Volume 45, Issue 3, October 2019
Michael Polanyi and Early Neoliberalism
Between the late 1930s and the 1950s, Michael Polanyi came in close contact with a diverse cast of intellectuals seeking a renewal of the liberal doctrine. The elaboration of this “neoliberalism” happened through a transnational collaboration between economists, philosophers, and social theorists, united in their rejection of central planning. Defining a common agenda for this “early neoliberalism” offered an opportunity to discard the old laissez-faire doctrine and restore a supervisory role of the state. Ultimately, post-war dissensions regarding the direction of these efforts led Polanyi away from the neoliberal core.