If you’ve paid any attention to politics, you’ll know that libertarians are convinced they have a better way to govern. Much of their philosophy is built on the work of Friedrich Hayek, an Austrian philosopher and economist who saw the free market as an antidote to Nazism and the Soviet Union. Those threats are gone, does that mean Hayek is no longer relevant? On this episode we ask about Hayek, about the nature of economics, and whether specialized researchers have a duty to be relevant.
Bruce Caldwell is a Research Professor and the Director of the newly Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University. He is the author of "Beyond Positivism: Economic Methodology in the 20th Century", first published in 1982. For the past two decades his research has focused on the multi-faceted writings of the Nobel prize-winning economist and social theorist Friedrich A. Hayek. Caldwell’s intellectual biography of Hayek, "Hayek's Challenge", was published in 2004 by the University of Chicago Press. Since 2002 he has been the General Editor of "The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek", a collection of Hayek's writings published jointly by the University of Chicago Press and Routledge. Caldwell has held research fellowships at New York University, Cambridge University, and the London School of Economics. He is a past president of the History of Economics Society and of the Southern Economic Association, a past Executive Director of the International Network for Economic Method, and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.
The website for the Center for the History of Political Economy can be found