63 5th Ave u100
New York, NY 10003
Liberal democratic values seem embattled as never before in the United States, and around the world. The time is right for a serious and wide-ranging exploration of the prospects for liberal democracies in a context that acknowledges the historical and contemporary tensions between democracy and liberal values, both in theory and in practice. This conference convenes a varied group of scholars, journalists, policy expert and veteran public servants, we hope to stage a real meeting of the minds, not the usual partisan sniping that occurs at most academic events – and we are trying to be as inclusive as possible, by inviting thoughtful representatives from the left, right, and center.
Though liberalism and democracy have become intertwined in some contemporary societies, they have evolved along quite distinct paths historically. Democracy is an ancient idea, liberalism a very modern one. Greek democracy was not liberal, nor was the revolutionary democracy championed by the sans-culottes in the French Revolution. To this day, there are many avowedly democratic movements and regimes, both on the left and the right, that explicitly reject liberal values. Moreover, even in liberal democratic societies, there are important tensions between the two traditions.
In this conference, we will examine the prospects for liberal democracies against the backdrop of the historical and contemporary tensions between democracy and liberalism.
Featured speakers and participants
EJ Dionne Jr
T Chatterton Williams
T. Alexander Aleinikoff