Individual versus Regulatory Ethics: An Economic-Ethical and Theoretical-Historical Analysis of German Neoliberalism

OEconomia. History, Methodology, Philosophy III-4-2013

28 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2013 Last revised: 21 Nov 2013

Date Written: November 1, 2013

Abstract

Following Foucault's analysis of German Neoliberalism (Ordoliberalism) and his thesis of ambiguity, this paper introduces a two-level distinction between individual and regulatory ethics. In particular, its aim is to reassess the importance of individual ethics in the conceptual framework of Ordoliberalism. The individual ethics of Ordoliberalism is based on the heritage of Judeo-Christian values and the Kantian individual liberty and responsibility. The regulatory or formal-institutional ethics of Ordoliberalism which has so far received most attention on the contrary refers to the institutional and legal framework of a socio-economic order. By distinguishing these two dimensions of ethics incorporated in German Neoliberalism, it is feasible to distinguish different varieties of neoliberalism and to link Ordoliberalism to modern economic ethics.

Keywords: Neoliberalism, Ordoliberalism, Freiburg School of Economics, Individual Ethics, Regulatory Ethics, Michel Foucault

JEL Classification: B2, B3, B25, B52, P0, Z1

Suggested Citation

Wörsdörfer, Manuel, Individual versus Regulatory Ethics: An Economic-Ethical and Theoretical-Historical Analysis of German Neoliberalism (November 1, 2013). OEconomia. History, Methodology, Philosophy III-4-2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2354439

Manuel Wörsdörfer (Contact Author)

University of Maine ( email )

Orono, ME 04469
United States

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