The research group consists of three individual work packages that all deal with the idea of economic constitution:
The work package 1 “Intellectual Origins” takes a new look at the historical foundations of the ordoliberal movement. It challenges conventional interpretations of ordoliberalism that frame it as a reaction to historical events, political ideologies, or competing economic theories. Instead of a purely political or economic doctrine, the project approaches ordoliberalism as a philosophical theory that emerged as a response to the crisis of economics and of scientific reason in general, i.e., to the growing dispersion of individual sciences and the loss of their common foundation. The goal of the subproject is to explicate and reinterpret those fundamental methodological and conceptual innovations that constituted the unique approach of ordoliberalism, namely, its aim to understand and develop economics as a rule-oriented science with a strong emphasis on constitutional choice and institutional issues.
The work package 2 “Politics and Economy” deals with the contemporary developments in the idea of economic constitution of the EU. In particular, the subproject focuses on the role of the euro crisis in promoting the de-politicizations of economy through strengthened rule-based coordination and technocratic governance. It addresses questions concerning the new constitutionalization of economic policy and the role of economic theory therein as well as the transforming relation of fiscal and monetary policy.
The work package 3 “Discourses and Public Legitimation” examines the relationship between economic constitution and the European public sphere. In liberal democracies the public sphere remains an essentially free space for articulating critique as well as a space in which the use of power must be, at least minimally, legitimised by alluding to the public good. This allows both proponents and opponents of European economic constitution to make rule-based governance itself a public issue, therefore exposing its inherently political character. The aim of the subproject is to study how rule-based governance is both legitimised and challenged in the public debates over common economic policy in the euro crisis. It examines how different processes of rule-based coordination and technocratic governance limit the space of democratic politics and contribute to the demise of the general public sphere as a space for pluralist deliberation.