Rethinking Open Society

New Adversaries and New Opportunities
$35.00 / €27.95 / £25.00
Publication date: 
310 pages

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.
CONTRIBUTORS: Anne Applebaum • Erica Benner• Dorothee Bohle • Thomas Christiano • Tim Crane • Niall Ferguson • Timothy Garton Ash • Béla Greskovits • Michael Ignatieff • Robert D. Kaplan • János Kis • Ivan Krastev • Mark Lilla • Margaret MacMillan • Jan-Werner Müller • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi • Stefan Roch • Pierre Rosanvallon • Jacques Rupnik • András Sajó • Daniela Schwarzer • Sir Roger Scruton • Stephen M. Walt

Introduction by Michael Ignatieff
I) The Open Society Ideal: For and Against
• Mark Lilla and Michael Ignatieff, A Conversation Between Mark Lilla and Michael Ignatieff
• Roger Scruton, The Open Society from a Conservative Perspective
• Stefan Roch, Educating Skeptical but Passionate Citizens: The Open Society Ideal as a University Mission

II) Open Society in Practice: Democracy, Rule of Law, Free Speech and Secularism
• Thomas Christiano, Democracy Defended and Challenged
• Timothy Garton Ash, Free Speech and the Defence of an Open Society
• Tim Crane, Religion in the Open Society
• Andras Sajo, Constitutionalism in Closing Societies

III) Open Society in 21st Century Geopolitics
• Stephen Walt, Open Societies at Home and Abroad
• Niall Ferguson, Open Society and 21st century Globalization [Network Approach]
• Robert Kaplan, Eurasia, Europe, and the Question of U.S. Leadership
• Daniela Schwarzer, Germany and the Fate of Open Society in Europe
• Margaret MacMillan, War and Open Society

IV) Open Society’s New Enemies: The Authoritarian Competitors
• Jan-Werner Müller, How Can Populism Be Defeated?
• Erica Benner, Beyond Demagoguery? The Contemporary Crisis of Political Communication
• Pierre Rosanvallon, Populism and Democracy in Europe: History and Theory
• Anne Applebaum, The Enduring Appeal of the One-Party State

V) From Transition to Backsliding: Did Open Societies Fail?
• Dorothee Bohle, Capitalism and Democracy in East Central Europe: A Sequence of Crises
• Ivan Krastev, Perhapsburg: Reflections on the Fragility and Resilience of Europe
• Jacques Rupnik, European Divides: Crisis of Democracy, Nationhood, Multiculturalism
• Alina Mungiu Pippidi, The Open Society and the Problem of Corruption: Diagnosis and Remedies
• Béla Greskovits, The Political Economy of Open Society in East-Central Europe: Recent Trends
Conclusion by Michael Ignatieff

Visegrad Insight

"As closed or only seemingly open societies run by single party autocrats or self-declared illiberal democrats look to be ascendant across the globe, Rethinking Open Society offers a timely exploration of how this ideal can be made relevant for the 21st century and how the contest with its new enemies might best be waged. In his splendid introduction and concluding remarks to the volume, Ignatieff clarifies the agenda and summarizes the key insights of the volume, providing a balanced assessment of both the significant virtues as well as the notable shortcomings of open societies and their recent friends. A nuanced and excellent volume, both sufficiently diverse and focused to merit sustained attention."

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