Anthony de Jasay

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Anthony de Jasay (born Jászay Antal, 1925) is a Hungarian-born philosopher and economist known for his anti-statist writings.


He was born at Aba, Hungary in 1925. (The original Hungarian spelling of his name is Jászay.) He was educated at Székesfehérvár and Budapest, taking a degree in Agriculture. In 1947–48 he worked as a free-lance journalist, his activity forcing him to flee from the country in 1948. After two years in Austria, he emigrated to Australia in 1950 and took a part-time course in Economics at the University of Western Australia. Winning a Hackett Studentship, he went to Oxford in 1955 and was elected a research fellow of Nuffield College where he stayed till 1962, publishing papers in the Economic Journal, the Journal of Political Economy and other scholarly journals.

In 1962 he moved to Paris and worked there as a banker, first in an executive capacity and then on his own account, till 1979, doing investment business in several European countries and the United States. In 1979, he retired to the Normandy coast where he still lives. He has a wife, three children, and three grandchildren.

While his initial interest and training were in economics, he has later turned to political philosophy, and his writings draw on both. He has published five books, several of which have been translated into a total of six languages, as well as numerous articles, mainly in English but also in French and German.

de Jasay writes Reflections from Europe, a monthly column for The Library of Economics and Liberty.


  • The State (1985)
  • Social Contract, Free Ride (1989)
  • Choice, Contract, Consent: A Restatement of Liberalism (1991)
  • Before Resorting to Politics (1996)
  • Against Politics: On Government, Anarchy and Order (1997)
  • Justice and its Surroundings (2002)
  • Political Philosophy, Clearly (2010)
  • Political Economy, Concisely (2010)
  • Liberal Reason, Social Confusion (2010)
  • Economic Sense and Nonsense: Reflections from Europe, 2007-2012 (forthcoming)
  • Social Justice and the Indian Rope Trick (forthcoming)

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