Normative Orders Working Paper
- 2011, 07
Individual and regulatory ethics: an economic-ethical and theoretical-historical analysis of ordoliberalism
- Based on Foucault’s analysis of German Neoliberalism and his thesis of ambiguity, the following paper draws a two-level distinction between individual and regulatory ethics. The individual ethics level – which has received surprisingly little attention – contains the Christian foundation of values and the liberal-Kantian heritage of so called Ordoliberalism – as one variety of neoliberalism. The regulatory or formal-institutional ethics level on the contrary refers to the ordoliberal framework of a socio-economic order. By differentiating these two levels of ethics incorporated in German Neoliberalism, it is feasible to distinguish dissimilar varieties of neoliberalism and to link Ordoliberalism to modern economic ethics. Furthermore, it allows a revision of the dominant reception of Ordoliberalism which focuses solely on the formal-institutional level while mainly neglecting the individual ethics level.