Abstract. The theme of the role and place of ordoliberal views in contemporary European economic policy has attracted attention of many researchers. While some scholars raise their concerns about the ongoing ordoliberalization of Europe and criticize the ordoliberal foundations of the European Union, the others call for the restoration of the ordoliberal principles in economic policy and argue about the necessity of ordoliberal reforms. This article is focused on this discussion and aims to assess the various arguments that use the ordoliberal issue to justify their positions. The analysis leads to the conclusion that this discussion very often faces misinterpretations of the main outlook of the ordoliberal theory, what can be explained by the dominant role of Germany in the European political scene, complexity of the relationship between ordoliberalism and the social market economy model, as well as by political, economic and ideological motives. For ordoliberals, the main task for the state was to create and maintain a competitive order that will allow market forces to distribute the wealth according to merits and will result in what can be called achievement of social justice. Meanwhile, it has become apparent that European policymakers have noticeably eschewed the competitive order proposals, and modern arrangements of the European economy might be better characterized in terms of regulatory capitalism and managed competition. Moreover, it can be argued that the raising concentration of economic power makes the appeals for the return to the ordoliberal principles very reasonable. The Freiburg school ideas continue to be a real alternative not only to the neoclassical mainstream, but also to the socialist wishes to control and direct economic and social processes.
Keywords: ordoliberalism, Freiburg school, European integration, European economic policy, competition law, concentration of economic power, social market economy, competitive order
1. Biebricher T. The Return of Ordoliberalism in Europe: Notes on a Research Agenda. Rivista di Scienze Giuridiche, Scienze Cognitive ed Intelligenza Artificiale, 2014, vol. 9, no. 21, pp. 1-24.
2. Wilkinson M.A. Authoritarian Liberalism in Europe: a Common Critique of Neoliberalism and Ordoliberalism. Critical Sociology, 2019, vol. 45, no. 7–8, pp. 1023-1034.
3. Ryner M. Europe’s Ordoliberal Iron Cage: Critical Political Economy, the Euro Area Crisis and Its Management. Journal of European Public Policy, 2015, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 275-294.
4. Bonefeld W. Ordoliberalism, European Monetary Union and State Power. Critical Sociology, 2019, vol. 45, no. 7–8, pp. 995-1010.
5. Wandel J. Prospects for an Ordoliberal Reform of the European Union. Economic Affairs, 2019, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 28-43.
6. Eucken W. Grundsatze der Wirtschaftspolitik. Tubingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2004. 415 S.
7. Vanberg V.J. Ordnungspolitik, the Freiburg School and the Reason of Rules. Freiburger Diskussionspapiere zur Ordnungsokonomik, 2014, no. 14/01, pp. 1-17.
8. Bohm F., Eucken W., Grossmann-Doerth H. The Ordo Manifesto of 1936. Peacock A., Willgerodt H., eds. Germany’s Social Market Economy: Origins and Evolution. London, Palgrave Macmillan, 1989. 291 p.
9. Larouche P., Schinkel M.P. Continental Drift in the Treatment of Dominant Firms: Article 102 TFEU in Contrast to §2 Sherman Act. TILEC Discussion Paper, no. 2013-020, 2013, pp. 1-33.
10. Avtonomov V.S. Na kakie svoistva cheloveka mozhet operet’sya ekonomicheskii liberalizm? [Which human qualities can economic liberalism be based on?] Voprosy Ekonomiki, 2015, vol. 8, pp. 5-24.
11. Kohler E., Kolev S. The Conjoint Quest for a Liberal Positive Program: “Old Chicago“ Freiburg and Hayek. HWWI Research Paper, 2011, no. 109, pp. 1-32.
12. Simons H. C. A Positive Program for Laissez Faire: Some Proposals for a Liberal Economic Policy. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1934. 40 p.
13. Van Horn R. Chicago’s Shifting Attitude Toward Concentrations of Business Power (1934–1962). Seattle UL Rev., 2010, vol. 34, pp. 1527-1544.
14. Hayek F. A. Individualism and Economic Order. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1949. 272 p.
15. Gutnik V.P. Teoreticheskoe obosnovanie politiki khozyaistvennogo poryadka i ee osnovnye printsipy [Theoretical substantiation of the policy of economic order and its main principles]. Sotsial’noe rynochnoe khozyaistvo: kontseptsiya, prakticheskii opyt i perspektivy primenenii v Rossii [Social market economy: the concept, practical experience and prospects of implementation in Russia]. Moscow, SU HSE, 2007, pp. 69-97.
16. Zweynert J. The Concept of Ordnungspolitik Through the Lens of the Theory of Limited and Open Access Orders. Constitutional Political Economy, 2015, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 4-18.
17. Ropke W. Europa als Wirtschaftliche Aufgabe. Schweizer Monatshefte: Zeitschrift fur Politik, Wirtschaft, Kultur, 1956, vol. 36, no. 1, ss. 1-9.
18. Erhard L. Harmonie durch Harmonisierung? Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung, 31 December, 1959, S. 2.
19. Lagerkvist J. The Ordoliberal Turn? Getting China and Global Economic Governance Right. Global Affairs, 2015, vol. 1, no. 4–5, pp. 411-419.
20. Young B. German Ordoliberalism as Agenda Setter for the Euro Crisis: Myth Trumps Reality. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 2014, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 276-287.
21. Connolly B. The Rotten Heart of Europe: The Dirty War for Europe’s Money. London, Faber & Faber, 1995. 427 p.
22. Bagus P. The Tragedy of the Euro. Auburn, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012. 176 ð.
23. European Commission. White Paper on the Future of Europe: Reflections and Scenarios for the EU27 by 2025. Brussels, European Commission, 2017. 31 p.
24. Vatiero M. Dominant Market Position and Ordoliberalism. International Review of Economics, 2015, vol. 62, no. 4, pp. 291-306.
25. Akman P., Kassim H. Myths and Myth‐Making in the European Union: The Institutionalization and Interpretation of EU Competition Policy. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 2010, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 111-132.
26. Gerbrandy A. Rethinking Competition Law within the European Economic Constitution. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 2019, vol. 57, no. 1, pp. 127-142.
27. Roepke W. The Economic Necessity of Freedom. Modern Age, 1959, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 227-236.
28. Sally R. Ludwig Erhard’s Social Market Economy – a Liberal, not a Social Democratic Concept. Institute of Economic Affairs, 15.04.2016. Available at: https://iea.org.uk/blog/ludwig-erhards-social-market-economy-a-liberal-not-a-social-democratic-concept (accessed 30.09.2020).
29. Claassen R., Gerbrand A., Princen S., Segers M. Rethinking the European Social Market Economy: Introduction to the Special Issue. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 2019, vol. 57, no. 1, pp. 3-12.
30. Bohm F. Left-wing and Right-wing Approaches to the Market Economy. Zeitschrift fur die gesamte Staatswissenschaft / Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 1979, vol. 135, no. 3, pp. 442-448.
Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX