Contestations of the Liberal Script: A Research Program
The liberal script is under pressure. Some of the most severe challenges liberal societies are facing today emanate from authoritarian and non-liberal states, thinkers, and activists. These actors challenge the liberal script defined as descriptive and prescriptive knowledge about the organization of society based on the core principle of individual self-determination. Even though contestations of the liberal script are not unprecedented, the amount and globality of current contestations are nevertheless puzzling when measured against the general developments in world society over the past twenty-five years. The Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script” puts the current contestations of the liberal script in a broader historical, global, and comparative perspective by addressing fundamental questions about the development of politics and society in the 21st century. The concept of a script does not only allow us to analyze the nature and the scope of contestations of liberal ideas, institutions, and practices across time and space. It also enables us to identify possible alternatives rather than mere deviations to, or dissents from the liberal script.