Ola Innset, "Reinventing Liberalism: The Politics, Philosophy and Economics of Early Neoliberalism (1920-1947)" (Springer, 2021)


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This year, more than 40 books will be published in English with 'Neoliberal' or 'Neoliberalism' in the title. For many in the academy, these words have become interchangeable with “capitalist”, “laissez-faire”, “fiscally austere” or pretty much anything short of full socialism.

Yet, when it was first coined by self-proclaimed neoliberals on either side of the second world war, the term had a specific meaning that has since been lost in a culture-war of words. By taking us back to neoliberalism’s embryonic debates in 1920s Vienna and a fly-on-the-wall account of the movement’s founding conference in the Swiss Alps in 1947, Ola Innset brings neoliberalism's specific "dual argument" to life.

Ola Innset is a postdoctoral researcher at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo. He has published three other books in Norwegian - the most recent being The Market Turn, a history of neoliberalism in Norway. Reinventing Liberalism: The Politics, Philosophy and Economics of Early Neoliberalism (1920-1947) (Springer, 2021), which is based on a PhD thesis for which he won the 2019 Joseph Dorfman Dissertation Prize from the History of Economics Society, is his first book in English.

*The author's own book recommendations are Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism by Melinda Cooper (Zone Books, 2017) and the Outline trilogy by Rachel Cusk (Faber & Faber, 2018-19).

Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors.

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