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Durham University

Durham Law School

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Mathias Siems

Siems, Mathias & Schnyder, Gerhard (2014). Ordoliberal Lessons for Economic Stability: Different Kinds of Regulation, Not More Regulation. Governance 27(3): 377-396.

Author(s) from Durham


Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 the term “ordoliberalism” has experienced a marked revival. This discussion tends to focus on the need for more state intervention. Yet this misrepresents the core ideas of ordoliberalism because its main concern is not with “how much” but with “what kind of” intervention is needed. Thus, this article seeks to clarify the ordoliberal position, in particular its key distinction between market conforming and nonconforming state intervention. Discussing the current financial crisis, it also evaluates the potential benefits and drawbacks of ordoliberalism. The article rebukes rhetorical shortcuts that equate every economic policy coming out of Germany with ordoliberalism. It also suggests that while the ordoliberal conception does not necessarily provide a solution to the current problems in the short run, in the long run it may form the basis for a sounder conception of economic regulation than more libertarian views can offer.