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W(h)ither the Liberal Order?

Judy Dempsey - Editor, Strategic Europe (Carnegie Europe) - has written the first article for the SCRIPTS Blog.

News from Feb 03, 2020

The liberal order has always been under pressure. Until now it has survived and flourished. But the attraction of other models of governing is increasing despite their negative impact on individual freedoms and rights.

Berlin seems a fitting venue for the official launch of "Contestations of the Liberal Script."

It's not just because after 1945 the city was between divided between two ideological camps – a democratic one and a communist one. It's also because Germany's capital has become a global attraction. Maybe it is because of its extraordinarily chequered past. In any case, academics from across the world gather here from February 6-8 to launch this ambitious seven-year-long project.

On the face of it, there is no one reason why the liberal order is under threat. Just look at its record of survival and appeal. Two World Wars had shaken the very foundations of an order that inspired, among others, the revolutions of 1789 and 1848.

After 1945, a complicated power struggle came into play. The West, represented by the United States and Western Europe - which America has put back on its feet thanks to its immense financial, economic and political assistance - represented two features. One was the commitment to values and democratic institutions. The second was building a multilateral architecture.

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