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“Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost . . .” – F.A. Hayek

     
 

Political philosopher and Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek, author of groundbreaking works such as The Road to Serfdom and The Constitution of Liberty, was the key figure in the twentieth century revival of classical liberalism. He was also a formative influence on the Manhattan Institute. When our founder, Sir Antony Fisher, asked how best to reverse the erosion of freedom, Hayek advised him not to begin with politics per se but to fight first on the battlefield of ideas. Our Hayek Lecture and Prize affirm and celebrate this mission.

The Hayek Lecture is delivered by the recipient of the Hayek Prize, which honors the book published within the past two years that best reflects Hayek’s vision of economic and individual liberty. The Hayek Prize, with its $50,000 award, is among the world’s most generous book prizes. It was conceived and funded by Manhattan Institute trustee Tom Smith to recognize the influence of F.A. Hayek and to encourage other scholars to follow his example. The winner of the Hayek Prize is chosen from among the nominations by a selection committee of distinguished economists, journalists, and scholars. Past winners include: William Easterly for The White Man's Burden, Amity Shlaes for The Forgotten Man, Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds for Money, Markets & Sovereignty and most recently Matt Ridley for The Rational Optimist.

The nomination window for the 2014 Hayek Prize has closed.
Submissions for the 2015 prize will be accepted starting later this year.


Recent Hayek Prize Winners/Lectures


2013

Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962
By John B. Taylor

Hayek Lecture 9, May 29, 2013
By Yang Jisheng



"Human memory is the ladder on which a country and a people advance. . .The authorities in a totalitarian system strive to conceal their faults and extol their merits, gloss over their errors and forcibly eradicate all memory of man-made calamity, darkness, and evil. . .I erect this tombstone so that people will remember and henceforth renounce manmade calamity, darkness, and evil." – Yang Jisheng


2012

First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America's Prosperity
By John B. Taylor

Hayek Lecture 8, May 31, 2012
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

By John B. Taylor


"A reform strategy built on more predictable, rules-based fiscal, monetary and regulatory policies will help restore economic prosperity. That will be a daunting task, of course, but as they undertake the necessary changes, reformers should pay close attention to what the great economist and philosopher Friedrich A. Hayek wrote in the middle years of the last century." – John Taylor


2011

The Rational Optimist
By Matt Ridley

Hayek Lecture 7, September 26, 2011
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

By Matt Ridley


"As Hayek understood, it is human collaboration that is necessary for society to work . . . the key feature of trade is that it enables us to work for each other not just for ourselves; that attempts at self-sufficiency are the true form of selfishness as well as the quick road to poverty; and that authoritarian, top-down rule is not the source of order or progress" – Matt Ridley


2010

Money, Markets and Sovereignty
By Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds

Hayek Lecture 6, November 30, 2010
Hayek and the Dangers of Monetary Nationalism

By Manuel Hinds
Towards a Common Sense Currency
By Benn Steil

“In Money, Markets and Sovereignty Manuel and I have tried, in the spirit of Hayek, to capture the good ideas which, over millennia, going back to the great Stoic thinkers of the ancient Hellenistic world, have been essential to creating sound law, sound money, and enduring international cooperation – ideas which underlay what Hayek called “the Great Society.” We hope in some small way to encourage a renewed interest in such ideas.” – Ben Steil


2009

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression
By Amity Shlaes

Hayek Lecture 5, November 19, 2009
The Forgotten Economy: This Recovery and the 1930s

By Amity Shlaes



“This is the hour of Hayek. More than any other, this moment in history reminds us of how right Hayek was that the incremental expansion of government is not benign. No matter what the stock market does, we have a sense that there is something disappointing about the quality of the recovery. The unemployment rate is rising into the double digits. Banks are accumulating excess reserves. Even the rise in the personal savings rate sends a signal of caution—Americans are still holding. Money is still sitting it out, waiting for a sign to enter the market.”


2008

The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good
By William Easterly

Hayek Lecture 4, October 23, 2008
Hayek vs. The Development Experts

By William Easterly


“Hayek knew he would be caricatured as a right-wing ideologue, even though his ideas did not fit into the stale partisan debate about markets versus government. He argued that the best system in the long run relied upon the creativity of individuals at the bottom who had both political and economic freedom. In a way I will describe below, Hayek saw both government and markets as functioning better the more they were the outcome of spontaneous development from the bottom up, with nobody in charge. It took courage to criticize top-down control after the scary calamities of the Depression, yet Hayek’s vision would be vindicated by subsequent events. How many of us will show similar intellectual courage in the midst of today’s financial crash?”


2007

Liberalism Beyond Justice: Citizens Society and the Boundaries of Political Theory
By John Tomasi

Hayek Lecture 3, June 20, 2007
Hayek on Spontaneous Order and the Mirage of Social Justice

By John Tomasi
VIDEO

“Sometimes, no doubt, there are basic differences of moral principle, and those must be confronted with bravery and resolve. But one lesson we can learn from Hayek is that things are often not so simple. Like Hayek, one can be against expansive governmental programs precisely because one is for social justice.”


2006

The Road from Serfdom: The Economic and Political Consequences of the End of Communism
By Lord Robert Skidelsky

Hayek Lecture 2, June 14, 2006
The Road to Serfdom Revisited

By Lord Robert Skidelsky


“Hayek's key message for us today is surely this: every new restriction or regulation should be judged by its effect not just on the problem that it is designed to solve or the danger that it is designed to avert but by its effect on the system of liberty as a whole. If we are blind to this, we will be left with a damaged system of liberty long after the particular problem or danger has passed away.”


2005

The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
By Michael Novak

Hayek Lecture 1, May 19, 2005
Islam Tests Democracy

By Michael Novak


“Following Lord Acton, Hayek in the epilogue to The Constitution of Liberty described himself as neither a “conservative” (which in those days meant, practically, landed gentry or Tory) nor a “progressive” (which in those days meant socialist or worse) but rather as a “Whig.” For Hayek, leaning on Acton, Whig meant the party of liberty, whose core concept, going back to Thomas Aquinas, is the beauty and dignity of the liberty of the human person.”

 
 
 
 

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