Liberalism and Democracy: past, present, prospects

Liberal democratic values seem embattled as never before both in the United States and throughout the world. The time is right for a serious and wide-ranging discussion of the prospects for liberal democracies in a context that acknowledges the historical and contemporary tensions between democracy and liberal values, both in theory and in practice.


Two days of a public seminar discussion featuring a diverse lineup of conservatives, liberals, socialists, veterans of Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, inside the beltway policy experts, scholars, and journalists that will focus on the challenges to the liberal norms of tolerance and pluralism. Discussions will include race and immigration as a challenge to modern democracies; egalitarianism as a contested value in liberal democracies; the challenges of populism and the politics, government secrecy, and precision propaganda in America today; and the future prospects for liberal democracies. One of the event's goals is to promote intellectual diversity and debate as an essential way to guard against complacency.


The discussion will feature a prominent lineup including:

William Kristol, is the editor at large of The Weekly Standard,  a regular on ABC’s This Week and on ABC’s special events and election coverage, and appears frequently on other leading political commentary shows.

Micheal Tomasky, is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He is also a columnist for The Daily Beast and the editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. He is also a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books.

Paul Krugman, is a columnist on the Op-Ed Page of The New York Times and continues as professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton.  

James Miller, is a professor of politics and liberal studies and faculty director of the MA in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism at The New School for Social Research. His latest book, Can Democracy Work? A Short History of a Radical Idea from Ancient Athens to Our World, was published in 2018.

Astra Taylor , is is a writer and documentarian born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Athens, Georgia. She was named one of the 25 New Faces to Watch in independent cinema by Filmmaker Magazine in the summer of 2006.

Sophia Rosenfeld, is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Common Sense: A Political History.

Jessica Pisano, is an Associate Professor of Politics  at The New School for Social Research. Her research and teaching focus on the contemporary and twentieth century politics of Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

William Galston, writes the weekly Politics & Ideas column in the Wall Street Journal. He holds the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program, where he serves as a senior fellow.

E.J. Dionne, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and university professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, has written for The New York Times, Harper's, the London Review of Books, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Le Monde, and many other publications. He is the author of Losing My Cool.


February 7, 2019, 4:00 p.m.– 8:30 p.m. and February 8, 2019, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.


John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue Room U100


Members of the public can register for the free event on Eventbrite.

Members of the media should RSVP with David Koeppel at or 212.229.5667 x 3794

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in art and design, the social sciences, the liberal arts, management, the performing arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education and executive courses and public programs. The New School maintains a global presence through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships. Learn more at


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New York, NY 10003


Media Contact:

David Koeppel
The New School
212.229.5667 x 3794

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