2nd Dickinson College Public Lecture

On May 30, 2013, the Carl Schurz German-American Club Bremen and the Durden Dickinson Program in Bremen invited members of the University of Bremen and citizens to the Fourth Dickinson College Public Lecture on:

The Welfare State as a “Road to Serfdom”?
F. A. Hayek and the American Debate
About Social Policies

with Professor Edward McPhail, Ph.D.

With the recent financial crisis and the election of President Barack Obama, conservatives have been particularly active linking his administration’s policies to socialism. As anger at Obama’s social policies grows in some quarters, scholars and talk show hosts alike have said Friedrich von Hayek’s 1944 best-seller “The Road to Serfdom” warrants another look. But does it? Hayek warned that persisting with interventionist policies and welfare state practices would lead to totalitarian government. It has not. But that does not stop some from citing the book as a foundation for ominous warnings about the United States.

Dr. Ludwig Academic Director of the Dickinson in Bremen Program, and Neil van Siclen, President of the Carl Schurz German-American Club, introduced our guest speaker from Dickinson College.


Part of the concept of the DCPL is that a professor from a respective department at the University of Bremen officially invites his colleague from Dickinson College and uses the time spent together to establish their contact and work towards future cooperation in their field. This year, Prof. Dr. Wolfram Elsner invited and introduced our guest speaker.

Prof. Dr. Wolfram Elsner introducing his colleague

PROF. DR. WOLFRAM ELSNER received his PhD in economics (1977) and habilitation (1985) at Uni Bielefeld. He has worked as Director of Regional Economic Development (1986–89), Head of Planning Division for the Bremen Senator for Economic Affairs, Director of the Bremen Economic Research Institute (BAW) (1989–95), and Bremen State Industrial Defense Conversion Official on behalf of the Senator for E.A. (1992–2001). Since 1995, he is Professor at the University of Bremen and President of the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy.


PROF. EDWARD McPHAIL, Ph.D. was educated at Washington University and the University of Virginia and received his doctorate at the

Professor Ed McPhail during his lecture

University of Massachusetts. He is Associate Professor of Economics at Dickinson College. His research interests in the history of economic thought include path dependency and socialism, the role of endogenous preferences and human sociality, and the golden rule and the greatest happiness principle. With Andrew Farrant he is the author of several papers on the work of F. A. Hayek. He is also the author of “Socialism After Hayek and Human Sociality” (Review of Austrian Economics 2008), „Does the Road to Serfdom Lead to the Servile State?“ (European Journal of Political Economy 2005), and “Distributism and Modern Economics” (Beyond Capitalism & Socialism 2008).


This lecture series is presented by Carl Schurz Deutsch-Amerikanischer Club Bremen and Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, USA. Support und funding is provided by the University of Bremen, the Bremen United States Center, the U.S. Consulate General Hamburg and Sparkasse Bremen.

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