Ideas of Constructed Market in Late Imperial Russia: Constructivist Liberalism of Peter Struve (1870 – 1944)
This paper defines constructivist liberalism as based on the belief that disadvantageous initial conditions for a natural commencing of an unfettered market order can be overcome through new institutional arrangements, initiated and nurtured by the highest political authority, usually the state. Within this context, the present study examines the economic scholarship of Peter Struve (1870 – 1944), the only Russian academic economist who openly advocated deliberate construction of a free market economy in Imperial Russia, and situates his views on the nature of the liberal market order within the intellectual landscape of 20th century liberal economics. Currently, Struve's contribution to the liberal economic doctrine remains practically unknown not only in North America but also in Russia due to the lack of professional economic studies of his works. The paper presents the theoretical core of Struve's economic doctrine and then introduces Struve's concept of “constitutional” liberalism, which this study labels constructivist liberalism. This study concludes that Struve's views on the informational role of market price in an open-ended competitive economic system in many ways anticipated Hayekian analysis of the problem, while his concept of constructivist liberalism, despite having been presented in rather embryonic form, was similar to what in late 1940s became known as a neoliberal constructivism of the Mont Pelerin Society and post-WWII Chicago school of economics.
Volume (Year): 31 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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