Classical liberalism is in a state of crisis. Developed in the wake of Europe’s wars over religion and nationalism, liberalism is a system for governing diverse societies, which is grounded in fundamental principles of equality and the rule of law. It emphasizes the rights of individuals to pursue their own forms of happiness free from encroachment by government.
It's no secret that liberalism didn't always live up to its own ideals. In America, many people were denied equality before the law. Who counted as full human beings worthy of universal rights was contested for centuries, and only recently has this circle expanded to include women, racial and ethnic minorities, and others. Conservatives complain that liberalism empties the common life of meaning.
As the renowned political philosopher Francis Fukuyama shows in Liberalism and Its Discontents, the principles of liberalism have also, in recent decades, been pushed to new extremes by both the right and the left: neoliberals made a cult of economic freedom, and progressives focused on identity over human universality as central to their political vision. The result, Fukuyama argues, has been a fracturing of our civil society and an increasing peril to our democracy.
In this short, clear account of our current political discontents, Fukuyama offers an essential defense of a revitalized liberalism for the twenty-first century.
Books will be available for sale at the event, or you can order one online.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Francis Fukuyama has written widely on issues in development and international politics. His 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man, has appeared in over twenty foreign editions. His most recent book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, was published in September 2018. His next book, Liberalism and Its Discontents, will be published in the spring of 2022.
Dr. Fukuyama received his B.A. from Cornell University in classics, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Science. He was a member of the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation, and of the Policy Planning Staff of the US Department of State. From 1996-2000 he was Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University, and from 2001-2010 he was Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He served as a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001-2004.
Dr. Fukuyama holds honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, Doane College, Doshisha University (Japan), Kansai University (Japan), Aarhus University (Denmark), and the Pardee Rand Graduate School. He is a non-resident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and at the Center for Global Development. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rand Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Pardee Rand Graduate School, and the Volcker Alliance. He is a member of the American Political Science Association and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is married to Laura Holmgren and has three children.