or released text, of course). Unless this text fits under those exceptions (see Wikipedia:Copyright for more information), it shouldn't be re-added. Thanks a lot for your understanding! Flcelloguy (A note?) 16:21, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

P.S. Please feel free to re-add any information or changes lost in the reversion that wasn't copied. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 16:22, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Protest[edit]

The 2nd article I read said "more than 1,000" in its lead paragraph. But later on it said:

  • 200 to 400, followed by
  • “A group of us sat down together last night at Columbae and we just started dealing with the details,” he said. “We organized a time, and Columbae funds helped pay for some of our supplies. There are approximately 1,000 people around and more than half of them are protesting. This is a great success.”

More than half of "approximately 1,000 people" would still seem to be less than (not "more than") 1,000. --Wing Nut 19:23, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Also, the road was not blocked - there were fences, security guards, and policemen to insure it wasn't. There were just a large number of stanford students/protesters lining the road to Hoover Tower. Not too sure why Bush decided not to show up (Aside from bad press).

I saw video of the event and at part of the road, a number of protesters were lying in the street. The fire department eventually ran a fire truck along the road, and when the protesters still didn't move, they started to arrest them for blocking an emergency vehicle. I'm not sure on what the final legal resolution to all this was. Mgunn 05:23, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

--Libertarian?-- The Institution seems to be more conservative than libertarian. It is, after all, named after Hoover, the architect of the Red Scare.SteveSims 02:35, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

There are a number of senior fellows with fairly different viewpoints. Milton Friedman, a nobel prize winning economist and recently deceased, was probably the foremost libertarian thinker of the 20th century.Mgunn 05:23, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

I think your confused: its named after Herbert Hoover, not J. Edgar.--70.112.236.174 17:01, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Ideological Reference[edit]

There appears to be some dispute about the appropriateness of describing the Hoover Institute as conservative, and noting the extent of its ties to Republican and Bush Administration sources. I suggest that rather than degenerating into a reversion war, these matters be explicitly discussed here before more changes are made.

I think it is clear and NPOV that the Hoover is conservative and Republican in its orientation (indeed, the wiki page on Think Tank lists the Hoover Institute under "conservative think tanks"). This is not a value statement, and is certainly not pejorative - it is simply descriptive. I don't see the problem in making that clear here. If the perception is that this is being done in a biased or pejorative way, then I suggest that a better, more objective way of communicating the same information be supplied.

I also do not understand why the reference to General Abizaid joining the Hoover Institute was removed (I replaced it). He was the senior commander in Iraq, and a central player in the Bush Administration's Iraq war policy. The announcement of his joining the Hoover was big news, and is relevant to and illustrative of the Hoover's conservative and Republican leanings. There are liberal think tanks, and it would be appropriate to make similar entries for them. Gogh 03:40, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Just caught this. First of all, judging from your previous edits in this article, you've been pushing POV rather heavily: what's with the "well funded" conservative think tank line? "Well" funded as opposed to "non-well" funded? Really. All you're doing is injecting an arbitrary valuation of its level of funding which I don't think has a place in an encyclopaedic article.
As for the Institution's conservative orientation - note that I did not remove references to its conservative scholars. I only removed the assertion that it is primarily a *neoconservative* bastion. There is a difference.
Further, citing another Wiki article for HI's conservative orientation is not a good enough source. While it is undeniable that a number of HI's scholars are conservative, it is not obvious that a majority of the Institution's scholars are conservative. Tim Garton Ash and William Perry are but two rather obvious non-conservatives on its list of fellows (not to mention a number of other Asian, East European, or non-American fellows whose politics are hard to discern); while Gary Becker and Richard Epstein are more accurately described as market libertarians than conservatives.
If Stanford is not referred to as a "liberal" research university even if its faculty mostly self-identify as "liberal", it is hardly appropriate to assert that the Hoover Institution is "conservative" without sourcing. Undue weight given to this angle in the lede also gives the impression that the Institution's fellows are mostly conservative (more than 50%) when this is not at all clear in the absence of sourcing.
As for Abizaid, I just find your contention bizarre. Your source doesn't identify him as a Republican or a conservative. Why are you assuming he is? The military acts under civilian oversight (who may be political appointees), but the military itself is apolitical.
Since when was the commander of CENTCOM (or any of the other Commands) a political appointment? The Joint Chiefs - who are as close to policy as it gets - act in a strictly advisory role to the President. Abizaid, who was in charge of *executing* policy in Central Command, wasn't even part of the Joint Chiefs. So your automatic assumption - that the head of CENTCOM is a Republican/conservative because he's heading a military command that happens to be under a Republican administration - is a baseless one. 220.255.112.202 11:13, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I guess this is going to be difficult - why don't we agree to disagree as respectfully and amiably as possible? I will try my best not to assume the worst about you and your motivations, and I will trust that you will do the same.
First, Abizaid. The point is not that he is a conservative, the point is that he was (and I think this is self-evident, but if you want me to support it let me know and I will) closely associated with the Bush Administration and its Iraq War policy. His current association with the Hoover Institute is (I think) clearly relevant to the HI's ties to Bush and republican sources. If you think that the way I wrote it originally suggests that Abizaid is himself a conservative, that is helpful feedback - rather than just deleting my contribution, perhaps you can suggest a better way to phrase it, or just ask me to take another crack at it. I will try to re-write that passage and re-post it to make it more clear, and we can see what you think.
Second, describing HI as conservative. I am surprised if you are actually disputing this characterization - I think it is well established. If your point is that this should be better sourced, then I suggest that you summarize where you see the deficiencies in the current sourcing, and ask others to improve it. I note here that I did not cite wiki as a source on the content page, just here on the discussion page to illustrate that the conservative commitments of the HI are pretty well understood. I am not sure that the previous text actually used the word "bastion" as you seem to suggest - if it did then it might be reasonable to change that word. But I don't think it is accurate to remove descriptions of the HI as having conservative commitments. Of course, this does not mean that everyone there thinks alike or even qualifies as conservative - but that is the guiding ideology there. I do not understand why you see simply noting this fact as either POV or as pejorative. At least as many US Americans see conservative as a positive adjective as a negative one. In this case, I think it is just descriptive.
Let me summarize what I think should be included in this article, then you can tell me specifically what you think is inappropriate. We can argue over specific wording later. #1: The Hoover Institute is a conservative think tank. #2 A number of prominent people associated with the Republican party, and in recent years with the Bush administration, have participated in the Hoover Institute.
If we can agree that the two points I note above are both accurate and appropriate to an encyclopedia article, then we can move on to the best words to use to communicate them. Are you willing to work with me on this? Gogh —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 21:30, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
You can't seem to answer my arguments though? You've simply ellided the point about Abizaid being given undue weight. The paragraph at issue is about conservative or Republican movements: see the first sentence. Asserting a nebulous "connection" to the Bush administration so as to give the false impression that he is a conservative or Republican is exceedingly poor argumentation at best, and downright misleading at worst.
By this argument any career civil servant or military officer (even ones who worked under a Democrat administration, as Abizaid surely did) may be press-ganged into a Bush "connection" - even if he is anything but a conservative or Republican. You continue to insinuate that Abizaid is relevant to the Insitutiton's "Bush ties AND Republican sources" - when your own source says no such thing. Provide more than an argument from insinuation and I'll take it seriously.
As for the Institution's purported conservatism - are you actually going to provide a source that shows that more than 50% of its fellows are conservative, or are you just going to assert that it is "well-established"? It's not even clear that the Institution's fellows are more conservative than libertarian, so why are you so keen on giving undue weight to an unsourced assertion? This is an encyclopedia, not a collection of blithely asserted conceits. As I said, I have no problem stating that a number of the Institution's fellows are conservative. But to state that a majority of its scholars are conservative - as "conservative think tank" surely implies - requires a better source than mere assertion.
As it happens, I don't take "conservative" as a pejorative. I take your attempts to paint the Institution in an inaccurate light (by giving undue weight to such contrived locutions as "Bush connection") as unnecessary POV.
And this brings us to another instance ofundue weightage: the overplaying of the Bush angle.
The Hoover Institution is not defined by Bush, predates Bush, and has very little connection to Bush as a matter of scholarly concern. As a total proportion of scholars, only a minority served in Republican administrations, and an even smaller minority served in the Bush II administration. Why are you giving undue weight to this in the lede?
So no: both points you note are inaccurate, and inappropriate.
Lastly, do answer why you think the wiki for Stanford shouldn't mention a self-identifying *liberal* faculty whereas the wiki for the Hoover Institution (itself part of Stanford) should assert (without sourcing) that it - or a majority of its fellows - is conservative? Or why undue weight has been given to the Institution's purported conservatism when it is not clear that a majority of its scholars are conservative (as opposed to say, libertarian)? 220.255.112.202 05:03, 24 September 2007 (UTC)


I have previously edited and contributed to help remove bias. Please refer to the Official Mission Statement - the Hoover Institute does not identify itself as a politically affiliated institution. This means that the institute does not officially sanction Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or any other political party in a direct way. Individual members may have views and affiliations that do not necessarily reflect the over-arching philosophy of the Hoover Institute. As noted above, please keep the introduction (and the rest of the article) neutral. Nimur 15:27, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. Some people seem mighty keen on painting the Institution in an inaccurate and unflattering light though. 220.255.112.202 15:33, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure why you insist on making this adversarial. We seem to have some disagreements about the best way to describe the HI, but I think we can find a way to compromise. I am not really interested in having the kind of partisan debate you seem to want to draw me into. I am interested in accurately and objectively describing the HI on this page. I have again modified the passage about the General - I agree with you that it should not suggest that he himself is a republican or a conservative, and I have tried to make that clear. If you have a suggestion about how to make it even more clear, I would be very glad to see it.

Again, I am willing to put the time into appropriately documenting the claim (I was not the first to make it here) that the HI is a conservative think tank; however I am not going to waste my time doing that if in the end you are simply going to argue that unless the HI describes itself that way, nothing else matters. That of course is not the standard for any encyclopedia - if it were then we could shut down the wiki and simply invite all entities to submit self-descriptive articles.

I do recognize that for many people politics is both an irresistible and emotional topic, and I am happy to overlook some of the negative assumptions you have made about my motivations, and again invite you to work collaboratively with me to improve this article. Perhaps we could move the Abizaid passage down to its own paragraph, and add material about other recent prominent HI scholars who were senior military figures. Would you be willing to do some research and find 2 or 3 other prominent military figures who have joined the HI in the last 5 to 10 years? Gogh 08:38, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

A return to the topic of attaching a political descriptor to the Institution in the article's first sentence:

Several of the recent edits to the article have been insertions or removals (from the article's first sentence) of some adjective or descriptive phrase indicating the Institution's political position.

I've made the most recent of these, and it was to remove the adjective "conservative". Here is why the Institution should be introduced as "a public policy think tank", and not "a conservative public policy think tank": the Institution itself does not align itself anywhere on the political spectrum. It has no official policy of "conservatism".

Of course, even though "conservative" applies directly to the Institution in the context "a conservative public policy think tank", whoever is editing it in would probably argue that it's warranted as a description of the Institution's fellows, publications, and/or research. He would also be incorrect here, though - it's just not accurate to say categorically that the Institution's fellows are conservative (the same applies to their scholarship and the Institution's publications). Furthermore, the rightward-leaning nature of many of the Institution's more prominent scholars is covered in the opening section's ensuing paragraphs - making the insertion of "conservative" in the opening sentence redundant (even if one was to argue it's not misleading).

--Pateam (talk) 22:44, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

At Stanford[edit]

The article states that the Hoover Institution is at Stanford University - what exactly does that mean? What is its affiliation with Stanford, what role does Stanford have in running the Institution? - 121.208.90.191 (talk) 05:55, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Not president yet[edit]

The article begins with

The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by U.S. president Herbert Hoover.

Shouldn't this say "... by future U.S. president Herbert Hoover"? He wasn't president until ten years later.

It might also be objectionable to say that the HIoWR&P was "founded" in 1919, because later in the article we learn that the HIoWR&P gradually evolved from an earlier thing that was founded in 1919. — Lawrence King (talk) 05:25, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

I added the word "future" to the lead section as per your suggestion.
However, I disagree with you that saying that the organization was "founded" in 1919 is objectionable. It began as an archive and library and it still is both of these things. Even though its mission and scope have greatly expanded, it's not a different organization. There has been continuity of personnel, materiel, and function. If the growth of and changes to the organization are not sufficiently clear, we should endeavor to fix that in the history section. I'd hate to see the article split into pieces to represent each name change or transformation of the organization; I don't think that would be useful to the reader.
Thanks, GentlemanGhost (talk) 00:47, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Funding[edit]

The article reads, "The Hoover Institution receives much of its funding from private charitable foundations, including many attached to large corporations. Its recent donors include

   * Archer Daniels Midland Foundation
   * ARCO Foundation
   * Boeing-McDonnell Foundation
   * Chrysler Corporation Fund
   * Dean Witter Foundation [14]
   * Exxon Educational Foundation [15]
   * Ford Motor Company Fund
   * General Motors Foundation
   * J.P. Morgan Charitable Trust
   * Merrill Lynch & Company Foundation
   * Procter & Gamble Fund
   * Rockwell International Corporation Trust
   * Transamerica Foundation [14]

The use of the phrase "including" in the bold text implies that the source of funding is not entirely from corporate sources, but the list presented provides no example of a non-corporate source of funding. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.196.186.92 (talk) 19:03, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately the only sources given (Greenpeace and MediaMatters) have obvious axes to grind and only highlight donations from eevuull oil moneyes. I'll update the MM source (Note - multiple years given) and remove the Greenpeace one (useless), but a link to actual IRS forms would be preferable. -- User:Chelydramat This cursed Ograbme! 18:05, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Nothing in the cited source suggests that any of the corporate donors are recent donors. The Wikipedia page makes it sound like corporate donors give a large portion of funding, when the annual reports suggest its non-endowment payout is almost completely from individual donors or corporate matching for charitable giving. I think the list of corporate donors has to go? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ReadWriteWriteRead (talkcontribs) 00:24, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Hoover part of Stanford?[edit]

I just reverted a couple of assertions which claimed that Hoover is on the Stanford campus but is not affiliated with Stanford. I believe that assertion is not correct and there IS still an affiliation. For example, see the Hoover Institution website: At the top it says "Hoover Institution Stanford University". Every single page of the Hoover Institution website says at the bottom "Copyright © 2012 by the Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University ". The Mission Statement it quotes [1] is "Herbert Hoover's 1959 statement to the Board of Trustees of Stanford University on the purpose and scope of the Hoover Institution". Even the Hoover Institution Press catalog says "HOOVER INSTITUTION PRESS, Copyright © 2012 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University". You may not like it, and the two parties may not make a big point of it, but the evidence clearly indicates that everything Hoover does is ultimately under the jurisdiction of Stanford University. --MelanieN (talk) 17:57, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

It is and it isn't. To be exact it is under the Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University and the director reports to the President of the University but it is independent of much of the academic governance of the university (it is not under the provost or the academic senate). Some info at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/legal/legalfacts_su.html --Erp (talk) 15:29, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that's just the link I needed! --MelanieN (talk) 15:55, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

"Conservative" again[edit]

Somebody just deleted the description of the Institute in the lead sentence as a "conservative" think tank, although it was sourced. Many, many more sources could be cited.[2] IMO the description is well established by Reliable Sources and is non-controversial. I think it should be included, perhaps with additional/better references. What do others think? --MelanieN (talk) 20:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I see that someone reverted the deletion. So I have added three eminently Reliable Sources to support the "conservative" description - in place of the admittedly shaky reference that was there before. Hope this will settle the matter. --MelanieN (talk) 00:10, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I think I take issue with the term "eminently Reliable Sources" to support the conservative description. The three articles cited are news articles from 1983, 1991, and 1993. That means the designation is coming from reporters assigning a label to the think tank, not any particular ideological focus from the Institution. The term conservative also implies social conservatism, which is directly at odds with many of Hoover senior fellows, including Richard Epstein who writes a weekly column titled "The Libertarian." Looking through the list of fellowship, senior fellows like Michael McFaul (President Obama's former Ambassador to Russia) and Larry Diamond (author of Squandered Victory, an anti-President Bush book) don't fit under the conservative umbrella.
It seems that the fairer way to determine labels is to look at Wikipedia entries from comparable think tanks. The Brookings Institution is labeled as an "American think tank" even though it is considered by most to be center-left. The American Enterprise Institute is labeled as an "American think tank" even though many consider it to be center-right. Even the Urban Institute is listed as "non-partisan," which is a generous designation. Others like the Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress have partisan designations attached to them, which makes sense to me because they each have lobbying arms related to their efforts that are very clear about who they support. In other words, the institutions as a whole take political stances. Brookings, AEI, and Hoover do not. They are instead the compilation of their fellowship. It seems like a method for determining a methodology for labels is to resist the urge to label the organization unless the organization itself describes itself as something - as in the case of the Heritage Foundation or the Center for American Progress. Finally, the Hoover Institution houses an enormous library that is not motivated by ideology. Assigning a label unfairly characterizes the library in a partisan light.ReadWriteWriteRead (talk) 02:04, 7 February 2014 (UTC)