Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 475–494

“The other side of the argument”: Isaiah Berlin versus F. A. von Hayek on liberty, public policies, and the market

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10602-015-9193-3

Cite this article as:
Pitsoulis, A. & Groß, S.W. Const Polit Econ (2015) 26: 475. doi:10.1007/s10602-015-9193-3


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.


Conceptions of liberty Markets and liberty F. A. von Hayek Isaiah Berlin 

JEL Classification

A11 A13 B25 B31 B41 I18 I28 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Economics and Information ScienceHildesheim UniversityHildesheimGermany
  2. 2.Wolfson CollegeOxfordUK
  3. 3.Brandenburg University of TechnologyCottbusGermany

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