Mikayla Novak is Senior Fellow, F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Her primary research interests are in political economy, institutional analysis, economic sociology, social theory, public finance, and regulation.

Mikayla has extensively written on matters of social thought and policy, invariably attuned to the complex intersections between sociological, economic and political phenomena. In 2018 her first book, Inequality: An Entangled Political Economy Perspective, was published by Palgrave (under the Palgrave Studies in Classical Liberalism series). The book presents an account of inequality using an explicit framework encompassing complex and evolving network interactions between individuals and groups in differential (material and status) positions. Her book has been described as “lucid … recognising the deeply entangled character of politics and economics within modern societies,” “a bold new intellectual foundation for social policy analysis,” and a work bringing “careful and clear thinking to a topic too often clouded in emotion and guided by moral intuition.”

Her second book, Freedom in Contention: Social Movements and Liberal Political Economy, was published in 2021 by Rowman and Littlefield (under the Polycentricity: Studies in Institutional Diversity and Voluntary Governance series). The book applies frameworks of contemporary liberal political economy (Austrian-Bloomington-Viriginia school approaches) to the study of social movements. This strategy allows for the illumination of social movements activities, as well as a better understanding as to how such collectives contribute toward the realisation of economic, political, and social freedoms. Freedom in Contention has been described as a “significant contribution to the literature in social theory,” “a comprehensive and novel analysis of social movements,” and “a thoughtful discussion that will be of enduring interest to scholars of social activism and classical liberalism.”

Prior to her transition into academic sociology, Mikayla was an economist with a doctorate in economics awarded at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) and a First Class Honours economics degree at The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia). Drawing inspiration from the Austrian, Bloomington, Freiburg and Virginian Schools of political economy, Mikayla had written about aspects of comparative institutional analysis and, recently, on the economics of distributed ledger technologies. Her economic research (including forthcoming papers) appears in outlets such as Research Policy, Asia & The Pacific Policy Studies, Constitutional Political Economy, Review of Austrian Economics, Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Journal of Contextual Economics (Schmollers Jahrbuch), Journal des Economistes et etudes Humaines, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, and Journal of Private Enterprise.

Mikayla has contributed multiple chapters to edited books, written book reviews and has produced policy briefing papers. Mikayla’s working papers on SSRN have been downloaded approximately 4,600 times (placing her in the top ten per cent of authors), and she has a Google Scholar h-index ranking of ten. She has also contributed prolifically to policy debates, with over two hundred opinion articles on topics such as public finance, government administration, welfare and social policy.

Mikayla actively contributes toward professional editorial activities. She is a contributing editor of Cosmos+Taxis, and on the board of associate editors for Markets & Society. Mikayla is also an Associate Director of the Entangled Political Economy Research Network (EPERN), an international network of academics dedicated to the study and advancement of entangled political economy, and is a Research Fellow with the Complexity Economics Workshop, an academic network aimed at promoting studies in complexity economics.

Follow Mikayla on Twitter, at @NovakMikayla, for regular updates and resources. To contact Mikayla directly, please email: mnovak@mercatus.gmu.edu

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