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Contextualising the Walter Lippmann Colloquium: On the historical origins of neoliberalism in the 1930s

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Hagen Schulz-Forberg - Invited speaker

In most accounts of the history of liberalism, and especially neoliberalism, the Walter Lippmann Colloquium from August 1938 features as a prequel to a story that really unfolds only after the war. Especially, Colloquium is seen as stepping stone to the founding of the Mont Pèlerin Society in April 1947, where, again, leading intellectuals - all of them self-proclaimed 'real liberals' - gathered to save the agenda of liberalism.
Little is known about the historical origins and context of the Lippmann Colloquium, however. Why was a Spanish specialist in ancient Roman law, José Casillejo, and not an economist of high profile, such an outspoken, self-confident speaker at the Colloquium? Why was the philosopher Louis Rougier the organiser? Why did it take place at Rue Montpensier, No. 2, the address of the Palais Royal in Paris? These questions arise because the historical analysis of the Colloquium has so far concentrated on retelling the story of those economists and philosophers who became famous and highly influential in the 1970s. The colloquium was, however, part of an effort at carving out a transnational scietific landscape in the 1930s. The origins of this scientific landscape go back to the Treaty of Versailles and the emergence of International Studies as an academic discipline. The discussion of what should become of liberalism and how it could be rejuvenated had begun within these institutional networks in the early 1930s. The neoliberalism that was coined as a term in 1938 in Paris thus can be understood better when recreating the larger intellectual and institutional settings of the 1930s.
30 Jan 2014

Event (Seminar)

TitleResearch Seminar of the Institute for Advanced Studies
Date30/01/2014 → …
LocationIMT - Institute for Advanced Studies


ID: 70588798