“The Other Side of the Argument”: Isaiah Berlin versus F. A. von Hayek on Liberty, Public Policies, and the Market

CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY (2015). DOI 10.1007/s10602-015-9193-3

Abstract: The present paper is concerned with the nexus between the different dimensions of liberty, public policies, and the market mechanism. We argue that in order to evaluate the performance of the market mechanism in promoting freedom comprehensively, both the opportunity and the process aspect of liberty must be taken into consideration. Depending on where the emphasis is laid, the achievements of the market mechanism and market interventions through government action in promoting liberty appear in a different light. Two authors have developed encompassing concepts of liberty that can be applied for such a purpose: Isaiah Berlin and F. A. von Hayek. We analyse where Berlin and Hayek are in disagreement and discuss how their different views result in directly conflicting policy preferences.