October 2, 2018 – The Many Faces of Liberalism Conference

Missed the conference? The keynote can be found on YouTube here.

Since its origins in the early nineteenth century, liberalism has been centrally concerned with protecting individual rights. But liberals have often disagreed about how to translate this core commitment into practice. Which rights—and whose rights—should be protected and how? Do some rights take precedence over others? What is the relationship between these rights and democracy? What makes a democracy liberal? At a time when liberal values are embattled as never before, this conference will bring together a distinguished group of scholars, journalists, policy experts and public servants for wide-ranging debate and discussion about these questions.


This is the first of two conferences on the subject of Liberalism & Democracy. The next conference, which will take place at The New School on February 7-8, will explore the prospects for democracy in America in a context that acknowledges the historical and contemporary tensions between democracy and liberal values, both in theory and in practice. If interested, please visit this site.



Also part of The Promise and Perils of Democracy Series: Democracy is under threat. Around the world, we see the rise of anti-democratic movements, leaders, and policies. To address this crisis and explore possible solutions, The Graduate Center will dedicate two years of public programming and scholarship to understanding the present state and future of democracy. This fall, we present several events in this timely new series.