Rethink­ing Revis­ited: Con­fe­rence High­lights — Rethin­king Libe­ra­lism, Renew­ing Democracy

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Finally: Here are the Insights and High­lights of our Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence “Rethink­ing Lib­er­al­ism, Renew­ing Democracy”!

Liberal demo­cracy is under attack: From aut­ho­ri­ta­rian regimes on the outside and from popu­list move­ments and parties at the inside. What is now needed is a pro­found renewal. Read here: Why we need to rethink lib­er­al­ism. At our Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Decem­ber 2nd 2021 we dis­cussed pre­cisely the ques­tion of how to revive advanced liberal democ­ra­cies, we took a closer look at the blind spots of lib­er­al­ism and explored chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties for social coher­ence in het­ero­ge­neous soci­eties. More­over we talked about sys­temic com­pe­ti­tion with auto­ri­ta­rian states and a new global order and dis­cussed liberal answers to climate change.

We thank all our guests, speak­ers and par­tic­i­pants online for the lively dicus­sions at our con­fer­ence! Special thanks to:

Prof. Dr. Larry Diamond, Pro­fes­sor of Socio­logy and Poli­ti­cal Science at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Insti­tu­tion; Amichai Magen, IDC Herz­liya; Goran Bul­di­oski, Open Society Foun­da­ti­ons, Wolf­gang Merkel, Social Science Center Berlin; Ursula Wei­den­feld, Jour­na­list; Sabine Doering, Uni­ver­sity of Tue­bin­gen, Karo­lina Wigura, Robert-Bosch-Fellow; Alan Posener, Jour­na­list; Nicolas Tenzer, Science Po Paris; Julia Hertin, German Advi­sory Council on the Envi­ron­ment; Cor­ne­lia Schu, Expert Council on Inte­gra­tion and Migra­tion; Jacek Kurch­ar­c­zyk, IEP Warzawa; Jan Zielonka, Uni­ver­sity of Oxford; Michael Zürn, Social Science Center Berlin and SCRIPTS

View the pro­gramme of the con­fer­ence here.

The con­fer­ence was spon­so­red by the Friede-Sprin­ger Foun­da­tion and the ZEIT-Stif­­tung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius.

Con­fer­ence Highlights


Keynote of Prof. Larry Diamond

Prof. Larry Diamond deliv­ered a keynote with an insight into his aca­d­e­mic work on the chal­lenges of democ­ra­cies. He iden­ti­fied key trends, that are deep­en­ing demo­c­ra­tic reces­sion, causes for this devel­op­ment and offered an outlook on how to revive advanced liberal democracies.


Panel: The Blind Spots of Liberalism

What went wrong with #lib­er­al­ism? Has there been a liberal over­stretch in pro­mot­ing liberal #democ­racy world­wide? And what is for instance the problem with iden­tity pol­i­tics from the right and left in liberal soci­eties? We dis­cussed these ques­tions of blind spots and the future of lib­er­al­ism with Sabine Doering, Uni­ver­sity of Tue­bin­gen, Jan Zielonka, Uni­ver­sity of Oxford and Michael Zürn, Social Science Center Berlin and SCRIPTS, mod­er­ated by Ralf Fücks, Direc­tor of the Center for Liberal Modernity.


Wolfang Merkel on the Resilience of Democracy

How can democ­ra­cies become more resilient? Do modern, het­eroge­nous soci­eties need a common nar­ra­tive? And how can we strengthen social inclu­sion and participation?


Social Coher­ence in Het­ero­ge­neous Soci­eties — Inter­view with Wolf­gang Merkel

Why is social coher­ence in het­ero­ge­neous soci­eties a major chal­lenge of our time? We asked Wolf­gang Merkel, Prof. Berlin Social Science Center, Prof. em. HU-Berlin, at our inter­na­tional con­fer­ence “Rethink­ing Lib­er­al­ism, Renew­ing Democracy”.


Sys­temic Com­pe­ti­tion with Author­i­tar­ian Regimes — Inter­view with Nicolas Tenzer

Is sys­temic com­pe­ti­tion with author­i­tar­ian regimes a threat to liberal democ­racy? Are author­i­tar­ian states taking over in a new global order? Nicolas Tenzer, Guest Prof. at Sci­ences Po’s Paris School of Inter­na­tional Affairs, talkes about his stance on the meaning of lib­er­al­ism in the current global order as well as its future potentials.




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