Friedrich Hayek, International Order, and Federalism

  • Edwin van de Haar
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought Series book series (PMHIT)


It is most likely that Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992) was the most important classical liberal of the twentieth century. A Nobel-Prize-winning economist who turned to political and legal philosophy, he also wrote about theoretical psychology and the history of ideas. Together with his mentor Mises, and later Milton Friedman, he was one of the most important intellectuals who took up the fight against socialism. He founded the important classical liberal Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) and actively supported think tanks and public policy institutes around the world. Among others, he influenced Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and, less well-known, the German politician Franz Josef Strauss.1 In his view, a chief task of the economic theorist or political philosopher was to influence public opinion in order to attempt to change political impossibilities into realities. Objections to his proposals did not deter him in the least from developing them.2 Hayek was a full professor most of his life, at the London School of Economics, Chicago, Freiburg, and Salzburg. Compared to Mises, he was more a public face of classical liberalism, just like Friedman. Hayek waged “the war of ideas” and lived long enough to enjoy victory after the cold war ended with the collapse of communism.3


International Relation European Monetary Union International Order Individual Liberty Domestic Politics 
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© Edwin van de Haar 2009

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  • Edwin van de Haar

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