Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

Hayek vs Robbins: Two Visions of European Integration

Masini Fabio, Roma Tre University

Following the collapse of international relations after WWI, most intellectuals – and economists among them – dwelled on the ways to design and implement a sustainable, peaceful, effective, durable international economic and political system. Within this extraordinary effort, the conceptualization of federations as constitutional systems, allowing for both decentralization and strategic unity, to building supranational cohesion upon heterogeneity and diversity, was paramount. Most economists engaged in designing an international order based on the principles of constitutional federalism. Nevertheless, an issue is still open on the nature and scope of supranational federalism as advocated by Hayek, compared to other approaches, such as Robbins’s. The paper aims to reaffirm the distinction between their two approaches to federalism and assess the intellectual influence they exerted on the making of European integration.

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Keywords: Hayek, Robbins, federalism, European integration