Ordoliberal Foundations of European Economic Policy: Myths and Reality

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-4-50-57
D. Trubnikov (da.trubnikov@gmail.com),
St. Petersburg School of Economics and Management, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, 3, Kantemirovskaya Str., St. Petersburg, 194100, Russian Federation

Received 20.09.2020.

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


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For citation:
Trubnikov D. Ordoliberal Foundations of European Economic Policy: Myths and Reality. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, No 4, pp. 50-57. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-4-50-57

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