Second Inter­na­tional Confer­ence: Rethinking Liber­alism, Renewing Democracy

Foto: Imago Images

Liberal Democracy is under increasing pressure. At our Confer­ence “Rethinking Liber­alism, Renewing Democracy” on November 24th in Berlin and online we will discuss with Guests from academia, politics, think tanks and the economy how liber­alism and liberal democracy will have to develop to persist.


As a school of thought and political movement, liber­alism has long been an undis­puted success story. It has promoted democracy and the rule of law, free world trade and an active civil society. At its heart is the postulate of equal freedom for all, the normative idea of human rights, and an inter­na­tional order governed by law.

Around the world, liberal democracy is under increasing external pressure. Liberal and author­i­tarian regimes are asserting them­selves globally. Whether one looks to China or Russia, for the power elites in Beijing and Moscow, liberal democ­ra­cies are a model of yesterday — incapable of strategic politics, paralyzed by political polar­iza­tion and social frag­men­ta­tion. At the latest, the Russian war of aggres­sion on Ukraine makes it clear that we are in an esca­lating systemic compe­ti­tion between author­i­tarian regimes and liberal democracies.

There is a need to rethink liber­alism and renew democracy. We began this reflec­tion and conver­sa­tion last year at our first confer­ence. At our second confer­ence, we want to discuss issues of a new world order, a new role for the state, and the partic­i­pa­tion and effi­ciency of democracies.


Our program is updated regularly. See the prelim­i­nary program below:


We want to discuss these questions with you and many exciting guests.

Among them:

Thorsten Benner, GPPI Berlin

Tanja Börzel, Freie Univer­sität Berlin

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, The German Marshall Fund

Sabine Döring, Univer­sität Tübingen

Jan-Werner Müller, Princeton University

Jana Puglierien, European Council on Foreign Relations

Jan Schnel­len­bach, Bran­den­bur­gische Tech­nische Universität

Dieter Schnaas, Wirtschaftswoche

Gesine Schwan, Humboldt Gover­nance Platform

Karolina Wigura, Univer­sity of Warsaw,

Michael Zürn, Wissenschaft­szen­trum Berlin für Sozialforschung

It is sponsored by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius.

If you have any questions, please contact Rainald Manthe (

Retro­spec­tive: Rethinking-Confer­ence 2021


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