Like Hayek? Check Out These New Books in Austrian Political Economy
The presses were busy in 2021 with new work in Austrian political economy. The label ‘Austrian economics’ reminds some of early 20th century scholarship on the economic calculation debate, or of the Austrian’s contributions to the earlier marginal revolution. I use the term Austrian political economy to refer instead to the living research agenda that emphasizes social interconnections, process thinking, subjectivism, and patterns of order in the absence of central direction (also known as spontaneous order, emergent order, or invisible hand processes).
These new publications very much demonstrate how alive the Austrian-inspired research agenda is today. There’s something here for everyone—the books on this list deal with militarism, propaganda, social movements, civil unrest, monetary policy, public policy, interdisciplinarity, and the future of liberalism. And—as a bonus for those who are interested in the intellectual history of Austrian economics as well as its present—an exciting volume of reprints of sometimes difficult to find writings by the great Karen Vaughn.
There’s a good chance I’ve left important and interesting work off this list, so please add to the comments to share any other new Austrian and market-process inspired books. Happy reading!
The Struggle for a Better World, Peter J. Boettke
Boettke’s The Struggle for a Better World is a collection of lectures and addresses that bring together decades of deep thought on the future of the Great Society and the viability of a flourishing liberal society. He presents liberalism as a doctrine of emancipation, and challenges those who consider themselves liberal to think deeply about how to bring freedom to those who face oppression.
Money and the Rule of Law: Generality and Predictability in Monetary Institutions, Peter J. Boettke, Alexander William Salter, and Daniel J. Smith
A new investigation into the operation of monetary policy that will be of great interest to anybody interested in political economy in general, or the operation of contemporary monetary institutions in particular.
Manufacturing Militarism: U. S. Government Propaganda in the War on Terror, Christopher J. Coyne and Abigail R. Hall
In this follow-up to 2018’s Tyranny Comes Home, Coyne and Hall turn their attention to modern day military propaganda. They make the case that military propaganda is not a thing of the past. Rather, the U.S. military actively invests in advertising and information control in order to encourage us to focus on exaggerated foreign threats rather than the dangers posed by our proximity to the United State’s own large and powerful military.
Elinor Ostrom and the Bloomington School: Building a New Approach to Policy and the Social Sciences, eds. Jayme Lemke and Vlad Tarko
No doubt a self-interested choice, but as Walter Williams used to say, it’s a sad dog that won’t wag it’s own tail. This volume is in my view a diverse and readable introduction to the Bloomington School of political economy that takes its Austrian foundations seriously. The contributors address Austrian economics, public choice, new institutionalism, behavioral economics, economic sociology, environmental policy, public administration, and more.
Novak studies historical and contemporary social movements in order to better understand how they operate and the role they play in liberal societies. She is heavily influenced by contemporary Austrian thinkers like Pete Boettke, Emily Chamlee-Wright, Don Lavoie, and Virgil Storr, and offers a great deal of food for thought for anybody interested in trying to understand the variety of social changes and movements playing out around us in the world today.
Essays on Austrian Economics and Political Economy, Karen Vaughn
Karen Vaughn’s work in and about the Austrian tradition is insightful, careful, and deserves to be more widely read. This new volume is a great opportunity to pick up her work. And, check out this podcast where Karen and I talk about her work and career.
Jayme Lemke is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of Academic and Student Programs at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow in the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.