Colloque Walter Lippmann

The Walter Lippman Colloquium, in French Colloque Walter Lippmann, was a conference of intellectuals organized in Paris in August 1938 by French philosopher Louis Rougier. After interest in classical liberalism had declined in the 1920s and 1930s, the aim was to construct a new Liberalism as a rejection of collectivism, socialism and laissez-faire liberalism. At the meeting the term neoliberalism was coined by Alexander Rüstow referring to the rejection of the (old) laissez-faire liberalism.

The colloquium was named after American journalist Walter Lippmann. Lippman's 1937 book An Enquiry into the Principles of the Good Society had been translated into French as La Cité libre and was studied in detail at the meeting. Twenty-six intellectuals, including some of the most prominent liberal thinkers, took part. Participants included Walter Lippmann himself, German Ordoliberals such as Wilhelm Röpke and Alexander Rüstow, Austrian School theorists such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, and entrepreneurs such as Ernest Mercier. Michael Polanyi also participated. Walter Eucken was invited to the colloqium, but was not given permission to leave Germany. Participants from France included Raymond Aron, Robert Marjolin, Louis Rougier, and Jacques Rueff.

The participants chose to set up an organization to promote liberalism, the Comité international d'étude pour le renouveau du libéralisme (CIERL). Though CIERL had few consequences because of the war, it inspired Friedrich Hayek in the postwar creation of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Michel Foucault's 1978-79 Collège de France lectures, published a quarter of a century later as The Birth of Biopolitics, drew attention to the importance of the Walter Lippman Colloqium.

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