Liberalism and its Critics.
National Identities and Institutions in Transition31 January - 1 February 2019
Across the European continent, liberal institutions have come under increasing attack by nationalist movements. From judicial autonomy to fair elections, and from freedom of expression to religious freedom, liberal institutions and practices that were once sources of national pride are now being called into question, along with the legitimacy of international organizations that promote ostensibly universal norms of human rights. Examples of this backlash span Europe. The vocal objections of local and international human rights organizations, and of intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations and the European Union, lend inadvertent support to nationalists’ claims that liberal institutions have been captured by foreign interests, and that they must be recaptured and made to serve the national will.
This workshop aims to bring together scholars of history, sociology, political science, and law for a comparative exploration of these changes. We ask: what are the sources of this wave of hostility toward liberal institutions and practices and what are the historical antecedents of this global phenomenon? What are its practical consequences for the functioning of national and international institutions built on liberal principles? Finally, what are its implications for the coherence of the liberal nation-state and the ideal of an international liberal order? Our geographical focus is on greater Europe – a region broadly understood to encompass Eastern and Western Europe, Russia, and Turkey – while our historical lens is trained on the struggles over liberalism in 19th-century Ottoman and European society and their resonances with contemporary struggles in their successor states.
We regret to inform you that the workshop is fully booked.