July 26, 2010

The Evolution of Rule of Law in Hayek's Thought, 1935-1955

From Collectivist Economic Planning to the Political Ideal of the Rule of Law
  • Steven D. Ealy

    Senior Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc.
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Friedrich Hayek‘s interest in the ideal of rule of law as the centerpiece of a free society grew out of his analysis of the nature of centralized economic planning. This paper traces the development of rule of law in Hayek‘s thought from his early studies on economic planning through his political analysis of economics and political life as contained in The Road to Serfdom to his lectures on The Political Ideal of the Rule of Law delivered in Cairo in 1955. These lectures became the core of The Constitution of Liberty, in which Hayek integrates his concern with rule of law with basic philosophical principles, on the one hand, and an analysis of approaches to public policy on the other.