Douglas Bruce Rogers 

December 13, 1984 – January 30, 2011
BA Economics, West Virginia University
PhD Economics, George Mason University
The Douglas B. Rogers Doctoral Fellowship – Mercatus Center

The Douglas B. Rogers Essay Competition is open to all full-time undergraduate students currently enrolled at the time of essay submission in any field of study at a college or university in North America. This annual program invites students to submit essays prompted by a provocative quotation from one of Doug’s favorite economists, political theorists, or philosophers. 

The Douglas B. Rogers Essay Competition honors the memory of Douglas B. Rogers, PhD and serves as a means of continuing his legacy of inspiring young minds to seek knowledge through truth. The great works and stream of ideas that formed the underpinnings of our Western Civilization were of great importance to Doug. This competition is designed to invite students to thoughtfully research and opine matters of critical relevance to our society and future governance.

This Year’s Quote:

Nobel Laureate James Buchanan commented on the relationship between the collective and the individual observing the following,

If, however, the collectivity is empowered to enforce individual rights, how is it to be prevented from going beyond these limits? What are the “rights” of the enforcing agent itself, the state? …. How can Leviathan be chained? This problem has worried political philosophers of all ages, but no fully satisfactory answer has been advanced, either as an ideal to be approached or as a practical program to be experienced.

Discussions about the role of the state and how and when its powers should be limited remain a point of discussion and disagreement today.
How would you respond to Buchanan’s question either in the ideal or in the practical? 

Timeline for 2024 Competition:

Submissions: Open July 1, 2024
Submissions Due: September 15, 2024
Winners Announced: October 18, 2024

Guidelines for Competition:

Essays should be original work and no longer than 4,000 words, follow all conventions about proper citation, and engage the reader.


Cash Prizes will be awarded to the top three submissions as judged by a panel of experts.

First Prize $2,000
Second Prize $1,000  
Third Prize $500