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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