In collaboration with the Hayek Institut and Fundación Internacional Bases, we organized the 8th International Conference “The Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century” on November 12-14. The event took place at the Austrian National Bank (OeNB) and gathered more than three hundred scholars, students, investment managers, and think-tankers from five continents. Indeed, participants from the Americas, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and most of Europe came to Vienna to discuss the most compelling issues surrounding the Austrian School.
The vitality and growing relevance of Austrian Economics was not only shown by the number of attendees but also by their academic and professional status, from Harvard-educated and New York Times best-selling author Tom Woods to Veronique de Rugy from the Mercatus Center, who regularly testifies in front of the U.S. Congress on matters related to trade policy.
Moreover, the keynote speaker list also included Robert Murphy – whose latest book is Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America’s Most Famous Keynesian – and Erich Weede, author of eleven books and about 250 other publications in German or English.
The conference’s program contained more than fifty presentations. Due to the great response to the call for papers, the organizers were forced to distribute most of the activities in three parallel sessions.
What is more, the program itself was a magnificent display of all the different thematic areas the Austrian School amalgamates. Naturally, monetary policy, free trade, taxation, production, the state of the European Union, and free-market ideas were thoroughly discussed. But on top of those, quite sophisticated presentations on blockchain, cryptocurrencies, epistemology, philosophy of science were part of the program.
Besides the fact that participants at the conference came from all continents populated by men – except Antarctica – the global feature of the Austrian School was also highlighted by the Juan Carlos Cachanosky Memorial Lecture. Originally from Argentina, Juan Carlos Cachanosky (1953-2015) was one of the leading scholars of the Austrian school in Latin America and acknowledged by many as the most brilliant Austrian thinker in the Spanish-speaking world. To honor his academic contributions, we decided to commence a regular lecture in his memory.
Finally, one of the explicit objectives of the conference was to bring Austrian Economics back to Austria. Approximately a third of the participants were Austrian residents and the announcement that the conference will take place again in Vienna in 2021 brings hope that the Austrian School may very well recover its roots and flourish once more in the place where it all had begun.