Austrian Economics as Political Philosophy

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Department of Political Science, Stockholm University

Sammanfattning: The Austrian school of economics is an unorthodox approach to economics whose adherents have mostly been libertarian in their political outlook. This dissertation explores the connections between Austrian economic theory and libertarian political philosophy, and casts doubt on the claim often propounded that Austrian economics itself naturally leads to libertarianism. Instead it is claimed here that Austrian economics is an open-ended theory that can lead to very different political conclusions, depending on the normative principles with which it is combined. Therefore it is crucial to analyze both the economic theory and the ethics of any political thinker of the Austrian school, and the bulk of the analysis must lean on the latter since the economic theory itself does not lead to the types of libertarianism that is put forward by the most famous economists and philosophers of the Austrian school. The ethical theories of four Austrian school proponents are analyzed in this dissertation: Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. The conclusion is that there are several problems with their theories, although the problems are of different kinds, ranging from metaethics to empirical application and operationalization.