“Rethinking Open Society” (Ignatieff & Roch, eds.)

Here is a very interesting collection of essays, one of which is a discussion between liberal public intellectuals Michael Ignatieff and Mark Lilla about the prospects for and substantial challenges to the idea of the “open society”–in the US and around the world. That exchange was so interesting that I chose it as one of the essays we will discuss at our upcoming Tradition Project conference in Rome this December, at a workshop on “Nationalism, Populism, and Traditionalism.”

The book (which contains contributions from the likes of Thomas Christiano, Stephen Open SocietyWalt, and Roger Scruton) is Rethinking Open Society: New Adversaries and New Opportunities (Central European University Press).

The key values of the Open Society – freedom, justice, tolerance, democracy and respect for knowledge – are increasingly under threat in today’s world. As an effort to uphold those values, this volume brings together some of the key political, social and economic thinkers of our time to re-examine the Open Society closely in terms of its history, its achievements and failures, and its future prospects. Based on the lecture series Rethinking Open Society, which took place between 2017 and 2018 at the Central European University, the volume is deeply embedded in the history and purpose of CEU, its Open Society mission, and its belief in educating sceptical but passionate citizens.

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