Libertarianism and the Austrian School of Economics

Zwolinski, Matt and Benjamin Ferguson (Ed.). (2022). The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism. Routledge International Handbooks.

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 22-21

31 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2022

See all articles by Peter J. Boettke

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Date Written: April 29, 2022

Abstract

The Austrian School of Economics has a long and storied history. Born in the context of fin de seicle Vienna, the historical and cultural context of the scientific contribution and the attitude and aptitudes of the different thinkers should not be forgotten even as the intellectual tradition migrates throughout Europe and to North America, and eventually throughout the world. Throughout its history the school of thought was embroiled in debates of a methodological, analytical, and social philosophical nature. It is this later set of debates that aligns any history of Austrian economics with discussions of classical liberalism and modern libertarianism. This paper stresses that those debates at an intellectual level were tied to methodological and analytical points, but also recognizes sociologically that the very persistence of these discussions over a long history means that to many the school is associated with these ideological positions rather than the underlying methodological and analytical issues. This paper explores the indirect links between the Austrian School and a broader notion of classical liberalism through a focus on the institutional framework within which human actors engage in acts of social cooperation with one another. It is the hope of this chapter to clarify those issues and to offer an invitation of inquiry to the Austrian School of Economics to those in the social sciences and humanities as the progressive research program of this approach continually evolves in the 21st century.

Keywords: libertarianism, austrian, philosophy, menger, mises, hayek, calculation

JEL Classification: B3, B25, B53

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Boettke, Peter J., Libertarianism and the Austrian School of Economics (April 29, 2022). Zwolinski, Matt and Benjamin Ferguson (Ed.). (2022). The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism. Routledge International Handbooks., GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 22-21, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4148732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4148732

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

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George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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