The Geneva School and its Ordoglobalists

by Stefan Kolev

Four cities are usually considered the birthplaces of neoliberalism: Vienna, London, Chicago, and Freiburg. In his new book, Globalists. The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism(Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2018, 393 pages), historian Quinn Slobodian points out that an important place is missing in this series: Geneva. The Genevan melting pot of neoliberal ideas in the immediate vicinity of major international institutions was formative in the various attempts to establish an order for the global economy over the past nine decades.

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Friedrich von Wieser, or: Against “Sidelining” Austrian Economists

by Stefan Kolev

Historians of economics must resist the temptation to put their narratives into the service of ideology. The intriguing case of Friedrich von Wieser exemplifies the grave dangers involved for history of economics as a discipline and for Austrian economics as a respectable research program – but it also provides hints on how to immunize historical accounts from the dangers of hagiography and litmus-test purity checks.

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The Viennese culture of conversation: Understanding and defending fragile orders

by Stefan Kolev*

For a better understanding of the turbulences of our time, studying those earlier politico-economic debates which focused on fragile orders of economy and society can certainly prove insightful. In The Viennese Students of Civilization, Erwin Dekker addresses such an age and interprets the works and impact of economists often labeled as the “Austrian School” – economists who are both the research object for historians of economics and the source of inspiration for today’s “Austrian Economists”. Continue reading