Liberalism in Crisis: Between Totalitarian Responses and Progressive Dreams

Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 10:00am - 6:00pm, IWM library
In the past decade, many have spoken of the “crisis of democracy” due to the rise of populism in Europe, both in the East and the West, in the Union’s member states and in the aspiring member countries. But is democracy really what is at stake and in crisis nowadays, or is it a whole set of political-ideological values that are termed “liberal”? Can we argue that democracy is not a value system but an empty form of a political organization, a syntax that can be furnished with different semantics, including that of the illiberal world view as Viktor Orban has proposed years ago?

Should we postulate a triangulation in which we look at the phenomena of liberalism, populism and democracy as independent elements that can be looked at individually but also in a variety of possible combinations and not necessarily constituting a “natural triad”? The two panels assemble speakers from around Europe and the States: Ivan Krastev, Katerina Kolozova, Ivan Vejvoda, Venelin Ganev and Adam Ramsey.

The opening speech entitled Varieties of populism: sources, challenges, constraints will be given by Jacques Rupnik, the leading academic expert on the Central-European region and former advisor to Czech President Václav Havel, Director of Research at Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Professor at Science Po in Paris and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.

Liberalism in Crisis: Between Totalitarian Responses and Progressive Dreams

9.50-10.00          Welcome address by Shalini Randeria (IWM)
10.00-10.45        Keynote lecture by Jacques Rupnik (Scienses Po, CERI, Paris)
Varieties of Populism: Sources, Challenges, Constraints

11.30-13.00        Panel discussion/roundtable
Between Totalitarian Responses and Progressive Dreams
Ana Blazeva, Ivan Krastev, Katerina Kolozova. Moderation: Ivan Vejvoda

16.00-17.30        Panel discussion/roundtable
Do Illiberal Democracies Exist
Venelin Ganev, Ivan Vejvoda, Adam Ramsey. Moderation: Katerina Kolozova


Registration required!
Limited number of seats available upon registration with

The event is jointly organized by “Europe’s Futures” project of the Institute for the Human Sciences (IWM) and the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (Skopje, North Macedonia).

    Bildergebnis für Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (Skopje