Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The end of the Cold War marked a significant victory for liberal democracy, as well as for the idea of the ‘West’ as a community of states dedicated to nurturing and supporting the spread of a set of political and economic values. This lecture will examine the current challenges facing liberal democracy, both at home and abroad, and the impact of these challenges on the ‘West’ as an ideal and as a force within global politics. It will argue that the ‘West’ is facing threats from the outside - in the form of rising and declining powers – and from the inside – in the form of a U.S. retreat from multilateralism and of populist forces pressuring Western societies to turn inward. It will conclude by discussing the phenomenon of generational leadership change within the West and how this might hasten or halt the West’s decline.
Speaker: Jennifer Welsh, Professor and Chair in International Relations, European University Institute and Senior Research Fellow, Sommerville College, University of Oxford