Wilhelm Röpke’s Political Economy is the story of one man’s efforts to rehabilitate a Smithian approach to political economy in ways that met the economic and political challenges of the twentieth century.
Wilhelm Röpke is best known for his decisive intellectual contributions to the economic reforms that took post-war West Germany from ruin to riches within a decade. In this informative book, Samuel Gregg presents Röpke as a sophisticated économiste-philosophe in the tradition of Adam Smith, who was as much concerned with exploring and reforming the moral, social and intellectual foundations of the market economy, as he was in examining subjects such as business-cycles, trade-policy, inflation, employment, and the welfare state. By situating Röpke’s ideas in the history of modern Western economic thought, Samuel Gregg illustrates that while Röpke’s ‘neoliberalism’ departed from much nineteenth-century classical liberal thought, it was also profoundly anti-Keynesian and contested key aspects of the post-war Keynesian economic consensus.
This book challenges many contemporary interpretations of Wilhelm Röpke’s economic thought, and will therefore be an invaluable resource for scholars, graduate students, and researchers with an interest in economics, history of economic thought, political philosophy, economic philosophy, and international trade. Policymakers will also find much to interest them in this captivating book.